So, where to start?
I've shared some of this in posts, and while I don't want to duplicate those posts, I feel that I need to establish a baseline understanding of how I got here.
I never really had any hang-ups about doctors' appointments or anything like that (hated going to the dentist, and still do). About 6 or 8 years ago (I really don't remember), my longtime primary care physician retired. I had seen male doctors my whole life, with the exception of one physical by a female Navy doc while I was in the Marines. Anyway, when he retired, his patients were divvied up amongst the other doctors at his practice, and I ended up seeing a middle-aged Indian woman. While I was a little apprehensive at first (my previous doc had always had me strip completely and cover up with a drape), this new doc went out of her way to put me at ease - to the point, that I never even took my pants off for a physical in my first two visits to her. Then about all she required was for me to lower my pants and shorts for a prostate exam. While I was nervous about that (and rather embarrassed), it was no big deal. She would ask about hernia symptoms and asked questions about testicular torsion, but never did the "turn your head and cough" exam. Then at my appointment two or three years ago, I told her that my right testicle was very tender - that there was one spot in particular that was painful to the touch. She did the exam and sent me for an ultrasound (turns out it was a hydrocele). Since then I've had genital and testicular exams by a female nurse practitioner - and while that generated some momentary anxiety, it was fleeting (although it did linger some afterwards).
Anyway, fast-forward a few years to this past fall, and I finally made an appointment for my first full body skin exam at a dermatologist. It was long overdue. My primary care doc, before he retired, had told me that I needed to schedule one "in the next couple of years." Of course, I didn't. My new female doc (I'll call her "Dr. P") recommended that I schedule one "just to get a mapping done and establish a baseline." I never scheduled an appointment for a skin screening because 1) I didn't want to go and listen to a sales pitch about skin care products and lotions, and 2) I was kind of "skeeved-out" about someone going over every inch of my body with a magnifying glass and flashlight. Besides, I didn't have any problems. What finally prompted me to make the call and make the appointment - a Marine buddy of mine was diagnosed with melanoma and it scared the shit out of him. They caught it early, and it looks like he'll be fine - but he got on my case about getting the skin cancer screening done. I moved to a new town last summer, so I figured that since I needed all new docs, I'd start with the dermatologist. I did an extensive web search, talked to neighbors, and co-workers who lived in the area and found a highly rated and highly recommend male dermatologist and called to make an appointment. The receptionist confirmed that it was just for a skin-cancer screening and that it wasn't for a particular concern. Evidently, if there was something specific that was an area of concern, they could see me next week. If it was just for a routine skin check, the first opening for an appointment was 4 months out. So we made the appointment and she told me that someone would be in touch about 30 days out from the appointment to go over new patient forms and make sure I was ready and knew what to expect.
Fast-forward to early January when the "nurse" called (I have no idea if it was a nurse, a certified medical assistant, or a receptionist). That's when I found out that my appointment was with a female physician assistant (PA) and that a certified medical assistant would also be in the room. That's also when I learned how extensive the exam would be. At this point, my anxiety level shot through the roof. So I started doing some web searches to find out as much as I could about the exam. Most of what I found was from various dermatology practices about what to expect - most stressed that it was a "full body" exam, but that they were very sensitive to patient comfort. Some mentioned "genital exams around the underwear" and some specifically said that patients should "remove their underwear if comfortable."
On one of my deeper web searches, I found the thread here on Zity dealing with dermatology exams. This was the first open and frank discussion I had found from the patient's point of view - and then I read deeper and found the underlying kink that was connecting all of the comments - and then I put 2 and 2 together and figured out what "medfet" actually meant (yeah, okay, kind of slow on the uptake). Anyway, reading through this thread, I began to understand that 1) I wasn't the only person who had this kind of anxiety about medical exams, and 2) the psycho-sexual aspect wasn't an aberration. I guess that really meant that, while it's not necessarily a sexual act, it is a sexual situation (if that makes sense). It's not that I'm hoping or planning to "get lucky" as the result of a doctor's exam (like some low-budget porn film), but that there is sexual stimulation in embarrassment, humiliation, and submission -- and that's okay.
Seriously, that last bit is huge -- IT'S OKAY.
Then, I started reading some other posts and looked at some member uploaded photos about play exams, and I thought... this. This! THIS! THIS IS IT!!! THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN MISSING! THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR! THIS IS WHAT'S BEEN LURKING IN THE BACK OF MY MIND EVERYTIME I'VE BEEN UNCOMFORTABLE BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER A DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT!!!
Okay, enough with the all caps - but I hope that you get my point. I found validation that, at least in this community of like-minded, non-judgmental folks, it's okay to explore and discuss these things.
To be honest, while I find it intriguing - especially the "play exam" part of it - I'm too much of a coward (at this point) to ever participate in such a thing. I can tell that a lot of it isn't for me (at least not yet), but that's cool - and that's one of the great things that I've found here. If you're into "this" - great, you'll find that others probably are too. And if you're not into "that" - that's cool too.
As I explore this community more, and as I explore my feelings more, I'll post and share more. For me, it's a journey that I've been on for a long time without any idea of where I was going (or that I was on this particular journey). If my experiences can help others - great. And if I can learn from others in a way that can help me explore down my own path - so much the better.
Until next time - Fred.