When I was a young child, my routine exams were done with me completely dressed and the doctor would work around my clothing. The doctor would check my eyes, ears, and throat. He would lift up my shirt to listen to my heart and lungs and then would palpate my abdomen and listen to it. Then he would stick one hand down my underpants and just feel the testicles. This doctor passed away sometime before my examination as an 11 year old. The new doctor, who I saw from ages 11 through 18 for my pre-college physical, surprised me by having me strip down to my underpants before he began the exam. I really did not know what to expect, but I had a bad feeling when he had me strip down this way. He was the one who instructed me to “strip down to your underwear“ and he remained in the room while I complied. I like thinking back about it, but at the time it was quite intimidating. The fact that I still had my briefs on, gave me hope that my genitals would not be examined, but I had a bad feeling that this would not be the case. I like thinking back about it, but at the time it was quite intimidating. The fact that I still had my briefs on, gave me hope that my genitals would not be examined, but I had a bad feeling that this would not be the case. They exam started innocuously with me sitting on the exam table doing a reading of the eyechart. This was followed by an examination of the eyes with an ophthalmoscope, the ears with the otoscope, and the throat with the throat depressor and light. And then took my blood pressure and proceeded to feel my neck and listen to my heart and lungs. Then he checked my reflexes with reflex hammer. He tapped on my elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. So far, the exam was pretty much nothing in terms of anxiety, but things were beginning to take a turn for the worse. He had me lie back and palpated and then auscultated my abdomen. I have always thought it felt really weird to have palpation of the abdomen, especially when it was low and close to the waistband. Then, my greatest fear was recognized. I suddenly felt the briefs go down and realize that my penis and scrotum were fully exposed. I felt a queasy, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I felt him first left my penis, which was lying airport on my abdomen. (Without actually lifting my head I looked down towards my feet to see what he was doing.) It was flaccid but that full-size just before a semi erection occurs. My penis had grown to pretty much my adult size and the scrotum had enlarged and balls hung down in adult location but I had absolutely no pubic hair. Probably about right for an 11 year old, Tanner Stage II. He took the head of my penis between his thumb and index fingers and spread open the meatus. He then dropped the penis and it fell back onto my abdomen and then proceeded to feel each testicle thoroughly. Then he pulled my briefs back up and told me I could get dressed. The doctor told my mother, who was in an alcove just outside the exam room that everything was normal. We went home and I went to the bathroom and masturbated to ejaculation—for the first time— thinking of the exam embarrassment.
As I mentioned, I continued saying this pediatrician until I went away to college at age 18. I saw him once a year for a physical and, very rarely, for a sick visit. He did the exact same examination a year later at age 12. ( By that time I had developed a few pubic hairs at the base of my penis.) Beginning at age 13, and continuing through my college physical, the exam changed in that he had me stand for the genital exam and added a hernia exam. So, when he was done with the abdominal auscultation and palpation, He would say “stand here next to the table and let’s go ahead and slip your britches down for me.” “Britches” was very nerdy and weird since I had on white briefs only, but I always like to think about it while masturbating as part of the overall embarrassing experience of having a clothed professional inspecting and judging my most private parts. I often wondered how my friends and schoolmates felt about getting physical exams and whether they had to go through the same type of embarrassing experience I had gone through. We never spoke much as a peer group about physicals but I somehow knew the girls had exams that was done with a lot of concern for protecting their modesty. Part of reaching manhood was getting over the embarrassment of having to reveal your developing genitals. I have always felt it is an important experience for preteen and teen boys to go through.