Category Archives: Monologues

How I Contracted HPV and What I Did About It

This post is written by Tashia Amenerio, founder of the non-profit HPV Awakening.  She writes from her personal experience why she is pushing for HPV be reportable- meaning sexual partners must legally inform each other of their status- and why she urges you to sign the petition to get the FDA to approve HPV testing for men.

(Un)Knowing HPV

Graph from the CDC. Fourteen million will become newly infected with HPV this year. This means that almost every sexually active person in the US will acquire HPV at some point in their lives.

Graph from the CDC. Fourteen million will become newly infected with HPV this year. This means that almost every sexually active person in the US will acquire HPV at some point in their lives.

When diagnosed with HPV, life as you know it is over. You face disturbing contradictions within the medical community . On the one hand, there are those who describe it as “this generation’s AIDS”. On the other side, you are faced with medical “experts” who don’t know their head from a hole in the ground and tell you that HPV is nothing to worry about.

Here is the kicker: Most HPV strands, like most cold or flu strands, really don’t do much of anything but chill out in your body having a viral party of genome development. The issue(s) arise when you get people who are knowingly infecting others with cancer causing strands- a crime of which I’m personally all too well aware. And then you have others who are unknowingly transmitting the STI. A major reason for this is because it is not standard practice to get tested for HPV- and there are no official tests made publicly available for males- despite the fact that HPV is the most prevalent STI in North America right now.

So What Can We Do?

www.hpvawakening.org.

www.hpvawakening.org.

Well, I started a nonprofit HPV Awakening Inc. I lecture all over the Florida and have done a few media interviews. I sit here now writing you about my experiences and I’ve launched a petition that needs 100,000 signatures by May 28th, 2013, so that it can go to the White House to get HPV male testing approved by the FDA. Sign the petition.

I have contacted several local media stations and sites. And I have tried moving my civil court case to a criminal one in order to have the state acknowledge the fact that HPV cancer strands should be taken as serious as AIDS/HIV strands.

The Miami DA has kindly informed me that, well, HPV isn’t mentioned in the Florida statute at all. Thus they can’t help me. This is in spite of the fact that my case is backed with the full support from the local police department that filed my report (Miami Gardens), and they are willing to facilitate the investigative work!

So here is where you the reader come in. What can you do? Well, if you have ever been diagnosed or know someone that has been- I can relate. It sucks and it isn’t easy. And fun (insert EXTREME sarcasm) questions and situations follow diagnosis.

From Why Me? To What I Will Do About It!

In my case, I had been a virgin with no sexual experience prior to my ex, so I didn’t have to go through the questioning phase of Who? But I did have to go through the constant questioning phase of Why? After I received my diagnosis and contacted my ex he kindly informed me that he had known but since it hadn’t directly impacted me he hadn’t cared.

But that wasn’t the only “Why”. The “Why me?” phase kicked in and it kicked in for several of my friends too. Because once you get sick, it isn’t just you. It’s you and those that care about you, or who know you in a caring light- family, acquaintances, associates, co-workers and strangers you disclose to- that are impacted.

I remember one conversation in particular with a friend of mine that went through a bad life phase (attempted suicide and was a bug chaser at one point in time) sitting on the stairs while we shared a smoke (a short lived habit I picked-up during that “Why be and Why bother” phase). He was crying because he couldn’t understand how “Good people like [me], who never do anything risky end up getting sick and people like [him], who have tried every way possible to be ill and die didn’t.” Easy answer: “I don’t know what a ‘good’ person is, but sometimes Shit Just Happens.” It is a matter of what you do with the situation that counts.

I finished the cigarette and realized that some habits aren’t worth starting or maintaining just to stay wallowing in self-pity.

For those of you that are still reading, I say Yay! Thank you in sharing in my past misery. It really does love company.

Please sign the petition to get HPV male testing approved by the FDA. Go to We The People to sign.

Condoms: Can’t live with ’em; Can’t live without ’em

My relationship with condoms is conflicted. I don’t completely trust any condoms. And yet, I have to use them because they are my only option as a heterosexual male. First I’ll explain why I use condoms. The I’ll explain why my dislike for them always lingers: Can’t live with ’em; can’t live without them.

tight ropeI use condoms for three reasons: 1) I don’t want to contract an infection or disease. 2) I don’t want children without being prepared and 3) I do not like how hormonal birth control changes a woman’s body, her emotional and natural cycles. Why I dislike condoms is because, for me, they often don’t feel good and they do not always work.

My reaction the time a condom last broke on me was pretty interesting.

I was using a new condom that my friend suggested we try. It was Kimono Mirco Thin Large. The condom fit a little tight at the base, but drop a bit of lube on and how it feels during sex is great. It was so thin and sensitive, I honestly don’t remember feeling the condom ever breaking.

I remember confiding in my partner the worry that condoms are not always guaranteed to work. Of course, she protested my comment. I don’t blame her. Condoms are the best option and just because there is the chance that they might break is still a stronger safety net than not using anything at all. Coincidentally, that same day we went through this experience.

When we were finished, I pulled out and saw my naked penis pierced through the top of the condom. My initial reaction was, “Oh Shit! The condom broke.”

Shock and worry flashed through me. But I knew everything would be fine because Plan B could be bought over the counter. Honestly, I think my partner was more distraught than I was. However, I didn’t make anything easier because I started to make jokes about how I just told her I didn’t completely trust condoms.

It killed the mood. However, it raised my awareness about how important it is to experiment with different condoms and research different condom sizes and fits. I now know my trust in Kimono condoms has expired. And I have yet to find a condom that fits me perfectly.

Condom breakage is so dangerous. What if I didn’t have money for Plan B (a generic brand costs about $40), or what if I contracted an infection? It’s so frustrating that even when being safe and responsible, there is always a level of risk.

What I’ve learned from this experience is that I should take the time to get to know my partner to the point of feeling comfortable talking about STI history as well as what we do in the event of safe sex malfunction. I really need to do more research on condoms that fit me correctly and don’t cause irritation.

Any suggestions would be most welcomed! So while I continue to struggle with condoms I can’t give up on them. Abstinence is the ultimatum I’m not willing to succumb to.

Monologues are independent stories and the opinions shared are the author’s own.

 

Can You Just Notice Me Please?

This monologue was submitted anonymously via Tell Your Story page.

He’s in my sixth period study hall, but I don’t really think he knows I exist because he sort of sits on one side of the room while I stare intently at him from the other side... (photo from Max Klingensmith)

He’s in my sixth period study hall, but I don’t really think he knows I exist because he sort of sits on one side of the room while I stare intently at him from the other side… (photo from Max Klingensmith)

S-so do you ever want to…like grab someone very very gently by the shoulders, look deep into their eyes and then shake them semi-violently whilst screaming “LOVE MEEE.”

No? Just me? Right…

So there’s this guy. Kevin. He’s in my sixth period study hall, but I don’t really think he knows I exist cause he sort of sits on one side of the room while I stare intently at him from the other side with what I call my “I’m-secretly-sending-multiple-pictures-of-your-face-to-my-best-friend” cell phone position.

Don’t give me that look, I mean I’m not stalking him. We…acknowledge each other on occasion…

Like the other day he walked by my desk and he was like “Hey,” and I was like “Oh ha hey how’s it going? Is that a new sweater? I don’t I’ve seen it on you before. Green is definitely your color.”

And at that point, he kind of walked away awkwardly, so I either creeped him out or he just didn’t hear me, but to save time I’ll just go with the latter.

I tried my best to not be obvious, really I did! I just wasn’t that good at it… But how obvious does a girl have to be before the stupid guy is like: HEY GUYS. HA I THINK THIS ONE MIGHT LIKE ME.

I mean, I straighten my hair, which is curly and not like curly curly like frizzy curly that takes four score and seven years to straighten.

I even put on make up. Which is a whole argumentative essay presented in MLA format with six paragraphs and a two page works cited all on its own.

I won’t even mention the fake eyelashes…actually I will. Let me enlighten every male specimen in this building. I glued small fibers of hair to my eyelid for this kid. Honestly.

And all I got. Was. “Hey.” So yeah. Hey.

Would violence be an appropriate response?

Monologues are independent stories and the opinions shared are the author’s own.

 

Limp On Condoms

A one night stand of fun, no-strings-attached sex was exactly what I needed. Undesired, however, was a man who went limp at the sight of condoms.

condom_cmWe quickly hooked up. Hot, passionate kissing that evolved into a scene of heavy lust. Before we gravitated to the bedroom I asked him if he had condoms on him as I was unprepared- guilty as charged. Pleased that he did, we confidently carried on without inhibition.

He was over 40 years old. To me that signaled “experienced”. Plus being an amazing kisser, I was so excited to share me body with him.

He handed me a Lifestyles KYNG. Up pops the first warning sign. I thought to myself, “This guy doesn’t need a large size condom.” He was perfectly average. But this wasn’t the right time to bust his misplaced ego. However, the wrong fit could put us at risk of malfunction, so I planned that if the condom seemed too loose I’d simply ask if he had a different stock of rubbers.

But a greater malfunction occurred.

I peeled open the condom. As I rolled it on him, his shaft instantaneously went soft, softer. Limp. “Urgh, I hate condoms!” He exhaled. “I never had to use them in my last relationship. I’m not use to them.”

Guess this 40 year old wasn’t as experienced as I imagined.

My story isn’t rare. I’ve encountered different versions by my friends and peers that, even in clear non-monogamous scenarios, men will complain that condoms dull sex- as if sex is not worth it if it involves a condom! This puts the other person in an incredibly confusing situation. It’s an act of disrespect for the person’s well-being to complain and try to adverse protective sex.

Speaking from my own experience, I felt it was implied that the problem was that I wanted to use protection. This guy wasn’t just complaining. There was a real physical disdain against the condom. An initial wave of pity ran through me- how embarrassed he must feel for this involuntary action- followed by a flash of insecurity in myself.

Feelings of doubt were brief. Doubts in my own sexual worth and worry that this man is now going to feel we can’t have great sex because I insist on condoms. I consciously had to fight these powerless thoughts and remind myself that condoms to me equal hot, worry free sex. It’s hot because it’s a gesture of taking care of each other and of being socially responsible. Intelligence is sexy.

Besides, a man who doesn’t like condoms and obviously doesn’t know how a condom should fit, is another warning sign that he likely has had unprotected sex before and likely has an STI.

My response: I told him that we can keep trying. And we did, manually. Two condoms later, no improvement in his stamina. So, penetration was out, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying each other in different ways. He was respectful in that way.

Our relationship is left with my offer to help him find the right condom that’s perfect for him. This of course means plenty of trial and exploration ahead. So this may become a tale of a condom hater converted to condom lover. We shall see.

Monologues are independent stories and the opinions shared are the author’s own.

 

3 People and An HIV Positive Baby?

The problem is so common there is a term for it. Andrew shares his personal struggle trying to deter the “bug chasers” from his “gift” (NSFW).

drewsmonologueI have been around the block quite a lot and I thought I had seen and read everything and that nothing would shock me…but I was wrong! A few years ago I was chatting with friends on Gaydar when a bisexual husband and wife started talking with me. At first all was going well- just casual chats. Soon this changed to a very sexually infused conversation so I told them I was HIV+. I thought that this would be the end of it and that I would get the usual comments back when I disclosed that I carry what some had labelled “THE GAY PLAGUE”.

But much to my shock they got even more eager and horny saying ,“Oh please fuck us bareback!”

Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t even here looking for sex, let alone sex without a condom. I tried getting rid of these people who seemed to be looking to become positive but this didn’t work. So I tried explaining to them the downsides to having a disease like this: the tiredness, the slow healing, stigma and losing friends and family due to misunderstandings. None of this sunk in. If anything, it seemed to turn them on even more. By this time, I had resorted to my basic instincts and frankly told them where they could insert their desires and that I wanted nothing to do with them.

Now I’m not a fan of children in anyway and avoid them and their screaming like a medieval person would avoid a plague infested rat, but on this occasion I had to act.

You see, what got anger levels way up was they had said above all else they wanted me to fuck the wife bareback filling her with my “poz seed” and making sure that she fell pregnant by me so that they could have a positive baby! I felt sick and disgusted and so scared of the fact that there were people that not only wanted to be “POZ” themselves but would actively seek to create a new life- a baby who would be born with this terrible life-altering disease.

So I did what any decent human being would; I blocked the people, warned the room, and even spoke to Gaydar themselves, letting them know that the profile in question was seeking to purposefully contract “HIV” and to get the lady pregnant with a “positive” baby.

Gaydar said that it wasn’t within their control and that they didn’t have the right to tell people what they could or couldn’t do on their website and that I should just ignore them. Now I wasn’t satisfied with this outcome so I turned to the charity which offers advice to people about “HIV” and other STIs, ‘Terrance Higgins Trust’. I thought that they would agree with me and make a stand; tell Gaydar to block these people from the site and at least help educate people more. But no. They said as well that they couldn’t control what people did and that it wasn’t their place to tell Gaydar what to do.

I was lost and didn’t know what to do about this situation aside from carrying on telling people who wanted bareback with a positive person that they would be very sorry and have to deal with so much grief both from stigma and dealing with side effects of medication. Most people saw how stupid what they wanted was and changed their minds but some still went on looking and would search out those that were known as “Gift Givers” who would infect these “Bug Chasers”, as they called themselves.

Due to this situation, I have avoided Gaydar. Once people had learned I was HIV Positive they were drawn like bees to honey and it depressed me so much seeing their stupidity time and time again that I would at times cry.

There were a few things I realised due to this terrible event. The education of sexually communicable diseases needs to be increased and made openly available along with better display of condoms in shops, and that websites and other places that people can go for sex take more responsibility for dealing with people who are actively searching for the “GIFT” of disease from those people who are infected.

Monologues are independent stories and the opinions shared are the author’s own.

 

I Always Thought I’d Be Skinny.

Like a lot of people, I always used to think someone with HIV or AIDS was going to be super skinny, so when I was diagnosed in 2005 I thought, “Yes, never fat again“. Looking back with what  I now know (Including my own waist line) I realise that this is not case. Yes, some people are skinny with it due to many reasons , but on the whole we are all different shapes and sizes, and some are like me: stocky.

Now in 2009, I made a decision to show the world that people living with HIV can be chunky as well, so I took part in the Walk for Life and all I wore was a t-shirt some new rock boots and a tight jock strap.

People living with HIV come in all shapes and sizes.

A cheeky way to remind us that people living with HIV come in all shapes and sizes.

Now I know this may shock some to know that I own a jock strap (6 actually) but I do and I walked what ended up being 12 miles and ended up in Soho London having a drink in a bar. We barely got any trouble from passers by aside from one nasty homophobic woman who worked for a rather famous London attraction.While dressed as a Victorian whore, she called me a sick pervert who needed to be sorted out.

Throughout the day, people loved having pics taken with me and even the police had a good giggle at my bare bum getting so much attention. Not one person that day guessed I was HIV+ though. This is sad in a way that we have such compartmentalized views or ideas on how someone who is ill should look and act.

So when you go out please try and not label people just because they maybe skinny or stocky, as any of us can and do have HIV/AIDS, or some other kind of condition and we do not deserve to be judged just as you all don’t deserve to be either.

So much love to you all. Drew

 

Monologues are independent stories. The opinions shared are the author’s own. 

Ewwww, you have what?

For Andrew, the end of STI and disease stigma beings at the disclosure process. He finds that being open, matter-of-fact and disclosing his HIV status without shame is the most effective method- no beating around the bush. What is your approach to receiving or giving an STI disclosure?  

It was like any other day where you take those tentative steps in a new friendship. I stepped out the door and headed down to my local pub to meet up with a guy who I had been talking to for a few weeks on-line. Today was the day we had decided that we should meet face-to-face in the flesh and see where it goes from there. So when I get in the bar he waves me over and hugs me tightly and says, ‘Pleasure to finally meet you’. Of course, I am happy to be expanding my circles of friends but deep down I have a dark secret; a secret I was ashamed of back then.

So after a few rounds of drinks the conversation (as you can well imagine between to very horny men) got down to the nitty gritty of sex. ‘Aww Gary’ (not his real name), ‘There’s something about me you must know.’ To which he came closer and gave me a kiss on the cheek and whispered, ‘You can’t shock me. I want you’. I blushed and looked down then back up and stared him long and hard in the eyes and just blurted out, ‘I have HIV’. He open and closed his mouth a few times then pushed me hard away saying, ‘Ewwwww, you have what?’ I told him again everything. After a long tirade of abuse both physical and verbal, he just walked away, and thankfully I never saw him again.

For people who are as scared as he was I have taken to introducing myself like this: ‘Hi. I’m Andrew and HIV+ is what I am.’

This as you can well imagine has its ups and downs and can at times frighten people but I do it because LIFE IS TO DAMN SHORT not to! I shouldn’t have to waste time on what false friends might think or how they may treat me due to the positive diagnosis.

There is the other side of the coin as well: In order to protect yourself from harmful reactions or protect those you hold dear, at times it’s OK not to disclose to others. Positive people develop ways to navigate a disclosure and search for social cues to try to predict if it is safe to share their status with a particular person. Just know that anyone who truly loves you should have no bother with you begin HIV+ or having any other STI other than, ‘Will you be ok?’

The only time you really must disclose is when you intend to have any form of sexual contact with someone else.

And the onus isn’t only on those who must disclose a positive status. Harmful reactions to disclosure strengthen stigma and further help the virus spread. The general public needs to learn how to respectfully receive a disclosure.

The disclosure of any disease, infection or condition should not be an embarrassment or something to shame. It should be as easy as telling them, ‘Oh god, make me fucking cum.’ But we can’t, we don’t, we wont, and this is destroying families, lives and killing people whether be in direct connection to the said STI or due to the secondary effect which is the suicide of so many every year. The fact that this can still happen in this century is a disgrace.

I argue that the fault lies in the hands of all those who have reacted badly to being disclosed to- including reacting with violence or verbal abuse. It also lies in the fault of those who do not disclose. There is a general fear in our culture towards talking openly about diseases and conditions. This fear must be overcome.

The reasons people don’t disclose ranges from fear, disgust, pain (both physical and mental). The one that stumps me is people who want to intentionally pass on the virus. These twisted, deranged assholes are rare, but their extreme actions are potent enough to further stigmatize the entire HIV community and make tolerance of HIV in the dating scene even more difficult. Any reason for intentionally transmitting any disease is a disgusting habit which needs to be stamped out by everyone who cares about this. We can make stigma a thing of the past if we all shamelessly disclose and respectfully receive disclosure.

So to end this little piece, understand me when I shout this:

‘IM ANDREW JOHN NIELD AND I’M A PROUD MAN WHO JUST HAPPENS TO BE HIV+, STAND BY ME AND I WILL STAND BY YOU AND TOGETHER WE WILL WIN AGAINST THE BIGGOTS.’

Monologues are independent stories and the opinions shared are the author’s own

 

The Birth of Momdoms (includes actual birth)

As a child, did an adult ever “catch” you looking through books of a sexual nature, like human biology texts or porn? Did the adult respond in shock, embarrassment, anger? For the brothers of Momdoms, their mother’s reaction was the spark that set off their company’s mission today. Here’s Wayne Simpkins telling that story:

MomDomGraphic-v2Penis. Vagina. The words that made us all giggle in our childhood years. But for us, it went way beyond that.

Our mom was a nurse who had no problem saying those words more often than your average mom. So often, that we would even have contests to see who could get her to say the word “penis” the most times.

Our mother would openly explain to us what was happening to our bodies as we were growing up, and how, when the time came, “The Talk” about sex was more of a conversation. No biggie.

There are four siblings in our family, three boys and the youngest a girl. Needless to say, we were always getting into things. When we were around the ages of 8-13, we found a box in our garage of our mothers old college nursing books, at that age we immediately honed in on the anatomy books. Our mother came down and “caught us”, we were mortified. Somehow, despite our young ages, despite sex positive parenting, we already knew the feelings of shame around sex.

But in true fashion of our mother she said, “Well don’t just sit there, bring them upstairs so we can look through them. We can talk about any questions you have, just please don’t color in the pictures.”

Our family has always used humor to get through awkward situations and this was no different. When you are a child, your mind is imaginative and you draw your own conclusions based on things you see and hear. Many questions were cleared up that day. Questions like:

“Do you have to pee in a girl to get her pregnant?” Followed by Eeewwwww and laughter.

“If our sister’s clitoris grows, will that turn her into a boy? Is it like an inside penis?” Eeewwwww and laughter.

“So the baby doesn’t come out of the butthole?” “Haha – you said butthole!”

This prompted my mother to to sit us down and watch a program that showed an actual child birth. We sat there in shock, but mostly awe.

As adults, my bothers were the coaches for their wives when they gave birth. I am the oldest son and gay. My sister asked me to be her birth coach– she wanted to be sure that I would be able to experience it for myself. Twenty years ago it was not quite the “norm” for a gay couple to have or raise a child.

Without our mother being as open and honest about sex and sexuality, our lives would be very different, certainly not as fulfilling. Thankfully, this mindset has been passed on to the next generation in our family.

With Momdoms, we wanted to reach families that were not quite as open as our family, by offering a tool for them to use that makes the “smart sex” conversation a little less awkward.

Momdoms has a humorous assortment of 1950s-style condom storage tins complete with tips for parents on why and how to talk about sex with their kids. Each tin includes six FDA approved lubricated latex condoms and can also be customized with your picture in place of the illustration. Turns out that moms and sex are an interesting combination, making anyone get a kick out of Momdoms. Check ’em out!

 

Naked For Safe Sex

Andrew shows that three floors, a cold night and a neighbor’s cat are no obstacle against safer sex. How far would you go to get a condom? 

Copyright of condommonologues.com

In this circumstance, I didn’t mind a bit of shrinkage! Copyright of condommonologues.com

As a lot of these types of stories go, it was after a very heavy night of dancing and drinking at Club Kali in London.

I hooked up with some random guy who had taken a shine to my, let’s say, bulge. We had stopped off on the way back for supplies. We reached his flat. We were ripping clothes off of each other and were getting wet and horny when I realised that I forgot the shopping bag with all the condoms and lube in his car!

Now this guy lived on the third floor of a block of flats in the middle of Hackney. And I was drunk and I was very horny. So I decided that there was no time to waste and didn’t put clothes on to run down to his car stark naked.

It was a cold night and for once I would have been glad of it to cause shrinkage. Because you see, this elderly neighbour got an awful shock when she let out her cat. So I did the polite thing and said good night, leaving her stammering as I walked back upstairs. I couldn’t help but laugh while pulling on the condoms. It was worth it to spend a happy few hours having very safe but very hard fun.

Monologues are independent stories. The opinions shared are the author’s own.

 

How an allergy improved my sexual safety

Something was wrong. I was a little itchy and, more concerning, I was sore. You know, down there. I was worried. I’m a safe-sexer, but I had one rather recent indiscretion in my past. As far as those things go, it was a fairly safe indiscretion, but it was one nonetheless.

Condom_pushing_blocksWhat happened was this: I was in bed late one night with my regular, monogamous partner. We had been going at it exclusively with each other for a couple of months, but we had not been tested. In the previous months, we’d been conscientious about protection and had used a condom every time we had sex.

(And, as a side note, I want to add that despite having the largest penis I’ve ever seen, he never once complained about putting a condom on. There was some pinching, and the things very obviously did not always fit well, but it was always more important for both of us that he wear one than he complain about discomfort, and so he always did. Men since, all with more averagely sized penises, who complain about condoms have gotten little sympathy from me.)

This particular time, however, we were travelling, and when the mood struck, we were not prepared. I had my period, so I was confident I could avoid a pregnancy risk if we were very slightly inventive. There was some bargaining– all with myself. He didn’t put any pressure on, but was up for what I decided. And I decided to go for it.

Now, here I was, weeks later. So sore I couldn’t stand to touch my own vagina. I trusted him to tell me if he’d had symptoms of something, but then guys don’t always get symptoms. His promise that nothing seemed unusual or uncomfortable with his body didn’t mean that we were STD-free. And so, heavy hearted and sore-vagina-ed, I scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist.

The morning of the exam, things were not looking up. I had developed a blister on my vagina, which had me pretty well convinced that I had either contracted herpes or syphilis. I climbed up into the stirrups, ready to be given bad news.

But, poking at me while I lay uncomfortably on my back, knees falling to either side, the doctor had a different idea. She promised me she would run the STD tests we should have had so much sooner, but she also said she didn’t think my problem was a result of anything I’d contracted from a partner.

“I think,” she said, “that you have a latex allergy.”

And so I do. Latex condoms pinch often, and can sometimes burn. The more often I’m exposed to them, the more intense my reaction and the longer it lasts. If I’m having a lot of sex with latex condoms, I can get to a firey state that takes days to cool. But the allergy is slight, and it’s also cumulative. The discomfort is fairly mild if I stick to 3-4 times a week, and sometimes if I’m going for more than that, the discomfort seems worth it. I’d still rather be protected, and also get to enjoy the sex I’m having.

Of course I can also use non-latex condoms. I can also use other forms of birth control with regular partners, who I always now ask to be tested at the beginning of our sexual relationship.

Monologues are independent stories. The opinions shared are the author’s own.

Learn more about latex-free condoms here and here.