The last time I got an HIV test was in 2002, a year after I discovered game and began dabbling in sex without condoms. One early incident scared me: I played just-the-tip with a girl who was on her period. I waited a couple months then went to an anonymous clinic for an HIV test. The result was negative but the anxiety of waiting for it made me swear never to get tested again unless I had to.
I walked into the clinic and sat in the waiting room. My doctor was an attractive Polish woman in her 40s with blonde hair and high cheekbones. I told her that I wanted to get tested for every STD known to man. She filled out some paperwork and sent me to get my blood drawn.
I hated using condoms. It felt like eating steak with a bag on my tongue. I constructed an unscientific method to tell if a girl was “clean” or not, but I still contracted molluscum and nonspecific urethritis. I didn’t know who gave me either since both times I was fucking multiple girls without condoms.
I asked the nurse how long it would take to get my results. “One week,” she said. You’d think in 2011 the blood test would be faster. I had plans to travel to another city the week after; should I postpone the trip just in case I was positive? I didn’t want to make any big decisions until I knew the result.
I’ve long ago stopped examining my dick. Otherwise I’d be in the doctor’s office every other month for something I couldn’t explain. Three years ago I got tested for everything except HIV and was shocked that I didn’t have anything, especially herpes. I’ve also been through several pregnancy scares from using the pull-out method on girls who weren’t on the pill. I came out from those unscathed. I’d go stretches of being safe only to regress back to fucking every girl without a condom. I knew it was self-destructive, but I couldn’t stop.
Two days after the test I fucked a new girl. She was very pretty and seemed clean. She wanted it raw so I gave it to her raw. I got mad at myself for not waiting a couple more days for my result before putting her in potential danger. Already the test would not be current, but I needed to get the previous nine years off my back.
I like to think I’m an intelligent man. I know that I can fucking die from getting HIV. I know that condoms protect against that. When I go out at night I have a condom in my pocket and intend to use it, but something happens to my brain when you put a naked woman in front of me. I lose all logic and reason. If the girl seems clean and doesn’t make me put on a condom, then I’m not using one, even on one-night stands.
That week I patiently waited for the result. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be. It was what it was, and no worrying would change the outcome. I stayed off Google and kept myself busy by focusing on work. Three days before the test, I had a date with my favorite Polish girl. She always forced me to use a condom so I knew she was safe, but I wondered what I would tell her if I tested positive. Our relationship would probably end.
I think I understand why Tiger Woods went raw on all those strippers and porn stars: it feels good. Yes, he could have put his wife’s health in jeopardy, and yes, he could be exposing himself to god knows what, but that’s not what we think about when the girl wants our naked dick inside her. You think about feeling good and nothing else. It’s like a drug.
Three more days until the result. I was less scared of HIV the disease than the changes I would have to make because of it. I didn’t want to change anything. I wanted to keep fucking as many girls as I wanted without worrying about having something that could kill myself or my partners. I didn’t want the party to end.
In the nine years I didn’t get tested for HIV, I’ve had over a dozen sexual encounters that deeply concerned me. It was usually the rough sex episodes that left my dick feeling like raw meat. During my second trip to South America, I had a couple of strange flu-like illnesses. I wondered if one of those could be acute HIV syndrome, but I was too scared to get tested. I continued fucking raw. It didn’t help that girls rarely asked me if I had been tested. If they did I’d say, “I don’t think I have anything.” That was good enough for them.
I had trouble sleeping the night before getting my result. What if? I lay in bed, wondering. I said to myself, “Stop being such a pussy. If you have it then you’ll deal with it just like everything else you’ve dealt with in life.” But how many girls did I give it to? Am I the grim reaper?
The anxiety of my unknown HIV status increased with each new girl I fucked, whether I used a condom or not. I would make myself feel better by reading articles about how hard it was to contract HIV from heterosexual sex, but that no longer helped while in Poland after feeling tired and weak for two weeks. It got to the point where I so convinced myself I was positive that I had to get tested to start treatment so I didn’t die. I couldn’t postpone it any longer.
I sat down on the chair outside my doctor’s office. My body was shaking. I saw the receptionist hand off my results in a sealed envelope. I felt like my future was written on that piece of paper. My life may come down to this one moment in a small Polish clinic. I wanted to run out of the building, return to my apartment, and pretend everything was okay.
One day everything will change, and I will have to say goodbye to the current life I have.
The doctor called me in. My legs barely carried me to her desk. I sat down and blurted out, “I’m really nervous.” She laughed and said, “You’re fine. You don’t have anything.” I left her office and bought a cone of ice cream.
One day everything will change, but not today.