I’ve had a very sexual past and every time I’ve had sex up until recently, I’ve been tested and I’ve “been safe” — meaning I used a condom. The last time I had sex was unprotected. We started out using a condom, but then it ended up being unprotected because I felt comfortable with the guy. I have been having some weird symptoms lately and I know we used condoms made for women with sensitive lady bits. I’ve been to the doctor before about some of the symptoms and sometimes it shows up that I’ve just got a bacterial infection, but two other times in my life I’ve had an actual STD.
In this situation, since it could be likely that I have an STD, how do I ask the guy if he was for sure he didn’t have anything? This is such a tough thing to bring up and I’m not sure there’s any “right” way.
Worried and Mad
Dear Worried and Mad,
You’re stuck in a potentially messy situation: you might have caught a bad bug between your legs and you need to find out if the boy you boinked is the bozo responsible. Sound about right? There are a few ways that you can go about getting the truth, the whole truth, and absolutely nothing but the truth. The first thing you have to understand, and I know you do, is that this is the LAST thing anyone wants to discuss.
Sex is supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to be dangerous to your health. Especially when you’re nowhere near old enough for a quarter life crisis and all that stupid adult angst. It’s sex! It’s about pleasure! It’s all just a good time. You’re careful, you’re smart, and you’re fine. Right? Not always. Not even often, especially if you look at HPV rates…Nobody wants to admit that they could be sick. Nobody wants to believe that having sex could be bad for them. We’re designed to enjoy sex, physically. We’re not supposed to think it could hurt us. Which means he doesn’t want to hear that he might be infected with anything and that him having sex is dangerous.
You can use the carrot or the stick. Use the carrot, at first. I mean there’s no reason to totally blow up at him before you know if he even knows that he might be spreading something around. Sometimes the carriers don’t show any symptoms and don’t know that they’re “sharing” something they really shouldn’t be. So you coming at him could be a harsh call out on something he has no reason to believe yet because he hasn’t felt any affects. Be straight with him. Tell him what’s happened to you, and that he should get tested. You’re doing this to help him make sure he’s okay. It’s always easier to get what you need from someone when you approach them like you’re looking out for them.
Now if he blows you off then you can border on blowing up at him. If he refuses to live in the real world and do the right thing, then you have to not pussyfoot around with him. You have to lay it out with facts: “I have this. I didn’t have it before I was with you. Do you have this and did you know that when we slept together?” Those are the most words you’ll need to use. If he still won’t give you an answer? He’s just a prick that you never should beat again…in the good or bad ways.
Sometimes what you say just won’t get through to him. The fear’s too strong, the stupidity’s too thick, and you can put all the test results and timelines and multiverse diagrams in front of a person but they just won’t listen. That’s not on you but that does make him dangerous. There are people out there who are just in it for themselves and don’t give a damn if they hurt anyone else. Not saying he’s one of those. But he could be one of the ones who doesn’t want to even think he’s to blame. He doesn’t want to imagine he could be responsible. You do all you can do and then make sure never to touch him again without a latex bodysuit on.
[Got a Dude itch you just can’t scratch? Sick of trying to come up with a not-totally-crazy-girl way to bring it up to your guy friends and get their take on things? Totally over over-analyzing the cryptic messages he leave on your Facebook Wall? We got your back, girlfriend. Send your question over to askthedude [at] collegecandy [dot] com. The Dude won’t sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. Like a nice, juicy hot dog, he’ll be 100% real beef, 100% of the time. So bring. it. on.]