The horror of sexually transmitted diseases is certainly not unknown. I remember being in health class and being shown gruesome and graphic pictures of bodies affected by STDs. I always figured if I got one, I'd know. I'd have warts or pain or oozing. But the signs and symptoms were hidden and I had no clue until I got test results back from Planned Parenthood.
When I started having sex, I was far more worried about getting pregnant than I was about getting some kind of an infection. If what's-his-name-? says he's clean, why shouldn't I believe him? If he says he'll pull out, why should I worry about getting pregnant? Sex is fun. As long as my partner stops when I say no, why would there be an issue?
Well, the issue comes along when the person you're sleeping with is a douchebag. Let me be honest about some people in this world... Some people are pigs. They're greedy assholes who just want sex. I would know. I've been used for sex, and I've used people for sex.
I was the fat kid growing up. Nobody liked my body! When I grew older and finally blossomed, sex was my way to find love. To find acceptance. If somebody would take the time of day to sleep with me, they must feel something for me. They must like something about me. I must be worth something.
Every time I had sex, I was filled with this euphoric energy. I was being bad. My parents would kill me if they knew! These guys were twice my age. I was sneaking out to have sex! Woo!
There's a difference between making love and fucking. Fucking usually means no strings attached. It's something quick and easy. A dollar menu selection. But making love comes with all the feelings. There's a deep connection. That's when you go right for the combo, and substitute your drink for a shake. Sometimes, a fuck is all you need. It's fulfilling enough for the moment. But no matter what, sex always had emotional ties for me. My friends with benefits partner didn't know I was falling in love. He also didn't know how many others there were at the time.
But I never really thought about STDs. My partners said they were clean, so I trusted them. And when you sleep with five guys in three days, it's hard to keep track of things. I honestly couldn't tell you a lot of their last names... I didn't know where they were from. I didn't know how they got that scar on their knee. I didn't know their favorite color. I didn't even know if they were single. But if you put all of those people together, that made up my sex life. An endless amount of flings that each lasted as long as a stick of gum.
But I was still left with an aftertaste of chlamydia, and, later on, gonorrhea. People didn't tell me that I wouldn't really see the signs. What I thought was a simple yeast infection turned out to be an STD.
Getting the results back felt so strange... How could I get an STD? How did I become a statistic from a sex ed text book? All of a sudden, a piece of paper told me I had an STD and I had to go get treated.
The treatment didn't scare me. A little pill plus abstinence for a week, and then I was good. But I won't ever be able to fully get rid of chlamydia or gonorrhea. They'll always be in my system, which means I need to watch myself. Which means taking care of my body and taking regular trips to Planned Parenthood.
Getting tested is scary and nerve-wracking... It's a big deal. Nobody wants to find out they've got any kind of disease or infection. But getting tested is also part of being a responsible, sexually active adult, and in the long run, it's worth it. STDs are spreading quickly because people are looking for fun. (I'm know I'm really not one to talk.) But people, you can be a catch without being contagious.