Monday, December 04, 2006

Naked Chocolate

I love Philadelphia, I really do. I spent the weekend there, and if you go, you must visit the Naked Chocolate cafe on Walnut Street. It's charming. The people are nice. It's chocolate heaven. They have this drinking chocolate that could be illegal - it's like melted chocolate crack in a cup with whipped cream on top.

Last Friday, December 1st, was World AIDS Day. I was too absorbed in my upcoming trip to post about anything related to it. And then this weekend I didn't post at all because I was in Philly, watching football and drinking and eating and wandering. And exclaiming every 5 minutes how much I like the city.

So the following, while not about World AIDS Day, is about safer sex.

While I was growing up my dad worked in public health - maternal-child health, population control, and nutrition. Huge issues in the countries we lived in. Condom use, as explained to my brother and me, was all about responsibility. The responsibility not to overpopulate the planet. The responsibility not to contract or transmit disease.

We got boxes of condoms for distribution delivered to our house. Red, green, blue - condoms! Fun colors! I knew what condoms looked like, and about the importance of using them waaay before I had any remote idea what one actually did with one.

Beginning at the age of five or six, I could formally discuss the merits of various kinds of birth control, condoms being the cheapest and most practical in the countries we lived in. STDs were discussed as a matter of course at the dinner table. Which for my mom, I think, was a far preferable topic to the parasites and poo conversations that the rest of us enjoyed.

The message, starting when I was young: you use condoms. (Later, when discussed in a more adult way, it became: Unless you're in an absolutely, 100% for sure monogamous relationship, AND you've both been tested for everything.) When I lived in Mt. Pleasant right after college I volunteered at a free clinic, and one of the daily topics was STD and HIV testing. I worked at a non-profit dealing with women's health issues. Health and safe sex have always been part of my reality.

So years ago, when a friend of mine learned her boyfriend was cheating on her, I dragged her down to the Whitman Walker Clinic for free HIV testing. I offered to get tested as well, because the whole thing, understandably, freaked her out. She needed someone to go through it with her.

I don't know what it's like now, but 10 years ago, you had to sit through a detailed "safer sex" presentation prior to the testing. The woman giving our presentation was a cute little brown-haired woman with a ton of energy. The audience was comprised mainly of men, and because of the focus of the clinic, presumably gay men. As women, my friend and I were in the minority.

Now, I knew a lot about HIV transmission and the prevention thereof prior to this lecture. I was along for moral support. As such, I was zoning out for parts of it. And then this woman would do something that would jerk me back to attention.

For example, she was talking about the proper way to put on a condom. She talked about sizes, brands, colors, etc etc. And then she said, "Some men will try to tell you they're too big to wear a condom."

She unwrapped a condom and proceeded to roll it down over her clenched hand, over her wrist, and all the way down to her elbow.

"The next guy that tells you that, well, you tell him you're calling the Guinness Book of World Records!" She waved her arm around in the air triumphantly.

She talked about condoms for oral sex. She talked about dental dams. Lots and lots of options for use of latex and for safer sex activities. I'd learned all of this volunteering at the clinic. I was starting to zone again.

And then she raised her voice. "And finally, if NONE of those options appeal to you. . ."

This got my attention. The audience was waiting, watching with interest.

She made a fist, crooked her arm, and jerked her fist in the air it up towards the ceiling.

"If NONE of those options appeal to you. . .there's always fisting!"

The roomful of men didn't react in any obvious way.

My friend and I, two naive little straight women, we leapt five feet in the air. I'd never heard of it before. Fisting! Holy cow! And what a terrifying visual!

I repeated this story for weeks, always with her intonation, always with her swift upward arm motion. "There's always fisting!"

17 comments:

  1. Fisting with, or with-out a condom?

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  2. Makes you think twice about shaking hands, huh?

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  3. 12 months ago I would haveread you comment with a jaundiced eye. However, my girlfriend and I started fisting and she absolutely loves it. Gives her such intense orgasms she nearlly passes out. We have to limit it to a few times a week becuase she can get sore. She is alos wokring on getting her (thankfully) small hand in my ass. An interesting experience.

    I strongly recommend couples try vaginal fisting. It is a hidden treasure. Really.

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  4. Great story! Good way to get the safer sex pitch in.

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