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Male experiences with herpes


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I became diagnosed with HSV-2 a month ago, and I read that more females than males are herpes positive much of which has to do with the rate of transmission being higher male to female. I was curious how fellow men approach dating, is it any different for anyone? Are you guys more cautious in who you all date and continue to see? Plus, have you all had any negative reactions towards a disclosure? What do many females that are herpes negative think about men that are herpes positive? Or maybe this is completely gender neutral barring the social stigma? I haven't disclosed to anyone mainly due to the pandemic and not having sex with new partners so the thought passes through my mind quite a lot.

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Hey Donkrin,

Fellow man here. 👋Nice to meet you, man. It was a certainly process for me, but when I started moving past the shame of herpes and instead embraced the vulnerability that came with disclosure as a positive thing, then everything changed. Instead of going into disclosures fearing rejection, I was instead excited (well, still nervous, but also excited) to be vulnerable with someone I felt a certain closeness and trust with. In that shift came embracing what we're all afraid of as human beings, with or without herpes: The fear of being vulnerable, then the possibility of being rejected. Ever since I made that shift from shame into vulnerability, believe it or not, all of my disclosures were connecting experiences ... because I was no longer pre-rejecting myself and bringing that into how I disclosed.

Then I met the woman who is now my wife and the mother of my child. And that disclosure went great, clearly. It was an opportunity for both of us to get emotionally naked together before getting physically naked. It opened the door to real, deep conversations. It was a beautiful day and we both finished that day feeling more connected to each other than we ever had before. (Now we have a 3-year old who is quite the handful, so we're doing our best every day to get back to that blissful connection again!)

It's less about what you say than how you say it. It's about how you feel about yourself and what it means about you to be a person with herpes. Embrace it as a gift of vulnerability as opposed to something that will block you from love and intimacy. Have you read the e-book yet? That's a good start: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

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Thanks. It's interesting to hear your story and move the mindset from fear to openness. I've read the e-books, and I agree that it is more about how you say something then what you say. I believe I'm a positive person, and I tend not to have fears of rejection nor fear of being vulnerable pre/post-diagnosis. My own personal question I have right now for myself is, "Should I be dating to be in a serious relationship with someone, or should I just be casual and have casual encounters?" Not that either choice is right or wrong, but it's only a question I have to answer for myself. 

It's also great to hear about how you've grown a connection with someone and started a family...something I hope to accomplish in the future. I'm also hoping that in the nearby future there will be less stigma and more knowledge about the disease itself, but it has to start with people openly talking about the condition and not hiding in the dark. For example, I've read somewhere that breast cancer was highly stigmatized in the 70s and 80s before people became much more aware of it and more empathetic.

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