For instance she's obsessed with Lil Wayne*, aka Weezy. And also she's not afraid to talk about her vagina.
In related news, this guest post is for adult eyes only. Enjoy!
*For those not in the know, think L'il Abner but short and black and currently incarcerated.
I’ve been tested for STDs three times in my life. Two of those times were in 2008, as precautionary measures at the beginning of new relationships. The third time was this week, after my gaynocologist* did a routine exam and found a “sore inside the vagina.” Now, on a list of things I do not want in my vagina, a “sore” is really near the top – so when my doc delivered the news from behind the purple sheet separating me from the stirrups, I freaked out.
*I’m 93% sure my OB/GYN is gay, based entirely on eyewear, shoe and career choices.
After I was moderately clothed again, he told me the cause could be a number of STDs and that he wanted to test me for everything to make sure. It might also be the result of “trauma.”
He crossed his legs and raised his eyebrow at me. “Could you have injured yourself in some way?” I paused for a long time, cocking my head to the side and running down a list of all the things I had recently inserted into my vagina. There was a somewhat relevant incident recently – some pain when there definitely shouldn’t have been any – but I decided to withhold that information for two reasons: 1. It was embarrassing and 2. I doubted seriously that said incident could have caused any permanent damage.
I clasped my hands together and said, “Um, nothing comes to mind?”
He then explained that they would draw blood and test for all the biggies: HIV, Herpes, Syphillis. He said he wasn’t worried since I hadn’t had unprotected sex, but he just wanted to make sure. I smiled meekly. I was terrified. He told me to come back in a week for my results. New York City: the only place where you can get Chinese food, strippers, and any number of illegal substances instantly, but have to wait a week to find out if you’re terminally ill.
The days passed. I Googled “sore inside the vagina” more times than I’d like to confess. I did some research on HIV support groups. I painted a doomsday scenario in my mind, beginning to end. Then something crucial happened.
On Tuesday, the day I was scheduled to go get my results, Lil’ Wayne (AKA Weezy) released his album I Am Not A Human Being. The first song title: “Gonerrhea.” His misspelling, not mine.
Being a hardcore Weezy fan (I may or may not have sent a letter to him in prison within the past month), I saw this as a bit more than coincidence. This was fortuitous. Weezy is probably the only popular artist alive who can release an album about being a non-human that includes a song named after an STD in which he references the baldness of Solange Knowles, India Arie and Britney Spears – all, it should be emphasized, from Rikers Island. The album was number one on iTunes within 12 hours of its release. Weezy will be a free man on November 5, the same day his next album, the fourth in the Carter “trilogy,” is scheduled to come out. I would argue that, at the very least, no one else has quite that much hustle.
All these things run through my mind on Tuesday as I listen to “Gonerrhea” on repeat and ponder my STD test results. The song isn’t actually about getting an STD. It’s about all the people Wayne hates, the people who hate him, and his accusation that they probably have gonorrhea. Or diarrhea. Or some horrific combination of the two.
At its base, the song is a childish way to insult someone – on par with the classic “I am rubber you are glue” retort – and yet, I’m inclined to believe that the song is actually a brilliant commentary on what people never want to talk about: the consequences of our sexual choices.
Gonorrhea is not the most horrific disease one can get from sexual relations. It’s a bacterial infection, easily treated with antibiotics, with no long-term effects. But it has, like most STDs, a horrible stigma attached that outweighs the severity of the infection. In popular rap culture especially, which arguably encourages women to be as sexual as possible for the benefit of men, a stamp of gonorrhea is essentially a death sentence. It makes a person untouchable, unwanted, disgusting. And even though it’s implied in the song that Weezy is talking about other men, he treats them the same way he would a woman diagnosed with the infection: “Yeah, I call it how I see ya/I wish I never met ya, I wouldn’t wanna be ya/P***y ass n***a, I don’t want your gonorrhea.”
He speaks against his haters as if they were women scarred by an STD – but in the same song he describes, in detail, a woman performing unprotected oral sex on him in a club. He wants to have his cake and eat it too, painting a grim picture for anyone in his life who doesn’t fit a certain prototype – you have to like him, you have to come up to his standards, and you have to be disease-free. This method will ultimately leave him isolated, as if he were the one with the STD, further driving home his point that he doesn’t feel like he belongs. He doesn’t feel like a “human being” – he feels other, alien, like no one can relate to him – not unlike how people must feel when they get a less than perfect result on an STD test.
Sitting in the exam room waiting for my doctor to come in and give me my results, I hear his voice in the hallway.
“Whatever you do, don’t scratch it. I know it itches, but don’t scratch.”
A female patient responds. “OK, doc. But it’s so hard!”
“I know, I know. Do what you gotta do. Have a beer. Get drunk. Just don’t scratch.”
I can’t help but laugh, even though I’m scared shitless. Did he really just encourage his patient to get drunk? He comes in and tells me all my tests are negative, which is good because otherwise this would have been a completely different sort of blog post. He looks at my sore and tells me it’s getting better, that it was probably some sort of trauma that caused it. He sighs and tells me he needs a cup of coffee, then asks me if I have any questions.
Just one: know any single dudes? Cuz this lady is STD-free, single and ready to mingle. My want ad has only three words: must love Weezy.