I did not participate in any Pride events this past Sunday, because I was too busy buying the Morning After pill and dealing with the subsequent physical, psychological, and financial consequences.
I chose to write this testimony anonymously, for a few reasons. The first being, this is a highly personal account which not only affects my own life but the life of my partner and my roommate, whose identities will also remain anonymous for their own protection. Although this is anonymous, I encourage any and all comments on this piece whether it be practical advice, your own testimony, or simply your feelings on this.
To tell my story I have to go back and tell you a bit about my experience with sex, and men. As someone who identifies as a feminist, queer, and sex-positive, I always thought I would know what to do in these sorts of situations. I was sorely wrong. I used to always joke with my friends that the main reason I enjoy sex with female bodied folk more than sex with male bodied folk is because there is next to no chance of becoming pregnant. It has always been one of my biggest fears, to have a condom break- fall off, forget to put one on… etc. I tried to avoid drunken sex and one night stands for this reason. I have too many friends who have had to get abortions, have had miscarriages, or who have had children at a far too young age, unprepared for the consequences.
Ironically, this all happened during a weekend of Pride. In many cities all over the world this weekend is used to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, celebrate LGBTQ identity, and to discuss sex-education. As most people on were this weekend, I got drunk on Saturday night (as did my partner) and when we were about to go to sleep we even remarked that drunken sex was not a good idea, because it’s sloppy and messy and we were both tired. Then, I made a comment about how it’s hard for me to not have sex when we are together and we should go ahead and do it anyways. He agreed, after some minutes of foreplay.
I woke up the next morning, and the first thing he says to me is, “Hey… I don’t know where the condom went.” We began to laugh that it is probably on the back of my leg and when I get on the bus it would fall off and scare everyone. The jokes went on, but we couldn’t find the condom. He says he remembered putting it on, but not taking it off. I told him he was just drunk.
I got home about half an hour later, and began to eat breakfast with my roommate. I told my roommate about the condom fiasco, and they suggested that it may be inside me. I quickly Googled, “what to do if a condom is inside me” and of course, a Cosmo article came up. This article was in a question-and-answer format, where the answer described how to take the condom out, as well as warning that pregnancy is a real possibility. I quickly ran into the bathroom, stuck two fingers inside of me and felt it in there. Before I pulled it out I took a few quick breaths, and began to feel nauseous. After the condom was out, and in the trash I quickly texted my partner: “It was inside of me. I just pulled it out.” He said I should go get Plan B and he would pay for it, but he would have to pay me back because he was at work.
I immediately got angry. I was angry that I was the one who had to deal with this. This was a condom stuck in MY vagina.. overnight. I had to pay $40 (which by the way, I did not have), I had to go to CVS pharmacy to ask for the Morning After Pill, I had to stay at home all day because I would feel tired, nauseous, scared, angry, stressed, and upset. This was my burden even though it was not my fault. This would never have happened if I was sleeping with, or dating a female-bodied person. On the other hand, I also thought about what would have happened if this were to occur with a one-night stand, or a male-bodied person who I did not know well or was not in a monogamous relationship with. Either way, I was very upset.
Thankfully my roommate offered to pay for the pills until my partner could come by to pay them back. We walked to the CVS, and when I asked for the pills the pharmacist told me there were two kinds, “Plan B” and “Next Choice”. She told me the only difference between the two was that one was two pills and the other was one pill. She also said “Next Choice” was $10 less. I of course, chose the cheaper option- because it was being paid for by someone other than myself and I know both my roommate and partner did not necessarily have $50 to spare. My roommate walked over and paid for the pills, while the pharmacist gave him a look. “She thinks I did this,” he said later on. We made some jokes about the pills, about pregnancy, and terminating pregnancies on the way home. Although I know the morning after pill is not an abortion pill, and that it is (was) very unlikely that I became pregnant. I still don’t know for sure, if I am pregnant or not.. I won’t know for another two weeks or so.
After I took the first pill, my roommate and I watched some funny TV shows, and tried to relax. My stomach began to churn and I felt nauseous. I had to make up excuses and lie to friends about why I was not out that day at the Pride parade, various parties, etc. After taking a nap, my partner finally came back from work and came over. He brought strawberries and dark chocolate, (I later told my roommate those gifts made me feel like I really got an abortion). We talked about what had happened, and he kept saying how irresponsible he felt, how he thought about me all day, how ‘spooked out’ and scared he was. This was the first real test of our relationship, as we had only been dating for about a month.
No matter how sorry he was, how bad he felt, I could not help but feel anger. Anger at how it was now my body which would be affected, how the next day at work I felt sharp lower abdominal pain and nausea and tiredness and I missed a whole evening of things I had to go to. Anger at how I had no desire to have sex that week, or probably for the next few weeks. Anger at the paranoia I was inevitably going to face the next time we decide to have sex.
I hope I never have to go through this again, I hope no one has to go through this. There are far worse things, but that’s not the point. This has opened my eyes to a lot of sexual health and precaution-taking, as well as issues of commitment to partners and responsibility.