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January 31, 2007
January 29, 2007
Apparently, we have to worry that it will make our kids gay?
This was brought to our attention by king of all drunks via myspace bulletin (while we're on the subject of gay).
Love God's Way is a little bit angry at myspace it seems. Alledgedly (I just like saying "alledgedly" like I'm a big smart lawyer... or Star Jones) myspace took down their new music video because it was offensive. I mean, c'mon... what kind of closed-minded people think "God Hates Fags" could be offensive? The so-called faith-based ministry says their goal is to spread "God's Love through teaching and healing". Well, that is... spread God's love for everyone but fags (and dykes and Jews and Muslims... oh my!)
I feel as though their website has to be a joke, but there aren't any blatant "this is a joke" signs that I can find. Either way it's fucking hysterical. The video... well... words fail me right now.
But I digress. I don't care about their hate for fags (I mean, most ministries hate fags don't they?) or their hate for myspace. I kind of agree with them somewhat on that one... although if you have a myspace account, don't forget to add us! (Shameless. Just shameless). What I have to share with all of the evil sluts is their list of "Bands to Watch Out For" that promote homosexuality. Just a random sampling:
- Ghostface Killah
- The Grateful Dead
- The Doors
- The Strokes
- Judas Priest
- The Rolling Stones
- David Bowie
- John Mayer
- Velvet Underground
- Barry Manilow
- Melissa Etheridge
- Boy George
- The Killers
- Wilson Phillips
- Ted Nugent
- Lil' Kim
- Frank Sinatra
- Clay Aiken
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Panic at the Disco
Marilyn Manson is described as "dark gay"; Elton John as "really gay" (so gay he made the list twice!) The Indigo Girls also made the list twice... talk about super gay.
George Michael is noted as simply "texan" (you really have to watch out for those Texan... er, um, British gays?).
Some of their warnings are funnier than others... like the Village People. They're gay!? Shut the fuck up! No way! Next thing you'll be telling me k.d. lang is a lesbian. Oh wait... they are telling me that. Thanks for the tip.
I would love to be a fly on the wall when Eminem finds out that even he promotes homosexuality. Which is really ironic since gay activists are always going on about how offensive his lyrics are to gay people... So when Eminem raps about hating fags, it means he promotes homosexuality. Okay! Got it! No means yes! (Date rapists, let this be a lesson to you).
The "Safe Band" list is full of names I mostly haven't heard of. Although I noticed that Cyndi Lauper- who is a huge gay rights activist (and somewhat of a drag queen) is considered safe.
They ask that if anyone knows of a band that is "Gay or propogating a Gay message", to please email them. We at EvilSlutopia ask that you instead, email us with all the gay bands you can think of. (You know, so we can make a kick-ass mixed CD!)
January 28, 2007
Not too long ago I posted about having a crush on a boy who was wrong, wrong, wrong for me. And suddenly, it's gone. Just gone. And for no real reason. He hasn't done anything to upset me; he hasn't done something to turn me off. It's just... over. Like leg warmers... he's suddenly out of style again. It's actually kind of disappointing, because I never got to actually do much about it. Not that I really wanted to do too much about it, but still. It was gone before I was even ready for it to be gone.
Sometimes it's fun to have a crush, just for the sake of having one and it's sad when it's over. I'm still feeling the loss of this one. I didn't want it to end so soon. Even though I had no intention of letting the crush turn into something more. (Maybe I'd have considered letting the crush become a fling... but never a "thing"). There was no future for this crush. But even so, I didn't think that our non-future would arrive so abruptly. I'm over him, before I even got a chance to be under him! Talk about a big let down.
What's even worse, is my feelings for the other (more appropriate) guy are also faltering slightly. It seems that inappropriate can be infatuating, but not lasting. And appropriate, can be boring. So what am I left with? Somewhere in the middle I suppose.
Yes, that's right... you don't have to worry your little heads about poor old me. As I said, they come and go like fashion... and I've already moved on to a new, um... object of infatuation. Yes, I already have a new crush on someone else! Talk about fickle. I'm more than fickle, I'm practically pathological.
Like I always say, it's nice to have a hobby.
January 27, 2007
Dumb Things Guys Say #10
One of Jezebel's friends went on a first date with a guy she didn't know very well.
Him: Yeah, I used to be heavy into drugs when I was younger.
Her: Really? Well, what made you stop?
We'll be sure to keep you updated on this love connection as it progresses.
January 26, 2007
There's something on myspace that has always made me wonder... the "love kids, but not for me" option.
I think "love kids, but not for me" is misleading. What does it really mean?
Does it mean "I love kids, but I don't have any"?
Or "I love kids, but I don't want any"?
Or "I love kids in theory but want nothing to do with them in reality"?
Or "I love kids, but I hope you don't have any"?
Or "I don't have kids, but I'm okay if you have kids"?
Or "I don't have kids or like kids, but I'm okay with the fact that kids do exist on our planet"?
Or "I don't have kids, don't want kids, don't like kids, but I don't want people to think I'm a horrible monster who hates children and kicks puppies"?
I always wondered about that one.
So far, the general consensus I've heard from my non-scientific "research" on the subject is that it is often interpreted as "I love kids, but I dont want any".
However, if that is indeed the case... then what is the purpose of the "I don't want kids" option? Is the "I don't want kids" choice supposed to imply, "I hate kids"?
January 22, 2007
One thing that really annoys me is when girls say stuff like, "Oh I'm pro-life for me, but pro-choice for other women". It makes no sense. It's one thing to say "I would never have an abortion, but I'm not trying to take away your right to have one", but that doesn't make you pro-life. To be pro-life, it means to be anti-choice. It means to force your choice on everyone else. If you know what your choice would be, but you respect other women's choices... that makes you pro-choice. Period. There is no half-and-half.
I don't know why women feel like they have to qualify it somehow. Why can't they just come right out and say, "yes, I'm pro-choice"? What is so scary about admitting that? Why are women so reluctant to acknowledge that they have an opinion and that they're okay with someone having a different opinion. Many pro-choice advocates do not agree with abortion morally, but they disagree more with the idea of the government putting restrictions on someone else's morals (especially a government that cannot relate to a women's right to choose because it is predominantly men). Being pro-choice doesn't mean you are pro-abortion. You can be pro-choice and still be pro-family, pro-pregnancy, pro-baby, pro-whatever. It is a choice. I honestly hope that more women can choose not to have an abortion, but I know that for many that's just not a viable choice.
I know many women who have said they would never have an abortion and then found themselves pregnant by accident... and made the same choice I made. I think it is very easy for a woman to say that she would never have an abortion, when she has never been in that situation. That doesn't mean that every woman who says that, doesn't actually mean it. It just means that no one can really know what it feels like until they've been there. You can't read it in a book or on a blog. You have to live it to really understand.
Having an abortion is not something anyone ever wants to do, but sometimes it is just what's right for that person, at that time. I'm not going to get into why I had an abortion, except that it was not the right choice for me to have that baby. It doesn't matter what my reasons were, because the only person who I need to convince of their validity is myself. And I'm already convinced. No one needs to agree with my choice; they just need to give me the right to make it.
Maybe this all sounds cold-hearted. I had an abortion, big deal. That's not really how I feel. It is a big deal. Or at least it was. It was the hardest choice I've ever had to make and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder what would've happened if I'd made a different one. But I'm convinced that if I had to go back, I would make that choice again. Regardless of what choice I did or didn't or would or wouldn't make... the point is that it's mine to make.
Because it's unfair to force women to carry pregnancies to term, give birth, and raise children while simultaneously working to deny them access to every resource that could possibly help them along the way. Because it's unfair to deny women education and then punish them for not knowing. Because it's irresponsible to lobby for the local abortion clinic to be shut down, and then cut funding for Head Start programs.
Because what the fuck is up with insurance companies covering Viagra but not birth control? Why is it that I can go to the drugstore and buy makeup, a pretty pink razor, diet pills, and a million other products designed to help me make myself more attractive and more desirable to men...but the pharmacist won't fill my prescription for birth control pills, or Plan B, because I'm a young single woman and he has a "moral issue" with me being a dirty whore?
Because the last time I checked, this country isn't a theocracy (despite the best efforts of some), so I don't think the opinions of some Christians about the "will" of their god should be brought to bear on my government to affect my decisions about my own body. And I think He would agree with me on that point.
Because laws that restrict access to abortion don't come with the power to magically reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. You can't attack a complicated solution while turning a blind eye to the problem. You can't shed tears over your commitment to the sanctity of life when you know that your actions are condemning women to pain and death.
Because I should be able to have a child if I decide that I want to, even if the pregnancy was unplanned and I don't have a lot of money and I'm not married and the timing is bad and my bastard child will bring shame upon great-aunt Ethel down at the senior center. Because if I decide to give my child up for adoption, I should be respected for making an incredibly difficult, painful, and selfless decision, and not judged for 'taking the easy way out' or not loving my child enough to keep it. Because "choice" doesn't equal "abortion", and anyone who thinks that it does is missing the point.
Because I'm tired of hearing "I'm not a feminist, but..." and "I'm definitely pro-life for me, I could never have an abortion, but..." Yes you are a feminist and you are pro-choice. Fuck what anyone else thinks, be real, and own it.
Because I'm angry that in 2007, women still have to deal with this. The restricted access, the stigma, the condescending grandstanding of male politicians who think we're all stupid, whores, or stupid whores. The obnoxious protesters lined up outside abortion clinics...until their teenage daughters get pregnant and they find themselves inside instead, only to be back on the picket line the next day. The people who scream about "partial-birth abortion" without understanding anything about what it is or why it sometimes has to be done. And on that note, the willful ignorance of anti-choicers in general. The president declaring the anniversary of Roe v. Wade to be "National Sanctity of Life Day".
Okay, so I guess that was more than one reason. Or maybe not. Maybe it all just boils down to "my body, my choice". Women have the right to control over their own lives, their own bodies, their own health. You don't have to respect my choice, but you do have to respect my right to make that choice for myself.
The reason I am pro-choice is because I am all for body autonomy and body freedom. I believe in women (or rather, people) controlling their own bodies in any way that they feel that applies to them.
Whether that means getting pregnant or getting sterilized or having an abortion or giving birth or getting tattooed or getting vaccinated or sleeping with men or sleeping with women or taking birth control pills or drinking alcohol or eating meat or shaving your legs or using tampons or getting breast implants or “sleeping around” or staying a virgin or going tanning or dying your hair or wearing makeup or getting chemotherapy or smoking cigarettes or being a nudist or doing aerobics or getting liposuction or breastfeeding or piercing your nipples or anything else you might want to do with your body.
Since this is the Evil Slut Clique’s blog, I’ll address one of my favorite aspects of body autonomy: sexual freedom.
From the Sexual Freedom Coalition website:
Sexual Freedom is the freedom to say yes and say no to sex. It is freedom to enjoy sex just like any other human instinct such as eating, sleeping and soaking up the sun, without apology or attracting stigma.You might be wondering what this has to do with being pro-choice? Condemning sexual behaviors, is just another way of trying to put limitations on what we do with our own bodies. I don't want any part of a society or government that is going to tell me what I should or shouldn't be doing with my body.
Sexual Freedom is the freedom to enjoy consensual adult sexual activities in private (and secluded places), whether it is paid sex, free sex, married sex, sex with strangers, gay sex, sex involving people with disabilities, people engaging in consensual BDSM, and a combination of these things. Sexual Freedom is the freedom of adults to see, hear or experience any kinds of sexual entertainment, although the creation of such entertainment should not involve exploitation or sexual abuse.
Sexual Freedom gives individual adults the right to negotiate the deal of their sexual encounters, be they financial, charitable, recreational, committed relationship, formal marriage or other, without interference from the state, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or tastes.
I guess this is as good a time as any to explain why we proudly call ourselves "sluts" on this blog. While many might consider the word to be derogatory, I like to think of it as an expression of choice. I will sleep with whomever I choose and as long as I'm not hurting anyone in the process, no one can make me feel bad about that.
According to the book Ethical Slut, a slut is "a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you."
In my opinion, calling myself and my friends "sluts" (regardless of our level of "promiscuity") takes the power away from those who would use that word against us. To some people, the things we write on here or the way we behave is "anti-feminist"... but I believe that freedom to be who you are is one of the most important tenets of feminism. The idea that sexual freedom is an essential part of women's freedom is sometimes called sex-positive feminism (and no, that is not an oxymoron) but I just consider it good common sense. What might be immoral to some can be empowering to me.
It seems as though I've gotten quite off topic, but the fact of the matter is that to me being a "slut" is all part of my being "pro-choice". It's all the same issue: having sex or not having sex, trying to get pregnant or trying to not get pregnant, terminating a pregnancy or having a baby... it's all about me deciding what I do with my body. And no one can make me feel bad for any choices I make, except me.
I love history and I try to learn as much as I can about the history of the feminist movement. One of the things that really bugs me is when anti-choicers (especially the so-called "feminists for life") make the argument that true feminists should be against abortion because many of the early leaders of the women's rights movement were anti-abortion themselves, or because abortion is really anti-woman. There may be some truth to these concepts, but they have been twisted and manipulated and taken out of context until they've become something that I think is really patronizing and disrespectful to women.
Here are two of these viewpoints, one from the past and one from the present, with my responses.
Emma Goldman--Mother Earth, 1911
"The custom of procuring abortions has reached such appalling proportions in America as to be beyond belief...So great is the misery of the working classes that seventeen abortions are committed in every one hundred pregnancies."
The misery of the working classes...poor women who lack education about their health and ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies, as well as access to basic health care (including pre-natal care)...who probably have to work to help support their families, but have no child care options and no help...whose husbands feel entitled to sexual access to their wives at all times, and feel that they can force their pregnant wives to abort or not abort as they see fit (and there are no laws to tell them differently)...or maybe their husbands have left them, or they were never married, or they have turned to prostitution to support the children that they already have...who will have to face an illegal abortion in potentially unsanitary and dangerous conditions, because they feel like they have no choice. They live in a society that tells them that motherhood is the one true goal in life, the ultimate fulfillment, but that same society refuses to acknowledge their equality or their autonomy and turns a blind eye to their differences and their problems. It was appalling, and it is not something that pro-choice women want to see repeated. That's why we work for education, information, access, resources...total reproductive health and freedom.
Here are some quotes from the Feminists For Life website.
"Women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy also deserve unplanned joy." Patricia Heaton, Honorary Chair
What is Feminists for Life's position on contraception? Feminists for Life's mission is to address the unmet needs of women who are pregnant or parenting. Preconception issues including abstinence and contraception are outside of our mission.
And "preconception issues...are outside of our mission"? Come on. I completely understand taking the position that abortion is a painful choice for any woman to have to make, and that it's unnecessary and unfortunate that there are so many abortions performed in this country today. However, I think it's ridiculously irresponsible to try to take that position while completely and totally ignoring reality. The Feminists for Life site also says that they have safety concerns about some of the birth control methods that are available for women today, and I actually agree with that point. But we have to work with what we've got, and right now the best way to most safely reduce the number of abortions that are performed in this country is to improve education about and access to birth control and other reproductive health services. Make sure that women (and men) have as much information as possible about their options, lobby against the methods that you think are harmful and work to make sure that we have as many healthy options as possible. Just don't decide to ignore the whole issue because it's messy and complicated and sexual and real and doesn't fit in with your tidy 'joyful happy mommies and babies and puppies and sunshine' philosophy. Have enough respect for your fellow women to deal with their realities, rather than just trying to impose your own.
That's why I'm pro-choice: respect. I respect myself. I respect my family and friends. I respect the feminists who fought before me, even if I don't agree with them 100%, and enough to try to fully understand where they were coming from. I respect mothers. I respect women, so I support choice.
We support a woman’s right to choose, a woman’s right to reproductive freedom, a woman’s right to have control over her own body, a woman’s right to make that decision for herself.
Why Are We Pro-Choice?
Since the Evil Slut Clique consists of four very different women, with four very different experiences, and four very different views on life… we can’t give one single reason why. So we have decided to provide you with four separate blogs for choice, in four separate voices, with four different reasons why we are pro-choice.
Support a Woman's Right to Choose!
January 19, 2007
So why write about this crush? Because it's stupid and since I'm a masochist I feel the need to be humiliated and mocked in public. (Although I don't know if we actually have enough readers to qualify as "public", but for these purposes it's close enough).
I am infatuated at the moment... utterly infatuated with the wrong guy. This guy - although totally adorable, both in looks and personality - is completely wrong for me. Or more likely I am wrong for him, but the point is that it isn't right. We are in totally different places right now and I don't mean that geographically (although we are in different "places" geographically too, which doesn't help).
I do not know what to do with myself. Logically, I know what to do but silly school girl crushes do not listen to logic. I can't get him out of my head. Right now he's an annoying - but very cute - tumor floating around my brain. (That might be the worst - and ickiest - metaphor I have ever written in my lifetime. I hereby surrender the right to ever call myself a "writer" again).
Now I have always been known to -ahem- indulge in things that were bad for me. I eat too much junk food, drink too much booze, have too much sex (although the idea that there can be such as a thing as too much sex is still up for debate). So there normally wouldn't be anything keeping me from indulging myself in this adorable boy (complete with an honest discussion about the fact that that's all it was) and moving on.
So what's the current dilemma?
I am dating a wonderful man right now; someone much more "appropriate" in all arenas who I do like quite much. It's not serious yet and we haven't mentioned exclusivity, so I'm legally free to explore things with my crush, but I can see the potential for this becoming more serious/exclusive in the future. So I'm hesitant to shake things up. (Be clear that having these "feelings" for the crush, do not take away from my feelings for the other guy. I like him a lot; I'm just distracted at the moment).
Part of me wants to spend as much time as possible with the crush now, while I'm still technically single, just in case I don't get another opportunity. Another part of me is worried that if I get into something with him, I'll start to actually like him (and not just crush-like him) and get attached, subsequently ruining things with the other man. Especially since I know things with the crush wouldn't actually "work out" in the long run. I'm torn. I really hate that expression, but that's the only way to put it.
Want to know the worst part? The crush probably has no idea what he has done to me. I'm sure he's clueless to the effect he's had on me and the inner turmoil I'm experiencing as I sit around all day long thinking about kissing him. And in order for me to pursue something with this guy, I'd have to actually pursue him. I can't fall back on him pursuing me and me deciding to give in or not. I'd have to actively go after him.
Every day I pick up my phone and wonder what would happen if I called him and then I realize how wrong it is for me to call him if I don't even know what I want from him. So I put the phone down. And then I wish that he would call me, because then it wouldn't be my fault. I wouldn't be giving mixed signals or sitting on the fence; I'd just be answering the phone. And if he happened to ask me to make plans... well it would be rude of me to say no, right?
There I go again rationalizing. This is all so high school. I've reverted, that's how pathetic I am. At least I haven't called him and hung up yet... although it's a good thing he doesn't live around here or I'd have surely driven past his house at least once by now.
January 17, 2007
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
The Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault, and Gender Violence
From the site:
There is an old saying: "You can't really understand another person's experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes." Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® asks men to literally walk one mile in women's high-heeled shoes. It's not easy walking in these shoes, but it's fun and it gets the community to talk about something that's really difficult to talk about: gender relations and sexual violence.
Hmmm. Quite a concept. Not as though wearing women's shoes is a change for some men, but it's nice to see men doing something for a "women's issue". (Finally, people are starting to realize that women's issues are actually people's issues).
Check out the calendar and see if there's a scheduled walk in your neighborhood for 2007. (Or get info on how to organize your own).
A special thank you to A., one of our lovely evil slutty readers for giving us this link.
January 16, 2007
How is it that we're the only sane people? Is it supposed to be normal and sane to behave like this? Is it possible that we are the crazy weirdos?
I'm really starting to wonder.
Does the rest of world look at people like you and I and think "wow, what the fuck is wrong with them that they dont want to move in with some guy or get engaged after dating for one month?"
I don't know.
I think this would really change the way I experience life... if I suddenly realized that that was normal and I am abnormal. I would still do everything exactly the same, but I'd feel a little differently about it.
We should just move in together and get started on our Golden Girls years now.
Yes, we should. Blanche on that show got so much ass. Even Bea Arthur got laid at least once. There's no reason we can't be hot single old ladies who never marry.
I seriously love that show.
Oh I forgot to tell you... on Christmas day we pulled up in front of my grandparents' house and my parents were looking at the apartment building across the street because it looked like there were some empty apartments. So out of nowhere my mom says "you and Lilith could get one of those apartments".
See! Everyone believes it. It is our fate to be single cat ladies... together. Without the cats of course. I hate cats. Instead of cats, we'll have beer.
We can get a chia pet or something.
I want that chia alarm clock! It doesn't actually grow anything.
It's a faux-chia?
I think they were giving it away as a special "chia anniversary" promotion.
Ch- ch- ch- chia!
I'm hungry now! ...I'm sorry.
I feel as though I should have made a better segue there. I don't want you think of me as the type of person who gets hungry from chia pets.
That clock is hilarious.
It plays "ch- ch- ch- chia!" as the alarm.
That would drive me crazy.
Well I'm not sure if it actually plays that. I just really really really hope it does because it would make me insanely happy to know that it played that.
We should get a chia pet and a pet rock.
And some sea monkeys.
Then we'd be set.
Remember our plan to marry John and his boyfriend so they could get greencards and we'd all live together in a Three's Company meets Will and Grace meets Ned and Stacey sitcom life?
I just realized Debra Messing was in two of those shows. Too bad that didn't work out.
Ned and Stacey?
No. Our greencard marriages.
I'm sure we can find two other gay foreigners to marry.
We could put an ad on craigslist.
It could be like Golden Girls, only two of the girls are "girls".
It'll be like Golden Girls meets Sex and the City meets Queer as Folk meets...
...I don't know... what?
...Back Door Sluts, Volume Three?
Yes, but only volume three. That was really the best one.
Well, yeah. Volumes one and two suffered from poor direction, while the acting starts to falter by volume four.
Although I would still get the complete five-disc boxed set if it goes on sale on Amazon.
Just to have.
It would be a collector's item.
We'd have to get two. One to watch and one to keep sealed up in the original package to sell on Ebay in twenty years for five times the price. Because by then it will have become insanely popular again... you know, because of the remakes.
Hopefully they'll release a version with cast and crew commentary. Those are always so insightful.
Definitely. But you know my favorites of the special features are always the deleted scenes and the blooper reel.
I love us.
We are the coolest and bestest girls ever!
And totally modest.
We should definitely move in together.
Only if we can get the chia clock.
And the beer.
Note to readers: If anyone would like to buy us the chia clock, it is available on amazon.com... Thank you!
January 14, 2007
A lot of the time when I meet a guy - doesn't matter who he is, a stranger, a friend's boyfriend, the father of one of my kid's classmates, a Jehova's witness at the door, anyone - I think about what it'd be like if he kissed me. Usually I'm not attracted to every random stranger, so that settles that, but if he's even just "sort of cute" in my eyes then I continue to think about kissing him.
Probably my favorite thing to do with a guy (well one of my favorite things) is kiss. It's very "high school", but I love to make out. If a guy isn't a good kisser (which I do realize is completely subjective) that totally puts him out of my head for good. Sometimes you can detect enough potential that would merit further inspection and possible training, but if a kiss is just bad there's no reason to try it again. If the kiss is good, uh oh! Infatuation time.
Whenever a new guy sparks my interest I think about kissing him a lot. Once I've kissed him (and it was good) I think about it constantly. I think about kissing him more; I think about sleeping with him; I think about what it'd be like to date him; to be his girlfriend; to be his wife (which is odd, because I don't desire to be anyone's wife). If I didn't know better, I'd think I really liked the guy and that there was something special between us. Luckily I do know better. I happen to be very familiar with the symptoms of my infatuation. At any given moment, I'm probably unable to stop thinking about a guy who is just not right for me. Logically I know I don't want more from him (other than another makeout session) but infatuation doesn't listen to logic.
Right now I have a very cute, very nice, but very wrong-for-me guy floating around my brain and it's driving me crazy. There are so many reasons (that I won't even bother listing) why I should never see him again, but I can't stop thinking about... well... seeing him again.
I'm usually comfortable with my infatuation, knowing that it will pass when the next guy appears.
I guess it's nice to have a hobby.
January 13, 2007
This is a very personal story that I'm willing to tell you all, mostly because you don't know who I really am, but also because I'm not the first person who this has happened to and I know I won't be the last.
Once upon a time, my gynecologist called me to tell me that my pap smear was normal, my vaginal culture was normal, but my STD screening was... positive for Chlamydia. Yes. Chlamydia. The Clap. VD. I’d been officially tainted. I was now a dirty tramp. Of course, I was already a dirty tramp… but now it was official. It was documented. It had been medically proven.
My doctor told me that they had been having "quite a few" false positives lately, since it was a general screening for all the main STDs and not specific to Chlamydia.
I was given two options:
A). Take the results at face value and get antibiotics to treat it.
B). Come back in for a urine test specifically for Chlamydia.
I chose option C.
C). Have a panic attack and freak out.I was bugging out that I might actually have my very first big girl grownup sexually transmitted disease and even worse, that I might actually have to discuss this with my recent sexual partners. I eventually decided "better safe than sorry" and chose option D.
D). All of the above.
I called my most recent sexual partner first and we both came to the immediate conclusion that I was likely the “giver” and not the “recipient” (if you can consider Chlamydia to be some special evil kind of "gift". No returns without a receipt). It was a safe assumption to make; just a numbers game really and we were playing the odds. I was the dirty tramp in that relationship and we both knew it. After a little bit of initial anger, he realized that I did not put him at risk on purpose. Although I admit the term “possible false positive” was used more than once in that conversation.
“I guess this is the closest I’ll ever get to receiving a round of applause after sex”, he finally said. It took me about an hour to realize that meant being given the “clap.” Groan. I decided to wait for the actual results before telling anyone else.
We didn’t know of any other doctors in the area who specialized in "infections of the naughty bits", so we decided to go to my doctor to get urine tested together. Yes, I brought a date to the gynecologist. A boy’s first visit to the gynecologist is an important milestone; it’s right up there with shopping for his first training bra. Sadly, peeing in cups together was not the least romantic date we’d been on before.
While standing around the office holding a cup of my own piss, I chatted with one of the lab techs. (I’m nothing if not sociable. How do you think I got Chlamydia in the first place?)
“So how common are these false positives really? Was the doctor just trying to make me feel better, like I’m not a dirty tramp?”
“Lately we’ve been getting a lot of false positives.”
“Like, a lot lot?”
I know most of you reading right now are probably thinking “isn’t you being a dirty tramp already a given?” or “aren’t you still a dirty tramp regardless of the test results?” I was thinking the same thing. Honestly, I’m still little surprised that this was my first STD scare. There have been many "errors of judgment" in my past and while I’d like to think I’ve smartened up since then, I'm still surprised at how long I’d gotten away with it all.
As I stood there holding a cup of my own piss, a lot of messed up things were going on in my head. I actually recall thinking “I’m going to be really mad if I went through all this stress for nothing. That test better be positive!” Ah, that's some logic there.
That evening I took 1,000 mg of azithromycin in the form of two giant horse pills. It was like swallowing two down pillows. I also canceled my date for the weekend, just in case. “I can’t tonight honey, I might have a little bit of Chlamydia”.
A few days later my doctor called again.
“The results were positive. Both of them”.
I not only had Chlamydia, but I gave it to someone else. I’m a giver!
I went down my list of other sexual partners since the last negative STD test I could remember having. I told one guy via Instant Messenger, because I had promised myself long ago that I would never call him again. He claimed that he was tested right before me and insisted that he definitely didn’t give it to me. I totally didn’t believe him about having been recently tested, but the odds still were that I was the dirty tramp, not him.
Let me tell you one thing, if you have never had to do this (inform people that they should get tested for something) I will let you know that it is about as much fun as it seems. No fun at all. I swear, my last pap smear was more pleasant than having to break this kind of news to people. I don’t know how gynecologists handle telling people stuff like this every day. Although maybe they don’t have to do it every day, just on the days that the dirty tramps get tested.
The last guy I spoke to was the most understanding, albeit a tad melodramatic. If I had to guess, out of all of them he was the one most likely to have had Chlamydia in the first place. I’m not calling him a dirty tramp or anything (although really, he has to be somewhat of a dirty tramp or he wouldn’t have slept with me in the first place). Again, it’s just the odds. Of the rest of the guys, he was the most likely to have… had sex… with women... ever. So I guess in a way, I’m complimenting him by saying that I thought he gave me Chlamydia.
Only the catch is: I was wrong.
Every guy on that list, including him, got back to me to tell me that they had tested negative. Of course, I have a few good reasons to believe that at least one of them was lying. The main reason being that I didn’t get Chlamydia from thin air. Someone had to have given it to me. (Unless it was some kind of Immaculate Chlamydia and I got it from God).
Another reason was that I don’t necessarily trust anyone to tell me the truth about anything, let alone a current STD test. Well I don't trust any of them but one...
So things had come full circle and I was brought right back to guy #1, my pee buddy, my "recipient", my… oh shit did he give me Chlamydia!? Slap my butt, no way!
Now I guess I didn’t mention this before, but he was more than just my most recent sexual partner. He was my most frequent sexual partner and for quite a while there (we’re talking almost two years) he was my only sexual partner. And vice versa. The word we're looking for here is "boyfriend". Correction: "ex-boyfriend". (I don't even want to get into the fact that I was still sleeping with my ex-boyfriend, okay. I know. But really, who hasn't done that?) Of every guy I’ve ever dated or slept with – ever – I trust him more than anyone. So I believed him when he said he hadn’t slept with anyone else in… a long time. So my choice of conclusions were:
A). He was lying to me all along.
B). One of the other guys was lying.
C). He had Chlamydia for years and honestly never knew it.
D). My last negative STD test was a false negative, therefore I had Chlamydia for years and honestly never knew it.
E). I got Chlamydia from some encounter that I can’t even recall.
I could have sworn I was tested before (or at least during) our time together, but maybe I’m mistaken. I honestly don’t know for sure if my last test was before or after we decided to become exclusive (we were "together" and then "exclusive" and then "boyfriend-girlfriend" so the dates are a little fuzzy). He hadn’t been tested in years, but he also hadn’t had much sex in years except for me. Unless... he was lying to me all along.
I was left believing option B or C because I honestly couldn't wrap my head around option A. It seemed even less likely than option E. Of course there was still the possibility of an option F.
F). It was God’s Chlamydia.
Although I guess that would also have made option E true after all, since I couldn’t remember having sex with God recently. I mean, there was that one time in college when we were both drunk and experimenting… but I swear, other than that God and I have always been just friends!
In lieu of an angel coming down to tell me what God had intended me to do with his sacred Chlamydia, I decided to just leave it at “who knows?” and move on. I was happy. I had been pretty lucky here. Or at least as lucky as any dirty tramp with an STD can be.
Of all the STDs out there, Chlamydia is actually the safest one to get. Okay that kind of sounds like an oxymoron… “safe STD”. What I mean is that it’s not permanent like Herpes, it won’t potentially give me cancer like HPV, it won’t shut down my immune system like HIV… there were no disgusting sores or discharge or pain or anything. Even the treatment was simple: two pills down the hatch and I was done.
Obviously, there are long term effects of Chlamydia that are not-so-nice, but I’m not going to discuss those right now because I don’t want to vomit on my computer screen nor do I want to dwell on something that might have happened but didn’t. So I was feeling good. Or at least as good as a dirty tramp with an STD could feel.
That was when I got the emails. Remember that really understanding guy who was a tad melodramatic? Did I say “a tad”? Apparently after his clean bill of health he felt the need to wax poetic about his near brush with death. I’m not going to quote the entire epic saga he wrote to me because well, I don’t think this website has enough bandwidth to handle it. So I’ve just selected a few long-winded, preachy key phrases that will help you get the point:
I hope you and I have both learned a lesson here – I know I have – that in this day and age sex should always be protected. It’s just too risky. The fact that you and I had unprotected sex was certainly something of an anomaly for me – I just don’t go around doing that kind of thing usually.
He then goes on to say how he had unprotected sex with three people that year. So I guess it’s not that much of an anomaly. In fact, it was more times that I had done it that year. I also didn’t love the implication that having unprotected sex is something that I do usually do. Dirty tramp or not, unsafe sex was somewhat of an anomaly for me as well. I won’t pretend that I haven’t made mistakes in the past, but the odds are pretty high that I got Chlamydia from “safe sex” after all (although in hindsight, I guess it wasn’t quite as safe as we thought after all). I made it a point to contact everyone I had had sexual-interactions with, not just those with whom I had accidental unprotected intercourse. (I like to use the term "accidental" when referring to sex. As if it just fell in. "Ooops!")
I hope everyone is now privy to the same facts that you and I now are – that this shit is for real and it isn’t a fucking joke, and that you can have sex and have fun without playing roulette at the same time. Let’s hope no one else in our circle of friends has to go through this kind of scare.
It was as though he had stepped straight out of an after-school special. ("You were lucky this time Johnny, but have unsafe sex again and your penis will fall off and you'll die!") How serious a scare did he really have? He might have had the early stages of an asymptomatic disease that was easily treatable. Obviously it’s something to be upset about and you can never learn that "use a condom" lesson too many times, but let’s not blow this out of proportion either. He makes it seem as though he went through a terrible ordeal. All he had to do was in pee in a cup for chrissake, he didn't even have to take the horse pills.
So basically after all the time I spent beating myself up over whether or not this made me a dirty tramp, he inadvertently made me feel... like a dirty tramp. Okay, maybe he wasn’t that harsh, but the condescending point was taken. This was supposed to be my very important lesson. (He also spelled my name wrong at some point, so now he's dead to me anyway).
My lesson: Always use a condom. This time I was lucky, but next time I might not be. I get that. Although here’s the thing… if I do the math, it’s more likely that I got Chlamydia from protected sex. My past is filled with way too many examples of not being safe, but I always ended up STD-free in the end. I finally start to do the safe, responsible thing and I get Chlamydia. It’s kind of a backward way for me to learn my lesson don’t you think?
Maybe the lesson is that I shouldn’t trust certain people, but I have enough trust issues as it is so I'm not too keen on that lesson. There has to be some silver lining. Maybe this was just the universe forcing me to stop having sex with these certain people. Because there is no way to still feel sexy around someone once you’ve had the “you need to get tested” talk with him or her.
Right now everyone out there is probably rolling their eyes at me. How immature and irresponsible! If you can't talk about sex with your partner, then you shouldn't be having sex with him! Look, I'm not a complete moron. I understand the importance of discussing your STD-status with current or potential sexual partners. Everyone should have that "when was your last STD test?" conversation before jumping into the sack. It's the "I've been tested and I have _______ and you might have it too" conversation that sucks. It is definitely an anti-aphrodisiac.
So maybe I needed to discuss Chlamydia with these guys, so I’d be able to avoid sleeping with them in the future. It seems a little excessive just to get me to show a little discretion, but whatever works.In the end, I think the real lesson I learned was that this doesn't make me a dirty tramp. (Don't worry, I did learn the "use a condom" lesson too). Of course, I'm still most definitely a dirty tramp... but not because of a silly accidental STD. I'm a dirty tramp for totally different reasons. I've learned that STDs happen. They just do. An estimated 2.8 million Americans are infected with Chlamydia each year
. It could happen to anyone, so it doesn't make me a bad person.
I'm a bad person for totally different reasons.
Epilogue: Ever since I had my "brush with Chlamydia" (as Mr. Melodramatic would likely put it) I've been enjoying my negative-status. Writing this story has gotten me thinking about the stigmas of STDs and I think Chlamydia has gotten a bad rap. So the evil sluts and I have been brainstorming on some Chlamydia marketing strategies. Not promoting Chlamydia but just promoting discussion about STDs in general. What do you think of any of these for a t-shirt or bumper sticker?
Okay so maybe it's not a great idea after all.
January 10, 2007
Lilith: So are you thinking "Oh my God, I just had sex with Lilith, why did I do that?" or are you thinking "Cool, I just had sex with Lilith".
Guy: Cool, I just had sex with Lilith.
Lilith: Yeah, but are you thinking "Cool, I just had sex with Lilith" or are you thinking "Cool, I just had sex. Period."
Guy: Cool, I just had sex with Lilith.
Lilith: Oh, you're just saying that.
January 7, 2007
January 5, 2007
Dumb Things Guys Say #9
Walking home from the train station one night, Jezebel and Lilith were apprehended by two guys roaming the streets, getting a "new perspective". After some drunken (Jezebel and Lilith) and high (the guys) conversation, they realized that they had met one of them many years ago elsewhere.
Guy: It's so weird. If we had never met before... then I wouldn't remember you.
Uh, no shit. That's usually how memories work. You don't remember the people you've never met.
January 3, 2007
[EDITED TO ADD: We finally finished the follow-up to this, 10 More Things You Might Not Know About Gardasil for those of you who would like even more, current info!]
10 Things You Might Not Know About Gardasil
1. The vaccine only decreases your chances of getting cervical cancer, it doesn’t eliminate the risk.
Straight from gardasil.com:
“HPV Types 16 and 18 cause 70% of cervical cancer cases.
GARDASIL may not fully protect everyone and does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it is important to continue regular cervical cancer screenings.”
Merck is upfront with this information; they don't try to hide it or spin it. But with all of the media coverage and information floating around about the "100% effective cancer vaccine", it's helpful to remember that Gardasil is only 100% effective at doing what it is supposed to do, which is preventing certain specific types of HPV, not preventing all cervical cancer.
2. Even without the vaccine, the number of cervical cancer cases is trending downward and has been for years. (This is only true in the U.S.; worldwide it is one of the top cancer killers of women because women in many other countries have limited access to Pap tests and other health services.)
The Gardasil commercials refer to "thousands of women" being diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S. each year, which is true, but they don't put that number into context.
“Cervical cancer has gone from being one of the top killers of American women to not even being on the top 10 list. This year cervical cancer will represent just 1 percent of the 679,510 new cancer cases and 1 percent of the 273,560 anticipated cancer deaths among American women. By contrast, some 40,970 women will die of breast cancer and 72,130 will die of lung cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, "'Between 1955 and 1992, the number of cervical cancer deaths in the United States dropped by 74 percent.' Think about it: 74 percent.”
So Merck wants parents to have their pre-teen and teenage daughters vaccinated. But if current trends continue, by the time these girls are old enough to be at risk, how big will the risk really be? Check out the government's statistics on cervical cancer for yourself at the National Cancer Institute website.
3. Gardasil is one of the most expensive vaccines ever, at about $360 for the series of three shots, plus the cost of doctor visits. Call me cynical, but I can’t help but think about how much money Merck stands to make from this if they can manage to convince all young women and all parents of young girls that this vaccine is a necessity. And while we’re at it, call me a conspiracy theorist too for wondering if maybe Merck just might be exaggerating the cervical cancer risk by a lot in order to scare young women and mothers into buying their product.
"'We're seeing a fairly remarkable uptake of Gardasil,' said Rick Haupt of Merck & Co., which reported sales of the vaccine had reached $70 million, exceeding analysts' projections.”Gardasil is a cash cow. The revenue stream is big now, with the potential to get much bigger. This is especially important for Merck, which is still dealing with the scandal surrounding their pain medication Vioxx, which they had to withdraw from the market in 2004 after it was found to increase the long-term risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who took it regularly. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed by former Vioxx patients. Vaccines like Gardasil are needed to provide the constant stream of cash that will help Merck to recover from Vioxx.
“Merck, struggling since the 2004 recall of its blockbuster pain pill Vioxx, has staked its turnaround in part on vaccines. They accounted for $1.1 billion of its $22 billion in revenue last year, or 5 percent, the highest share since at least 1995." 
4. While we're on the subject of liability, lawsuits, and profits, there's another angle to consider. If Merck can get state governments to put Gardasil on their lists of vaccines that are required for schoolchildren, it can become a part of a federal vaccine liability program. Meaning that Merck will not be liable if Gardasil turns out to be harmful some time in the future.   
If I felt like being cynical again, I might think that this is one of the reasons why a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease is being marketed not just to young women who are having sex or are going to become sexually active soon, but also to girls as young as nine. There’s a hell of a lot more stability and profitability in a required childhood vaccine than there would be in an optional vaccine meant only for young women.
It's important to remember that no matter how many feel-good, we're all in this fight together and we're just doing this out of the goodness of our hearts ad campaigns they run, drug companies are not non-profit organizations. They are in this to make money and a lot of it, and while that doesn't mean that all prescription drugs are harmful and horrible or that all doctors are evil, it does mean that when it comes to our health, we probably shouldn't take anything at face value.
5. There have been no long-term studies done on the effect of the vaccine after 5-10 or more years, and testing on young girls has been extremely limited.
“Merck has tested the cervical cancer vaccine in clinical trials of more than 20,000 women (about half of them got the shot). The health of the subjects was followed for about three and a half years on average. But fewer than 1,200 girls under 16 got the shots, among them only about 100 9-year-olds, Merck officials said, and the younger girls have been followed for only 18 months." If parents are expected to take their daughters to get a series of expensive immunizations, wouldn’t it be nice if they had any idea at all about what effects these girls might have to deal with 5 or 10 years down the line?
If you're wondering what the rush was, part of the answer could be patents. When a company's patent on a particular drug expires, that's when generic versions of the drug can be developed and released into the market, which obviously drives the price and the profits of the original drug way down. Merck's patent on the extremely profitable cholesterol drug Zocor expired in June of this year, and Gardasil is one of the new drugs being counted on to bridge Merck's financial gap. According to the FDA, Merck filed an application for a patent extension for Gardasil on December 6th.
This CNN Money article has more info on Merck's financial past, present, and future.
6. It is unknown how long the immunity provided by Gardasil actually lasts.
“Public health officials want to vaccinate girls early, before they become sexually active, even though it is not known how long the immunity will last.” 
“Tests show that the vaccine lasts at least four years. Long-term results aren't known yet.” 
And straight from the: http://www.fda.gov/cber/label/gardasilLB.pdf" target="_blank">FDA
“The duration of immunity following a complete schedule of immunization with GARDASIL has not been established.”
So if I do decide that it’s worth the risks to my hypothetical nine year old and that I should go ahead and give her the vaccine, in the end I don’t even know if it will do her any good at all by the time she actually becomes sexually active.
I completely disagree with the people who are against this vaccine for “moral reasons” and claim that the vaccine will encourage young women to be promiscuous because their STD risk will be reduced. But I do have a problem with the fact Merck isn’t telling women that their immunity may only last for a few years. The women and girls who get the vaccine may base some of their future sexual choices on the assumption that they are protected, but by the time many of them become sexually active this may not be true anymore.
7. The studies done on Gardasil were not set up to investigate whether the vaccine itself has the potential to cause cancer.
“GARDASIL has not been evaluated for the potential to cause carcinogenicity or genotoxicity.”car·cin·o·gen
n. Any substance or agent that tends to produce a cancer.
n. A chemical or other agent that damages cellular DNA, resulting in mutations or cancer.
8. Gardasil is one of many vaccines containing aluminum, and there is increasing evidence suggesting that aluminum-based vaccines can have harmful effects. Aluminum is a neurotoxin and the aluminum in vaccines can potentially reach the brain. Since the list of required childhood vaccines is only getting longer over time, children are being exposed to doses of aluminum that may exceed what their bodies are capable of managing. Aluminum in vaccines has been linked to a variety of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s, although a lot more research is needed.  
It's also interesting to note that according to the FDA, Merck tested Gardasil along with the Hepatitis B vaccine (currently on the required list), to make sure that there were no negative effects to administering both vaccines during the same doctor's visit. The tests showed no apparent problems.  However, the hepatitis vaccine was the only one that was tested, so it is unknown whether any of the other required childhood vaccines could be potentially harmful when combined with Gardasil. There was also no information in any of the studies about what adding Gardasil to the required list would do to the cumulative aluminum levels in children's bodies.
9. Gardasil is only for women.
"Boys would not have to be vaccinated, although they can get HPV. There are no HPV tests for men. The vaccine has not yet been tried on men." 
Men can get HPV. Men can give HPV to their partners. Men can get genital warts from HPV. Men can get cancer from HPV. (80% of HPV-related cancers affect women, but the other 20% include penile and anal cancers affecting men). 
So why wasn’t Gardasil tested on men, and why isn’t Merck funding PR campaigns to educate men about their HPV risk? Is it because they feel that there’s more of a stigma surrounding men’s sexual health, and that it would be more difficult to convince men and parents of boys of the risks? And as a result they wouldn’t be able to make nearly as much money off of men as they will off of women. (Sorry, there’s that cynical thing again.)
I think both men and women can take issue with this. Men, because their sexual health is really not being addressed here. They don't even have a test that can tell them whether they have HPV or not, so even if they want to be responsible about it there is only so much they can do. And women, because they are being asked to take full responsibility for HPV prevention. Women and girls are expected to take on all of the costs and the risks of this vaccine, and even if they do get vaccinated they could still be infected with HPV by a male partner who has been told that HPV isn't something that he needs to worry about.
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:
"There is no clear health benefit to knowing you have this virus—since HPV is unlikely to affect your health and cannot be treated. For most men, there would be no need to treat HPV, even if treatment were available— since it usually goes away on its own." 
Isn't it a little irresponsible (and sexist) to say there is no benefit to a male HPV test? Regardless of the possible health issues such as penile or anal cancer, isn't not infecting your unsuspecting partner also considered a benefit? Men are reassured that tests and treatment are unnecessary because their HPV infections will likely go away on their own, while the fact is that most women's HPV infections will go away on their own as well. 
Apparently, when Gardasil went before an FDA panel for approval, Merck asked the panel to approve the vaccine for boys also, even though they have not done the same amount of testing on boys as they have on girls.
"Merck asked the committee to endorse vaccination of boys age 9 to 15, too. Urging them not to wait for ongoing studies to end, it said evidence shows Gardasil can prevent some male cancers and may slow the spread of sexually transmitted HPV.
'By delaying three-plus years, we could have an additional 100,000 [cancer] cases that could have otherwise been avoided,' Barr told the committee. But panel members didn't vote on the request, calling the idea compelling but unproven."
It seems to me that we need to spend more time researching HPV in men and boys, not less time. And it would be nice to feel like Merck was taking this issue seriously and not just tacking it on as a "me too" measure in order to get approval more quickly. On the flip side, it's a positive step that more research on HPV in men is now being done. Maybe they'll even change their minds and decide that it is worthwhile to develop a male HPV test after all. They could probably share a lab with the researchers who are hard at work on that male birth control pill we've been hearing about for years.
10. The bottom line: Don't get this vaccine just because your doctor/mom/sister/friend/a perky TV commercial told you to. But don’t not get it just because some chicks with a blog say that they aren’t going to. It’s your health, your decision. Do your own research and accept no guilt trips. My own mom wanted me to consider getting the vaccine (it is also being recommended for sexually active young women, even though it will probably do us—well, do evil slutty me anyway—no good), but she encouraged me to research it first, so I did. When I told her what I had found out, she agreed with my decision not to get it.
The Gardasil ad campaign is screaming at us to be “One Less”, meaning one less woman affected by cervical cancer. I’m all for that. I’m just going to try to reach that goal in my own way…as one less woman making an uninformed decision.
PS: We finally finished the follow-up to this, 10 More Things You Might Not Know About Gardasil for those of you who would like even more, current info!