Size Matters

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CC Image courtesy of princess toadie on FlickrI push open the door and approach the desk.

‘How can I help?’

‘Er I’m looking for free condoms…’

Yes I am that tight.

‘Do you have any preference?’

The kind that stop you getting pregnant/catching STIs?

‘What are the options?’

‘Regular, large, just different sizes.’

‘Err… erm…’

And there, in the foyer of Soho’s express sexual health clinic, I find myself contemplating the size of Tom‘s manhood.

‘Large? No maybe…’

Are condoms one of those things it’s best to buy on the small side? I look round. There’s a guy – staff I think – hovering nearby. But this really isn’t one of those things where you can ask for a second opinion. I wonder fleetingly what you’re supposed to do if you need condoms before you’ve seen someone naked.

‘… regular?’ I wind up. ‘Or… can I have some of both?’

He must think I’m planning a quickie back at the office. Actually, judging by his expression, he’s not thinking anything at all.

‘It’s one pack per person,’ he says.

‘Erm… I don’t really know how this works. I mean, I do, but… this is surreal!’

He looks mildly bored. Hosiery sizing charts swim into my mind. For a mad moment I consider asking him how condom sizing works.

‘Then… large?’

Five minutes later I leave with my allotted pack and walk back in the direction of the office.


CC Image courtesy of ilovebutter on Flickr
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‘… and then I’m meeting my man!’CC Image courtesy of coop925 on Flickr

I shriek.  ‘What?!  And… WHAT?!!!’

Perky grins.


Five minutes later, we’re sitting in a cafe.

‘What can I get you?’

I look up at the waiter ‘Could we have a couple of minutes please?’

Or, like, fifty?

‘You were saying?’

Just before Christmas, Perky’s onetime university crush and sometime tennis partner, asked her out.   I’m vacillating, between dutifully excited, and wondering why I haven’t yet made a voodoo doll of Nice Guy.


The following week, I see her at a party.  She’s not her usual perky self.

‘He wants to take a break.’

‘Oh I’m sorry.  What did he say?’

‘That he wants to go off travelling.  He brought it up at the Sexual Health Clinic of all places!  Awkward!’

‘’Scuse me?  What were you doing there?!’

‘Getting tested.’

I’m lost for words.

‘You actually do that?!’

‘Of course.’

‘Before doing anything?’


‘How did he react when you asked him?’

‘Well it was over text, luv.  I didn’t ask him to his face!’

My face must be a picture.  ‘Blimey.  Well, good for you!  You’re an inspiration!’

‘Thanks darling.’


‘A friend asked a guy she was seeing to get tested before she slept with him.  How would you react if a girl asked you to do that?’

The guy, who I reckon I know just about well enough to canvas his opinion on this point, appears lost for words.

I prompt, ‘I imagine you’d have to be really into her….’

He’s no closer to speech.  I’m starting to think I’ve misjudged the degree of acquaintance between us.

‘… or do you find the girls offer up the goods quickly enough…?’

Eventually he says,

‘How would I react?  I – I honestly don’t know.  To be honest, it hasn’t happened, but then, I don’t have that much going on on the dating front!’

I laugh.  ‘Join the club!’

CC Image courtesy of superkimbo on Flickr

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