An Interview With a Future OBGYN

My sister, Julia, is a first year medical student at the Univeristy of Toledo. Growing up, I always remebered my sister wanting to be a doctor. Where I would float from one dream to the next, my sister was constant in her desire to care for sick people. Julia is also a passionate feminist, like myself, who believes in equality for all women. So the dream of becoming an OBGYN fit her perfectley. I have often gone to my sister for advice about relationships and sex, so I thought I could share her knowledge with you. 

What has inspired you to want to become a gynecologist, and why do you love vaginas?

Julia: I am passionate about women’s health issues, and I know a lot of women have had semi-traumatic experiences at their gynocologist because they don’t understand what’s happening, or they’re too afraid to ask questions. My hope is that I can be the type of OBGYN that makes your yearly gyno appointment at least informative and comfortable, if not pleasant. 

Sex is often portrayed in the media as a way to pleasure men, and if women are portrayed enjoying sex then the message is that they “slutty” or promiscuous. How do you think we can change this narrative and make it more sex positive?

J: I think one important way to combat that stigma is to think about day to day how you and your friends talk about men vs women and sex. I try to never ever use words like “whore” or “slut”, and I try to notice if my friends and I are talking about guys and girls differently when it comes to sex, and then if it is becoming negative, trying to push it in a more positive reaction. As long as there is consent, you should be able to have sex with whoever you want, as often as you want, so I think making the narrative more of a “good for them, they enjoy sex and are acting on it” rather than “omg she had sex with 4 different guys” is important. It’s a small thing to direct the conversation that way, but I think it gets people thinking in a less stigmatized way.

Women masturbating has become a more mainstream topic. Do you think it’s important for women to masturbate and for women to know what is pleasurable to them?

J: I think it is important for women to masturbate because if you know how to get yourself off, it should be easier for you to help your partner get you off. I didn’t orgasm from sex between the ages of 16-20, which I realize now is so sad and stupid because I could have been masturbating all along. You shouldn’t have to always depend on someone else for you to orgasm, and orgasms are great. A vibrator/your own fingers are a girl’s best friend!

What is something that you think a lot of women are misinformed on when it comes to sex that you would like to correct?

J: That penetration is the end all and be all. I have orgasmed from penetration probably less than 5 times. I know some women who orgasm from penetration every time, but I’m an oral sex kind of girl myself. I think its important to figure out what’s best for you and then not to feel bad about asking your partner to help you with that.

How can women feel more confident in their sexuality?

J: I’m not sure that I have a great answer for this because I still have trouble having confidence in my sexuality sometimes. I think a good way to start is masturbating and figuring out your own body. Also, if you’re with someone that makes you feel bad about yourself and your sexuality, DITCH THEM. No one worth being with should make you feel that way.

What is your single most important piece of advice regarding women and their sexuality?

J: NEVER FAKE AN ORGASM. You deserve one as much as your partner, and if they’re someone worth being with they will take the time to get you there. 

What is your single most important advice to women regarding their health?

J: YOUR VAGINA DOES NOT NEED CLEANED. Trying to clean it will probably earn you an infection, and you will probably have to see your gyno. Also I would say keep up to date on your vaccines, pap smears, STI checks etc. Gyno visits can be uncomfortable but cervical cancer and pelvic inflammatory disease are much more uncomfortable.

What are your feelings about Planned Parenthood?

J: Planned Parenthood is awesome. They help people without insurance meet their basic health needs, and that is so important. 

You feel very strongly on the defunding of Planned Parenthood, so why should men and women be advocating for this organization?

J: PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS NOT JUST ABORTIONS. They provide basic healthcare to women AND men who need it. Because there are so many people without healthcare in the U.S. and universal healthcare doesn’t seem to be something that’s going to be coming anytime soon, Planned Parenthood is essential to people for routine things like STI screening, annual checkups and contraceptives.

What do you think the effect would be if it was defunded?

J: Millions of people will go without healthcare, and they might not have any other place to go to get it. Women won’t be able to get pap smears to screen for cancer. People won’t be able to get STI screens and treatment. So many men and women will fall through the cracks of basic healthcare.