Steven's train pulled into central station on time. He grabbed his bag and made his way to the exit. He pulled out a sheet of paper from his pocket and scrutinized its contents. He had done this many times during the train ride from Guilin. It was a map directing him to the hospital from the station: Cross the street, turn left and walk for about 1200 meters.
Steven took a deep breath and set off along the busy street. All too soon he found himself in front of the hospital. A huge illuminated sign in English and Chinese shouted out its message to the world: Dawn Male Hospital!
He took a deep breath and quickly entered. A pretty nurse in a pink uniform was sitting at reception in front of a huge sign that read "Male Treatment Center". A badge on her lapel announced that her name was Jing. A cold shudder rippled through Steven's body. Jing spoke good English. She asked Steven why he had come to the hospital. He told Jing he had an appointment with Doctor Wang Hong. Jing searched through a pile of folders at one side of the reception desk and picked out the one bearing Steven's full name. She scanned its contents and smiled at Steven. Now the nurse knew why he was here!
Jing picked up the phone and tapped out a number on its keypad. She spoke briefly in Chinese and replaced the receiver. She said "Please take a seat over there and someone will take to to see the doctor!", pointing to a line of easy chairs. A few minutes later he was greeted by another nurse. Her name was Meng. She told Steven to follow her. Nurse Meng was about 40. She was quite pretty and Steven caught himself admiring her bottom as they entered an elevator to the top floor of the building.
Doctor Wang Hong was tall. He appeared to be in his 40's but was probably a lot older. He wore a shirt and tie under his white labcoat and his shoes were brightly polished. They shook hands and Dr. Wang led the way along a maze of corridors to his office.
Steven had met a nice Chinese lady named Su-Ming during his first visit to Guilin as a tourist. He had returned several times and the pair decided to marry. This was a quite straightforward process; a visit to the Civil Affairs Bureau, fill out a form, produce a joint photo, pay 7 Yuan ($1) and wait for a marriage book.
Armed with this, the pair went to the police bureau for a residence permit. An official checked all the paperwork. He tutted. Steven would have to undergo a medical exam at an approved clinic. It would be a full medical plus a reproductive system exam. Su-Ming was told that an old law governing nuptial medical exams was still in force. Had they married a month later, only the standard medical exam would be required for residence. The pair went to the adjacent building, a medical center. They entered the building together. Steven found himself in the presence of around 40 young men dressed in business suits. He sat down to wait his turn and Su-Ming told him she had shopping to do and would return later.
A nurse appeared from the inner room. The label on her pink uniform informed him her name was Hong. Nurse Hong marched the group of suits into the inner room. Steven remained in his seat. Nurse Hong barked at him in English: "Come along there Steven!" He reluctantly rose to his feet. He discovered that the group were here for their Civil Service medicals. Nurse Hong called out in a loud voice, saying in Chinese "Strip to your underpants and line up!" Steven did not need a translation. He knew what was coming!
He dutifully removed his clothing, folding it neatly on his chair. Nurse Hong smiled and nodded in approval. Steven found himself in the middle of the line-up. Two doctors appeared. One stared at the front of the line and the other began at the rear. Steven could see what was going on. The doctor did the usual chest and head exam and measured the blood pressure. Then came the command "Lā xià nǐ de nèikù!" Steven correctly guessed what that meant!!
At last the doctor reached Steven. His heart began to thud and he tried to relax. The doctor realized what was going on and waited for a moment before going through the tests. The doctor spoke in English and this put Steven off-guard. "Please pull down your underpants!" He did so.
For the first time in his life he was going to get a genital exam! School medicals in England did not examine down there. Now his underpants were around his ankles! Steven could feel the doctor palpating his scrotum. It was uncomfortable but not painful. Next came an inguinal hernia check that sent a shooting almost-pain upwards into his body. All too soon, the doctor palpated Steven's penis from root to tip. His foreskin was firmly pulled back and he felt the doctor squeeze his glans a few times.
At last it was over. He pulled up his underpants and gratefully returned to his seat and dressed. He sat and waited for Su-Ming to return. She appeared about 20 minutes later and had a sad look on her face. She sat next to him and he knew there was bad news. Had he failed the medical? It was far worse than that! The good news was that he had passed the medical! The bad news was that Steven should have gone to a clinic that examines foreigners! He had to do it all over again! He would have to go to the nearest male health hospital and he would have to go alone!
Doctor Wang began by asking Steven about his sexual health. How old was he when he reached puberty. Did he ever have any problems with his urogenital system. He had not! Doctor Wang had evidently heard about Steven's experience at the government health center. In fact he had a copy of his medical report on his desk. He waved it at Steven and told him not to worry; there would be no observers! Steven was handed a hospital gown and told to go behind the screen, undress completely and don the gown. Back in the room he was asked to lie back on the padded examination table. The doctor put on latex gloves and lifted the hem of the gown and proceeded with the exam.
Doctor Wang was very gentle. The testicular exam almost felt pleasant. He was asked to retract his own foreskin as far as he could. Doctor Wang thoroughly examined his glans and meatus and told Steven to roll over. He was eased into the recovery position. He heard a 'snap' as the doctor put on a new glove. Doctor Wang asked Steven if he had ever had a rectal exam. He had not, so each step of the procedure was explained to him. The lubricant was cold. He felt a finger gently pressing against his anus and dutifully followed the instructions he had been given. He suddenly recalled that his mother had taken his temperature rectally as a small child. It had felt pleasant and Steven relaxed as Doctor Wang carried out the exam.
Steven was asked to stay on the table and relax for as long as he needed before getting dressed. He lost track of time and thought of Su-Ming. Twenty minutes later he was handed a maroon booklet telling the world he had passed the exam. He headed for the station and took the next express to Guilin. Su-Ming was waiting for him.