Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'm about to pop LOTS of veins

I'm watching a movie last night on cable with my hubby. We're all snuggled in our bed with the catter cuddling with us.

We usually mute the commercials. But either Tom or I didn't do it once, and I saw the most outrageous commercial I have ever seen. It was for a product called the "Pro-Vac":

This is the best picture I could find of it online.

Now, I am not outraged that men would pay almost $200.00 for a pump to get an erection. Heck, lots of fellas have high blood pressure and diabetes and still want to be able to have sex with their partners (altho' their ads are geared mainly at geriatric, hetero males). Frankly, I feel badly for them. It's a quality of life thing.

Here's the rub though, and the reason I am about to bring on all kinds of hell-fire in this post (frothing a bit now):


Still, you may be asking yourself, why is skyewriter so upset by elderly men who want to have marital relations with their wives?

I am pissed. because insurance. will cover a pump. that a man with vascular problems. has to physically pump-o-pump-o-pump away. to get a boner. likely raising blood pressure.

(Or maybe it's part of foreplay--I'm not even going there because I could write an entire blog about scenarios of old men coming from the ensuite bathroom, red faced, with beads of sweat rolling down their cheeks and an erection popping from the front of their striped cotton pjs: "I'M READY, HONEY!" All the while his blue haired Mrs. has fallen asleep in her twin bed: "Huz? Wha?" No foreplay for her, oh no, but HE'S READY!)

Okay I'm done.

Back to my point (get to the point already, skyewriter). [Wiping some froth from the corners of mouth.]

Why is it that insurance will pay for this mechanical garbage but I have to pay (on top of my monthly premiums) for medication to delay ovulation (i.e., the pill)? I am the only one who is pissed off about this?

For years I have been studying the ill-effects of an androcentric culture on women, their bodies, and the mechanisms in place that control those bodies FOR THEM. Medicine is just one way-- in particular, access to pregnancy control methods along with a galaxy of women's health issues dealing with access.

Recall not that long ago the Brou-haha over pharmacists dispensing BC Pills to customers without a doctor's prescription even tho' there were registered nurses to administer health questionnaires, take blood pressure and to have the customer sign a waiver they were 18 years old and that the info they were providing was correct.

Come on; teenagers lie to their doctors all the time. Why does it matter if they are lying to an RN in the back aisle of a Walgreen's amidst the shelves of tampons and adult diapers because they are having sex with their boyfriends and their fundie parents don't believe in BC or pre-marital sex and won't take them to a gyno? Premarital and teen sex are not like the Easter Bunny; believe it or not those things ARE real. Also, many women cannot afford the costs of an office visit, exam and Pap smear that many doctors are required by law to administer prior to prescribing the Pill.

Strangely, we caught part of a History Channel program about medieval toture devices a couple of days ago. One looked frighteningly familiar: it was a long metal sheath, separated into three "petals" that opened with a long screw, expanding whatever fleshy aperture into which it was inserted (let your mind run wild here because I am not going to write it for you--ew). We fondly know it today as the speculum.

There's even been an uproar about teaching women (and therefore creating kits) to do home Pap smears. Wow; a warm speculum and a pap smear on my own time? In the privacy of my own bathroom? All to make sure I don't have diseases or cervical cancer? Women's health bashers said NO WAY, NO HOW.

But hell, yes. If you're a man and have a flaccid penis-- have we got an insurance covered, home care remedy for YOU!


Aliceson January 3, 2009 at 3:07 PM  

Shocking but true. I used to work at a big name drugstore and the penis pump was one of the best sellers.

True Blue Texan January 3, 2009 at 3:12 PM  

It makes no sense to me that viagra and its cohorts are covered by insurance but birth control pills are sometimes not.

I don't get why viagra is covered at all. I could make a pretty strong argument that its not medically necessary.

Could it be that the folks making the decisions are all male? Hmm. By gum, you maybe on to something here.

Sidhe January 3, 2009 at 3:25 PM  

Very interesting commercials they have on TV these days...which reminds me of the other commercials that I cannot stand...the ones for feminine care products that imply that vaginas smell bad (you ladies know exactly what I'm talking about). But, that's another story...

It also irks me that stuff like Viagra and penis pumps are covered by insurance (must be a medical necessity) but womens health products are not (probably because the pill is a luxury, you know!). I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg too...what is the average coverage for erectile dysfunction verses breast cancer? I'm going to see if I can get some info on that sort of thing.

But, before I do anything I'm going to tell my husband to ask his doctor for a prescription for the penis pump...

The word is: cauterio (I believe this is the absolutely most formal term for what is done to the vas deferens during a vasectomy).

willpen January 3, 2009 at 5:19 PM  

The sad part is that a direct to consumer marketing strategy by the Drug Manufacturers has become so much a part of our daily TV consumption that we don't even stop to think about it anymore.

The really sad part is that this adds to the already over the top cost of research and development that the drug companies insist that they have a right to recoup by charging what they do for their drugs.

The unfortunate by-product of all this is the sleazy little commercial that you and your husband happened upon last night. Once the lid of any Pandora's Box is opened it is only a matter of time till all the other shit comes flowing out.

Where we need to start is with the Insurance Companies who are in the pockets of the drug companies and so on and so forth.

Great post.

femmes January 4, 2009 at 4:04 AM  

...Pap smear that many doctors are required by law to administer prior to prescribing the Pill.

This is false. In the US, there is no law that says pap tests are required to prescribe hormonal contraception. In fact, neither the US Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization,Planned Parenthood Association, or the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believe that a pelvic exam or pap smear should be required before starting hormonal birth control.

See also:

I agree with you that it's shameful that Viagra is often covered when birth control is not.

Arlene January 4, 2009 at 7:19 AM  

Here in the UK, where we have the highest level of teenage pregnancies in all of Europe, you can get all types of birth control free from the Family Planning Clinic. Food for thought.

Seeing Eye Chick January 4, 2009 at 9:56 AM  

Jokes on us. Or maybe something stickier.

skyewriter January 4, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

Thanks for all the thought-provoking thoughts and links.

Great thing to read on a Sunday morning.

skyewriter January 4, 2009 at 11:37 AM  

And Seeing Eye Chick;
Glad to hear from you. Hope all is well.

Don Smith January 5, 2009 at 3:36 AM  

I can't believe you used the word "Boner" in that post. That is so old hat, it should be a "woody" that is more in line with the times. At least that is the way I remember it.

This thing, will it do bicycle tires? I mean, "it is all over rated anyway (sex)" so this should come as no big surprise to anyone. As you age, things go south, start to droop, hit the floor, and guys on the other hand, cannot seem to get things to go just the opposite, up.

Which is life. It has been so long for us, that I have forgotten who it is that gets tied up anyway.

700 words ....... whew on does daddy want to play. We are now breaking our Viagra in half because Cup Cake said that all she wants to do is cuddle.

And I am currently looking for something that will help me to snuggle and help me with conversation a little when it is over.

I did however attend a meeting on premature ejaculation, but I left early! Which is kind of funny, because they said a lot of men suffer from it, but it is the woman who suffers.

Does your site have a comments feed, I could not find it. Wow, there is seeingeyechick, what am I doing over here? Where am I?


skyewriter January 5, 2009 at 6:53 PM  

Altho' a bit of a tangent,
check out this blog post:

Very interesting.

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