Transcript of 28th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sharon Lough, Friday, August 7, 1998 at 10:00 am.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Sharon.
Ms. Lough: Hola, Doctor. Do I look Mexican to you?
Dr. Balis: Why do you ask?
Ms. Lough: I just got back from the Mission. It seemed like every five minutes, some old woman came up to me and asked if I spoke Spanish. Is my ass that fat? Some people ask me if I'm Filipino. I don't know what's worse.
Dr. Balis: They're just asking for help. I sense an oncoming rant.
Ms. Lough: I went to the hospital this morning, to take some more X-rays. Half the staff there speaks Spanish because they have so many Spanish-speaking patients. The X-ray technician was Mexican. Her accent was so thick I could've scooped up her consonants with a tortilla chip. She wanted me in all these weird positions. You'd have to be a contortionist to do what she wanted. She kept pushing on my leg and foot with her claw-like hands--I just love those Lee Press-On Nails, don't you? She kept trying to flex my ankle, even when I told her it hurt. The last time, the X-ray guy was this big, jovial black man, who was a real pro--five minutes and I was out. He got all the right angles without turning me into a human pretzel.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps she had less experience, but I wouldn't make some racial generalization.
Ms. Lough: The doctor renewed my prescription. When I went to the pharmacy to pick it up, I waited and waited behind this middle-aged Mexican woman who was holding up the line, arguing with the pharmacy clerk, in Spanish, of course.
Dr. Balis: People always have to wait in line at the pharmacy. Unfortunately, that's quite common.
Ms. Lough: When another window finally opened, this fat spic broad, who had been standing beside me, cut in front of me. I was next! I'd been waiting for at least twenty minutes! I said, "Excuse me," but both Senorita Gordo and the clerk ignored me. When I got to the window, I picked up the prescription the clerk put on the counter for me. But the pharmacy cunt reprimanded me, saying: "Don't do that next time." I asked what she meant, and she said that I was supposed to wait for her to hand the bottle to me. Where the fuck does this supercilious bitch get off lecturing me about my etiquette? She let Senorita Gordo cut right in front of me, a woman in a wheelchair! I snarled, "So sorry," and got out of there, but not before telling Senorita Gordo to "have a nice day," as nastily as I could. I hope that fat ass chokes to death on a pork tamale.
Dr. Balis: I...
Ms. Lough: Why is it these people have such an irresistible compulsion to breed? Everywhere I go, I see some Mexican mama with a half-dozen little brown watermelons with arms and legs in tow. And they never get out of the way or hold a door open for a cripple. Maybe it's a good thing they are the way they are. Being dull, stupid, rude, and lacking in ambition, they're well-suited to washing dishes and picking lettuce. Do you know any Spanish curse words?
Dr. Balis: No. Do you think we can move back to something related to Sharon now?
Ms. Lough: The next time someone asks me if I speak Spanish, I want to tell them to fuck off in their native language.
Dr. Balis: I'm sure that will encourage them to learn English.
Ms. Lough: Why can't they leave me the fuck alone? If there ever was a defective race of people...
Dr. Balis: Sharon, I think the real issue here is why you react with such anger to everyday annoyances.
Ms. Lough: No, you're missing the point. When was the last time you went to the Mission?
Dr. Balis: A while ago.
Ms. Lough: Probably never, right? And being a white guy, they don't bug you for translation services. Observing a large group of immigrants steeped in their own culture and living off our largess is enough to make any taxpayer's blood boil.
Dr. Balis: Why do you go to the Mission district? Isn't it a little out of your way?
Ms. Lough: I want to support the local businesses.
Dr. Balis: Was it drugs, Sharon? Were you "supporting the local businesses" by buying marijuana in Dolores Park?
Ms. Lough: No, I go to Hunter's Point for that.
Dr. Balis: Sharon!
Ms. Lough: I'm kidding. When I was done with the hospital, I went to the clinic on 17th Street to get my test results, which were negative by the way. The woman who told me the good news was Mexican, too. The Mission was a short bus ride away. And I scored some dwarf bananas from the corner market on 16th.
Dr. Balis: You'll need to get tested again in three to six months.
Ms. Lough: Arrgghh! Why are you making such a big deal about this? I'm not a high risk.
Dr. Balis: With a history of promiscuity and drug use, with a lackadaisical attitude towards condoms and safe sex generally, and with an HIV positive sexual partner and your penchant for S&M games, I'd say you are at high risk. I hope the counselor impressed upon you the need to take precautions. Did you pick up some condoms while you were there?
Ms. Lough: Yeah, the taco bender safe sex counselor just about rammed them down my throat. They were the cheap kind, too--the ones that taste really bad. They all have a funny taste, but the ones you get from the clinic are the absolute worst. They're really thick and have a strong, synthetic flavor.
Dr. Balis: Spoken like a true condom connoisseur.
Ms. Lough: Have you ever worn a condom for a blow job?
Dr. Balis: Sharon...
Ms. Lough: Because it feels really weird, or so I hear. A lot of men have trouble coming that way. By the time they do, I've practically got lockjaw. How about dental dams, have you ever used one? I'll bet you haven't.
Dr. Balis: My sex life isn't the issue here.
Ms. Lough: It's probably because you don't have one.
Dr. Balis: Sharon!
Ms. Lough: Are you gay, Doctor Balis?
Dr. Balis: My sexual orientation isn't relevant, Sharon.
Ms. Lough: I thought so. You have a faggy look.
Dr. Balis: Thank you. I'm not gay...
Ms. Lough: I meant that in a good way, you know--gay men are so attractive and are such snappy dressers.
Dr. Balis: Good save, Sharon.
Ms. Lough: You've nagged and lectured me about safe sex practices, but I bet you've never tried half of them. I bet that fat little beaner at the clinic hasn't either, unless someone drank a couple of six-packs and put a bag over her head first. Believe me, you don't want to suck a cock that's latex-coated. It's like slurping on an inner tube: yum yum. Even those mint-flavored condoms can't cover up that awful taste.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lough: And dental dams are a fucking joke. You don't know how awkward it is to eat pussy with a big square of latex in the way. Tell me, Doctor, do you really want to lick a piece of rubber for twenty or thirty minutes or however long it takes to make the woman come?
Dr. Balis: Granted, using barriers may not be the height of sensual pleasure, but the alternative is to risk...
Ms. Lough: The alternative is a hot and juicy kiebalsa or tuna taco, sans the sandwich wrap. The taste is the best part of going down, at least for me. And it's not a high-risk activity. Saran Wrap is even worse as a barrier protection, it bunches up and sticks together. I think it's terrible that it's still recommended as a preventative device. Even the company that makes Saran Wrap doesn't sanction its use as a safe sex barrier. Dental dams work okay for rimming; if you lubricate one side, and stuff it in the crack, and hook it in the little hole with your finger. It'll stay put for a while.
Dr. Balis: Thank you for that valuable insight.
Ms. Lough: What I'm getting at is that a lot of what's touted as safe sex is either impractical, incredibly awkward, or distasteful, no pun intended. I once listened to a speech given by a self-annointed AIDS educator. She did the usual bit: blew up a condom like a balloon, put a condom over her head to show how strong they are. I thought she was spreading a lot of pernicious misinformation. I've had condoms break several times; they aren't as invincible as you might think. She didn't even mention the twenty-minute rule.
Dr. Balis: What's the twenty-minute rule?
Ms. Lough: Condoms should be replaced after fifteen to twenty minutes of vigorous intercourse. But it makes more sense to try to get him to come before then, because the chafing gets to be a bit much. That's a good time to use your Kegel muscles--if you can clamp down at just the right time, he'll finish and you can go back to watching TV.
Dr. Balis: How romantic.
Ms. Lough: Speaking of romantic, have you heard of the female condom?
Dr. Balis: Yes, I read about it.
Ms. Lough: It was marketed under the brand name "Reality" and hailed as a new breakthrough in contraception and STD-prevention. The truth is Reality sucks! That's probably why they gave it the name "Reality"--it was a metaphor. That thing was so ugly...I mean do you really want to fuck a woman with a plastic bag hanging out of her vagina?
Dr. Balis: Hmm...
Ms. Lough: Because that's basically what it is, and it's about as erotic. Imagine putting your penis in a slightly narrower version of a Hefty Cinch Sack; that's what those things feel like. It feels weird for a guy and for a woman, too. Maybe that was the point--using the female condom was so unpleasant that both partners would lose their sexual appetite.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lough: Safe sex speakers always have these neat gadgets, like those garter-belts that hold dental dams in place and special latex panties. Most people aren't going to bother with stuff like that. Those are just novelty items. They're expensive, too--dental dams are about a buck a piece, and all that other junk costs even more. Female condoms are outrageously expensive--about three dollars each. College kids aren't going to spend that much, especially when they can get condoms for twenty-five or fifty cents a piece.
Dr. Balis: It's not an outrageous cost when you consider the alternative.
Ms. Lough: When I confronted this safe sex speaker woman after her talk, I asked her if she'd ever used a dental dam, Saran Wrap, or a condom for that matter. She admitted she hadn't. She was a lesbian who didn't have a current partner. So where the fuck does she get off giving speeches about AIDS prevention? It's like Jeffrey Dahmer lecturing about the importance of a balanced diet.
Dr. Balis: I'm sure this woman was informed and had good intentions, though she might not have had the practical experience you've had.
Ms. Lough: Are you calling me a slut?
Dr. Balis: No, Sharon, I didn't say that.
Ms. Lough: I think it would make sense to have some old whore up there talking about what works and what doesn't and not some do-gooding suburban lesbian who's all theory and no practice.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps this is something you can volunteer for.
Ms. Lough: Hey! You're not supposed to judge me.
Dr. Balis: You're projecting, Sharon. I'm not judging you because of your sexual experience. By your own admission, you do have some practical knowledge of this subject. You might benefit others by sharing your experience.
Ms. Lough: You want me to go up in front of a group of college kids and wave condoms around? I'd rather rub ground glass into my eyes.
Dr. Balis: You offer harsh criticisms but no practical solutions.
Ms. Lough: That's because there are none. There aren't any simple answers when it comes to AIDS prevention. Safe sex is a misnomer, a more accurate term is "safer sex." An awkward, expensive, hard-to-find, and aesthetically displeasing means of barrier protection is useless, especially if you're addressing a crowd of hormone-driven teenagers.
Dr. Balis: What would you recommend?
Ms. Lough: I'd recommend condoms, with the proviso that they don't shield you from a host of other diseases, like crabs, herpes, and genital warts. The people who think that wrapping themselves in latex allows them to do whatever they want sexually are deluding themselves. I'd urge people to be selective about whom they perform certain sex acts with. I'd rather give up oral sex entirely than use a barrier for it.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: And I'd also feel funny about taking on that kind of role. I'm hardly a poster child for monogamy or sexual health. And people are very judgmental about women who are open about sex. Even you are looking at me with that "something smells bad" expression on your face.
Dr. Balis: You're projecting again, Sharon.
Ms. Lough: No, I'm not.
Dr. Balis: Let's move on. Have you heard from the crime lab yet?
Ms. Lough: No, not yet. It will probably take a few weeks, maybe even a month. The lawyer said crime labs and police officers are notorious for mishandling evidence. Maybe that will work in my favor. Has my lawyer called you about obtaining my case history yet?
Dr. Balis: No, I haven't heard from her.
Ms. Lough: Hmm. I wonder why. I better call and nag.
Dr. Balis: Do you prefer the wheelchair?
Ms. Lough: My knees have been bothering me. I only use the crutches when I think they're absolutely necessary.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lough: Would you like a midget banana? They're small, neat, good to eat, and a tasty treat.
Dr. Balis: How very sweet.
Ms. Lough: Want to smell my feet?
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sharon.
Ms. Lough: No, you're supposed to say something that rhymes like: "They reek like rotted meat."
Dr. Balis: Do you need help with the door?
Ms. Lough: You make me feel unwanted when you say things like that.
Dr. Balis: I'll see you next week, Sharon.
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