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Unable to relax during sex

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Hi all

i’ve had HSV2 for over 20 years. I got it from a cheating ex who denied giving it to me and denied having it - and walked away. 

I’m with my boyfriend over 2.5 years on/off. I was open about my status and he chose to stay with me. After 6ish months he left as he thought he may have gotten it (he hadn’t).

We got back together a few months ago and things are good, but I’m terrified I will pass it to him and am not able to relax during sex. I take daily anti virals and we always use condoms but I’m concerned that this may ruin our relationship. I hate that we have to use condoms as I know he doesn’t like them. I feel terrible every time we have sex that I’m the reason we have to use them. I feel like I’m dirty. I would be so upset if I passed it to him but I know there’s always a risk. 
I’m afraid to relax in case I get too close and give it to him. Condoms don’t cover everything and I’m so afraid that I will pass it on. It’s really affecting our sex life. 
I love him very much and want to stay with him but I’m struggling with my need to be close to him and my fear of passing it onto him. 

Has anyone else felt like this and how did you manage it? I couldn’t imagine life without him but I don’t want the shame/fear of passing this on either. When I try to talk to him he shuts it down and says he will deal with it if it happens. 
any advise appreciated. 
thank you. 

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Hi DistressedLady. I'm sorry you are going through this. I'm going through something similar except we haven't had sexy time yet. But I do get very worried about passing this on to him as well. I don't have much advice but I would love to remain in touch for support. If you want to message me, I can share my story with you. I've been wanting someone to talk to about this but no one can relate.

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Hello 💛

First, you are good. You are pure. You are safe. You are not dirty. You are not a problem. You are not a danger. Remind yourself of that every day 💛.

I am so sorry you are experiencing this stress. None of this is your fault. I'm sorry the relationship was rocky at first. It sounds like he needed space (totally normal) but the fact he needed space after thinking he'd contracted it must have really hurt you. If you haven't had a discussion about that, maybe it would help. You may still be holding onto the fear of rejection and him leaving if he contracts it, and in order to feel safe during a vulnerable and intimate time such as during sex, you need to be able to trust him. If you cannot trust him, reevaluate if the relationship is healthy for you. You deserve a healthy relationship where you aren't afraid the person will up and leave if they contract H (which isn't your fault anyways, you are open and honest about it and you practice safe sex/do what is in your control to stay safe). Your partner should NOT make you feel bad for having to use condoms. If he does, that is a red flag and a signal this relationship is not what you deserve. 

Stay strong and be kind to yourself. You are a beautiful blessing and you are worthy of a positive encouraging accepting stable relationship!! 🥰

Blessings! 🌻🦋🌈


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Hi Grace

thanks for your kind message. It’s very unfair really. I feel if I had known my ex had it years ago I would have stayed anyway - just been more cautious and maybe never gotten it but he didn’t give me a choice. 

Re my current partner - I hate using condoms - probably more than him. He is very kind and logical about it to be fair to him. He says there’s plenty of other things we can do and this is how it is so there’s no point stressing and worrying about it. He has no problem using condoms - he just says they reduce sensitivity. He thinks very logically. 
we have recently tried female condoms which make me slightly more comfortable as more of me is covered so I feel he is less at risk. 
I was just wondering how others cope with their fear of infecting their partners and if it affects their sex life? One part of me feels if we are that close I might as well enjoy it but the other part is afraid I’m passing it on. 
I thought with time the fear would ease but it’s getting worse - I feel the longer we are together the higher the risk. 

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If you read from some of the so called "experts" they say there are couples who have been together for like 20 years where they haven't passed it to their partners. Supposedly the longer you've had it you are less likely to pass it.

Then there is the knowledge of that the reality exist. That there is a possiblity and we don't want to gift someone we love with this. I am in a similar situation. I am afraid I will give this to my partner and although she already has oral HSV1 I am still afraid I might pass her my GHSV1. She doesn't really have symptoms very often but my symptoms are in the form of nueropathy. I just don't want to pass this to her even if she accepts the risks.

So I understand how you feel. At least you are taking as many precautions as you can so if it does happen you know you did what you could to prevent it.




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Thank you for your reply. It’s a really difficult place to be when you want to be close to your partner but are afraid of passing this to them. The shame and stigma of having it is so awful. I would hate to put another person in this place. I know in the greater scheme of things it’s not the worst BUT it’s still a permanent stain on their ‘clean’ status that you just don’t want to have to live with. I just hope they find a cure or vaccine soon. 
thanks again. 

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Hello! When I first joined (H)opportunity I was so distraught about being rejected by my now new boyfriend of 5 months. Well, he decided to accept me as I am.  I cannot begin to tell you I have the exact same concerns.  I worry so much when we are intimate- I can hardly enjoy myself.  The thought of passing HSV2 to him would crush me.  He is such a good guy, I have even thought about calling the relationship off because what kind of future are we going to have if he has to use condoms FOREVER? What if he decides to see someone else? 
I wish someone would find a cure ASAP because it’s so stressful living with HSV2.

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Hello @GentleLady

Thank you for your reply. That is exactly how I feel. I also worry one of us  will not be able to continue because of this. I hate living with the worry that I could pass it and also I hate how cumbersome it is to have to stop all foreplay and put on a condom. No such thing as spontaneous sex. It becomes a lot after a while and definitely prevents us being as close/intimate as we would like. 

Do people just continue using condoms forever or do they get to a point where they risk sex without condoms? 

I’m taking anti virals and we use condoms but I’d be too afraid to have sex without some barrier. I’d be even more stressed than I am!

I guess I just have to accept that this is how it is for us. 

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@DistressedLady Your partner seems to understand and accept the risks. I believe I was infected while using condoms so condoms are not a guarantee. The antivirals should reduce the amount of active virus perhaps to the point that it would be unlikely to be passed. If you guys love eachother and are planning on building a future together then then you both can decide if you are willing to take the risk and accept whatever happens or doesn't happen.  According to some studies there have been couples who have been together for years and who have not passed it and have not used condoms.

Still, I understand the fear of being the one who passed this to someone you love and care about because we don't know how their system will be affected.

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