Thursday, June 18, 2009

No true prude goes unpunished.

My friend Amy once told me about the physical exam she underwent at age 21, just before departing on her LDS mission to Brazil. The doctor was going to prescribe a drug that would be harmful to a developing fetus, so she explained to Amy that she'd need to perform a pregnancy test on her just as a precaution, even though Amy had declared on her pre-exam paperwork that she was not pregnant. Amy explained that there was absolutely no way she could be pregnant. The doctor insisted on the test, pointing out that even with the best modern contraceptives you can never be 100% sure about such things without a pregnancy test. No, Amy repeated, there was absolutely no way she could be pregnant.

"Do you even know how babies are made?" asked the doctor.

I guess Amy, being of a literalist Christian bent, should have been more openminded about the pregnancy test and allowed for the possibility of immaculate conception? Surely it's easier to fathom than a 20-something voluntary virgin. Might as well claim to be the Tooth Fairy.

Where am I going with this?

Here's where: I think all of my not-yet-sexually-active female readers (and all my female readers who are no older than 26 years old) should schedule an appointment to get the HPV vaccine. Soon. This month. Here's more information on the whys and the hows. Of course, if you're over age 26, they might be less eager to give it to you, or they might charge you more. Why? Because by your late 20s you've already introduced the possibility of HPV exposure into your life, so the vaccine dose is more likely to be wasted on you.

What's that? You say you're 35 and you're 100% sure you've never been exposed to the HPV virus?

Doctor: "You know that HPV is sexually transmitted, right?"

You: "Yes."

Doctor: "You do know what the word 'sex' means, right?"

I swear. There's no end of punishment to this celibacy deal.

But even if you're over the age guideline for the HPV vaccine you should still try to get it -- I'm going to. Even if I have to pay extra and swear on the Bible that I've never played Song of Solomon with anyone. Ever. They will then throw out the ol' Bible method and administer a polygraph test:

Them: "Never EVER???"

Me: "Never ever."

Them: "Well, she THINKS she's telling the truth, anyway. You do know what the word 'sex' means, right?"

Perhaps you are saying to yourself that this is all pointless in your case. Perhaps like me you have never and never plan to sleep with anyone who is not your exclusive, til-death-do-you-part partner. Even if we are true to our half of that ideal (and I hope we are), a single past or future indiscretion of your partner can introduce the virus into your otherwise safe relationship, unbeknown to either of you. Or, heaven forbid, you could be raped. Or you might make a mistake yourself. The emotional, psychological, and spiritual struggle to recover from any of these sad scenarios is plenty; no need to add cervical cancer as a tragic coda straight out of some depressing art house flick.

So I think I'll picket at the local clinic for my right to get this vaccine. Anyone want to join with me in this historic moment of peaceful rebellion? Revolt of the Ripe-ish Retro-moralists?

Ideas for signs:

Down with ageism!
Down with prudeism!
Vaccines for veteran virgins!

We must get this shot, because it's the wise and responsible thing to do.

We must do it because we are optimists, looking forward to a brighter day -- a day when we can no longer speed through the blood bank's list of "sexual contact" questions in 1.6 nanoseconds.

We must do it to signal to the Universe that we ABSOLUTELY DEMAND that one day we get our chance at which it would be technically possible for us to contract HPV.

Please, dear Universe. Pretty pretty please.


Carvel said...

Well, it is amusing, but I confess I'm not cheered by it (this post). However I do applaud your wisdom to get the shot (I wonder how much it costs if you pay the entire bill?)
Would you want a man to accompany you to a protest, to help by holding a couple of small signs? Or would that make our protest look silly?
In Utah, especially, it shouldn't be very hard, by making a few phone calls, to find a doctor who is aware that there are many "veteran virgins" in Utah.
Please give us another post soon.

Marie said...

I don't know what's sadder -- that I just posted a long entry about my sad life of endless celibacy or that my dad was the only person who appears to have read it.

Thanks, Dad!

On the bright side, maybe this means everyone's busy, out getting vaccinated??

sharonsfriendjen said...

I love your post and your veteran virgin pride!! Go team!!

lenalou said...

Bravo! I read it and enjoyed, and hope that ageism does not triumph! Thanks for posting.

Keryn said...

Hee hee hee--I think this is an excellent post, Marie. You WOULD think that here in Utah they would be more, um, open-minded about "veteran virgins".

Anonymous said...

I will be holding the "down with doctor disbelief" sign. I definitely love your style.

Jessica said...

this is my second time reading this post, but my first time with the time to comment. i love it. veteran virgins unite! doing the doctor thing outside of utah is - sadly - harder. i had one doctor (while i was a 22-year-old missionary in canada)who was absolutely shocked that i had never had sex. all i could think was, "i'm 22! don't other people wait?" oh, the pain...