Imagine contracting an STD. Imagine having to inform your recent sexual partners that they, too, might have an STD. If you are not the type to ever tell your recent partners, imagine you’re not a complete dick.
When I get my routine peek under the hood, despite having nothing to worry about, the paranoid lunatic in me insists on imagining that I do. Lying back on the table, I place my doomed self inside the forget-about-this-cold-thing-in-your-hoo-ha beach poster on the ceiling and imagine myself on my cell phone in Tahiti, dialing the dreaded calls. In conversation with a long-lost hookup, I postpone the bomb-drop with, “So… how many units are you taking this quarter?” With a monogamous partner, I feign friendliness as I await the opportunity to hiss, “Where the fuck have you been sticking it?”
Any way you look at it, it’s messy business. But we reap what we sow, and an awkward conversation doesn’t even begin to sufficiently punish unprotected or untested sex. Still, we all wish there was a way to rip off the Band-Aid, eliminating the polite chatter that gets in the way of a critical confession or a swift breakup.
Thanks to some kind and understanding folks on the Internet, there is now a way. The site www.inSPOT.org allows you to spill anonymously, via e-card.
Depending on the way you’d prefer to go about the deed, messages can range from cut and dry, “There’s something I need to tell you,” to borderline cruel, “It’s not what you brought to the party, it’s what you left with.”
If you prefer your bombshells pun-tastic, try, “I got screwed while screwing, you might have too.” However, your recipient may rather have his ego tickled than his ribs, in which case there’s the option, “You’re too hot to be out of action. I got diagnosed… You should get checked too.”
And oh, the information doesn’t stop there! Rather than simply putting your partner on a generalized itch-and-inflame alert, you can specify exactly what he or she should be swabbing for. Choose from an extensive list of infections, which includes the lesser-mentioned likes of cervicitis, trichomoniasis, and non-gonococcal urethritis.
While the site is more than willing to speak for you, inSPOT encourages its users to step out of the shadows by providing the option to include your name and a personal message. Why? Think about the one-sick-joke-after-another nature that is the World Wide Web. What differentiates an automated e-mail about STDs from a MySpace comment that reads: “Dude – did you know there’s a topless pic of your gf all over the Internet? Click here and see!”? Nothing – unless there’s a definitive characteristic that ensures the e-mail is from someone they know, expressing sincere concern for their well being.
Once your partner has stumbled over the hump of denial, inSPOT takes the matter completely out of your hands and into its own. By following a link to their site, your partner will be connected to a variety of resources. An area-specific map shows local clinics for testing and treatment. An information guide lists each illness, its symptoms, and its most common form of treatment. A list of resources provides hotlines and support organizations that can lend a helping hand.
It’s official – inSPOT has stripped us of every excuse not to take care of our partners in the oft-scary world of sex. But it certainly does not, in turn, give us an excuse not to take care of ourselves. No matter how creatively you deliver the news, some STDs are for life… or death.
Even still, safe sex doesn’t need to be vanilla sex. Get your fetish on at “Something Hitty, Something Pretty,” hosted by KUFF (Kink University: a Fetish Fellowship) tonight at 6 in the multipurpose room of the Student Resource Building. Pizza and a sex toy demonstration are included… sound like heaven?