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Although the Coronavirus Pandemic has been extremely problematic and given scores of people across the globe anxiety, it has caused a lot of us to cope the best way we know how… through humor.

Being a naturally paranoid person, I find myself thinking about the worst case scenario more often than I should. However, I am happy that so many challenges and memes have been surfacing on social media as a result of the virus. It has definitely helped bring some much needed entertainment and humor while we all are forced to quarantine.

I’ve seen one meme in particular posted multiple times and it REALLY resonated.

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This meme resonated with me, because I have never really been adamant about protecting myself sexually. At the age of 21, I went through a heartbreak that caused the innocent Michaela everyone once knew to transform into an extremely promiscuous individual. I was meeting men via clubs, dating sites, greek events… you name it. I always thought “Oh I’m on the pill, no reason for him to use a condom” but I never really feared that I would get an STD. My only concern was that I didn’t get pregnant.

After going through another breakup at 24 that caused me to spiral into depression, I went through the most irresponsible period of my life thus far. I was sexually involved with about seven men, sometimes three out of the seven in one week.  This lasted for about two months, until something happened that scared the shit out of me.

I received an anonymous text to warn me that someone I had been involved with had tested positive for an STD and wanted to inform me. I’ll never forget this day, because I was at work, read the text and instantly froze. Was this supposed to be a joke? I instantly googled the company listed in the text and saw that it was legit. Immediately I started to panic and texted two of my friends. We discussed each man I was involved with and tried to to figure out who was most likely to have an STD and I felt like my whole life flashed before me. How could I be so irresponsible? Having sex with two men without a condom, hell or even one was bad… but SEVEN? I had no idea who this text was from. I felt so ashamed that I texted each guy and indirectly asked “Did you send me a weird text? Is there anything you need to tell me?” Every single one of them responded in a confused manner so I decided to just nip it in the bud and go get tested.

I tested for every single STD and they all came back negative. I was so relieved, but I felt indifferent about that text and still wonder to this day if it was legit or if someone was trying to play a joke on me. However, regardless of the motivation behind it, that text really served as a wake up call.

I share all of this to remind everyone to be more sexually responsible and use protection. If someone says they are “clean” don’t take their word for it and make sure you always have condoms to avoid getting caught up in the moment. I have never gotten an STD (knock on wood), but now I am more cognizant that one moment of pleasure can potentially cause you to get something you can not get rid of and change your entire life. So trust me, even though most of us prefer sex without condoms, using them and protecting yourself against sexually transmitted diseases or a potential unplanned pregnancy is more important.