My wife needs a medical test that will involve her being naked in unflattering positions in front of another person, possibly male. I know she won’t enjoy this and it certainly isn’t sexual, but I want her to request a female gynecologist. She says she’s embarrassed to do that, refuses to be controlled by me, and says having a male doctor doesn’t bother her. Well, it bothers me terribly. I’m fairly young and not religious, but I was taught that a couple’s bedroom – what happens there, their nude bodies, etc. – is for them alone. I’m not insecure, and I know she isn’t leaving me, but I strongly feel that her being seen naked by a male practitioner violates the sanctity and intimacy of our marriage, and I can’t help but feel like it’s cheating. –Distressed

It’s pretty hard to confuse an exam room with a singles bar  – unless the singles bars you’ve experienced have men leaning over and asking women, “So … when was your last period?” and “Do you leak urine?”

Cheating involves having a romance with a person other than your partner, not having him give you a Pap smear. Also, male doctors generally have a female nurse present while examining a female patient (so they won’t be accused of any funny business). There will be that rare Dr. Pervo, but according to doctors I spoke to, by week two of their residency, bodies might as well be giant steaks. So, for a male doctor, your wife’s “special area” is anything but special; it’s the seventh vagina he’s seen before lunch.

Stamping your feet and denying the obvious – that there’s a vast difference between medical touch and sexual touch – helps you manipulate your wife with this ridiculous notion that she “violates the sanctity” of your marriage by getting a male doctor in rotation. So, according to you, what’s special about your marriage is just that since you tied the knot, no other man has been assigned to see your wife naked (in a setting more in keeping with performing an autopsy than staging a seduction). Take your “logic” a step further and your wife is two-timing you by even speaking to people who aren’t you, and never mind that she isn’t exactly revealing her deepest hopes, dreams and fears to some man in line behind her at the mall.

People in loving relationships will often accommodate their partner’s ridiculous requests simply to make them happy. Your wife might’ve been more willing to do that if only you’d appealed to her sympathy instead of demanding that she do all the changing while you lift nary a brain cell to consider whether your position might be unreasonable. (Refusing to even consider another person’s point of view generally causes them to cling even more firmly to it.) Of course, if only you’d look at this through reason-colored glasses, you’d probably acknowledge the reality: If somebody does come between you and your wife, it’s unlikely to happen while she’s upset, afraid and grossed out during a medical test. And give doctors a little credit. If you’re a doctor, a woman will take her pants off for you because you drive a sports car. There’s really no need to come up with some ploy about scraping her cervix for cancerous cells.

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email ( Weekly radio show: 2013, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved.

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