Part of my aversion to casual sex (along with the concept that I basically get annoyed with every girl I meet) comes from an acute fear of getting an STD. Like a house guest visiting too long, some of them are impossible to get rid of.
My worst bout with STD fear ever occurred in college after I made out with a girl. By "making out" I mean kissing and sleeping in her bed. As the autumn air rolled in, my skin dried a bit and I developed "an itch" down there.
All it took was a perfectly timed medical lesson to set off my fears. I was talking to my friend Myles and, like most conversations, the word "hemorrhoids" was brought up. I originally thought crabs were another name for hemorrhoids. Finally, Myles educated me:
"Why do you keep saying crabs," he asked.
"Aren't crabs another name for hemorrhoids," I answered.
"Well then what are crabs?"
"Crabs are little bastards that live in your crotch and bite the hell out of you while hanging onto your pubes for dear life."
Taken right out of a medical journal, apparently. Could this be where my itch was coming from?
"Well are they microscopic," I asked.
"Hell's no. They are little lice. Insects, man, insects," he said.
This was a horrific idea. Infestation was something that scared the hell out of me in a house, let alone my body. Was I infested with insects crawling around in my crotch and biting me and sucking my blood?
"How do you get them on you," I asked him.
"It's an STD. You get them from hooking up with a girl," Myles explained.
I began wondering if the girl I had made out with was the type who could have crabs. Suddenly, I felt like there were insects crawling all over me. I was infested. After my conversation with Myles, my itch seemed to intensify. I would be sitting in class or talking to someone and feel a "bite" in my crotch. My head began to ache as I berated myself for getting into this mess while trying to keep a pleasant mood on the outside.
At this point, every time I went to the bathroom or took a shower, I inspected my crotch. If I saw anything out of the ordinary, I would pluck it out and look at it on my fingertip. Sometimes I would grab little white specks (now that I think about it, pieces of lint) and put them on my fingertip. They would shake back and forth. The pieces of lint would look like they were moving! But was this what I was supposed to be looking for? On to the internet!
On my online journey through the wonderful world of STDs, I saw disturbing pictures of festering sores, infestations, cracks in skin, lesions, and wart clusters. I cringed and hoped I didn't have any of these either. I went over all of the symptoms (all of which included itching) and thanked the heavens I didn't have discharge or painful urination. Crabs were definitely what I had: itching and little white specks. Another terrible realization was that crabs would lay football shaped "nits" or eggs along one's pubic hairs. It's never good to be something's egg depository. I began searching for the nits as well.
I mustered up the courage to go to Student Health at the University of Delaware. A little old woman with a Northern European accent inspected me with a popsicle stick looking instrument—well, it was a popsicle stick. She combed through my pubic area with it, much like the school nurse used to search my classes head's for lice in grade school. Why couldn't I have just had head lice?
After a ten minute inspection, the lady, sounding like Zsa Zsa Gabor, announced:
"Zare eez nothing zare."
I couldn't believe it. There had to be something there. I was 110% sure that there were crabs crawling all over my crotch, laying eggs, replicating, reproducing, setting up a government, staking out colonies, having civil wars, creating currency, making movies and showing them at drive-in theaters where the teenager crabs would make love in convertibles and create (gasp!) nits!
I finally had come to accept the fact I couldn't get laid whenever I wanted, but now I was the stomping ground for other organisms to get laid on me, or in me.
"Are you sure," I asked. "What about nits? Any of those?"
"No. Nothing. No neetz" (Nits).
I left the Student Health heartbroken and dismayed. How could she have not seen anything? My itch was all over me. It was expanding, covering my body, mind and spirit like a wool glove.
I did some more research to see if I could do some self treatment. There were two methods available. The archaic method was shaving. I did not want to do this because I would have wanted to shave every hair off my body to eliminate the possibility of leaving one crab couple, like the two that Noah must have loaded onto the arc. Furthermore, shaving would not get them off my bed sheets and clothes, which by now I was sure were infested. The other method was to apply a medicated shampoo to the infected area. This is what I wanted. Chemical cleansing would wipe the slate clean.
All I had to do now was convince that woman at Student Health that I had crabs. Unfortunately, my second visit to her yielded the same results.