Monday, 28 January 2019

Why I decided to get an STI test done on national television for the world to see

We banter about sex, gossip with our friends, f*ck around and thrive off it. But we never talk about those whose lives are ruined because they trusted their partner, those who caught an STI while losing their virginity, the fact that people have lost their lives over these diseases or the fact that they are so bloody easy to catch if you’re not careful.

When a Casting Director for Channel 4 reached out to me and asked if I’d join them on their mission to show young people that it’s actually “cool” to go and get tested and help them spread the message of how easy it is to do, I couldn’t say no.

Sure, the thought of getting an STI test on national television and the world seeing it was daunting as hell. I knew there was a chance that it could end up turning into my worst nightmare, that I could be the laughing stock of Britain if my results came back positive and the whole of the UK knew I had an STI. But to be frank, I really couldn’t give less of a sh*t.

I write about sex as part of my living, so getting this message out there was more important to me than my own embarrassment. If me lying on a table, with my legs propped open, being jabbed for the world to see shows just one person that STI tests are not something to be afraid of, then it was all worth it.

I’ve heard all the excuses from young people on why they don’t go and get tested. “I don’t have enough time”, “I’m embarrassed if it comes back positive”, “I don’t like the way my genitals look and don’t want a doctor to see it” … the list goes on.

The thing is, if you’re sexually active and don’t get tested then you’re simply a vile and quite frankly selfish human being. Because you can’t spare an hour out of your life, because of your pride, you’re going to infect someone else?  This isn’t an article to bore you of the facts, but condoms don’t prevent all STIs and they certainly don’t prevent any of them by 100%.

Every time I sleep with someone new, I get tested two weeks after (takes two weeks for some STIs to show up in a test). Even if I’m only sleeping with one person such as a friend with benefits or even a partner, I’ll still get regularly tested. I enjoy sex and I’ll be damned if I let anyone ruin that for me.

The Sex Clinic airs on E4 tonight at 10pm and whilst the majority of the show is a bunch of us getting STI tests (some passed, some didn’t) we also explored other areas of sex. There are people from all walks of life appearing on the show over the next few weeks, in the second segment we delve into our deepest and darkest sexual problems to show other youngsters that it’s normal, and it’s okay.

I had so much fun taking part and met some absolutely insane characters who made me laugh so much my sides still hurt. The producers and staff at E4 did everything they could to make the cast feel comfortable and I have no doubt that the show will lift so many stigmas. So thank you, E4!

The show will run over the next few weeks, starting tonight.

Written by VavaViolet’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sophie Blackman.  



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