Dating after genital warts
You know how last year Jennifer Love Hewitt went on a talk show and said after a bad breakup, she “vagazzled” herself? See, I invented “vagazzling” years before Jennifer.
At the time I got warts, I had been going out all of the time—getting my picture snapped by party photographers, dancing in clubs to electro DJs. I had no one to impress with new makeup, nowhere to wear my jewels.
It probably wasn’t the best thing for the STI, but emotionally, looking at iridescent crystal hearts in the mirror, I felt better.
It was about re-connecting with this part of my body that I felt so bad about, that felt disowned, that made me feel like a monster.
If you have sex with 20 people, you will get genital warts. My pillows had seen more than a few DIY haircuts when I saw something downtown, too: bumps. Genital warts, to be honest, but I wasn’t ready to be. See, in high school, I would sneak into the gym during assemblies for fear that one of the older girls would yell “slut!! At art school, there were endless hipster boys and girls doing the same, moving in and out of each other’s beds (or mattresses on the floor) fluidly. My gym teachers had taught me about “STDs” as a scare tactic, going over symptoms with thinly veiled disgust. I was ready to settle in for a month of movies and prescription cream before bed when I got an unexpected call from my doctor.
The doctor was perfectly nice, but the voices in my head remained. But I wasn’t actually a slut until college when I embraced pro-sex feminism a little blindly, veering more towards hedonism. The abstinence-only education I received in school in no way prepared me for the real life sex I would have—sometimes unprotected when drunk and sloppy or sober and shy. My friends weren’t much help either, laughing or leaving an awkward silence between us as I told them what was going on.
And I felt so bad about myself, so bad about my STIs that there was no way I could speak up about them in the heat of the moment.I don’t know what kind of doctor he was, except the kind that buys waitresses martinis after their shifts, in exchange for letting him give them backrubs. Dan and was supplied with a jar of mealy horsepills, a treatment for chlamydia I am pretty sure no one had taken since 1982. I spent the next month not texting back the people I had been dating or having sex with.I made excuses when my friends asked me to go out, trying to avoid meeting new potential partners.This time my best friend tried to help: “Well, at least it sounds pretty. It’s like an exotic middle name.” What my doctor didn’t tell me is that chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI.And that genital warts is the most common viral STI, and that both are super prevalent in my age group.