Fifth Estate # 88, September 18-October 1, 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: What are the potential dangers of the new “3-way” tablets (mostly mescaline plus a little LSD and a wee bit of cocaine?) One of my friends got stoned wild for 9 hours on this but spent the last 3 hours on the john. What’s coming off?

ANSWER: Maybe your friend’s intestinal lining. How can you be sure of the purity of these drugs? Or the dosage? Or even that they’re the drugs you believe them to be?

QUESTION: My wife had a baby 2 months ago and is breast-feeding her, which we both wanted. The problem is that my wife doesn’t want to make love, though she always really liked to before.

I think it’s because she is nursing but she doesn’t think so. Breast-feeding means a lot to her so we are reluctant to stop.

Could you please tell us if you’ve ever heard of sexual desire being affected by nursing? Please hurry—I’m getting awful horney.

ANSWER: The opposite reaction is usually the case for both mother and father, You and your wife should feel free to discuss this matter frankly with each other. A talk with your family doctor together or separately would be very useful.

Breastfeeding can be one of the most satisfying experiences in the lives of both mother and father—and don’t forget baby. Detailed information about breastfeeding may be obtained by writing to La Leche League International, Inc., 3332 Rose Street, Franklin Park, Illinois.

QUESTION: Is there any danger of a girl getting pregnant during her period while she’s on the pill?

My girl friend started taking birth control pills but there are only 20 pills in each pack leaving 8 days per month (including her period) “unprotected.” Since you wrote that it is possible (though improbable) for a girl to get pregnant during her period, does a 20 day pill supply give true 28 day protection?

Further, she tells me that the pills are rather small. Would they still be effective if one were to get caught in her mouth and dissolve there, rather than in her stomach?

P.S. Please answer in the next two weeks.

ANSWER: Birth control pills act by preventing ovulation, the release of eggs, from the ovaries. Spermatozoa may find their way to the customary trysting place, the fallopian tubes, but won’t find there the objects of their affection.

Hormones contained in birth control pills nurture blood vessels and tissue lining the inside of the uterus. Withdrawal of these hormones at the end of the 20- (or 21-) day pill cycle causes the uterine wall lining to degenerate and slough. The result is similar to normal menstrual bleeding.

Many medications are effective when dissolved and absorbed by mucus membranes such as those lining the mouth, vagina and rectum. Birth control pills should be swallowed whole. But if they are dissolved in the mouth they’ll still be effective.

Birth control pills give full protection throughout the menstrual cycle. So far as we know, the only girls to become pregnant while on the pill, are those who can’t count.

QUESTION: For a while now, I have thought that if my body were more masculine, I might be more at ease with myself and with chicks. Do you think that male hormones are a possible solution? I’d like to talk to someone about this but I’m a student and don’t have much money.

ANSWER: What do you mean by a masculine body? Most girls are turned off by muscle-bound men. Perhaps you mean a body covered with hair? Some girls dig hairy men and others don’t.

Find a copy of the famed John Lennon-Yoko Ono photograph. There stands John wearing nothing but a necklace. His chest seems free of hair and there’s no evidence of recent weight-lifting exercises.

After a physical examination, you ought to consult a counselor as you’ve suggested. If your school doesn’t have such a service, contact the nearest free clinic or Department of Mental Hygiene of your county health department.

The only noticeable effect hormones have in a normal male is to shrink his testicles. This phenomena has been observed in some weight-lifters and football players who take anabolic hormones in an attempt to gain muscle weight.

Dear Dr. Hip Pocrates is a collection of letters and answers published by Grove Press. $5 at your favorite bookstore.

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