Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Sticky Question
An Instructional Tale....

Once upon a time, a young man came to see me for the first time. He was slightly nervous, which is only natural, and I tried to make him feel at ease. He told me he wanted a foot-worship session, so we spent an hour together primarily engaged in that pleasant activity. I'd been wearing my spike-heeled thigh-high boots for over two hours straight already, I told him, and so my feet were quite ready for some sensual attention. We also did a little soft flogging and some bondage, but our time together was primarily about his mouth on my feet.
But I love having my feet kissed and touched, so I enjoyed myself, and it was, ahem, quite clear that he was enjoying himself also. And at the end of the hour, well – let's just say he demonstrated his pleasure fully.

So that was all very nice. But then afterwards, as I was walking him towards the door, he stopped and said, "So, um, can I ask you a question?"

I smiled. "Yes, what is it?"

He shifted his weight uncomfortably. "I don't wanna be rude or anything."

I didn't like the sound of that. In another setting, I would have known instantly what he was going to ask me, because I've heard it before. But asking me The Question wouldn't make any sense in this context. I waited for him to continue.

"So, like – have you been tested?"

Tested? I thought. For what, athlete's foot?

Look, I came of sexual age in the time of AIDS. I have no experience of a sex life that didn't include that risk. Other STDs are serious, too. So it's not like I don't understand worrying about such things. I'm right there, baby.

I take my maintaining my health – including my sexual health - quite seriously. I get tested on a regular basis, and I've also been vaccinated against hepatitis, which many people aren't, although everyone should be. And I've done something equally important: I've educated myself about what STDs are out there and how one can, and cannot, catch them - something this boy didn't seem like he had done.

I raised one eyebrow and said, slowly, "Honey – you kissed my feet. You're not going to get an STD doing that."*

He shrugged. "Yeah, well, I was just wondering…" He looked at me, clearly still wanting an answer.

"All right...Yes, I've been tested, and I'm a completely healthy person. But you know what? The smart time for you to ask someone that question is before you do anything with them. Because what are you going do if I tell you no, I haven't been? And what would you do now if I actually told you I had an STD? Not that anyone would tell you. Why should they? If they're immoral enough to knowingly expose you to an STD, they're sure as hell immoral enough to lie about it."

I was talking about it with Miss K later, and she shook her head. "Yeah, I hate it when they do that, it scares me. Even when it's before we do anything. It makes me wonder how careless they'd be with someone if she convinced them she was 'clean'. I always say something like, "Yes, I've been tested, and I'm perfectly healthy. But you know what – you shouldn't trust me. You shouldn't take some strange person's word for something as important as this. You need to decide what level of risk is okay for you, and you should be careful and take precautions. And if you cannot afford to take any risk whatsoever, you should not be doing this, because even with precautions, nothing is 100% guaranteed."

"I see what you're saying," I said. "But still, part of what annoyed me about this situation was that he waited until afterwards. I hate it when someone comes to see me, asks me to do something, and then afterwards freaks out about what he's done and tries to act like it was all my doing, and he didn't really want it. I think asking that question afterwards is as much about projecting some generalized anxiety as it is about STDs."

She grimaced. "Yeah, the not-taking-responsibility thing is bad. I don't recall ever forcing someone to go down on me at gunpoint. If you decide to do that, it's your choice."

"Amazing how someone's perspective changes after they've had their orgasm, isn't it?"

* Medical note: I am aware that while it would be highly, highly unusual, it's not flat-out impossible for someone to catch something from foot-kissing. Hepatitis, for example, can live outside a person's body for some time, and if I'd somehow gotten hep germs on the skin of my feet, he could have licked them off and...
But realistically, I think you're in more danger from unwashed fruit, sticky public-restroom doorknobs or food handlers with dirty fingers.

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