Playing Doctor


(permanent link) added: 2009-08-16 13:10:04 sponsor: SKJAM (last reply: 2009-08-18 18:38:09)

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I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Young children looking at each other without any clothes on.

Children tend to be very curious about things, including what the opposite sex looks like under their clothes. So naturally, sometimes they try to satisfy that curiousity by negotiating with someone roughly their own age. It's called "playing doctor" since it's frequently put in the form of a game where one child is the doctor, and the other the patient, who takes off their clothes for examination like at the real doctor's office.

For legal reasons, this game is almost never played all the way in visual media, being mentioned off stage, or interrupted before too many clothes come off. A common "bit" is for a parent to catch the children doing this, and completely overreact making the kids more confused and traumatized than the game ever would have.

It's considered kind of cute for very small children to do this, less so as they get older, and if either participant has hit puberty, they've lost the Children Are Innocent excuse. Indeed, if anyone past puberty suggests "playing doctor," it's an Unusual Euphemism. And if one child participant is significantly older than the other, it's usually a bad sign.

Not to be confused with I'm Not a Doctor, but I Play One on TV.

Examples:

  • In the Philip K. Dick novel "Eye In the Sky," a little boy is disappointed when he finally convinces the neighbor girl to show him hers--and there's nothing there. Which turns out to be the same thing he's got down there! They're in a Fisher Kingdom run by someone who finds genitalia icky.
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