Fifth Estate # 101, March 19-April 1, 1970

photo, Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969
Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969 at a benefit for Open City. Photo: Alan Gotkin.

Antoinette Dishman was a 17 year old Barnard College freshman who died January 31st of a heroin overdose. She had sniffed heroin at a party and was found dead the next morning. Hers wasn’t an exceptional case. Heroin overdoses killed more than 200 teenagers in New York City alone last year. The drug is made even more dangerous when used in combination with alcohol or barbiturates.

Using heroin in any form is like playing Russian roulette. Not a very high game.

Dear Dr. Schoenfeld:

On an acid trip I took recently, my left hand and arm went totally dead on me. This has happened twice before on very heavy acid trips. I have taken acid about 60 times in the last three years if that’s any more help to the problem.

Anyway, like I said, my left arm went dead. I couldn’t move it very well and I could barely make a fist of my fingers. In about 3 hours my left hand and arm were back to normal use but I was worried by the incident. Oh, by the way, it has always been my left arm and hand that have gone dead.

Is this a normal occurrence or is something wrong? I haven’t taken any acid trips lately nor do I plan to until I found out about this.

ANSWER: All “LSD” available on the black market today is illegally produced by chemists who, of necessity, run makeshift laboratories. Compounds produced in these laboratories contain impurities which may be more dangerous than the pure drugs.

LSD is related to ergot, a substance which causes constriction of blood vessels including those in the brain. Ergot is a fungus which grows on rye and other grains. During the Middle Ages epidemics of ergot poisoning occurred in which the characteristic symptoms were gangrene of feet, legs, hands and arms.

If I were you I would have a thorough physical examination. You live near a Free Clinic where you can speak frankly to a physician about these experiences.

Dear Dr. Hip Pocrates:

I have a rather unusual problem. I am in my middle 20s and still a virgin. Now I am going with a guy with whom I am sure I will have intercourse quite soon.

The problem is, I am sure this guy doesn’t think I am a virgin and I don’t want him to know it. Is there any way to keep it from him when intercourse actually occurs?

Is the hymen when intact so difficult to pierce that the man would have to realize the situation? Is there usually a great deal of bleeding? And finally, is it likely that there would be so much pain that the woman’s reactions would necessarily enlighten her partner?

ANSWER: The status of the hymen varies greatly from one (virgin) female to another. Sometimes no bleeding occurs at all while in other women surgery is necessary to allow- intercourse. Usually there is some bleeding and discomfort when intercourse is first attempted.

A gynecologist could answer these questions for you and, if you chose, perforate the hymen. But your boyfriend might want to do that for himself. Are you sure he’d be displeased to find you had never had intercourse before?

Dr. Schoenfeld welcomes your questions. Write to him c/o PO Box 680, Tiburon, California 94920.