Dr. Reuben on VD

You asked for it...(for some ungodly reason, you asked for it.) So once again, it's time for the great Dr. Reuben's Q&A of the Day! Today I give you: The Best of Dr. Reuben on VD.

If these diseases are so terrible, why aren't they better known?
Unfortunately these conditions affect primarily two segments of society, neither of which carries much weight. Most victims are Negroes or homosexuals.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh, Dr. Reuben. Good morning to you.

(RE: the fact that VD will become widespread.) That sounds impossible. How could something like that happen?
The recipe goes something like this: Take a sexually vigorous young lady of twenty-two, add birth control pills and maybe a little marijuana. Stir in some false confidence, a dash of hippie philosophy, and a lot of immaturity.
Put all ingredients into a snappy new car that goes into some swinging neighborhoods, and mix thoroughly. Incubate for ten days and the infection that results will be astounding.

...According to that recipe I'm two years, ten days and a snappy car away from having a scorching case of gonorrhea. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't appreciate the fair warning.

What about the mayor's daughter or the black call girl?
A variation of the same recipe. Let's say the call girl has a white customer, maybe a shoe store manager whose wife doesn't understand him. (About twenty percent of the customers of black prostitutes are white anyway.) He gets one of the underground diseases from her. A month later he spends the night in a motel with one of his customers, the young wife of a law student whose husband doesn't understand her. Now she comes down with it. Obviously her quest from understanding doesn't stop with the gent from the shoe store. Six weeks later at a party she pairs off with one of her husband's friends from school, a nice boy who's just had too much to drink. Guess whom he is engaged to?
Two months after the party the mayor's nineteen-year-old daughter notices a vaginal discharge and a lump in her groin. With a few detours, it only took six months for the infection to get from the vagina of a call girl to the vagina of a debutante. Where else it has gone in the meantime is anybody's guess.

I swear to god, I sat down at my desk this morning, opened my book, pointed to this question and then, out loud, said, "You had me at black call girl." Here's my first question about this answer: how emo was everyone in 1969 that they ran around town being unfaithful because their spouses "didn't understand them"? What was going on there? I imagine husbands running up to their Robert Pattinson poster covered bedrooms, slamming the door in their wives faces and shouting, "You just don't understand me! NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME!!!!!1" as they angrily shove a bunch of Greenday t-shirts into a Jansport backpack, climb out the window and promptly go fuck a black call girl. 1969. The year of love. Perhaps people would understand their spouses a little better if they weren't getting married at 19-fucking-years-old (mayor's daughterI'm lookin' at you.) The thought of getting married at 24 is enough to give me a panic attack, nevertheless 19. What was I doing at 19? Wearing velour track pants and Von Dutch t-shirts. Of course nobody understood me. I looked like I got my clothes at Goodwill directly after Ashton Kutcher and the costume department at Desperate Housewives made donations. That's not marriage material. That's drive into a swingin' neighborhood all hopped up on marijuana and false confidence material. (And I was and I did.)

Isn't it possible to get syphilis without having sex, like say from a toilet seat?
Certainly, if you're an acrobat.


[The sores start at the] site of infection? What does that mean?
Depending on who you are, it may mean a lot. Just as Sherlock Holmes could tell a man's occupation by the calluses on his hands, the doctor can tell the patient's sexual inclinations by the location of his syphilitic sore.
In the average man a syphilitic ulcer occurs on the penis. In the average woman, it can be found on the labia minora. In those with an inquiring mind, the sore can appear on the fingertip. The female breast is also a common location. Lips come in for their share of infection. In homosexuals, the sore can be found on the mucous membranes of the anus. Once in a while an adventurous gentleman turns up with syphilis of the tonsils.

"In those with an inquiring mind, the sore can appear on the fingertip."
That has to be my favorite sentence in the history of the English language. I'm not 100% sure I know what it means, I'm just 100% sure I like it.

Also, Dr. Reuben, in regards to the "adventurous gentleman," Webster's dictionary defines as a "gentleman" as the following:
1.) A man of noble, or gentle birth
2.) A man belonging to the landed gentry
3.) A man who combines gentle birth or rank with chivalrous qualities
4.) A man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior

Nowhere on that list do I see ball gargling as a very "gentlemanly" activity.

Does that still happen?
Fortunately about the time that men's hats went out of fashion, so did catheters.

Best out-out-context question and answer ever?

How can sterility not be bad?
If you're talking about a prostitute, it's not bad. Gonorrhea is sometimes known among professionals as "the hooker's friend." To a lady of the evening pregnancy is embarrassing, inconvenient, and expensive. Before birth control pills, the risk was much higher. Gonorrhea helped bring down the odds.

Ok, ok, ok, so let me get this straight: adventurous ball garglers are "gentleman" and hookers are "ladies of the evening," whereas black people are "Negroes" and homosexuals are "fags?" Sir, do you play croquet with flamingos? Have you swum in a river of tears? Because this is some ass-backwards Alice in Wonderland shit and I don't recall ingesting any mercury this morning.

Why are these infections common among homosexuals?
Homosexuals are capable of prodigious promiscuity. Simply by the laws of probability, sooner or later a wide-ranging white homosexual will come in contact with a similarly inclined black homosexual. The infection then passes to both their partners and their partner's partners and their partner's partner's partners and so on.

Dr. David Reuben: crazy old coot...or soothsayer?


Brittany said...

Dr. Reuben must have had a side job as a stand-up comedian, simply reading his book as his act. This is the funniest shit I have ever seen.

Patrick said...

I will now start calling my coworkers ball garglers. Thank you for that.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Trust me, you are more than welcome.

Emily said...

WOW. And I was scared of being offensive by recapping Bible stories on my blog... the funny thing is, in 1969, people probably would be more scandalized by me than Dr. Reuben.

Well, everyone except those black homosexuals.

Anonymous said...

So I was watching the Lifetime movie "Prayers for Bobby" and the mom, Sigourney Weaver, in the movie reads Dr. Reuben's book to learn why her son is gay and how to "cure" him!

Ohmygoshi said...

I think it would absolutely perfect if Dr. Reuben turned out to be a ball gargler himself. Just how does he know SO MUCH without doing a little bit of "research"? Hmmmm....

That Kind of Girl said...

The conveniently thing about a gentlemanly ball-gargler is that your ascot handily catches any dripping bodily fluids. GOOD DECISIONS.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if its just me, but whenever Dr. Reuben uses the phrase "homosexual" I imagine the pronunciation identical to Stewie Griffins...which just enhances the material.

Lindsey S. said...

Sometimes when I read these posts focusing on Dr. R's informative book... I blatantly choose not to believe him. It makes me die a little inside, after I have a good chuckle of course.

Lindsay said...

Ummm... from Wikipedia about this book...
"It was one of the first sex manuals that entered mainstream culture in the 1960s and had a profound effect on sex education and in liberalizing attitudes towards sex."


maggie said...

every time you post some wisdom of doc reuben's, i'm convinced that it cannot be trumped…until you post more. it's impossible to brace myself for a dr. reuben info sesh

"Certainly, if you're an acrobat."
funniest shit i've ever read. also, i'm quite certain that he must be both a gentlemanly ball gargler (hah!) AND good friends with these ladies of the night

Sean said...

Just an FYI, Woody Allen made a comedy movie about this book in the 70's and you might want to check it out.

Mia R said...


ditto on the new name for coworkers.

Anonymous said...

"Ball gargling"!?

Good lord, Meg. You owe me a new keyboard.

Anonymous said...

Meg - what I really want is a mish mash of my two favorite types of your blogs: Dr. Reuben and JS recraps. If we could get the good doctor to comment on Snooki's hilarious failures trying to be promiscuous and The Situation's...well...everything, I would die a happier man.

Daniel said...

If I didn't see that book with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe you.

Sabri said...

Sean: what is this movie called and where can I find it?

Kori said...

Awesome. I now get to tell my my acrobat boyfriend that he might have syphilis.

Hails said...

just... I'm at a loss for words.

Beth said...

Sean - what is this woody allen movie you speak of? I have to know!

Sean said...

Here's the link to the movie on imdb, enjoy! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068555/

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Blanket statement:

Woody Allen indeed did make a movie in 1972 called Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* But Were Too Afraid to Ask, but it didn't really have much to do with the book and was kind of shitty. It's a movie made up of comedy sketches based on chapter titles from the book, not the actually the info from the book. So it's kind of not at all what it seems to be like. Kind of.

I wouldn't recommend it. So there's that. Now go with god.

Brittan said...

The movie is "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)." You're welcome.

Brittan said...

oh boo. you guys beat me to it.

dr. reuben never ceases to disgust.

Jessica said...


Holly said...


Random. But this is the tits.


Allison said...

Oh man. I just read some of these to my boyfriend and then went through your archives to find more...wow. Too awesome for words. And every time he quoted a personal story, I read it in a hick accent because, well, I can't imagine those stories coming from anyone else.

Mrs. P said...

I was laughing hysterically until I realized that I am wearing velour track pants. wah waaah :(

Wiggs (The Beholder) said...

I'd be shocked if you haven't seen this - but on the off-chance, the book has its own Wikipedia. It's not particularly mind-blowing, but just...interesting. Adds a little bit of color to the halo of awesomeness that hangs in the air above the cover. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everything_You_Always_Wanted_to_Know_About_Sex_(But_Were_Afraid_to_Ask)

Angie said...


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Loretta said...

Dr. Reuben makes any crappy day a lot better.

~B said...

So glad you finally posted another! Hysterical....
and Angie: that article makes the book sound like it is going to be a pretty good (read: hysterical) follow up!

Michael said...

Shortly after reading this post, I saw this and it made me lol - http://www.popularwealth.com/images/vintage-ads-disease.jpg

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