I am Little Miss Condom. It’s true. I might not have a crown or nothin’, but I haven’t had unprotected penetrative sex in six whole years. So when the letter arrives from the sexual health clinic telling me to call for the results of my yearly STD test, I ignore it for a day or two, because I know they’ll say ‘all clean and lovely – well done you!’ I even suspect that they’ll offer me some kind of shiny medal or gold star, or at the very least a lollipop.
Then I pick up my voice messages and hear ‘Ms. Anon, I have tried to call you several times, and I really do need to talk to you about your results.’ I suffer not just extreme panic, but also an identity crisis. I CAN’T have an STD! I’m Little Miss Condom!
The next day I call the clinic and am professionally informed that I am a FILTHY HARLOT who has contracted chlamydia. Okay, so they don’t say the filthy harlot bit. But they do tell me that chlamydia can cause infertility if left untreated; ask me if I’ve had any symptoms (pain, bleeding after sex – nope); that I’ll need to take a single dose of four antibiotics; and that I’ll need to inform any partners I’ve had since my last sexual health check.
As I try to adjust to my new infected identity, my flatmate Annie wanders downstairs. ‘Guess what I have?’ I say. ‘What?’ said Annie. ‘Chlamydia.’ She laughs. ‘Who’d you get it off?’ asks Annie. ‘No idea. I’m about to begin the joyful process of calling people to tell them.’ ‘I reckon it was Josh,’ says Annie. ‘Why?’ ‘That’s just my bet.’ Because taking bets on who gave me chlamydia is a thing now. Fab.
I refuse Annie’s request that she be allowed to stay and listen to my phone calls for entertainment purposes, and go upstairs to dial Bobby.
‘Hey Bobs. I have chlamydia.’
‘Oh. I suppose I better get tested then.’
‘I don’t think I have it though. I was tested pretty recently. I’ve only been sleeping with you and my Filipino boy. And I always use condoms.’
‘You know I am the condom queen, and I still have it.’
‘That’s true, that’s true.’
‘Anyways Bobby, I’m sorry if I’ve given you chlamydia.’
‘Oh don’t worry about me. Ever since I had unprotected sex with a transsexual and thought I had AIDS and was going to die, I’m pretty unconcerned about contracting lesser STDs.’
‘I’ll let you get on to make your phone calls then. Want to do something Sunday?’
One chlamydia call down – and a date. Next up: Robin and Seth (What? I said I was Little Miss Condom – not Little Miss Frigid.) I get through to the beautiful Robin.
‘Robin, I have chlamydia. You and Seth both need to be tested.’
‘Oh shit. What does chlamydia do?’
‘It’s basically symptomless in men, but if left untreated it can mess up our delicate lady tubes. It’s easily treatable though – just antibiotics.’
‘That doesn’t sound so bad.’
‘No, as STDs go, it’s probably the best one.’
‘Like the Sporty Spice of STDs.’
After an interesting conversation about what STDs the other Spice Girls would be, we say goodbye. A few minutes later, Robin sends me a message reading ‘Despite your disease ridden state, I still want to do naughty things to you.’ Telling people I have chlamydia is turning out to be quite romantic.
And last but not least – it’s Annie’s bet for the three horse race – Josh. Josh is that man who reduces you to a puddle of bubble-gum flavoured, low calorie, mass produced pathetic. You know the one. Stupidly hot, maddeningly sincere, and oh-so-casually stringing you along. Cause, like, he needs to figure his head out. Cause, like, he’s just not sure where he’s at right now. But, like, he really likes and respects you.
Studmuffin’s phone cuts out, so I send him a message saying ‘Call me back – I have to tell you something.’ He texts to say he’ll call soon. But he doesn’t. Probably because he thinks I’m in love with him (which is only about 20% true) and am going to hassle him into giving me some kind of indication as to whether or not we are still seeing each other (which is 0% true – I am waaay too cool).
When my flatmate Seánín comes home from work, and I share the happy news with him too.
‘You? You? The fecking condom nazi?’
‘I know, right?’
‘Do you think that God knew that he was supposed to give chlamydia to someone at this address, and he got mixed up and gave it to you instead of me?’
(Seánín is always shagging without condoms. And I’m always lecturing him, saying things like ‘I don’t even know how you can enjoy it, when you know that you might DIE.)
‘Who’d you get it from?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘My money’s on Bobby.’ (Because betting on who gave me chlamydia is just a straight-up regular thing to do.)
‘But he’s not promiscuous, and he’s even more condom-tastic than me.’
‘Robin and Seth?’
‘Y’see, that’s my bet.’ (Oh, if everyone else is doing it…)
‘What about Josh?’
‘I sent him a message saying that I have to tell him something, but he hasn’t called back.’
‘That was a fecking a stupid thing to do. He probably thinks you’re going to tell him you love him or something.’ (Seánín is Irish so he knows everything)
‘Won’t chlamydia be a delightful relief then.’
‘Isn’t it exciting! It’s like a murder mystery. Hey – someone should make that murder mystery game: y’know, like Cluedo, except with chlamydia.’
(Aside: two weeks later, at a barbecue, this actually happens. Thankfully, I have drank a half a bottle of gin and am too plastered to be embarrassed.)
I nip out to collect my prescription, and, bitter pills swallowed, I get ready for the evening’s activities. I have a date. A first date. With a smart, handsome, successful young writer. Annie returns as I’m leaving. ‘Where are you off to?’ ‘Having a drink with that guy I told you about.’ ‘Have fun!’ ‘Do you think I have to tell him about the chlamydia?’ Seánín overhears, and shouts from the living room: ‘DO NOT tell this fella you have chlamydia on your first date.’
We’re three pints in, and I’m tipsily giving the poor bemused writer the lowdown on my recent STD experiences. While he’s in the toilet, Josh texts to ask what’s up, and I send him a matter of fact response, detailing as many of the risks of chlamydia as one can detail in the length of time it takes one’s date to get back from the jacks. Girl got CLASS.
By the end of the night we are plastered, and have spent about an hour snogging. The writer invites himself back to mine. ‘But I have chlamydia. And my period. And my room is a mess.’ The writer has drank his way out of caring about any of these things.
Drunken Seánín arrives in just before us. Without even introducing himself, he starts shouting at the writer: ‘Are you aware of the long-term effects of chlamydia? ARE YOU AWARE OF THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF CHLAMYDIA?!’
Okay, I’m aware that in writing this tale I look, to date, like an irresponsible, drunken slapper who surrounds herself with other irresponsible drunken slappers. But wait, the best is yet to come. This part of the tale I christen: ‘The Final Downfall of Little Miss Condom.’
So candles are lit, clothes are clumsily torn from torsos, and it turns out that the writer has the biggest penis in the whole universe. Seriously, the thing is like a fucking can of cider, and I don’t know how it’s supposed to fit in any orifice smaller than a bargain booze shopping bag. I’m trying to roll condoms onto this monstrosity – and I am brilliant at putting on condoms – but a) the writer is being an uncooperative fuckhead, and, even though I have told him at length about my chlamydia, he doesn’t want to wear a jonny and b) I am very, very drunk. And so, perhaps fuelled by indignation that in spite of my life of condom vigilance I’ve still managed to get an STD, for the first time in 6 years, I have unprotected sex.
I do hereby renounce my Little Miss Condom title, return my lube-bottle sceptre, and forego my foil crown. Time for another sexual health check!
Disclaimer: YES YOU SHOULD ALWAYS WEAR A CONDOM IN REAL LIFE – Ed.