Hysteria
Monica Vaughan
D r.Breed rested his right hand on the patient's pubic mound, his middle finger strategically centered between her fleshy halves. He curled his finger, placed the underside of its tip against what he felt to be the right side of her clitoris, and began a slow circular motion. His finger must not slip from the spot. He knew to begin slowly, gently, before he increased the speed and pressure.

Her skin lay silky soft and slippery from the lilac oil he had applied.

This job was tedious, tiring and time consuming. Many doctors preferred to hand it over to a midwife or more recently, to a mechanical device. But physician involvement was required for evaluation. Hydriatic establishments offered cold-water douches and Gustaf Zander's newest machine, a clockwork percuteur. After winding it up, it would vibrate for about 5 minutes, providing a steady rhythm that could be applied to the genitals. He thought it too short a time to bring on paroxysm; still, today he had it on the table, ready wound, just in case. This patient was severely affected with anxiety, nervousness, ill humor, and a debilitating pressure in her lower abdomen.

Wet fingered, slightly short of breath, he turned it on. She sucked in a sudden gulp of air as if coming out of suffocation. Her body twitched. He stepped away.

After drying herself and refastening her corset, the patient paid her physician and returned to her life with a brisk step.

Dr. Breed decided, "the machine works."




First published: November 1999
comments: knobs@iceflow.com