I’m probably going to get a bit of shit from various people in my life over some of the things in this post. Probably deservedly.
Tale from a while ago- me and my (at the time) housemate were talking about gynecologist appointments, and specifically that she had never had a pap smear. We shall call her Housemate 1. Another housemate came in, and we shall call her housemate 2. Housemate 2 started giving 1 shit about being as old as we all were, and not ever getting a pap smear or any gynecologist appointments. She was talking about how even if 2 wasn’t sexually active yet, it is important to know health levels before getting involved with someone. 2 kept getting me and my sexual health knowledge on her side. Except 1 knew very well I have never had a pap smear.
I have never had a pap smear or seen a gynecologist.
Consider the quantity I talk about sexual health, many people are surprised by this.
This past week I went to my annual appointment to check in about testosterone and how my body is reacting. It was difficult enough for me to sit down and talk to an entirely new nurse practitioner about a bunch of stuff, and I do mean new NP as she was a student NP and working under people at my clinic. She brought up the pap smear, and later, when my doc walked in, he did to. Actually, when I emailed him about my most recent refill he said he wanted me in both for my annual check up and to talk to me about a pap smear.
I got an ultimatum. He said he would refill my T for the following year, to the day, with no problems. But no further. Push came to shove, if I don’t go through with it in the next year I either have to 1-find a new doc or 2- go off T.
Neither of these are really options for me. So, I’m going to suck it up and deal. Considering that I get STI testing on an annual basis, that I blog about sexuality all the time, that I talk about sexual health all the time, that I’ve been a peer sex educator, and everything else I do, it is rather surprising that this rather basic aspect of my health I neglect. Apparently, I come by it naturally. My mom’s gynecologist has to threaten her with no longer prescribing birth control to get my mom in for an appointment (as my mom has gone through menopause, to her this means getting cut off from hormones. We bonded over this.)
It isn’t actually a pressing issue in that I’m not what most people in the medical professions define as very “sexually active.” In medical terms, I don’t have penis-in-vagina sex. Of the types of sex I do have and enjoy, they haven’t happened all that often recently. For someone a sex blogger, I’ve had remarkably little sex recently. Then again, I’ve also blogged very little recently. One did not cause the other, more like they are two effects of similar causes, but I digress. I was talking about gynecological appointments and pap smears. Right.
I know the importance. I watched Buck Angel’s awesome “Public Cervix Announcement” last year when it popped up on YouTube. But it is damn hard to get me to set up an appointment for T, which I adore, let alone for shit I really REALLY don’t want to deal with. I’ve been without glasses for a year and a half because I’d need to set up an appointment to get a new prescription. How the hell am I supposed to deal with a pap smear?
My doctor is essentially blackmailing me. And he’s right.
It isn’t just things like body and gender dysphoria that keep me from dealing. That just makes it awkward. Beyond that, as much as I’ve dealt with shit regarding my past and sexual assault, a person I’m not involved with examining me triggers my anxiety. Thinking about it, gets me fidgeting. Talking about it, with my doctor, in a doctor’s office? I was twitchy, anxious, and unable to look at my doctor while talking in an attempt to keep my breathing regular and not deal with an anxiety attack.
In a bit over two months, I’m going to confront and deal. Maybe I’ll manage to stay calm. Maybe after I’ll need to go curl up in a small dark room, shaking, crying, and getting a migraine.
If he didn’t tell me he’d stop refilling my T I probably wouldn’t be dealing with having to get a pap. Even though the deadline is a year off the reality of the deadline spurs me to action. So, I’m dealing. And I have about two months to decide if I want him to get me a one or two pill script for anxiety meds. It says a lot that I am seriously considering it.
Yeah. For the first time ever I am seriously considering taking medication for what is technically a mental health issue (anxiety.) Time to deal with that thought as well.
I will hopefully be thoroughly sparked to write lots of fabulous entries after tomorrow, as it is KinkForAll Providence 2, and that should cause lots of cool thoughts to think.
Regardless, recently I keep thinking back to first moments. Specifically, first kisses… I don’t always remember the actual first moment, but something always sticks with me. I wish I could remember more, but my memory is not my strong suit. At all.
Like the few details I remember of my first kiss, besides that it was definitely making out, it was young enough that many people try to tell me it doesn’t count, and their was surprisingly no gum on the table.
We were hiding under a table off to the side of the rink. Everyone else at the party was having fun roller blading around the rink, but there we were, hiding under the table off to the side. I barely remember his face, but his hair sticks out in my mind. He hated that I was stronger, faster, a better skater, a better roller blader than he. He hated it, but liked me. So he was my boyfriend. I was his girlfriend. It made sense, then, to sit under that table, and figure out what about kissing those older kids were always so excited about.
My memory is sometimes so bad I can’t remember a first kiss. Oddly, many of the first kisses I remember aren’t the important ones, the important people. (And considering who reads this blog… that may or may not be you.)
I knew she liked me, and I think she knew I liked her, but all I could think the entire walk back to my dorm was “damn it all why the hell did I have to make the move?” Campus was amazingly quiet as we walked, and there was plenty of fun tension between the two of us. We talked about the stars, we talked about wishes, and I have no recollection of that conversation because I kept thinking about earlier when we were spooning through the movie, when we had lots of “hand sex.” She could hold hands like no one else I’ve known before or since… But it was after that, we had circled each other for so long (in college terms, so two days) and there she was, walking me back to my dorm. Except then the walk ended, there was the door, and we stopped to talk for a bit. I knew… As I leaned in to kiss part of my brain was going “Yes! I can make moves!” and part was going “holyshitholyshitIgettokissthishotgirl” and the rest, mostly decided she might not be the best kisser but she was still worth kissing again.
Despite what so many things get said in movies, in books, in our culture, the first kiss does not mean jack shit about how a relationship (be it one night stand, fuck buddy, never mind we’re just friends, dating, whatever) will go. Sometimes that first kiss isn’t even a good indication of how a person kisses. I might have a bad memory, but how terrible of a memory do must you have to forget how to kiss at all?
The light reflected off her eyes in fascinating ways, but despite how much I was captivated by her eyes I kept looking away. Too much tension, too many nerves, why couldn’t I just look at her and move in? “I like you…” I muttered. “You have beautiful eyes…” I said, instead of asking what I really was thinking “Please, just kiss me?” The night had been fun. The movie was entertaining. Even misreading each others signals constantly, we had really connected. This was a person I could trust, someone who had been through shit as well. I looked at her again, and looked back at the door of my car. I didn’t want to go, not until we kissed, but I couldn’t bring myself to make the move. Finally, she leaned in. I was swept away in the moment. We stammered goodbye, and it was only while driving home I realized that despite my stomach doing backflips of jubilation, she really couldn’t kiss very well at all.
Those memories I like. Even as the emotions have settled into their proper places, such as that first barely remembered childhood boyfriend, I enjoy remembering.
I’m a highly associative person. Places, songs, anything can be an important association. Like how seeing a blood donation van gets me to text my college roommate and ask how she’s doing. KinkForAll has a lot of associations. Tomorrow is KinkForAll Providence 2. This time, I’m helping organize it, and a lot has changed in the year and a month since the last one. I’m looking forward to the new associations.
Another memory, because for some reason the words on today aren’t flowing. So, past-times it is.
They had a cigarette, and I remember staring. Watching the cherry light up as it went to their lips, remembering the taste of strawberries. I had quit, but one couldn’t hurt, right? They offered me the cigarette and I took it. Cloves, can’t buy them anymore. Not in the USA at least. But cloves linger on your lips, like strawberries.
It was surprisingly cold that night. We huddled together for warmth. I don’t remember why we were outside anymore. Waiting to get a ride, maybe it was for the cigarette. They smoked when they wanted, so we were outside, away from eyes. They handed me a cigarette, and I took it, breathing in the deadly smoke, and watching the swirls spiral from the end of the cigarette itself, I felt at peace. I know why they offered, why they handed it to me. It’s hell to kiss a smoker if you aren’t one. They knew it too.
I remember sitting there on the stone, the smoke gone but strawberries lingering on my lips, and one of us made a move. I saw it coming, huddling for warmth, I remember thinking we’d kiss that night on sitting on that cold stone. Which one of us did it? I dont’ know. I do remember their lips on mine, the strawberry taste fading fast from both of us. We sat there, kissing, unsure of where was okay to touch. My binder, their binder… we didn’t know what the rules were, so we just sat on the cold stone and kissed until the strawberries were forgotten.
If one was to count each time I’ve quit smoking, there is a minimum of four times. And now, I call myself quit, but I do allow myself two cigarettes a year. I invented that rule eventually. Each year, two cigarettes. So far, it has come down to having one due to excess stress, like completely a true hell week for a theater production or getting dumped, and one for rather unfathomable reasons. Each year since that rule was made, one for stress, one for ‘other’ reasons. I haven’t had one yet this year. If I make it through February without having one of those two, it’ll be a new accomplishment.
As much as I miss the taste of strawberries on my lips, all the memories of them are really bittersweet. I’m rather glad that even if I do smoke, that it wouldn’t be cloves again. And besides, rose hookah does taste a whole lot better than any kind of cigarette ever did.
I’m both a very impulsive person, and someone who thinks things through excessively. I like contradictions. Or rather apparent contradictions. As much as I’m an easy going person (never ask me where we should go for dinner when hanging out, because 99% of the time I truly have no preference and will NOT make the decision) I get incredibly stubborn once I have decided something. I don’t decide things about the world usually, I have thoughts and ideas, but few decisions. I like the flexibility, the mutability, of my world view. I like options, and exploring all of them.
But when I decide things, it usually seems out of no where, and I stick by that decision. A good example is when I was picking colleges. I toured a bunch, and had a top 3 list, and a “never going here” list, but one day in either September or October, I randomly decided that my top school was definitely my top school and that I would apply there ED. It was out of no where enough that it caused some arguing with my mom, but I had decided. I never applied anywhere else, mostly because I was lucky and got in. But I went from considering all these options, from saying repeatedly that I’d be happy at my top school, my safety schools, that I could be happy at any of these schools, to only wanting one. I had decided.
I keep hoping that one of these day’s I’ll decide what I want to do (as in job) in the next five years of my life. I spend the time thinking about it, but that leads not to decisions, but more thoughts, and more thoughts.
I decided I would go on T years ago. The only question was when. It was something I put off and put off, but once I had decided it was time, I called up and got my appointment. Please note- I don’t like making phone calls. I called to order pizza for the first time in my life in the last few weeks, because I will do pretty much anything in order to avoid calling a stranger (or even someone I know who I don’t call often.) Once I decided it was time, I just did it.
About my only exception to making decisions is when I used to make promises to myself. That past tense is very intentional. These days I’m pretty good about holding myself accountable to goals and such, but I don’t ever make a promise to myself. Mostly because every single one made to myself I’ve broken. From never smoking cigarettes, to never hooking up with a specific person (done more than once), to never crying in front of C again, to never breaking another promise to myself. All of them weren’t just broken, more like shattered into a thousand pieces. So, no more promises to myself. I don’t want to break them, so I don’t make them and even have that on the table. I do my best, and strive to do better each time, promise or no. Fuck absolutism.
I feel like I’m about to decide something. It feels vaguely like an “impending feeling of doom” but without the doom and with a weird feeling of certainty. Weird in that I have absolutely no idea what I’m certain about.
But hey, at least it’s an update.