I knew I had to do the responsible thing and confront the guy directly, although I don’t like going to people with unsubstantiated claims about medical problems that don’t even exist on the internet. I figured it didn’t make sense for me to get tested; the potential disease was on his side of the condom, so I had to go to the source.
Approaching the source at an appropriate time was more difficult than I had imagined. I wanted to pitch the story in person because somehow it felt more safe and responsible that way. If someone thought I had a disease, I would not want the news to be transmitted via text message. I guess the way I really felt about the situation is that telling someone in person is more intimate and almost suggests that you are not rejecting them, not angry, etc. Even if he did have a disease that he potentially exposed me to, provided that he was getting checked out regularly as he claimed, it wasn’t his fault. STDs do not discriminate, just like the flu, strep throat, and mono do not discriminate; STDs are simply more stigmatized as per our society’s puritanical treatment of sex. I was a willing participant and knew the risk. It could have just as easily happened the other way around.
The next time I saw him was on his birthday, but I didn’t want to be like, “Happy Birthday! Hope it’s a memorable one! By the way, I think your penis is leaking blood. I came to this conclusion last week when I disposed of a condom that we used approximately one month ago.” I got a late night phone call from him weeks later, but it was clearly a booty call and I didn’t want to mislead him into thinking he was getting laid when all I would be laying down was the bad news and a suggested game plan. Think of the disappointment he would have faced had I allowed him to get that look in his eye signifying that he was no longer listening to me, thinking he was seconds away from sticking his dick in me, when in reality he was days away from having a swab shoved up his urethra. I planned to spare him the additional pain; I hate to be the bearer of bad news.
Finally it got to the point where my not telling him was becoming irresponsible—reckless, even—considering the amount of girls I assumed he was sleeping with. One night he booty called me and I was like, ‘That’s it; I’m not calling him back tonight because I don’t want to get his hopes up, but I’m taking care of this tomorrow and calling him early enough in the day so it’s not implicitly a booty call.’ I followed through and asked if he wanted to hang out that night. He said probably; he was busy then but would call me later when he was free. I went out with my friends in his neighborhood and waited with anticipation as the night winded down. No phone call. More waiting. Prepared to break the bad news, I called him and asked if he was home. He said yes, but he didn’t invite me over immediately, which was out of character. I asked if he had company. He said no, but he was going to soon: some girl he was casually seeing.
Disappointing: I have been shelved as the booty call of a guy with orange semen. I asked if he wanted to hang out sometime soon. He said yes, he would call. So I started walking home, thinking the night was a bust, until he called me back. He asked me how I was getting home, and when I said I was walking, he asked if I was still in his area. He sketchily met me on his corner, and I assumed we were going out for a drink. He was high as shit. I figured that would temper the pain. He invited me back to his place, and as we walked up the stairs, he played a little game of grab ass. Great, so he was in good spirits; I could let him down gently. He staged things as if we were about to hook up, which was weird because he was still expecting his company, and I was going to have to leave when she texted him. Did he expect to fuck two girls in one night? That is quite ambitious for a guy with orange semen. Maybe his semen has super powers and he is the male version of Alex Mack. Maybe he can turn into a puddle and spy on people. Sweet!
He turned on his music and faced me square on. I told him we had to talk. It was time for the talk. I’m not sure what he expected, but even in his high stupor, I’m sure he didn’t expect something good. I pitched the story the best I could. He said that he got checked out regularly and indicated that he was in disbelief. I explained that I knew he got tested regularly, so did I, but there had been many sexual partners since my last test as I’m sure there had been since his; these things happen. I said that if someone came to me with similar news, I would immediately make certain nothing was wrong with me. More disbelief. Granted, this went better than last time I was part of an STD scare—a scam. At least this time no one was blaming me and calling me a whore. Denial sometimes looks so peachy, I mean, orange.
I laid down the facts one last time. I explained that I knew it was his semen because I hadn’t had sex with anyone else in my room since the last time we had sex in my room, that the condom was with his Skyn condom wrapper, and that the garbage was practically empty so nothing could have contaminated it. His argument was a cogent one: He said that he sees himself come frequently and nothing is wrong with it. Understood, but as I argued, he didn’t let his cum sit for a month pending reexamination. Often I left condoms in my garbage can for extended periods of time, but this was the only case in which semen left untouched turned orange. I pleaded with him to at least consider the possibility that something could be wrong. In a last ditch effort to understand his resistance, I asked, “Do you think I am making this up? Why would I have a reason to? I’m not really enjoying this conversation.” He said that he believed me and what I saw and didn’t think I was lying, but if that was what I saw, something else must have been going on.” Something else? Like, supernatural? Oh, obstinacy. Well, I couldn’t say I didn’t try.
His “company” called from downstairs, and we had an awkward exchange where I asked if he wanted me to leave and asked if I would bump into her on my way out and he asked if that would be weird. Not weirder than discovering orange semen. I was a little confused about the whole situation and didn’t think we were quite done with our conversation, not that I didn’t want to be.
The next day he called and left a message apologizing for being an idiot. I have received many a message from him containing similar words. But I accepted this one as particularly conciliatory, and I was glad that he was mature enough to not let a little bloody semen get in between us.
I returned his call the day after that, and he invited me to go to the movies with him. I appreciated the sentiment—the effort. But the movies—really? What do people who aren’t fucking do? What do people do besides fuck? This conundrum begs that question.