let us go then, you and i.

by dorarandom

A lady, aged thirty, was married at twenty-one. Vigorous efforts at copulation were made fruitlessly for five or six weeks. The husband and wife were both young and of course ignorant on the subject, and were not surprised that there was difficulty at the beginning; but soon they began to debate the point of asking medical advice. At last the wife became worn out with the oft-repeated and painful efforts at coition, and agreed to a consultation.

The family physician was called, who supposed that there must be some unusual degree of disproportion in the relative development of their respective genital organs, and advised sexual intercourse while the wife was etherized. This was soon done and the wife knew nothing of it. But when the act was attempted the next day and the next, it was found to be utterly impossible. After a week’s fruitless trial, the physician was sent for again, and again she was etherized, and coition effected with the greatest ease. But it was subsequently impossible when she was not etherized. The husband was tall, athletic, and muscular; says he is not subject to hasty ejaculation, and possesses extraordinary copulative powers. So that it was not the fault of the husband that the vaginismus did not yield to penetration and dilatation. But the subsequent history of this interesting case bears still more strongly on this point. Suffice it to say that it became the business of the physician to repair regularly to the residence of this couple two or three times a week to etherize the poor wife for the purpose above alluded to. They persevered, hoping that she would become pregnant and delivery would cure her. This etherization was continued for a year, when conception occurred. But during the whole period of uterogestation, etherization was necessary to coition. After the birth of the child there were a few copulations without ether, but it was exceedingly painful, and soon the pain became so severe that they were compelled to resort to ether again. At the end of another year of ethereal copulation, there was another conception, which resulted in abortion at the third month…

from the clinical notes on uterine surgery of the reliably horrifying james marion sims. emphasis mine.

disturbing practices but terrific prose.