Fifth Estate # 73, February 20-March 5, 1969

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.

QUESTION: Is there such a thing as sexual allergy? I have been dating a recently divorced woman, but we have had intercourse only once. Here’s why: Shortly after we shared one of the most explosive, mutually exciting and uninhibited amorous encounters a man and woman could experience she developed an irritating vaginal infection.

Her family doctor prescribed pills to be taken every three hours (antibiotics). She said he was a bit embarrassedly old fashioned and didn’t make clear to her exactly what it was. He only said, “Oh you’ve got it too?” She did say he mentioned that a man could be a “carrier” of this mysterious malady without being infected himself.

She is one of the most sexually exciting women I have ever known but, she won’t let me make complete love to her again until she is reassured that this reaction was a coincidence, a temporary condition or until I get a more thorough medical examination than her doctor is apparently willing to offer.

I want to enlarge and expand our mutual knowledge of each other and hopefully establish a truly meaningful relationship on a permanent basis. But until this very basic problem is resolved I see no way for our relationship to go anywhere but in opposite directions.

ANSWER: I can only surmise the source of your friend’s infection. She apparently did not have gonorrhea or you would have noticed the symptoms. Most probably her physician diagnosed a trichomonas infection which can be transmitted to the female without causing symptoms in the male.

If you were the source of the trichomonas infection, a symptomless carrier in other words, you should have received treatment at the same time as your friend. But if either of you is having relations with other individuals, the trichomonas infection is likely to return for it is a most common disease.

Someday (soon one hopes) a humane and enlightened research scientist will develop a more effective treatment for vaginal trichomonas and fungus infection. When he does, he will earn not only millions of dollars, but the gratitude of millions of women.

Incidentally, sexual allergy does occur. Not only do a few people develop outward manifestations of allergy such as rashes, but the vaginal secretions of some women inactivate the sperm of some men and this has been shown to be a cause of infertility.

Frits Boer, a Dutch medical student, translates Hippocrates for Hit Week, an underground paper published in Amsterdam. Here’s a letter from one of Hit Week’s readers:

QUESTION: In a search for unusual sexual stimuli I discovered the use of a massage-vibrator. I would like to ask you whether the use of such an apparatus can be harmful.

A friend of mine, who I brought in touch with this apparatus (sic) said that it was possible that the intensity of the stimuli caused this way might make you insensitive for the more usual kind of stimuli.

ANSWER: On the contrary, some gynecologists recommend that women with frigidity problems use a vibrator as a kind of “training” device. Vibrators are not known to cause insensitivity to the “more usual kind of stimuli,” and given a choice most people prefer a nice warm bod. Others, however, would rather cuddle up to a machine or to a person and a vibrator. In any case, it’s their bzzzzzzness.

A friend of mine suggested I publish a book called Letters to Dr. Schoenfeld From His Mother. When she saw the John Lennon-Yoko Ono album she said, “John Lennon.. hmmph. He writes nice songs but look at what he’s doing. Running around with a Japanese girl..

Dear Dr. Hippocrates is a collection of letters and answers published by Grove Press. $5.00.

Dr. Schoenfeld welcomes your letters. Write to him c/o P.O. Box 9002, Berkeley Calif. 94709.