Monday 5 December 2016

Letting the world witness where the sun don't shine

Published 02/05/2008 | 00:00

The confirmation that I really and truly know nothing whatever about either this current world or the people who inhabit it came last Tuesday night. I say "confirmation", because the symptoms of ignorance had been present for some time, but I did not intellectually assemble them as part of an overall pathology; until, that is, Dr Pixie McKenna, a medical graduate of University College Cork, unintentionally connected the dots for me.

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She is a co-presenter of the Channel Four programme, 'Embarrassing Bodies', which goes out every night this week (11.55 tonight), and which invites people with physical characteristics that are socially uncomfortable to discuss them on air.

On Tuesday, the programme's mobile clinic arrived in Leeds. The first patient was an African woman, who described her extreme unhappiness at a recent development to her body, which had since made her reluctant to have sex with men, and which was far too embarrassing ever to show to a doctor. She had grown a small flap of skin along her anus.

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