So I was down at the LGBTQXYZ health clinic the other day, getting some of the special LGBTQXYZ medications I take for special LGBTQXYZ diseases that I’ve contracted from bathhouse sex over the years, when I stumbled upon a great article in Positively Aware Magazine.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the publication, Positively Aware is a free ‘zine available at health clinics that focuses on AIDS awareness. Oddly enough, the magazine has an unmistakeably gay bent, which is really inappropriate and downright ignorant. If I’ve learned anything from AIDS educators it’s that AIDS is definitely NOT a gay disease. It has nothing to do with homosexuality, it has to do with lack of federal funding for research. Butt sex isn’t the cause of AIDS, Ronald Ray-gun is. Thankfully, the magazine skips over references to butt pirates by referring to them as MSM–men who have sex with men. That’s a totally different category from cock smugglers.
While I was waiting patiently for the doctor to fill my ‘scrip for antibiotics (I have the clap, y’know) I found a wonderful article by Dr. Gary Bucher, MD, an anal dysplasia and anal cancer prevention specialist from Chicago. It was called “Getting to the Bottom of It: Be Proactive About Anal Health”. What an eye opener!
The title of the article was, in itself, enough to tickle my funny bone. Get to the bottom of “it”? Get to the bottom of what, exactly? And then I saw the picture and it all became crystal clear to me. He’s talking about my asshole! Silly goose. Why didn’t he just say so?
The cup in the picture above is a symbolic stand-in for arseholes. I suppose the publisher thought that a picture of a dixie cup with a spoon in it was enough to get the point across without actually printing a picture of someone’s sphincter. But the message came through loud and clear for me. That’s about how wide my asshole is, and yes, sometimes I shove a spoon up there just cause it feels good. I’m kind of loosey-goosey in my anal region, due to years of using my asshole as the vagina I never had. Sometimes when I walk, it kind of wiggles and jiggles like one of those old Jell-O commercials with Bill Cosby. You get the picture, right?
Dr. Bucher explains that there are pro-active steps that a person can take to catch anal health problems before they get out of hand. Prevention is the key.
I also ask the patient if they have performed an anal self-exam by using their finger to feel around for any lumps or bumps inside their anus.
Well no, that’s not something I usually do. But if the doctor wants to do it for me, that would be great.
The good doctor also recommends yearly anal pap smears for “high risk groups”. I think I might be one of the high risk groups considering the fact that my sexual proclivities tend to make me high risk for just about everything. But how can I be sure?
Individuals at increased risk for developing anal cancer include HIV-positive men and women; HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM); women with a history of cervical, vaginal, or vulvar cancer or cervical dysplasia; chronically immunosuppressed organ transplant patients; men and women with a history of anal warts; and people who smoke tobacco.
Oh! Well, I don’t have AIDS. At least I don’t think I do. Maybe I should wait for the test results. But I’ve had anal warts before. I think there was a mean case of that stuff circulating in the West Village when I was there in the late 80s. I am also an “MSM”. So that means that I fall into two high risk groups.
I don’t smoke however; at least not tobacco. I prefer pole. Because tobacco is just gross. Smokers should be shunned and forced to pay eight dollars a pack just in taxes on their fifty cent box of coffin nails. Smoking is so unhealthy, and as we have seen, it obviously leads to cancer in all parts of the body, including the asshole. People shouldn’t smoke because it’s unhealthy.
Sodomy, on the other hand, is completely safe. And if any doctor ever told me that it wasn’t, I would storm off in a snit and contact the state to see if I couldn’t get his license pulled.
Okay, so I have a story to share about medical malpractice. It happened to me in the bad old days, about 1982, when fear and ignorance were the normative climate that surrounded all things HIV. I went to the doctor to get tested because half of my ex-boyfriends were coming down with it. He gave me a full exam and then sat me down for a little doctor/patient chat. He informed me that I had the gay “triple crown”–gonorrhea, anal warts, and protozoal infections– but thankfully not HIV. Back in those days, they referred the bundled package of STD’s infecting the poop chute region as “gay bowel syndrome”, which is such an obscene term. Thankfully, doctors don’t talk like that anymore because the term itself makes me want to kill myself. He told me that the best thing to do for my anal health was to quit sticking things up my anus.
I broke down and cried right there in the office. He wasn’t even supportive. In fact, he told me to quit being a sniveling bitch. He didn’t understand that I really enjoy sticking things up my asshole–particularly other men’s penises. And I have no choice at all whether I will continue to do it. I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to because homosexuality is NOT A CHOICE.
Then I asked him if he thought, in his expert opinion, that the bruising and bleeding around my asshole was a result of my favorite pastime, sodomy. He told me that it was pretty obvious that blunt trauma was to blame and that if I ever wanted my pooper to recover, I should quit violently abusing it for pleasure.
That’s how bad it was in those days. Seriously. Doctors actually recommended that gay men stop doing the things that put them at elevated risk of contracting every disease known to man. It would almost be like telling a smoker that if he wants to avoid lung cancer he should quit smoking. Or telling a boozer that if he wants to avoid cirrhosis of the liver he should give up drinking.It’s just backwards, ignorant thinking.
Wait, it’s not like that at all. Because no one–NO ONE–has the right to make me feel bad about my sex life. I do what I want and everyone has to affirm me, even my doctor.
I sure am glad that Dr. Bucher isn’t such a neanderthal. Nowhere in the article does he recommend discontinuing sodomy as a means of preventing anal cancer. I think that’s because the good doctor is himself a homosexual. He takes it in the ass just like me. So his expert advice tends to be pretty straightforward.
Just keep engaging in high risk behavior and then get checked, m’kay?
Thank goodness he’s not so backwards as to assert that people shouldn’t use their assholes as a two way street if they don’t want to get icky diseases and stuff. He wants you to be serious about anal health, but NOT TOO SERIOUS!
“Take charge of your anal health. Ask for your DARE exam and your anal Pap smear!“
Yup. And by all means, continue to take it up the ass, if that’s what floats your boat. Just make sure you make an appointment with Dr. Bucher once a year so he can stick his finger up there and probe around for pre-cancerous lesions.
Dr. Bucher’s website (http://www.analdysplasiaclinic.com/) breaks down the cold, hard facts on the subject. here they are:
135 out of every 100,000 HIV+ MSM will develop anal cancer
The risk in the general population is 0.9 per 100,000
Ah ha! So the risk of anal cancer among HIV+ MSM is one hundred and seventy-two times higher than the rate for the general population. And the general population includes other HIV+ MSM, other MSM, and women who also take it in the poopchute. It kind of makes me wonder what the risk is in comparison to people who don’t use their assholes for sexual pleasure. Probably pretty high.
But, please–by all means, keep on keeping on! Don’t let a little thing like anal health get in the way of your anal health. I mean, don’t let it get in the way of your pleasure.