We’ve all been there. You had a one night stand, engaged in spontaneous travel sex, or found out your significant other was a big, fat cheater, and soon after, something very suspect appeared on your nether regions looking like it may be an STD. Could that be a genital wart or is it just an ingrown hair? Is that razor burn or the start of a raging herpes outbreak? From the moment you make the scary discovery to the second you find out you’re a-ok, that, my friends, is what Hell feels like. More specifically, this is what that journey of panic feels like in GIFs…
STAGE 1: Discovery. Wait … what the hell is that? That wasn’t there last week. OH. MY. GOD.
STAGE 2: Worried Confusion. You calculate the number of days since you last had sex, trying to figure out what “it” could be. I’m sure it’s nothing. Or is it something? Oh shit.
STAGE 3: Inspection. Grab your hand mirror and get ready to go down South, because things are about to get VERY up close and personal. Best friends may or may not be recruited for an uncomfortable, but necessary second opinion.
STAGE 4: Complete Panic. Be prepared for uncontrollable shaking and anxiety that no amount of red wine or “Friends” reruns can cure. I imagine this stage is what it felt like for the people on the Titanic when the band started playing.
STAGE 5: Googling. Despite everything you know about the internet, you type your symptoms into Google and look at 79 pages of the most disgusting, repulsive cases of syphilis you’ve ever seen, trying to convince yourself that you definitely do not have anything that looks remotely similar to the photos.
STAGE 6: Doom. Then you find a picture that does remotely resemble your situation. WebMD confirms you’re dying. You may have only hours left to live.
STAGE 7: Temporary Insanity. You survive the next few hours and can’t stop thinking about your private parts. You go unavoidably apeshit for a while. Side effects include crying, yelling, throwing things and regrettable phone calls.
STAGE 8: Anger. The person who gave you this disease — whatever it is — will PAY, MOTHERFUCKER.
STAGE 9: Hope. You finally realize (likely with coercion from someone else) you can’t rule anything out until you see a professional about your “situation.” Things may be okay and you can’t believe everything you see on the internet.
STAGE 10: Regret. “I will never not use condoms again … I will never not use condoms again…”
STAGE 11: Anxiety. Your appointment with the doctor tomorrow at noon feels as far away as the shit Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about on “Cosmos.” In the meantime, you let your mind wander into terrifying places.
STAGE 12: Relief. “You have a large, puss-filled pimple” and “terrible chafing from your thong” are the greatest words you’ve ever heard in your life.
STAGE 13: Elation. The birds are chirping, the flowers seem brighter and you don’t have The Clap. LIFE IS GOOD.