i told my doctor i was considering becoming sexually active. and that i wanted to be tested for infections and prescribed a minimal dose of estrogen to control birth. he told me a pill a day is no way to keep STIs away. i agreed to use protection on top of my monthly investment. this conversation took place right after he pulled out a combination of strange tools and tubes and right before he felt me up professionally. i wasn't nervous or scared. i wore my game face, brought the right questions, appreciated the fact that he warmed his hands up before he checked for lumps in my breasts. it was the most grown-up i've been about any activity in a long time, and it (strangely) felt good to be responsible. and in control. i told my doctor what i wanted, he told me what i could have. he openly asked me about oral sex. i openly told the truth. i thought it was cool, kind of. my doctor said oral sex. i wanted to giggle, but i didn't. because i had to remember that my roll was to be serious, ready for examination, adult-like about sexual activity. i respected him, this man of the house, the father of four, husband extraordinaire, asking me about my cycle. whatta guy. the kind of guy who recognizes that having a period is natural, in the objective sense most men will argue that farting in public is natural. out in public, even with the best of friends, the discussion of regular and timely bleeding is awkward. but it's not awkward at all in a 4x4 box with a man whose job is to inspect your 2,000 parts. and even though "... that is your uterus" is not really a sentence one wants to hear/feel, a girl's gotta take care of herself. i'm willing to donate my body once a year to medicinal groping. to dodge the perils of cancer and admit ignorance to save myself unsafe moments. so now, i'm checked-up, calmed down, and in control. of birth. of my sexuality. which makes me giggle. not out of childish embarassment. but rather, out of excitement and the feeling of freedom.