asking for an std test – pointing fingers or incriminating yourself?
obviously a huge aim for me with this blog was to get my columns out there! so, here goes:
I’d like to think I have matured since my dorm rat days. While dwelling on the top bunk of a temporary triple in Tolbert I chronicled my sexual exploits on the ceiling above my bed. My “guests” signed their names, traced their feet and occasionally left trinkets like torn off neon wristbands or ‘smile today’ stickers. By the end of the year I had accumulated about half a dozen different handwriting samples.
What I didn’t realize then was that it also meant that I had about half a dozen chances of catching something, well, icky. Even that guy I only made out with for 10 minutes before my roommate barged in could have easily given me herpes simplex A (the kind most common around your mouth).
Four years later I know for certain I have caught something else – a guy who I would like to pursue a competed, monogamous relationship with. Seeing as my partner is even older than me, and has probably had an equally shameful past, I want to suggest that we each get tested. But how do you go from scandalous Sue to righteously responsible Ruth? How do you ask your partner, significant other, bedmate, fuck buddy, or whoever you’re rolling around with in the sheets to go and get tested for STDs?
My initial fear was that by asking I would sound judgmental and incriminating. My second fear was that I would sound skanky myself. I just kept imagining if someone asked me to get tested I would be more than mildly insulted. Think – is my skirt really that short and slutty that you want to make sure I’m not carrying gonorrhea?
After a week of debating I went to the gynecologist to test myself; frankly, my new boy was a small factor in my decision. If I had all these doubts and concerns obviously the issue had more to do with me and less with him. I needed to know my freshman fraternizing did not catch up with me. I also needed to know if I should comb through my pictures of the diary-like entries on my freshman ceiling and write a nasty piece about whoever the culprit possibly was.
At the same time, if my new boy and I were ever going to make a relationship work I could not be nervous to ask him to do something so simple and painless for me.
The moral of my ordeal is this – we all have hook ups in our past that are questionable. But there is no reason to question whether you contracted anything from it. Test yourself; it’s the mature thing to do. After all, if things don’t work out with the new boy I’m sure you will be seeing me at Balls taking Washington Apple shots in the near future, and if I do make a poor decision again (which, truthfully, is near inevitable with me) at least you know I’m clean. Can you say the same yourself?