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Herpes Stereotypes?

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Probably because the more partners you have the greater your risk of contracting herpes, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases-- though it's entirely possible to contract during the most wholesome sex imaginable.


Considering I was engaging in what would typically be considered rather slutty behavior when I contracted herpes this stereotype has been on my mind a fair amount. Previously I had made friends with "slut" by reclaiming it for myself- Rush Limbaugh calls every woman who uses birth control a slut? I'm happy to fit into his definition of a slut because what he considers pure and good for women is surely something I have no desire of being. Plenty of people who call me a slut for wearing sexy clothing and enjoying sex- even having sex with more than one person at once, but these are all things I've chosen for myself, that fulfill me- that feel, so long as I stay in touch with myself and don't take the behavior in a direction that feels unhealthy or unsafe to me- good and healthy, and if conservative bigots want to tell me that makes me a slut, by all means, I'll take that title for myself.


But with the virus, with the stigma that it is dirty, that I am now unclean- not directly because of something I chose to do but because the wrong person unknowingly put his or her mouth to my vulva at the wrong time- that judgement is a little harder to take. It's a little harder for me now to think of being called a slut and standing up to that person and saying right back- Yes, I am. And I'm proud to be-- but I do hope to get back to that place.


Essentially, for me, what has always helped me stay confident and unfazed in the face of being labeled a slut or a whore, has been to remember that 1) I am so much more than my sexual choices. 2) I make sexual choices that feel good and are healthy for me (even if I now have herpes- one can be very smart and careful and still get herpes, it doesn't mean you fail at making healthy decisions for yourself). 3) Even though I now have herpes I can still have a healthy sex life in which my partners have very little chance of contracting the virus-- my sex partners are likely safer with me than with other people who could be carrying herpes without sharing or knowing, and therefor not taking the precautions necessary to keep others safe.


Now if that's considered slutty, I'm happy to be it.

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I love what you write nmo...straight up and truthful! Having had the odd period of being slutty...and happy with it...and not contracting anything from it (yes my gifts have been from my husband and a special lover who I was committed to) I am now having period of celibacy. That's only because I haven't met anyone I want to get naked with...after coming out of a 'who would want me' and 'I can't be bothered with the drama of disclosing' phase. So if you are a slut then so am I, just not a practicing one right now lol.


Lifegoeson...if someone called me a slut I would just smile and say 'why yes I am' just to see their reaction and as for the jokes...I have heard them but just let it go. You only get targeted with stuff like that if you lack confidence, have friends who aren't good for you or are feeling really sensitive about yourself. So best thing to do whatever you need to increase your confidence in yourself, get on with life and get out out of your comfort zone, do things you love...and no one bothers to target you, because you have no reason to react!

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nmo27, you do know that people are 15x times more likely to catch HSV1 from someone who has it orally right? So for anyone who has sex, like a proper round of sex, with an HSV1 positive person, is taking 15x times the risk with the person who has it orally than with you. Lots of people are aware that 3/4 of the population has oral HSV1, yet people will jump right into bed (or just make out with them) without giving it a second thought. Ironic to say the least!

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Right? It's rather silly really, when the risk of contracting oral herpes from going down on someone with GHSV1 is less than it would be from kissing the 80% of the population with oral HSV1, and genital sex is less risky than having than receiving oral sex from that same 80%.


In short, there is a serious shortage of proper sex education regarding HSV in the US, at the very least, I'm sure abstinence only sex ed doesn't help any, but I've made a hobby of educating myself on sex and there were still A LOT of relevant things I didn't know about herpes until I contracted it.

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Hey nmo..there was heaps I didn't know about HSV1&2 before I got H too...I didn't even know you could get HSV1 from oral sex...and I was married to someone for 25 years and never got it from him..and there was a serious amount of oral sex in that time! I though H2 you could only get if there were symptoms...so did my partner (we are older and that's what they used to think). There needs to be way better education, my kids now aren't being taught it either, sex education doesn't cover it at all!!! Crazy!

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