A day or two before my fifth date with Whippersnapper, we had a text conversation about his latest sexual health symptoms (which turned out to be why he postponed the date).
A few weeks ago, he had feared he was having a second outbreak of herpes, but it turned out to be a skin infection. Now, he had some new symptoms, including pimples in that area. He seemed really down about it. “I haven’t had a normal dick in weeks. Probably never will again.” He said, slightly histrionically.
On Monday, the day before the date, I checked my phone while I ate my lunch at work. He’d messaged me saying he thought his latest symptoms were genital warts, which meant he was “worried about Tuesday.”
The first thought that flashed through my mind was where did he get genital warts from? I’m pretty sure I don’t have them – does this mean he has slept with someone else, since me?
However, a quick read of the trusty NHS website answered this. Genital warts are caused by the virus HPV (human papilloma virus). The NHS website says “It can take months, or even years, for warts to develop after infection with HPV. So if you’re in a relationship and you get genital warts, it does not necessarily mean your partner has been having sex with other people.”
So he probably got infected with HPV in his days of being a rogue, and maybe his immune system was down after the recent skin infection, making it easier for the warts to develop.
On to the second stressful part of his message – what did he mean he was ‘worried about Tuesday’? Was he going to cancel again?
I put my phone back in my bag and tried to focus on the patients I was seeing all afternoon.
Hours later, as I waited on the platform for my train home, I composed a message to try and check what was happening: “I can understand being generally concerned about the latest development as it sounds stressful, but what makes you concerned about seeing me tomorrow?”
I noticed that I was sighing a lot as I wrote this message. I’d be really disappointed if Tuesday got cancelled. I still wanted to see him, even if we couldn’t have sex.
He read the message straight away, and my heart was thumping as it said “Whippersnapper is typing…” at the top of my screen.
“Oh no I didn’t mean concerned about seeing you, I meant concerned about the clinic tomorrow!”
And then: “Haha. Crossed wires. Definitely not concerned about tomorrow :)”.
Tuesday afternoon came around. He was going to the clinic first, then coming to mine afterwards.
I caught the train home with my work colleague, who I’m quite close to, and told him about the situation. He was really impressed WS was being so open with me, as it would be so tempting for a guy just to hide away and make up an excuse until the symptoms had passed, especially so early on.
I got home and opened my front door. I was afraid to let myself feel too excited about seeing him, as I still didn’t feel 100% confident he would end up coming here. I did some last minute cleaning of my flat and tried to keep calm.
Then, he texted me. He said he’d be there by 7pm. It turned out it was genital warts, and he had ointment. He seemed more like his usual self again in these messages. He said he couldn’t have sex that night, because of the warts, but he cheerily told me what he planned to do to me, instead.
“It’s a pretty good gig, dating someone with an STI! All about doing stuff for me!” I replied.
These are the things I did, while I waited for him to arrive:
- applied lots of makeup, but tried to make it look like I hadn’t, as we were only going to be hanging out in my flat
- vacuumed the stairs
- tried to decide whether to put fresh underwear on. There was nothing wrong with my current underwear except you could tell I’d been wearing it all day. I decided not to change my underwear on principle: if men can’t handle the gentle aroma and secretions of a healthy vagina, I don’t think they should be tinkering with vaginas in the first place. It’s not as though penises emit perfume and rainbows.
- I changed my mind and did put fresh underwear on.
- I tried to decide whether to put fresh tights on. In the summer my feet can smell really bad. In the past, when I’ve been watching TV with an ex-boyfriend, I’ve put my feet up on the sofa and promptly been asked to put them back down again. However, this was the depths of winter, and they seemed OK to the naked eye. I sniffed my feet and shoes really hard. Not ideal. Get a grip, I told myself, he’s not going to literally put his face in your shoes. They’re fine.
- I changed my mind and put clean tights on. I also sprayed some of that bowling alley shoe spray into my shoes.
- I scrutinised my bikini line. I had a wax about a week ago, and topped it up with some horribly painful epilation the night before. However, to my annoyance, I noticed there were still some stray hairs. I decided to get these with a razor.
- I realised that pinpricks of blood had appeared where I had just shaved. Maybe 3 methods of hair removal in such a short time was not a good idea. I put some germolene on the bleeding bits.
- I noted that whatever my underwear smelt of before, it now smelt of antiseptic cream.
- I tried to arrange myself in a casual position on the sofa, and messed around with my playlist.
My doorbell doesn’t work, so we had agreed WS would text when he was at my door.
My phone chirped. He was here.
I did some final checks of my face in the bathroom mirror, and then scampered down the stairs to the front door.
There he was!
I kissed him. The kiss went on for ages, and was really good.
We walked up the stairs together. His glasses steamed up.
We sat on the sofa and discussed his trip to the clinic.
“Did they give you a loyalty card?” I asked, as he had also been there a couple of weeks earlier. He laughed, luckily.
He seemed really relieved the appointment had gone OK.
The question of where he caught them from came up, and he said he didn’t know. He said he hadn’t slept with anyone besides me in the last 3 month, and I believe him. Despite my paranoia in Portugal, I really don’t think he had slept with anyone else. On a practical level, it seemed like the end of his skin infection had overlapped with the start of his genital warts, so I’m not even sure he would’ve been up to it.
He asked what I thought about his latest STI, and said he’d been worried I’d think it was a bridge too far. I said I didn’t like it because it made him unhappy, but otherwise, it just was what it was.
After all of the stress and uncertainty about him coming round, I felt completely at ease once he was here.
I put a pizza in the oven for our dinner, and made some salad. We opened a bottle of wine.
As he sat himself down at my dinner table, he said “I already feel really at ease, here at [Dater Analysis] Towers!”
After eating, we lay on my sofa and chatted until it was time for bed. I can’t remember what we talked about now, but it felt like it went really quickly. I remember feeling torn because I wanted us to stop talking so we could kiss more, but I also wanted carry on talking because I was enjoying the conversation so much.
Eventually, we went upstairs. We lay on the bed and he tried to work out to how undo my dress. I showed him the zip on the side. As he unzipped it, he literally gasped when he saw my body, which was really sweet and gratifying.
He did what he had promised, which was fabulous. I lazily said it was a shame I couldn’t do anything back.
Afterwards, we were hugging and he fell asleep quite quickly. I just lay there, stroking his hair, as he did tiny twitches in his sleep. I can’t believe I didn’t get bored, but I just felt so happy and content, staring at his big sleepy face. At one point I kissed his forehead and he slightly frowned for a second, in his sleep.
Oh god, I’m totally falling in love with him.
After about 15-20 minutes of this ridiculousness, he woke up. We talked a bit more. He said “it’s really special, what we’ve got so far, isn’t it?”
Then we went to sleep.