One of the joys of being 25 – apart from two-day hangovers, quarter-life crises and developing a ‘bad knee’ – is being eligible for a free cervical check. Yaaaay!
So naturally, before you do something for the first time, you Google the shit out of it. Be wary of seemingly innocuous phrases that become more sinister when they’re related to your vagina, like ‘swab’ and ‘the knuckle rule’.
Also, it’s a good idea to get opinions from your girlfriends who’ve gone through the experience already, so they can scare you with tales of spotting and overly handsy gynaecologists.
Now that you’re prepared (and I mean PREPARED. I’ve prepped for this smear test than I would an anniversary), it’s clinic time.
Walk up to the reception and introduce yourself: “Hi, I’m here on behalf of my vagina.”
Wait patiently to meet the nurse. Regret your decision to wear the dinosaur underwear today.
Meet. Shake hands. Look down at her hand and think about where it will be next.
Next up: the awkward question portion of the evening. If you’re lucky, idiotic answers won’t be the first ones that come to mind.
Have you had sex before? I guess you could say that, eh? EH? AMIRITE?
Do you have an STI? No, but I had a cold sore once?
Are you pregnant? JESUS I hope not *does period math*
Are you on any prescription medication? Just the pill. For all that riding I mentioned previously.
And then, in a manner generally attributed to long-term-relationship sex, you will quietly remove your clothes while the other person waits patiently.
Hands down, the most awkward part is lying there with your dress pulled up over your belly button, wondering whether you should keep your knees together to prolong the suspense of it all, or if you’ll just spring them open when she’s least suspecting it.
Do not try to decode everything she says: “That’s good, you’re very relaxed.” Are you saying I’ve got a gaping black hole for a vagina?!
Also, do not try and make small talk when ‘it’ is in. ‘Is it in yet hahaha’, and so forth.
It’s painless and it will be over quick as a flash. You can awkwardly shuffle back to your pile of clothes, weirdly disappointed that it wasn’t much of an experience.
You may feel a strange attachment to your nurse afterwards. Are we friends now? I feel like we should hug? You’ve been inside me, like?
Say thank you as you leave the most bizarre sexual but non-sexual encounter of your life. Awkward nod as you exit, of course.