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Fairly Lucky, Overall

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It started with six naked people on a twin bed. My boyfriend and I, another couple and a girl we had met previously on and off an online dating website who shared our interest in nonmonogamy and a seemingly random guy I'd been dancing with before being dragged into the glob of gyrating bodies that would soon find its self in a naked tangle on far too small a bed.


I am somewhat wary about telling just how I came to contract herpes as the situation is likely to put the words "slut" and "herpes" and probably "dumb" and quite possibly "she got what she deserved" together for many in our society and I'm against fueling such stereotypes, but this is how it happened.


My boyfriend and I had been talking about having an open relationship for nearly two years. It was my idea and he was somewhat reticent, so I was letting him take the lead and we were going really slow (which is to say we'd been completely monogamous until we ended up on that bed. I was not drunk, nor was the male half of the other couple. Everyone else was. Still, there was a moment when my boyfriend stopped everyone and said "Hey? What about protection?" And someone brought out a bag of condoms to use in the event of penetration and both my boyfriend and I thought to ourselves that it could easily not be enough and yet we didn't say anything. When we got home that night we agreed, we'd never be so careless again, even then I felt like I'd exposed myself to more than I should have, that I could have had just as much, if not more fun if I'd laid down a few ground rules and paid more attention to who was doing what with my vulva.


Within the week I developed what I hoped was a terrible yeast infection, but turned out of course to be herpes... I'm waiting on the swab results to see if it's type I or II but I suspect type I as quite a few mouths, but no genitals touched mine that night and my initial breakout was relatively unsevere.


So I got to tell 5 people I had herpes, and that they had likely been exposed to it too in one day. I feel rather practiced now, though it will be a somewhat different conversation with someone new. Everyone took it ok, except maybe the male half of the other couple who is socially awkward in general, and was hopefully only being his usually awkward self, and hopefully relayed the information in a positive way to his girlfriend who I could not get on the phone... he did used to work at planned parenthood, so here's to hoping, and if we lose them, good riddance, because we all took the same risk that night. In any case my boyfriend has been wonderfully supportive and sweet and I am thankful a million times over.


I am mostly OK. The Savage Love podcast by Dan Savage had long ago disabused me of any bigotry I may have had towards herpes, I am already very comfortable in my sexuality and my body and with talking about sex. My emotions are readjusting around this change, I have had bouts of feeling dirty and unrealistically infectious and like no one will want me- or that I won't be able to have normal sex again for a long time... but I am mostly aware that all of these thoughts are irrational.


I've found the internet a little challenging to sort through for accurate information... never mind the bullshit advice I've found like "you should just be abstinent until you find that special someone" or "you should avoid hot tubs because it is an environment rife with skin to skin contact and you're likely to pass the virus along." For now, I'm rather furious about the idiocy and stigma especially regarding the double standard between oral and genital herpes. I am very glad I've found these forums and the whole H Opp website, I really appreciate the positive, calm, intelligent perspective fostered in the forum and the site.


I look forward to breaking down the stigma and fear of herpes in our society, little by little as I continue to have the relationships and sex life I choose and deserve. My boyfriend and I are not closing our relationship, but we will be far more careful than we were before (extremely careful if we play with others at all until I get a better idea of my prodrome symptoms and how my body will react to the virus, especially as my immune system is strengthening toward it) and set a certain level of safety as the norm with those we chose to play with.


I am sure there will be people who will chose not to play with us, either because we will insist on a level of safety they don't want to adhere to or because of my herpes status, but I'm sure I'll find some really good people who don't have a problem with it too.

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HaHaHa hot tubs! Good one.......ever hear tell of the big hot tub at Desire Resort in Cancun? You get like 40-50 naked people in there at once somtimes, our girls just sit on the edge and only put their feet in. If you could catch (h) from a hot tub everyone there would have it LOL!


Seriously tho, I think the stigma will be broken when we pass the 50% infection rate. The way GHSV1 is growing I don't think that day is too far away.......

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