Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I've been thinking a lot

I've been thinking a lot about Dacia's response to my open letter as well as the comments provided by Nadia and Autumn. I think I have fully digested what they have said and am ready to post a response of my own. So here we go...

First let me respond to one of Dacia's points. She writes:

"Towards the end of your letter, you say: I love this girl deeply and care for her more than I care for myself. That's a problem, because between this phrase, the situation of the coming sleep over, and other posts I've read on your blog, you are basically letting her determine the relationship and waiting for her to green light the re-birth of a sexual relationship."
Yeah, that's true. Basically what happened back last spring and again in the fall was that N decided she needed some space and some time to be herself and find who she really is without being attached to anyone. That's fine and I have come to accept it for what it is over time. Lots of things have happened in her life, my life and our lives since the time we started dating and I completely understand where she is coming from.

That said, the decision to put our relationship was pretty much entirely hers. I still feel the same way about her that I have at any point in the past few years and I don't really know how to deal with it. It puts me in a place where I am more willing to do things that are probably not in my best interest and a grown, autonomous person.

I believe that is what love is, it is the willingness to put the other person in the relationship or the relationship itself ahead of our own personal needs. So, going with that definition I love her and am willing to put her needs, desires, wants ahead of mine to keep her happy. And, she does the same for me. (Of course all this has limits).

That puts me in the position that I find myself in. She has control in the relationship. And, that control is based/rooted in many things. The fact that I am still in love with her and want to be with her. Conversely, I do feel that my decisions have weight in the relationship, I know they do.

So, that's where I stand. I don't know what I'm standing on or how solid my footing is, but I do know where I stand. At this point, I would like to solicit your ideas or feedback with my logic. I know that it might be flawed, and therefore, I would like to hear what you have to say. Consider it an open invitation to speak your mind, throw your two cents in.
I think the advice that Dacia gave me was sound advice. I don't know though if I feel comfortable approaching her and just saying that I want us to get tested together. I feel like I need some validation or a real reason why I would want to be tested. Would it be deceitful for me to make up a reason. For instance, could I tell her that I had relations with someone and now am concerned that I need to be tested? Could I just make up the excuse that I have had some unprotected sex and want to be tested, 'just to make sure?' That would allow me to have a reason to get tested and a compelling reason to take her along with me.

I still think that if I just say, "Hey lets get tested" she will take it the wrong way and I will alientate her. But, if I do as I am suggesting and make up a reason for myself to get tested when I don't really have one, I am being deceitful and lying to her. So, I dunno, what are your thoughts/input?
In my letter, I wrote:
"I don’t think I feel comfortable sleeping with her again without using protection, because I think some of her more recent partners have been questionable with regards to their cleanliness."
That inspired Nadia to comment and write:
"I want to clarify something you said however, or rather change how you phrased it as it rubbed my sex educatin' mind the wrong way:
"I think some of her more recent partners have been questionable with regards to their cleanliness."

Cleanliness has NOTHING to do with one's sti status. I'm a squeaky clean woman with herpes. I caught it from someone who showered daily. Please don't feed into the idea that having an sti has to do with being "dirty." It's offensive to those of us who have caught one who have good hygiene, and it gives the mistaken impression that being clean will keep you disease free. Only having safer sex with partners who are reasonably sure of being sti free is what will keep you sti free."

Let me start out by saying that I was not trying to offend anyone (I am very sorry if I did offend anyone, including Nadia) and I believe my sentence was taken out of context.

I agree that the wording was misleading and didn't really convey the point that I intended to make in a good manner. What I really meant by the sentence was that, I think some of the partners that she has had recently are questionable in whether or not they are disease free. I substituted cleanliness for disease free in that instance and I don't think it was very appropriate.

I understand that most people who have STD's/STI's are walking around going about their daily lives without even the slightest bit of knowledge that they are carriers. I know that like HIV or Diabetes it is really a faceless epidemic and you cannot tell who might have anything just by outward appearances. I also fully understand that the STI epidemic that we face has NOTHING to do with cleanliness or hygiene.

With all that said, I still question the men that she has slept with and have genuine concern for her health and possibly mine.
So, there you have it. My response to the responses. I encourage you to give me feedback. This little set of exchanges is the most fun I've had with Backside 180 so far. So keep it up. Thanks to Dacia and everyone who read or commented.

I have much more to write, but I'm getting tired of typing right now, but I'll return tomorrow with another installment of my chronicles.


Blogger Librarian Babe said...

Hi J. As I said in an email to you, I didn't think you meant to be offensive. I just wanted to help clear up your language as it helps to be clear and concise. It's also about not perpetuating poor information about STIs.

If you're worried about the STI status of some of her partners then you do need to have her get tested before having unprotected sex again (and offering to do so too is good - can't hurt to be tested). No matter how much you love her, your health is valuable and irreplaceable. If she loves YOU, then she should be willing. If not, then what is she afraid of? What if you have unprotected sex with her out of your love for her and you catch HIV from that instance? How would that affect the rest of your life? What if she leaves you and you're left ill and alone? For what? Showing this woman you loved her? Caring about your health and hers is more loving and caring than being silly about it.

Please. Be safe. Don't think it can't happen to you. It can happen to any of us.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi--i read your entry and totally agree with nadia. you need to get tested b/c you'll never know if she's 100% sti free or not & the idea that she does have something will always be in the back of your mind and i can assure with thoughts like that you won't be having as good as sex.
you know, she might be fine...or she could have something. i've slept with 5 men--the first 4 i slept with a total of 13 times and all times i used a condom. when i met my (now) fiance last december we never used one. and guess who had hpv when she went for her last gyno appt?? yep. me. it can happen to anyone & just because my fiance was careless in college he now infected me. be careful--i wouldn't want you to catch anything.
~natalie (

1:52 PM  
Blogger Dacia said...

Re: HPV. There is no way to test for HPV in men, so Natalie's fiance would have given her HPV even if he had been tested for other STIs.

6:11 PM  

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