Under The STD – Crabs

Ryan Auberson-Walsh
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I’m a Cancerian. My star sign is a crab – which makes me an emotional, yet delightfully cookable* crustacean of the deep. It also means that it’s spectacularly fitting that my very first STD as a self-proclaimed promiscuous poof was pubic lice. Better known as, and we’ll say it once more for good luck, crabs.

Not some classy infection or venereal disease that one can reflect on with great shame, but something that we all like to sweep under the rug. And so it also seems, store within our pubic region and share with the entirety of Sydney’s queer populace.

Thank you to whoever blessed me with this joyful gift. I’ll have you know that I got rid of them almost immediately. I’ll also have you know that treating them with an alcohol-based cream that is not only meant to burn the suckers right off your body, but also burn four layers of your epidermis with it is not a successful treatment – at least on attempt one.

Pursuing the use of a second slather of cream the following day is also to no avail – it just shreds off the last remaining flakes of your fifth layer of skin that are more delicate than Queen Lizzy II’s silk gloves.

According to ‘trustworthy’ websites getridofthings.com and WikiHow, the best way to get rid of Phthirius Pubis is to douse them in petrol apply a shampoo or topical ointment that contains the three main active ingredients permethrin, lindane and malathion. The key note here is that you’re meant to follow the instructions to a tea – that may have been where I personally screwed up. NB: read the damn bottle.

Wash bedding/linen, any clothing and don’t have sex. These are three demands that a 20-year-old is often not willing to follow up on. But alas, Dr. Google insisted that I listen to her wise words (Google is an all-knowing she-goddess in my head, as opposed to a multi-billion dollar tech empire based in Silicon Valley).

Also a slap across the face from the kind soul who left my genitals feeling somewhat abused and, at the time of infestation, underused, is the timeliness of a little Guardian article that went global the week of my misery. Its theme? That medical researchers had proposed the theory that pubic lice were almost extinct, and that the date of their apparent downfall could be traced back to a single episode of Sex & the City in which one of the four women receives a spicy Brazilian wax.

Dr Kun Sen Chen of the British Association of Dermatologists, or BAD for short, addressed the association’s theory.

“Pubic hair removal has been practised by humans for thousands of years, by cultures from all over the world, including the ancient Egyptians. However, until recently, with the rise of truly global mass media, pubic lice have been able to weather changing cultural attitudes to body hair,” he said.

“In popularising hair removal, Carrie Bradshaw and co have contributed to ridding humanity of a pest that has plagued humans for millions of years. Sadly there isn’t an Emmy for that.”

With a gag and well-timed appearance on my Twitter Feed, his wise words deserve an award of their own. Perhaps the Nobel Prize for Ironic timing in the life of Ryan? An apt title, I must say. But nowhere near as apt as one particular approach to making sure the one-millimetre demons leave you alone for good.

What I might suggest then? Hacking at your pubes as if you’re the next Edward Scissorhands, using any sharp objects around, chainsaws included. Just make sure that you’ve got a steady hand and the eye of a hawk.

There’s no way that singing along to Little Mermaid ballads and belting out ‘Under the Sea’ in front of your bedroom mirror will inspire these little buggers to leap off your body in joy and piss off back to the shithole of an STD sea that they came from.

Word of advice? Go all Pope Francis and choose abstinence. It’s the only way those little critters will stay down.

Play safe kids.



*Fuck off autocorrect, it’s now a word.

About Ryan Auberson-Walsh

Ryan Auberson-Walsh is a sassy Sydneysider who enjoys cocktails and writing from opinion. A student at the University of Technology, Sydney, he was the 2013 editor-in-chief of annual Querelle, and has previously interned at SameSame.com.au and Australian Traveller. His work has also been published in Cream and Vertigo. @ryanaubiee on Twitter & Instagram.

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