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.
What 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.