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Ann

I'm more than just sex

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Herpes has certainly made me realize that sex doesn’t need to be nor should it be the basis for a relationship. I am worth more than just sex and if someone disagrees with that they are not right for me either way. However I understand that it only takes one ignorant, immature idiot to make me feel like a troll and 10 mature, informed sweeties to erase the self-image.

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Hey Ann, thanks for sharing! :)

 

I agree wholeheartedly about sex not needing to be the basis for a relationship, but I also think something deeper happens when we're okay with herpes and still unapologetically sexual (there might be the tendency to shame sex thanks to herpes, which just ain't right!). Bear with me here … I’m a very sexual person, so sex still has just as much importance to me as it ever has. ;) What has shifted most for me since my herpes diagnosis is seeing INTIMACY in a new way. Herpes forced me to consider both the difference between sex and intimacy and how they overlap. For example, sometimes during a herpes occurrence (or because of a suspicion of viral shedding), I would tell my girlfriend (who never got herpes) that we won’t be having sex (we would jokingly refer to it as my “man period”). But instead of this news being a buzzkill, it opened other avenues to intimacy. So no, an intimate relationship shouldn't be all about sex, but it should be all about intimacy. Don't let herpes taint the fact that sex and intimacy can still be as fun and innocent and raunchy and playful and connecting and deep and _____ (fill in the blank) as its ever been for you.

 

Also, about your 1 in 10 comment, I get it. Those sorts of troll-enticing rejections can hurt on a deep level … I've had 'em, we all have. But check this out: it only hurts to the degree that we agree with the rejection. If we believe we’re damaged and dirty (or a troll), those ignorant people more easily convince us that we’re damaged and dirty (or a troll).[*] But that’s simply not the case, right? (I see you nodding your head, cool!) ;) And the sooner we get that, the less those ignorant people will affect our own view of ourselves. Easier said than done sometimes, but damn if it ain't the truth! Hopefully those ignorant people will become enlightened at some point. (By the way, I used to be one of those ignorant people before I got herpes, so I can't hate on them too much. They just have no reason so far to be educated about herpes.)

 

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[*] For example, if someone were to walk up to your blonde-headed self and say “Hey, your purple hair is nasty,” it will have no effect on you whatsoever, because it simply doesn’t apply. (Sorry to all you purple-haired people out there. No offense meant.) Same with our own beliefs about herpes, right? What do you think?


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