If you click the link, you’ll be brought to some responses to my post discussing the stigma associated with STIs. Now, I’m really not one to get into awkward “tumblr arguments” if you will, so I’m not about to reblog and respond, etc. However, I would like to clarify a few things:
1. I’ll admit that it’s not the most well written or most articulate post that has ever existed.
2. I realize that I wasn’t super specific and should have said something like “many STIs are similar to a cold or flu (or other treatable and/or curable illnesses)” instead of over-generalizing.
3. I stand by my statement that expressing how “unwanted” STIs are is hurtful and unkind and definitely shames folks who do have STIs. I’m not saying we should all run around shouting about how much we’d like to get an STI because obviously that’s just silly, but I am saying we should be conscious of the language we are using when discussing things that have the potential to be triggering. Hell, we should always be conscious of our language, regardless of what we’re discussing.
4. The stigma associated with STIs doesn’t just need to be addressed for “public health”, but also for one’s own personal health, emotional health, mental health, etc., etc. It needs to be addressed and challenged because people continue to be shamed and guilted, and that is not okay and needs to stop.
5. Of course STIs are not necessarily an inevitable part of having sex. Some people go their whole lives without getting an STI. True statement, folks.
6. I wouldn’t necessarily say that my post is a bad post, but I do agree that critical responses are lovely and necessary (although I have really yet to see a particularly well thought out critical response).
7. Oh, and near the bottom someone tries to point out that some STIs are not treatable. I am fairly positive that this is not true. There are some STIs that are incurable, but I don’t think (and hey, maybe I’m incorrect) that there are any STIs that are untreatable.
8. Finally, I still don’t think that if someone has an STI that that should be the deciding factor for having or not having sex with them. I also think boundaries are incredibly important and need to be respected and I’m simply stating that if the existence of an STI is what causes you to not have sex with someone, then perhaps you should educate yourself on safer sex practices and STIs because I think it’s kind of a dick move to be all like “Oh I think you’re so great and lovely and sexy… oh, shit, you have an STI? Gross, I’m not going to have sex with you now”, because believe me, that type of ignorant shit happens and I don’t think it should.
I feel tired and frustrated and wish people would put a little more critical thought into life.
[EDIT]!: I ABSOLUTELY DO think that medical issues (of any kind) should be taken seriously. It is not my intention to downplay or trivialize individuals’ experiences with STIs, but rather to articulate my thoughts, which are that people tend to be really, really negative about STIs and people with STIs because this is what society and our current form of sex education teaches us to do.