I feel like sexual health is one of those subjects that is still taboo, like you should be ashamed for having sex, heaven forbid you actually enjoy having sex and even more ashamed for looking after your health. I personally love sex and take care of myself, but as soon as you say you are going for a sexual health check the world is disgusted with you! Automatically you must be a slut, and don’t even get me started on slut shaming! It makes absolutely no difference whether you are a relationship girl, only ever had sex once or enjoy sex with multiple partners. If a condom hasn’t been used, has split or even if you were so drunk you can’t remember, you need to go and be checked. One of the worst things about some sexually transmitted infections is that there isn’t always symptoms. So just because you didn’t miss a period, you aren’t pregnant or you don’t have anything weird going on down there doesn’t mean you are out of the woods.
I am not a Angel when it comes to sex nor am I ashamed of the fact but I do always instance on a condom being worn. Believe me I have heard every single reason why they can’t wear them “I’m allergic to latex”, “I’m too big” or “I will pull out”! Sorry boys no glove no love!
I also always instance on getting tested when starting a serious, committed relationship, which usually isn’t a problem. For no other reason other than I want peace of mind that I am being as safe as possible. Any health issues from having unprotected sex will probably stay with you long after the guy is gone. And if the guy is being an arsehole about being tested then he really isn’t the one for you.
I had my first sexual health check up way back in 2000 after I lost my virginity and I was anything but safe and the enormity of it wasn’t thought about til after the act. Sitting in the waiting area of my local health clinic I did feel ashamed, I had no real understanding about the world I was entering. Luckily I was on the pill, but I was terrified that I might have caught something other than feelings. I remember the staff not being very pleasant, I had just lost my virginity and on top of that I was being made to feel bad about it. Not to mention the tests were anything but enjoyable. I had to lay there with my legs open, while they took swabs, it was a bit like having a smear test with the added bonus of being lectured about how silly I was not using a condom. Something I clearly already knew or I wouldn’t have been there.
Over the years I have probably been eight times, there has been new relationships, a drunk night I barely remember on a girls holiday and a drunk night at my local I wish I didn’t remember. And then there was two months ago after the end of the thing with mystery chap that we no longer talk about! With not being on the pill anymore, the importance of condoms is greater than ever, which we used every time. Unfortunately there was a couple of splits and the morning after pill taken. So I went and did the sensible thing, with my head held high and got myself tested. Which was a much better experience compared to my first time, the nurse was absolutely lovely, although she seemed more nervous than me. The tests were made up of blood tests and self performed swabs, I was able to keep my underwear on, which I should have done in the start.
I have been extremely lucky to have never needed treatment but a couple of hours of pleasure could have easily changed my life forever. So no matter what your sexual preferences are please, no love no glove and if you think you might need testing please ring your GP and get tested. A sexual health test is no different than any other other medical health tests, and absolutely no one should be made to feel ashamed for taking them.