Virginity is not an illness.

Today's Story



By Bruce Costello

Dr Julia suppressed a yawn, grimaced, touched her lips, poked her head through the partly open waiting room door and surveyed the patients.

“Trish Goldman?”

A smartly dressed woman frowned, nodded and stood. The doctor beamed, made a welcoming gesture and motioned her to follow.

Introductions and formalities completed, the doctor came out from behind her desk and sat facing the patient.

“It’s nice to meet you, Trish,” she said, observing the young woman, struck by the sadness in her pretty face. The eyes were blue, the face was blushing, and the hair was sandy blonde but the overall impression was grey.

Trish didn’t reply.

Julia smiled, and opened her mouth to speak, but was startled to find her mind had gone blank. For the first time in twenty-five years of gynecological practice, the doctor was lost for words.

She looked down at the GP’s referral letter in her hand. A minute passed.

Trish cleared her throat.

Julia started, looked up, reached across and patted Trish on the arm.

“Let’s take a look, eh. Would you like to pop behind the screen, take everything off from the waist down and then hop up on the couch.”


“I can’t find any physical problems. Everything seems perfectly normal down there,” said Julia, taking off her gloves. “Virginity is not an illness.”

“Isn’t it?”

“Course not. And, you know, sex takes place between the ears rather than between the legs. Tell me, do you want to have children?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Do you want to have a partner?”

Trish hesitated, her eyes turned towards the ceiling.

“Not really, I don’t think I do, to be honest. So many people I know, they’re in messy, complicated relationships, or married and miserable.


“My life’s simple. I get on with my career. I’ve got my friends. I please myself what I do. I like being single. Does that make me weird?”

“Not at all,” replied the doctor, running her fingers through her hair. “Being single is a perfectly acceptable, some would say enviable, way of life.”



“Men think I’m odd. You’re meant to be going out with somebody and having sex.”


“Or married with kids.”


“Men think I’m odd. People say….”

“People?” whispered the doctor, raising her eyebrows, and waving her arms in the air. “What’s this got to do with people? It’s your life. You’re allowed to live it your own way.”

Trish’s face lit up. She jumped off the couch, naked from the waist down, and bear hugged the doctor, who burst into tears.


After 22 years working in private practice as a counselor in the city, Bruce Costello recently semi-retired to a seaside village, where he has begun short story writing. So far he’s had modest success and lots of enjoyment.


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