So today I attended a training that I signed up for a few weeks ago. Good thing they send out email reminders about this kind of thing, because all I wrote in my calendar was “SEX TRG 9AM.” It turned out it was a training about how to talk to our clients about risky sexual behaviors they may be engaging in and how to perhaps gently steer them toward safer practices.
I know, I was disappointed too.
Now, anyone who knows me very well (all both of you) were probably surprised to hear that I had signed up for this. In fact, I myself was surprised to hear it. I sat in the training, flop sweat pooling around me, and thought, “What was I thinking?!” It was as though I was waking up in a terrible nightmare in which I had voluntarily signed up for a training in which the topic of sex might come up. You know, by chance. Occasionally.
OR CONSTANTLY, AS IT TURNED OUT.
Because it turns out that I’m kind of … what’s the word? Well, I’m accepting of the fact that people Do Things. They may even do Things That I Would Never IN A MILLION BAJILLION YEARS Do, Or Even Think About. But hey, that’s their business. I can accept this, and possibly even joke about it furtively after several bracing shots of anything alcoholic. Oh, and a complete personality change.
But please don’t make me talk about it. My larynx goes on strike and every red corpuscle in my body heads for my face, so that I might glow and broadcast my general I WISH I WAS ANYWHERE BUT HERE AND THAT INCLUDES THE ORAL SURGEON’S OFFICE discomfort more adequately to one and all.
You’d think as a nurse I’d get over this but it turns out that there has been a scarcity of occasions to ask total strangers whether they bareback or engage in the act of rimming. I’m sure over time, particularly after my soul has finished dying completely, I’ll be casually insouciant about it and perhaps then the nightmares will stop.
At one point the instructor, a fearless, affable, slightly scruffy gent with a wallet on a chain and the beginnings of what will no doubt be an impressive bay window given time and enough chili dogs, whipped out a pad of Post-Its that he had written various Practices on. We were to go over to a wall where there were signs: NO RISK, LOW RISK, MODERATE RISK, HIGH RISK. We would choose a category and place our sticky beneath the appropriate sign.
My neighbor’s sticky: HUGGING.
Mine: MUTUAL MASTURBATION.
I decisively chose my category (LOW RISK, but in case you’re curious, it’s actually NO RISK; it turned out we were a “pretty conservative bunch” per the instructor) and as I then had a few idle moments to myself, I wondered about the sticky pad. I’ve seen people make little flip-books out of them. If I were the instructor, I would totally while away the time I spent waiting around for people to unclench enough to talk coherently about sex making a flipbook out of my sticky note pad.
Noooo I certainly would not make the flipbooks about stick figures engaging in risky behaviors, because I’m too repressed.
Okay, I might, but I would never admit to it if anyone caught me and I’d totally blame it on the intern or something.
It was actually a pretty decent training, full of interesting statistics, so it’s a shame I’ll never be able to communicate anything about it to anyone. Good thing he’s going to send us all the powerpoint, so I can just fire up the presentation and scurry from the room on a pretense!
If anyone asks, it’s a reasonable accommodation to prevent me from bursting directly into flame.