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Casual sex and herpes?


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i was diagnosed with genital herpes and tested positive for hsv-1 2 weeks ago. didnt know that hsv-1 can also be genital so i thought i have hsv-2, but i guess hsv-1 can be manifested in either way.

 

my ob prescribed acyclovir for 2 weeks and my initial dose ended on friday. but i dont feel confident getting off the medication just yet so i bought a refill for another 2 weeks on saturday. my ob is awesome and very supportive. she is like your favorite aunt that you can tell her everything which is very important given the circumstances. but she also told me not to have sex. i asked her for how long and she just gave me a look that kinda meant til cobwebs start forming down there. :( as much as i love my ob, i think her "grounding my vagina for having fun" is almost like stigmatizing me for having herpes. like, you have herpes so no more sex!

 

i did my first "disclosure" yesterday when i finally called one sex buddy to inform him about h. he was so cool about it because he said it is not life-threatening so he is not worried about it. he was actually more upset on the fact that i ignored him and all his messages for 2 weeks. he said he likes me and still wants to see me and have sex with me. we arranged to meet up on thursday. im so glad that conversation went really well. :) a lot of that is due to reading the discussions in this site and the literature on disclosure. very very helpful.

 

my Question is... when can you have sex again after your first outbreak?? i do not have any traces of any sores on my genital area as of the moment. all my sores cleared up within 3 days of taking acyclovir. my ob advised me not to have sex til i dont know when. my closest friends who are my support group since the beginning also agreed because they fear that i might get something else and worst. i know i read somewhere that viral shedding usually takes 6 months from the first outbreak, so does that mean that you can only start having sex after 6 months since the chances of passing the virus to your partner is lessened??

 

i understand my friends' reasoning as my ob also said that because i now have herpes, i am more susceptible/prone to getting other stds and hiv. on the contrary, i actually feel that because i now have herpes, i am more careful of my body now than ever. i will never have unprotected sex again. oh, and the guy i was talking about is my friends' suspect for giving me the virus since he is the only guy i had sex with no condom weeks before my first outbreak. who gave it to me or not is a waste of time because identifying the guy is not going to change anything. i will still have h irregardless.

 

i know having h should change your life for the better and should focus on having a deeper relationships, but what if casual sex presents itself and the party involved is well aware of the situation and still agrees to engage in sexual relations, should i decline because i have herpes?? considering that i am not really ready to be in a relationship at this time as i am crazy busy with school and work. i dont want to sound promiscuous but i just feel that not allowing yourself to enjoy and have fun outside the context of a serious relationship is actually letting herpes take control of your life.

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To answer your question from my perspective, why would you hold yourself from having sex with someone who knows you have herpes and wants to have sex with you? Both of you are mature adults and aware of the inherent risks and pleasures associated with doin' the do! ;)

 

That said, I would also look at the reasons behind the casual sex for you. Not to make it wrong or anything, just to get to know yourself better and your motivations. In my experience with casual sex, it's difficult to pull off. Sex is inherently sooooo intimate on a physical level, so to somehow disconnect the emotional intimacy from it is like brain surgery. Putting the word "casual" in front of sex is an oxymoron to me. Don't get me wrong, I've had what I would call casual sex in my day. And what I've come to realize for me personally is that it wasn't healthy for me and my heart. If I just need to get my rocks off, then masturbation is always a viable option. ;)

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I tried to do the casual thing after finding out. My doctor gave me the "you are insane" look when I told her I planned on being abstinent hahaha. She was prescribing me birth control along with valtrex and told me that not only could I have sex but I would and she didn't want me getting pregnant. So after a break up I started back in my old ways of find a guy go on a date and let the sexy times happen and then see if he wants to be serious...yupp I was smart (sarcasm alert!!!!) well now I had a little extra step of throw in a little liquid courage and disclose away!!!!! Here's the thing...being casual gets difficult when you have herpes because of how people view it...in my opinion. I had a few guys say no...one politely said he would need to think about t and never called me again. And then there are two LOVELY occurrences that just...well they scared the crap out of me. The one time I decided to disclose to an old high school crush...we were drunk he decided after I told him transfer rates and everything that he wanted to go forward with a fling that night...mind you he was very very drunk and...well...um...couldn't perform. THERE WAS NO SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT ever. Not once. Well the next day I get a text from mr limpy saying "I think you gave me herpes" and all he could identify with was flu like symptoms. He's had cold sores so OBVIOUSLY he has hsv1 but for some reason the though of the same thing on his "unmentionables" was giving him full on anxiety attacks. Three days of telling him to go to planned parenthood instead of his family doctor to talk to someone he finally listened to me and sent me an apology text when his results came back negative. I had another episode almost exactly like this expect after telling the guy he was more than likely ok and he needs to get tested he never talked to me again.

 

My point here is you can disclose and be fine and you'll probably never transfer anything...but herpes isn't really physical...it's mainly mental and people have a hard time letting go of what they think they know. In a drunken moment you may find a guy who says ok...but will he mean it in the morning? These are the same guys who will tell you they love you and never call you again once they've gotten into your pants....they don't care about you they care about your body. Once I started to care more about my emotions rather than getting off I realized I had been using sex to mask self hate for a long time...well now when I disclose it's when I'm ready to be fully intimate with someone deserving of me and my body :)

 

 

I hope I didn't ramble too much and that all makes sense!!!!!

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thanks guys! appreciate your comments. :)

 

i saw the guy i was going out/sleeping with before h last thursday and it turned out great. he knows i have h because he was the first guy i called and told to get tested. he was so cool during the whole disclosure talk over the phone and said he still wants to see me.

 

i met him on thursday, had dinner and went back to his place. while we were watching tv, i was so anxious because i knew that something would happen in just a matter of time. when he started touching and kissing my belly, i stopped him and asked if he is sure that he wants to do it. he said, yes. i asked him again, and again, and again. same answer. i was worried but let him do what he wanted. he went down on me like there was no tomorrow then put on a condom and had sex. btw, im taking acyclovir. when i was in the shower after, i cried. i dont really know why. but i guess, i was very emotional then because it was the first time i had sex since i tested positive with herpes. or maybe because i was so overwhelmed that he did what he did knowing the risks involved and didnt even bat an eyelash. i was more scared for him than he was for himself. or maybe because the experience made me realize that herpes is not really a factor if someone likes you and wants to be with you. it is you, your confidence, your personality... the whole package that makes you attractive and desirable, with or without herpes.

 

we ended the night with him asking if he can see me again next week. i dont really know how he feels about me but if its just about sex, im pretty sure he can get that from other women with less and/or no STD risks involved. we may or may not have a happy ending but that whole night was a clear validation that having herpes will not destroy your life. it will only do so if you allow it to take control of who you are. i think having herpes is a test of love... how much do you love yourself given your new circumstances?? how much do you love yourself to pick up the pieces and be a whole amazing person again if you wavered and had a moment of self-doubt??; is a test of trust... how much do you trust the person you are disclosing to?? how much trust are you willing to put on the table to give a relationship a chance??; is a test of relationship to family, friends and loved ones.

 

more than anything, i feel more confident now than ever before. my self-doubt and insecurities are overshadowed by that experience. of course, you dont need a man or sex to validate who you are but they definitely help in eradicating the stigma attached to stds, sex and relationships.

 

im sure its not going to be easy-breezy every time, but im very glad that my first was an awesome experience that gave me a kick-ass confidence level and whole lotta strength and encouragement. Loving oneself radiates confidence that is extremely beautiful.

 

Light and Love.

 

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