Pacey and Joey mack. Pacey thinks they should "slow this down a notch." "Okay," Joey says agreeably. Pacey is confused; Joey says she respects that, if it's what Pacey wants. Pacey makes "ohhhhh-kay" noises. Joey snarkily accuses him of thinking that, if he turned the tables on her by "stopping things," she'd "get paranoid" and want to go further, and maybe she'd go to the clinic and "stock up on goodies and come back here and then we'd have sex." I don't think he intended that at all, but whatever -- Pacey asks gravely if she did in fact go to the clinic and stock up on goodies. "I can neither confirm nor deny such reports," she sulks. Pacey tells her that she shouldn't have taken it seriously: "All I wanted to do was to jump-start the conversation." Joey says quietly that she's glad she went, so it's fine, but Pacey says that it's really not; he doesn't want to make her do anything she's not ready for.
All righty, sidebar time again. If Joey couldn't tell Pacey beforehand about the visit to the clinic, and if she felt that he had some kind of passive-aggressive agenda but didn't call him on it -- in other words, if they can't speak frankly to one another about what's going on here -- then no, she's not ready to have sex. I lost my virginity to a scuzzy guy, but I did it at the right time...just with the wrong person. In other words, at least Scuzzbucket and I could talk about what we planned to do and where we saw things heading, and the need to discuss these things in plain English with your partners and potential partners doesn't change after the first time. I know y'all know that, and I know we've all had enough PSAs after watching this episode to last us all till doomsday, so I'll stop, but for the record, if you feel yourself "pulling a Joey," there's a problem.