So, You’re a Slut: Telling Your Doctor the Truth

Guest Post by Lady Jane

It’s that time of year again, folks…

Time for the yearly pilgrimage that so many of us make to the gynecologist to ensure we’re all in tip-top shape, excellent health, and to get those screenings for HIV, STIs, PID, cancers, and any other health issues that may have crept up over the past calendar year. If you’re like me, you want to be honest with your doctor since it is in your best interest to disclose any pertinent medical information that may affect your overall health.

Got your wisdom teeth out? Suffered any injuries? Experimented with anal for the first time in March? Participated in your first orgy in May? Have a question about birth control? Had an increase in yeast infections? Did someone with asymptomatic HSV 1 give you oral sex? Added a new partner?

Whatever it is, disclose your medical history to your doctor accurately and truthfully. If they are a supportive and true “Agent of Science,” your doctor should place no judgment on your lifestyle. Whether you are married and monogamous or a self proclaimed slut, health care professionals are here to provide us all with good care and no guilt.

Since your sexual health can have an effect on the intimate partner(s) in your life, going to the doctor isn’t just for you. To remain ethical and to give your partner(s) the proper informed consent, you must be responsible and get routine screenings. It’s beneficial to your sexual network and can save your life. Although you are not obligated to disclose your entire medical history, your sexual partner(s) deserve to give their informed consent on whether or not they want to be intimate with you. Allow them to make the healthiest and most informed choice they can make before any sexual activity begins. I advocate for doctors and sluts alike when I say, get tested and disclose frequently to maintain all of your healthy relationships while working towards a safer and healthier world. I recommend getting tested after every new sexual partner, just to be on the safe side.

For the most part, I have had great experiences with doctors in the women’s health field. I trust that these doctors will be non-judgmental and offer me good science, accurate test results, and supportive answers to all of my questions. Generally, a routine check-up will include a pap test, a breast exam, a pelvic exam, a screening for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. You can request a blood test for HIV, syphilis, herpes, and some doctors will even check for an overabundance of yeast or bacterial vaginosis.

It can, however, be a challenge to talk about your sexual history with a total stranger and it can be even scarier to talk about this history while you are sitting in one of those paper robes they give us to make us feel “more comfortable.” I have friends who have shared stories about judgmental doctors and nurses who made them feel awful about their sexual explorations, or have visited doctors who are reluctant to do blood tests for STIs. Stay strong so that you can stay healthy! Keeley has shared that she has worked with clients who fear the judgment of the doctor so much, they do not even go in to get tested. This type of culture has to change and can only change if we demand it of our health care professionals.

Also, being honest about your sexploratons can be difficult when it come from a place of guilt or shame within yourself (yikes, how many sexual partners have you had in the past six months?). Remember, doctors are first and foremost, deliverers of fact. It is their job to take your samples and run the tests that you request without a lecture, slap on the wrist, or wagging their finger at you. They should be helping you to stay healthy, help you deal with any current issues, prevent future issues from arising with any vaccines you may lack, and give you unbiased information. If your doctor begins to lecture you or you feel judged, try telling them that. If the way they are talking to you doesn’t feel good then maybe you need to find a different doctor, too. You don’t have to turn in your slut-card just because a conservative doctor believes abstinence is the “best” and only way to live.

Whatever number of partners it is – zero or one hundred – as a patient, you should get information from your doctor, not their opinion on your lifestyle. Be honest with yourself and your doctor. Demand reasonable and appropriate tests as often as you need them. It could save your life or someone else’s. As always, be safe out there!