Photo by Surija / "Sray" (Gnarls Monkey; Flickr CC)
"So, Jacinta," says a German boy I know at a party. "What kind of contraception do you use? Are you on the pill, or does your boyfriend still wear condoms, or do you have a cap or one of those coil type things?"
I try to squint nonchalantly at him, like the question is so boring, it's almost blinded me.
"I can't believe you asked that," I say. "That's not socially acceptable. You can't go around asking people that kind of thing at a party."
"I'm just trying to be all modern and Anglo-Saxon and open-minded and relaxed. You're always going on about how Germans are all repressed and so on."
"I am not."
"Yes you are. Every seventh blog you write is about how repressed the German people are. So, tell me what kind of contraception you use."
"I knew you didn't read my blog," I say. "I've never called the Germans repressed, ever. Ha. I just say you're crap at small talk and rhyme too much in adverts – which is totally true."
"Come on, tell me. You're on the pill, aren't you?"
"I'm not going to tell you."
"Or have you got a coil?"
I look at him, aghast. "I'm not old enough for a coil!" I cry, outraged.
He winces sympathetically. "I hate to hurt your feelings, but you totally are, actually, to be honest. Okay then, let's talk about menstruation. Do you use tampons, sanitary towels or those cup things?"
"Those cup things? What cup things?"
"You know, those eco cup things you can bleed into and then you can just take them out and rinse them out and then you can re-use them."
"No," I say. "I use a combination of tampons and sanny pads. And I've never used a cup thing in my life. I think they're misogynistic."
"You think those cup things are misogynistic?"
"Yes, they're essentially misogynistic."
"What would you say if I told you they were invented by a woman?"
"I'd say she was a misogynistic cunt. Were they?"
"Hmmmm, I bet they were, as well. Well, I think all that natural birth stuff is misogynistic, too, and that breastfeeding fascism. It's just punishing women for having bodies. It's total bollocks. Men never try and have a natural experience at the dentist, do they? 'I want to have my tooth out in as natural a way as possible. Instead of painkillers, just play the sound of some dolphins farting in the background, I'm sure I'll be fine.'"
"Yeah, but you're not worried about your teeth coming out all whacked out and spacky from the painkillers – that's the difference, isn't it?"
"That's the excuse, more like."
"I love it when you get all feminist. You're just so paranoid. It's really enjoyable talking to you."
I grin. "Oh," I say. “Thanks. I do try my best, really I do."