My annuals weren't always this positive. I was 18 and just lost my V card to a guy named Rocko with a DUI from Canada. Clearly, I win the bad girl/idiot competition. Thank God I made it out of that relationship without a tattoo—it wasn't easy.
Rocko was a big fan of condoms—except NOT. There were a lot of limp dick situations just from pulling out the tiny foil square, and his flag would lower to half-mast before I even got the sucker open. I decided to be responsible and visit a gyno. I knew I didn't want to be on birth control because I didn't want to get fat before I even made it to college and put on the requisite 15 lbs. My head was spinning with all the options for non-hormonal birth control (that's sarcasm). After a lot of internet research I came to the conclusion the best thing was to get fitted for a diaphragm. That's right, because even though it was 2003, in my heart I believed it was 1954.
To prepare for my first visit to the lady doctor, I watched David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers. A movie about twin gynecologists (both played by Jeremy Irons) who slowly go insane from prescription drug use. They commission a metal artist to develop gynecological torture instruments to operate on their “mutant” patients with abnormal genitalia. To this day, before any doctor's visit, I have nightmares about this movie. Even if it's just an appointment with my Ear, Nose and Throat guy.
The next morning I was sitting in my paper gown trying to count backward from 100 to calm down. I kept thinking, “What if I'm a mutant woman? Or, what if those instruments actually inspired some kind of trend in the gynecological field and are about to be used on me?” I looked around the room for any clues I was about to be disemboweled. All I could find were some tongue depressors and a plastic model of fallopian tubes that quickly came apart in my hands. I shoved them underneath the exam table and hoped she wouldn't notice.
She walked in whistling. She was a chirpy, hippie lady in her late forties who smelled like lavender. This should have put me at ease, but it didn't. I began blabbing uncontrollably. “So yeah I'm here because I just started having sex and, you know, thought I would be responsible and get everything taken care off. Also, my boyfriend loses his erection every time I pull out a condom. I mean I hope it's the condom and like not me, you know? Because the truth is I don't really know what I'm doing. He's the first person I've slept with. So I'm not sure it's working. How can you tell it's working?”
With a raised eyebrow she asked, “What do you mean 'not working,' you mean sex?”
“Well yeah, sex. How do you know his not being able to, you know get hard, isn't physical? Or maybe it's mental? Which is worse? Like, how do you know you're having a good time, or that the other person is having a good time?" (For the record, this is still a question that comes up in my current sexual practice.)
“Are you having an orgasm?”
“I'm not sure?”
“Then you aren't having an orgasm. It's not just about pleasing him, you know. He's got to do some work too.”
“Oh yeah, duh. I know that.” She was blowing my mind. Even though I knew better, I secretly thought his pleasure was my pleasure, and I would cum as soon as he did. I decided to change the subject.
“So, I recently saw this movie about a gynecologist who develops these tools to work on mutant women who have like triple cervixes and double wombs. They're totally not normal.”
She moved her swivel chair slightly back from the table. “What isn't normal: the devices or the women?”
“Um, I dunno? Both, I guess.”
“Well, Lacy, we actually have a lot of women here who have more than one uterus or cervix. I would kindly ask you to stop referring to them as mutants.”
“Oh, God, I'm sorry.”
“You didn't know. Just lie back please.”
I did as I was told and scooted my naked ass down. I closed my eyes as tight as I could and held my breath.
“It helps to breathe. Relax, it's not that bad. Especially if you open your eyes and look up.”
Again I did as I was told. And that's when I saw them. Written on the ceiling were hundreds of dirty jokes.
This one has stayed with me all these years:
“What's the last thing you want to hear after sleeping with Willie Nelson?”
“I'm not Willie Nelson.”
I laughed so hard I farted.
Then I started crying because that had been the worst day of my life.
Thankfully, for the older me, the good people at Callen-Lorde have heard a lot worse.
Lacy Warner is a writer and performer living in Brooklyn. She likes puppies, pizza and wetsuits. She is single. Follow her at @laceoface.