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How to Have Casual Sex With Herpes???

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I'm a college student that just wants to feel normal. How do I have casual sex with herpes without feeling guilty of my status? I do not like the idea of disclosing my status to a lot of people, but I also don't want to be dishonest about my status and end up transmitting to someone without their knowledge of the risk. I am on daily antiviral and want to use protection, but sometimes getting men to wear condoms can be quite the task.... Hence how I ended up with herpes. Thoughts please!

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I haven’t personally been in the situation yet of having casual sex with herpes, but when I found out I had it, one of my really good friends put me in touch with her friend who has it as well. She told me that at first she thought casual sex was over for her but in her experience no one was ever turned off by it when she disclosed. There was 1 person in the grand scheme of things who refused after that but she has no regrets to this day because he was an asshole anyways so it saved her from going through with that. That’s why people say it can help weed out the undesirables I guess. But really she said it didn’t change her ability to do that, it was an extra step to take beforehand but it wasn’t a deterrent for 99% of the people she went on to sleep with after that. I know everyone’s experience is different with this and there may be people here who would tell you they had a harder time of it, but I would look up some info on how ppl successfully disclosed. I do think it’s important though to be upfront and honest with people even if it’s a one night stand. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Take. Things. Slow.

I wouldn’t say that I had casual sex after being diagnosed, but I did go on some dates that led to steamy makeout sessions, more dates, or nada.

I really weeded out who was worth telling and who wasn’t. Going on dates was fun, but I made sure for it to go only as far as making out. If and when I felt like it was getting close to fooling around, I would usually have a few drinks (May or may not be a good idea for you) and I would just tell them I needed to talk to them about something. I gave them a little background to what led up to my diagnosis and then gave them statistics to look out on one of those printouts. I kept it in my night stand; sexy right?? Lol.

It ended up fine for me, just lots of questions. Then we’d usually proceed to whatever step or sometimes we’d just make out. It went well for me but I also really tried to read people and see if they were worth it. On the flip side, I may’ve disclosed a time or two just to practice in the beginning. 

Moral of the story?

One, I’m sure the above makes me seem like I’m a floozy but most of the time I only made out with these people or fooled around, or maybe just liked free meals and a fun evening with someone new!

Two, use this as a tool to gauge who is worth it or not. 

Three, please use protection. Selfishly enough, you’re more prone to contracting other things so protect yourself!

You ARE normal and like the one poster; you don’t need casual sex to be normal!

  • Like 2
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@becominganewme I think i understand where you are coming from here. The thing is...your 20s (especially early twenties) are for experimenting, fucking new people if you feel like it, making mistakes and learning from them. I was never one to be real promiscuous but I do feel as though contracting HSV in my late twenties meant I did get to fuck around some and have some great and some not so great sexual encounters. I learned a lot about my sexuality from those partners and I think maybe that’s what you mean by “normal”...you feel you may miss out on those opportunities because of herpes  

The fact of the matter is, you don’t have to stop doing that, but you should always disclose. Does that really suck? Yeah. It definitely does. But unless you go to a super small college, in a super small town, you can still do the Tinder thing, you can still do the frat party thing, you can still disclose to whoever you want and see what happens. I haven’t disclosed to any guys in their early 20s, certainly no college guys. But you may find there are more accepting partners than you think. 

It’s a new world we live in today. Any guy who turns you down and then spreads private information about you will only show his true colors as a complete asshole. Will there be ignorant people who pass judgment on you, maybe. But you need to become comfortable with the fact that honesty should always trump staying in your comfort zone. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey! Casual doesn’t have to be serious. I mean, you might wanna avoid schoolmates for several reasons other than disclosing or being outed... it’s extra awkward to bump into an ex lover in class! If I were you I’d just use Tinder. It shows your first name or nickname only, so no one even has to know your full name. Just put a hot pic, hell, maybe but HSV in your bio too... and have fun. Chat, disclose, meet, make out, have protected sex, rinse and repeat haha. 

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  • 7 months later...

I have oral hsv1, like many other people, & I still disclose because it feels like the right thing to do. Idk where I got it from and if I could have made the choice I wouldn’t have gotten it. 

I read all these stories of ppl having successful dating lives but I’m 23 and guys my age are not accepting of my ohsv1. They ask questions and seem fine/curious but then ghost me because they think I can’t give them head (🙄) but 30+ year olds are fine and willing to get tested for me. 

Sometimes I think I should not be disclosing & it’s overkill but since knowing my status, I want my partners to get a blood test even BEFORE making out with me.  Disclosing is hard and gives me anxiety but It really weeds the a-holes out of my life too. Sure casual sex can be fun but slow down. You can infect people! I don’t kiss until I get someone’s hsv status or consent because I don’t want to be the person to give them herpes. Be responsible. 

  • Like 1
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I think this is an issue that many of us in our college years and twenties have, myself included! I would agree with lots of points that others have already made. I was diagnosed when I was 23 and I live in NYC, so I was DEVASTATED because I thought my fun casual dating life in the big city was over. The first thing I came to realize, as someone else touched on, is that once I took a break from casual sex, I found I didn't actually miss it very much. But that's totally different for everyone! College is definitely a time to learn more about yourself sexually if you choose to do so, but with that being said, I would try not to pressure yourself that you need casual sex to feel "normal". Even before HSV, I definitely had a few sexual encounters in college that I could have done without - it seems like the thing to do when you're in the bubble of your college campus, but I can promise you that you won't think too much about those hookups as your life moves on. 

However, I totally understand the want to be able to go out to a bar or go on dates and hookup with someone, but having "the talk" in the back of your mind every time. I still feel that way sometimes! I really think a lot of it comes down to assessing the individuals you want to hook up with. Chat with them and get a feel for their personality. Try to ask yourself if this is someone you think will respect your privacy when you disclose (HINT: if you think the answer is no, then they don't deserve to have you in bed in the first place!!). To be perfectly honest, I think college-aged men can still be quite immature, so I say all this out of love! Having HSV in no way means your casual college sex is over, but I do think it changes it in the sense of screening your partners a bit more, which will honestly save you heartache in the long run! I cried over so many stupid hookups in college that were not at all worth my time and energy. Also, something I like to say when disclosing to someone I don't know well is along the lines of "I'm sharing this with you out of respect for you and your health, so I would ask you to keep this conversation between us".

The last thing I'll add, is that you can still go out and flirt and have fun with your friends and be a college kid and get all that nice male attention without the stress of hooking up! One thing I found out about myself from all of this, is that the thing I actually enjoy most is simply the act of being out all dressed up with my friends and meeting people. I found I cherish the company of my friends and the men I meet even more now that the agenda of going out specifically to find someone to hook up with is less of a priority. I think you'll find that when you put less pressure on yourself, the right guys will find you - casually or more seriously 🙂  I don't know if all of my babbling answers anything, but I hope it helps!

  • Like 1
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I wouldn't necessarily feel guilty of disclosing, although that's in part of being really confident on my end. Not to deter you from doing it, but my biggest concern with having casual sex is the greatly increased risk (2-3x) of contracting HIV, even with a condom and even without visible symptoms (lesions, sores, etc). People can tell you all the time they've been tested and are "clean," but it only takes one casual encounter and you have another lifelong STI, only this one exacerbates the symptoms of HSV among other things.

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