ASK THEM, HAVE YOU BEEN TESTED?
PLEASE, FOR ME.
I hope the pain that drowned me never washes over you.
It spreads easily, so I can’t promise that it never will.
I can promise that I’ll tell you the truth.
Here we go.
It wasn’t a relationship. It was an exchange of sexual favors and nights where we would watch movies and cuddle. I didn’t want him, and he sure as hell didn’t want me. But he wanted to have sex with me. And that I knew for sure.
We met during the summer at a bar. Being that I yearn for a boyfriend every day of my life, I was not opposed to his attention as he stared me down from across the room, and in a drunken stride, he made his way over. My memory was soaked with alcohol, but I do remember we had fun. We travelled from bar to bar, his arm around my waist, serotonin oozing out of my pores. What does this mean? We just met, but he seems so into me.
I couldn’t have been more naïve.
When he asked me to go home with him at the end of the night, I saw it as an opportunity to get to know him more, and I knew we didn’t have to do anything if I didn’t want to. I was drunk and happy, so I went back to his apartment.
We were making out when he asked me if I wanted to “fuck”, and when I told him that I didn’t have sex the first time I met someone, his response was not what I expected. He was so respectful and understanding. We stayed up until sunrise, just talking and learning about each other. We didn’t even do anything, not even hand stuff. We just talked and it felt so real and refreshing. I initially felt like maybe I met someone that could be something to me. He was so different than I was, he was actually a huge asshole, but regardless of his obnoxious behavior around his friends, he was so sweet to me.
Again, I couldn’t have been more naïve.
For a few weeks my summer nights consisted of him and his apartment. We would hang out with all of his friends until he’d whisk me away to make out under the dim light of a movie that we knew we weren’t going to watch. It felt nice to go over to his place and be around all of his friends, flirting just the right amount to make them want me but know they can’t have me. A lot of girls feel that way, but no one admits how good that attention feels. It felt like he wanted to show me off. I kind of felt that I was his. I ignored the fact that he only invited me over after the sun went down and how we never left his apartment.
I was anxious to have sex with him, and he was antsy to have sex with me. I didn’t just want to have sex to have sex, because I really only like having sex with guys that I really care about. And while I did really care about him… I knew he’d never be my boyfriend. But he was waiting so patiently, and even though he consistently asked me if I was ready, and I consistently said no, he still kept talking to me instead of blowing me off.
And then the night came. I was a few beers deep to soothe my nerves when he pulled me off the couch and danced me to his bedroom. It happened so slowly, but so quickly at the same time. And while it felt good, it also didn’t. I couldn’t help myself from wanting it to be over. I felt like I was being used. I thought he made me feel special until he selfishly slammed my head into the wall. It was so anticlimactic – for me at least. I had waited weeks to have sex with him and even during it wasn’t worth it. He finished, I got dressed, and I went home.
I didn’t see him for two weeks. That isn’t because he didn’t reach out, he did, a little, but it also wasn’t like he had anything to chase anymore. But it was five days after the uneventful event of the summer took place when I started getting an itch. An itch in a place where an itch should not be. And then the itch turned into pain. And it wasn’t just a little pain, it was atrocious pain. I couldn’t even pee, let alone walk, because it felt like I was being burned alive. Was this my atheist God punishing me for my deadly little sin?
My thoughts only went to one explanation for what was going on.
I was petrified.
After extensive research on the devil itself, WebMD, I took a mirror into my bathroom and sighed in relief. What I saw did not match any of the horrifying pictures I saw online. But I couldn’t help but think about what it was. Were my jeans too tight? Did I chafe from sweating? Is this just a little rash or an infection? It is, it totally is. It has to be.
But as the days went on and the pain only got worse, my confidence crumbled, and my heart started to crack. I told my mother.
Thank GOD my mother is chill otherwise I would’ve been done for.
She took me to the doctor the next day, and as I laid on the table, spread eagle with three doctors getting more handsy with me than I would’ve liked, I felt hopeless. Embarrassed. But I kept telling myself it would be fine.
“This is not what it typically looks like. I really don’t think that you have it, and if you do, then it’s extremely abnormal”.
Hearing those words come out of my doctor’s mouth was so liberating and I couldn’t help but smile, pushing my worries to the side. I don’t have an STD, thank fucking god.
“But I do have to cut one of them open to test it”.
I nearly threw up.
I hope that you never have to take a scalpel to the vagina.
They told me it would take a week to get the results.
The next day I went to the dermatologist, and again, spread eagle with only two doctors getting handsy this time, they looked up at me and smiled.
“This is not an STD.”
I immediately starting crying. I’ve never been so happy and so grateful in my life. I ran out of the office, hugged my mother, and was ready to celebrate by eating something extremely fattening when I got a phone call from the doctor that I had visited the day before.
All happiness flew out the window of my mother’s car as the voice on the other end asked me to come back into the office. From that point to the moment I sat down with my doctor, I kind of have blacked out from my mind. All I can say is that it was suspense and fear and it was terrible.
The look on my doctor’s face said it all: the solemn eyes, the soft smile, her uncomfortable body language. I couldn’t stop crying because I knew what she was going to say, but I took all the strength I had and asked, “do I have it?”.
It was as if my body had just collapsed and I couldn’t breathe. In between sobs I would catch a little bit of what she was saying to me, but it was useless. I was infected. I was disgusting. I was trash. These thoughts swirled through my mind as she handed me a prescription to minimize the pain.
Yet the medication didn’t take away what would be living in my body for the rest of my life. Although dormant, this disease will never go away, and I am always at risk of transmitting it. My life has changed completely, I don’t go a day without thinking about it, and I don’t know how to be happy anymore. I’ve told a few of my friends, but even then, no one understands. I feel alone, I feel disgusting. My heart is truly broken, and not from him, but from myself. It was one fucking night that I could’ve EASILY avoided, but no. I had mediocre sex and now I can no longer have a normal, carefree, enjoyable sex life. The best part is… I contracted this monster even with a condom.
I have spoken to him a few times about it, but there’s really not much to say about his responses. I could tell the moment I told him that he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. I could tell he regretted meeting me just as much as I regret meeting him. I asked him to get tested, I fear that he never will.
All I ask of you is to ask before you have sex. Ask when the last time they’ve been tested was. Because if you don’t or you forget, you’ll end up hating yourself more than I can tell you. I wish I could give you any type of advice on how to deal with it, but I don’t even know how to deal with it. I have completely pushed myself away from any physical relationship since he infected me. It’s not easy to tell someone that you could potentially ruin their life. I miss sex, a lot, but I miss the value of honesty more.
Just ask them if they’ve been tested. And use a condom. Please. For me.