I have always hated working; working in the sense of having to be somewhere at a certain time, for a certain number of hours and days per week, performing duties that I don’t want to perform. It has been the bane of my existence. I have tended to lean towards fun jobs like teaching skiing, taking people on camping adventures around the US, massage therapy, amongst others, and all of these jobs were very flexible, meaning I could take off whenever I wanted, within reason, and my responsibilities were few. The problem with fun jobs, however, is that they aren’t very lucrative unless you make it all the way to the top, but then they become “real" jobs, don’t they? Thus, my quest to make the most money, in the least amount of time, doing the littlest work possible has led me to this conclusion; jobs like these usually require full-frontal nudity.
These criteria have led me down some strange paths ― from stripping to nude modeling, and a brief stint as a non-full-service, (or partial service if you will), escort, which was essentially doing private stripteases at dudes’ homes or hotel rooms and watching them jerk off. All three required being fully nude, yet all three also came with a high wage-to-hours-worked ratio, limited responsibility, and no accountability ― a dream come true for me. But a woman can only work as a stripper and an escort for so long. And nude modeling, although somewhat lucrative, was quite boring and sporadic at best. Once ‘Drawing the Human Figure’ portion of the class is over, so is the job. When I had exhausted all three vocations in my twenties and early thirties, I found myself broke again in my mid-forties scrounging for jobs where I could laze myself all the way to the bank.
I had a somewhat real job at the time. I was teaching English as a second language to adults which, while not lucrative, allowed me to see the world and have a whole lot of fun. While not abroad teaching, I found teaching jobs in the US, which often paid less than what I made in some of the developing countries where I worked. So, now and then, when my bank account was dipping towards being overdrawn, I would search Craigslist under the “gigs” category which included subcategories such as “event, talent, and crew” ― essentially a place for lazy fucks like myself, or illegals, to find some easy supplemental work. The ‘talent’ heading was mostly sketchy ads looking for “models,” which translated to stripping, escorting, or porn, so I usually skipped that category. I had no desire to revisit those jobs, minus porn ― I never knowingly did porn, but I am sure there is a video of me naked out there somewhere. ‘Crew’ meant some heavy lifting or manual labor which I was unwilling to do, and ‘event’ meant standing up for hours at a time handing out flyers for the local gun show or slinging samples of greasy sausages and questionable protein drinks at the supermarket. However, sometimes with Craigslist, you land on a goldmine, and in 2017, hoping to make some extra money before embarking on a teaching job in Thailand, I landed on what I thought was to be the shortest, easiest, most gainful ‘gig’ I had ever done. But let there be no uncertainty; it did require baring my vagina, but in a way I had never bared it before for money, and I had done a lot with my vagina for money in the past.
I cannot remember under which heading I saw this particular ad. It definitely wasn’t ‘crew’ or ‘talent.’ Although after participating in the endeavor, it could have easily gone under ‘labor’. The gist of the ad was that a local naturopathic university was seeking women to be medical models for the hands-on gynecological examination portion of the students’ final exams. What was required of the women who participated was sitting in an exam room all day, donning a blue paper gown, feet in stirrups, having their breasts examined and vaginas probed by multiple students while their professor hovered over them with a clipboard and an expression of intense scrutiny. The gig paid fifty dollars per hour and was to last four days for about three to four hours per day, or for as many speculums, fingers, and cotton swabs each model could tolerate being inserted into her birth canal. Fifty dollars per hour seemed well worth it. That’s stripping money right there without having to sell private dances or grind away on drunk perverts' laps. How bad could it be?
The ad promised lunch and as many free snacks as the models wanted. Free snacks! I envisioned lying down on a cushy examination table getting free breast exams by caring OBGYN students who were genuinely interested in women’s health, all the while noshing on bags of Rold Gold mini pretzels and Cheez-Its. What gave me pause was the part of the ad that read, “models must be comfortable being internally examined with a speculum.” I don’t know one woman who finds having a speculum inserted into her comfortable per se. Tolerable is a better word. Speculums are cold, awkwardly shaped vices that hold the vagina open while the cervix is poked and scraped with various instruments. They look like futuristic metal robot duck heads. Not something I or any woman voluntarily asks to be inserted into them, except this time - I did ask. I filled out a W-9.
On the first day of the job, all the models were taken into a giant stainless steel kitchen which the culinary students used while classes were in session. The examiners then gave us a briefing about what to expect and that if at any time we needed a break or felt uncomfortable, to speak up. I looked around the room to see what kind of women aside from myself would purposefully sign up for a job where they would be spread-eagle most of the day. It wasn’t too much different from looking around the locker rooms at some of the strip clubs where I had worked ― lots of tattoos, lots of facial piercings, and women who looked down on their luck. I just wanted some extra scratch before going to Southeast Asia, not money to bail my baby daddy out of jail for selling schedule-one narcotics ― an unfair assumption I made about these women based on no merit whatsoever.
After the briefing and some free snacks, they assigned each model a room, asked us to completely undress, put on the flimsy paper gown folded on the exam table, and wait. I surreptitiously grabbed a handful of mini-granola bars and made my way to my assigned room.
I had had gynecological exams before, of course. Ever since I was eighteen and wanted to go on the pill, I had had the standard uncomfortable pelvic exam every year or two and it has never been something that I, nor any woman, look forward to. As soon as the tube of lube makes its appearance, you know the “fun” part is about to begin ― insertion of fingers and other unpleasant-feeling accessories.
As I waited for the first student to arrive, I gave the exam room a once-over. It looked like any other exam room ― sterile white walls, a sink, a red hazmat disposal box mounted on the wall. And then I noticed beside the exam table a tray of gynecological accouterment some cotton swabs with extra long wooden stems, packs of wet wipes, a tube of lubricant, and the dreaded metal robot duck head. I guess it didn’t sink in that multiple people would indeed be prying open my vagina with this tool until I saw it lying there on the shiny tray like a medieval torture device. But it was too late to back out, and I really needed the money. Plus, there was a full basket of gluten-free almond bars in the kitchen waiting for me during the break.
The first student, a female thank God, knocked on the exam door and asked if I was ready. First, there were introductions, and then she pulled from a box on the counter two blue latex gloves and stretched them over her hands. And thus, my first experience as a gynecological guinea pig commenced. The exam consisted of multiple procedural steps the students had to memorize and carry out on the model while dictating their actions to the examiner in the room.
“OK, now I am feeling the breast tissue for irregularities or lumps.”
“Now I am feeling around the areola and nipple looking for any discharge.” Discharge. Yuck. That word should only be used in the military when a soldier is honorably or dishonorably discharged.
“Now, I will proceed with the pelvic exam.” Oh shit, here it comes. They asked me to put my feet into the stirrups. Usually, at real exams, the stirrups have cute fuzzy socks or potholder-type covers that slip over the sharp metal apparatus to make them more comfortable on your feet. These had none.
No matter how many pelvic exams you get in your life, it is always an awkward and unpleasant experience to, “scoot your tushy down to the edge of the table,” put your feet into cold metal contraptions and then open your knees, exposing all you have been told to keep private your entire life.
I scooted my tushy down and placed my feet in the uncomfortable bare stirrups. The first part of the pelvic exam wasn’t so bad, only some poking around as the student explained to the examiner what she would do in a real exam ― look and feel for any irregularities in color or (that dreaded word again) discharge. Then they had to find the Skene’s gland, which I learned was essentially the female prostate that I did not know existed before, so at least I was gaining some knowledge while a stranger’s gloved fingers were palpating my vulva. The next step in the exam was to feel for and locate the ovaries, which meant the gloved fingers now had to be completely inside of me ― one hand feeling interiorly and the other exteriorly over my belly, not the most comfortable thing to have done to my body but not the worst either. My thoughts during this part of the exam were the same I had had during first dates with cute guys who I knew I was going to have sex with after dinner ― “I should have shaved!”, “Do I smell bad?”, “God, I hope I don’t get my period.” With the female students, I felt more at ease as I knew they had also thought the same thing during their exams and dinner dates. It was the male students, if I were to get any, that gave me pause. No woman wants to be spread eagle, under any circumstance, and have that not-so-fresh feeling.
The last part of the exam the student was to insert the duck head and visually locate the cervix, which apparently is similar to finding a needle in a haystack from the amount of toggling the student was doing with the speculum inside me. I felt like the base end of an old Atari joystick. When she finally found my cervix, she explained what she would do in a real exam ― take the cotton swab and dab the cervix to get a sample. Boy, was I glad that the students didn’t actually have to do this. Aside from the discomfort of having a speculum in your body, anything that touches the cervix feels like getting sucker-punched in the stomach. When she finished the internal exam, the examiner told the student emphatically, “make sure to release and close the speculum before removing it.”
The exam ended, and I scooched my tushy back up on the table and removed my feet, now marked with red indentations from the stirrups. The instructor asked me to give feedback. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought we were merely warm bodies to practice on. What was I supposed to say, “her touch was gentle yet firm” or “good job finding that pesky little Skene’s gland!”?
“It was fine,” was all I said.
The rest of the first day went on status quo ― all female students, same routine, and at the end of the speculum portion, the examiner told every student with equal emphasis, “be sure to release and close the speculum before removing it.” I would understand why she was so insistent about this on the third and final day of being a gyno pig.
By the end of the first day, after eight hands had poked and prodded me and four different speculums had pried my insides open, I felt somewhat… raw. After a debriefing in the kitchen and those delicious almond bars, they gave the models vaginal suppositories to take home that were supposed to ease the discomfort.
The next day was the same as the first ― the models gathered in the kitchen for a briefing and some snacks ― today, a fruit platter and an array of delicious yet healthy muffins. The snacks just kept getting better. Maybe the quality of snacks was in direct relation to the soreness of our cooches ― the sorer we got, the better the snacks became to make up for our increasing daily discomfort. Who knows? Free food is always good.
By day three, I was ready for this to be over. I had already had more fingers inside me than I had had my freshman year of college except now I wasn’t drunk in some frat boy’s dorm room, although a few shots of tequila probably would have eased the soreness somewhat. Today, the first student I had was a male. When he walked into the exam room, I stiffened up immediately. I should have shaved! Do I smell bad? God, I hope I don’t get my period! It is one thing to have a strange female’s face mere inches away from my vagina, touching and inspecting it. At least women know how that feels, however, men, no matter how much schooling or hands-on practice they get with sorority girls, will never know what it is like to have their feet up in the air, legs agape, while another human analyzes their insides. This is why I have never had a male gynecologist.
As he introduced himself, he looked more nervous and uncomfortable than I felt. His face was flush and little beads of sweat had accumulated on his forehead. I was relieved I didn’t find him handsome. God, that would’ve been horrible, to have a hot male student inadvertently get to third base with me while I lie prostrate on an exam table. I usually need a few glasses of wine for that, and a Brazilian bikini wax.
His exam was like the others except for more staccato ― fumbling from one part of my body to the next as he forgot to perform aspects of the breast exam on one of my breasts causing him to revisit that breast and start all over again. Back to second base. By this point, even my breasts were getting sore from all the manipulation. Breast exams are by no means comfortable. You really have to dig deep in the tissue to feel for any irregularities, and ten breast exams in three days was bordering on torture. At the end of his practicum, he let out a big sigh of relief and wiped the perspiration off of his forehead after snapping the blue latex gloves from his hands.
“Comments?” the examiner asked me.
“Um, good job!” I said and gave him a Fonzie-style two thumbs up. I had to add a little humor to this already awkward debacle.
The last student on the last day of exams was also a male and I could sense his nervousness as soon as he entered the room. He was skinny, short, and looked as scared as a timid child forced to do show and tell in front of his entire class. His exam was even more disjointed than his predecessor ― fidgeting and fumbling from one side of the exam table to the next, also forgetting to do parts of the breast exam.
When it was time for him to do the internal exam is where all hell broke loose. First of all, after the students put on the latex gloves, they are not to touch anything that hasn't been sterilized, which means they can only touch the model and the instruments on the tray table. However, because some of the speculums did not have attached lights (a new technology I hadn’t seen before) the students had to use the gooseneck exam lamp next to the tray table. But to use the lamp correctly, it had to be relocated in between the model’s legs with the light pointing directly at her vagina. This poor guy didn’t have the luxury of a new-fangled illuminated speculum, so he had to move the lamp, but he had already donned the latex gloves when he touched the lamp now rendering his hands no longer sterile.
“You can’t touch anything after you have the gloves on,” the examiner told him.
“Oh right,” he said and took off the gloves. He then retrieved two new gloves from the box and stretched them over his hands, but he had already moved the rolling stool out from under him so he could stand up to get the gloves. With his freshly gloved hands, he repositioned himself in front of my splayed legs only to realize that now the stool was not in the proper location. He reached to the side, grabbed the stool, and wheeled it over to him. Without skipping a beat, the examiner again said, “you just touched the stool. You can’t touch anything before examining the model.” He let out a sigh and dropped his head in defeat. I was just lying there with my feet in the air and legs outstretched watching this poor guy suffer at the examiner’s behest. He once again stood up and removed the gloves. As soon as he reached for the box to get more gloves, he retracted his hand and a glimmer of realization gleaned over his face. You got it, kid. First, move the stool and lamp into the correct position. Then, put the gloves on. It was like I was sending him mental signals to get it right this time, which he finally did.
He sat down in front of me and began the external and internal exam. He found the Skene’s gland no problem. So far so good. He located the ovaries with minimal difficulty. Come on kid, you can do it. I was really rooting for this guy. Poor thing was almost shaking with nerves.
“OK, now I am going to insert the speculum and locate the cervix,” he told the examiner. He squirted some lube on the instrument and glided it into me. The only discomfort I felt was from the residual pain of having had nine previous speculums inserted into my delicate flesh. He cranked open the device and fervently searched for my cervix. He also had to toggle the speculum inside me to get a good view. “I found it!” he said like a little kid searching for Easter eggs. It was cute. I was proud of him. After all he had been through during his exam, he finally got something right. But my thoughts and pride were too hasty. “OK, now I will remove the speculum from the patient,” and right as he began to pull it from me, the examiner said in a panic, “don’t forget to close it first!” But it was too late.
“Fuck!” I shouted as the open speculum scraped against my vaginal walls on its way out of my body.
“Oh shit!” the student shouted after my expletive, both he and the teacher now in hysterics with wide, fearful eyes looking at my wincing face.
“Oh my God, are you ok?”, asked the examiner.
“I am so sorry!”, the student said in alarm. I instinctively closed my knees as far as I could considering my feet were still in stirrups, and then reached my hand between my legs ― my eyes and teeth snapped shut in pain as I inhaled with a hiss. Someone must have taken my feet out of the stirrups because when I opened my watering eyes, my feet and legs were dangling off the end of the table. It was now that I understood why the examiner had been so adamant about reminding the students to close the speculum before removing it.
I scooched myself back up on the table and the examiner delicately placed her hand on my shoulder and asked if I was all right.
“I’m fine,” I said. The student still had a look of terror on his face. “I am so sorry,” he said a few more times.
“Can I get you anything?” the teacher asked. Like what? An ice bag for my pussy? “No, I’m ok. Really. Don’t worry about it.” I felt extremely bad for this kid as he would probably fail the exam.
“OK, well, we’ll leave you to get dressed, and again, so sorry,” she said and they both exited the room. It really wasn’t that bad, the pain. After the initial shock of the rapid removal of a metal vice from my body, only a dull throbbing remained. I was more concerned about that poor student and how bad he must have felt. I wanted to find him and give him a hug, but that probably would have been inappropriate since he had just felt, looked at, and perhaps injured the inside of my vagina.
I got dressed and all the models reconvened in the kitchen once again for a final debriefing. The examiners thanked us for our time, told us to take some ibuprofen for the discomfort, and sent us on our ways with handfuls of vaginal suppositories.
Sure I was sore for a few days, but what’s a little redness and irritation in exchange for a good deed, and decent compensation? Would I do it again? You bet your sweet metal robot duck head I would. After all, I got to walk away with five hundred dollars, learn new things about my anatomy, help with the advancement of future doctors...
and free snacks.