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Friday, June 11, 2010

Lab Rat

As regular readers of my articles already know, I often find myself in the middle of some interesting conversations. Not having had any of those conversations recently I was a bit bored and decided to sacrifice myself in the name of science and sign up for a clinical study on a new medication. When I showed up I was expecting to provide a medical history, blood, urine, the usual fun stuff.

But for me it doesn't seem like the usual stuff is ever usual and so during the interview phase. . .

Her: Are you sexually active?
Me: Yes. -she scribbles
Her: And you will be telling your wife about this study, correct?
Me: No. -starts to scribble then looks up at me
Her: Why not?
Me: I'm not married. -she scribbles
Her: Oh, okay, your girlfriend then?
Me: You mean my partner.
Her: Partner? Oh, yes, your partner. -she scribbles again
Me: Partners.
Her: I'm sorry?
Me: Partners. Plural. Partners with an s.
-silence, then she looks up
Her: Um, yes, your partners. -I could tell she was wondering if I was gay at that point.
Me: I'm poly.
-starts to scribble then stops.
Her: You're what?
Me: I'm polyamorous.
Her: Umm. . .
Me: I have multiple simultaneous relationships.
Her: Oh -she blushes a little
-I smile
Her: Okay, what we are concerned with here is that one of your partners could become pregnant while you are participating in this study and taking the medication. We really don't want that to happen.
Me: I understand. That was outlined in the consent paperwork you sent me.
Her: Oh good, you read it all then.
Me: Yes.
Her: Okay. So then you agree to use at least one method of contraception while in this study? -starts to scribble.
Me: No.
Her: No?
Me: Pregnancy isn't a concern.
Her: It isn't?
Me: Nope, I've had a vasectomy.
Her: Oh. Well. I guess we don't need to worry about pregnancy then do we?
Me: Well, I'm sure I don't anyway.
Her: Oh, -laughs- of course. Ok, just let me make a note you were fixed and we'll continue.
Me: Fixed? I wasn't aware I was broken.
Her: Oh, I'm sorry, I mean that you had a vasectomy.

At this point she turned beet red and was obviously embarrassed. She excused herself to go check on something or another and left the room. To my surprise when she returned there were absolutely no further questions about sexual activity.

In fairness I have to say I actually enjoyed this conversation and yes, I was screwing with her a bit. But I didn't feel that bad about it when I thought of the assumptions that are made by people every day. People generally assume you are hetrosexual and monogamous in your sexual orientation, anything else throws them for a loop.

In closing, maybe this wasn't a completely Poly oriented article but I hope it gave you a chuckle.

Have you had any conversations like this lately? When you do, do you tend to mess with people a little like I do? What do you think of sexual orientation assumptions?

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