So I'm sitting on a reclining chair, completely naked under a brief robe, in the company of three perfect strangers, watching a sex therapist discuss the clitoral orgasms of a very plain woman in glasses. I'm hungry, I'm nervous, and, whilst two of the perfect strangers are other naked-but-for-robes women, the third is a fully dressed man, which makes the whole thing just that little bit more awkward. And did I mention I am hungry?
"Clitoris!" says the sex therapist, for the fifteenth time.
"Vibrator!" says Plain Woman, along with some details about how she used it. "Clitoral orgasm! Amazing! First time ever! Clitoris!"
"Clitoris!" responded the therapist, approvingly. "Vaginal? Vibrator! Sex sex sex!!!"
The two Naked Ladies and I cringe under our gowns. The Fully Dressed Man tries to sink into a wall. I don't know where to look, so I fixate on the screen. Plain Woman's husband is now getting in on the action.
"Penis," he informs them, importantly. "Penis penis clitoris. Vibrator! Sex!!!"
I contemplate getting up and leaving, robe and all. It is excruciating. And cold. And, as I may have mentioned, I am STARVING.
Finally, FINALLY, there is a mirage in white.
"Do you want me to turn this off?" she asks. "Seems the Oprah show is getting a bit raunchy today!"
I've never been so happy to see a nurse in all my life.
"YES PLEASE!" we gowned patients chorus, as one. "Thank you!"
"That's okay," she said. "Probably not what you want to be watching when you're about to go in for gynae surgery."
"Not so much," I tell her. I settle down to watch the Midday movie. It is about a traumatised young girl seeking an abortion. Quite a relief, really.
Eventually, my name is called and I'm hoisted onto a trolley and wheeled into the anaesthetic room. I'm nervous, because I don't like having operations, even if they are very minor (which this one, happily, is). So nervous, in fact, that I am shaking.
"Hello Kerri. I am giving you a pre-med now," says the anaesthetist. He seems reassuringly capable, but not what one might call 'verbose'.
"Okay," I say, barely able to speak from anxiety. I try to swallow, but my throat is too dry.
Suddenly, a lovely warmth fills my body. And, as they push me into the operating theatre, I remember a hilarious story.
"I've been watching the funniest thing!" I tell the assembled doctors and scrub nurses merrily. "So funny! There was a clitoris and penis and vibrator! Clitoris clitoris! Was so funny because I was naked! And so were the other two women! But the man was dressed! He had a penis!"
A mask is placed over my face. I feel myself fading away.
"Penis!" I mumble happily, as I fall into sleep. "And the vibrator makes the orgasm go brrmmmm! Clitoris.... Orgasm.... So very funny...."
And I am out cold.
I don't remember anything more about that afternoon. I do recall waking up a couple of hours later in recovery, feeling sore and sorry for myself, with a strange realisation that my hysterical tale didn't seem to be so funny anymore.
Thankfully, however, when my delightful doctor came to visit, he didn't mention my pre-surgical dissertation, nor did the nursing staff who had wheeled me into the operating room. Perhaps they were being polite. Perhaps they were so used to trippy patients spouting nonsense that they don't even pay attention anymore.
But personally? I think we'd probably just all had enough of clitorises for one long day.