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herpes from a threesome: hurt and upset


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I had my first herpes outbreak last week, and got a call from my doctor confirming it today. It's genital HSV-1, and because of the timing and type, I'm pretty sure what happened. I was on vacation with one of my best girlfriends, meeting my long-time internet guy crush for the first time. He's pretty innocent throughout this whole thing, and it's been almost 5 years since he's been with anyone in any way.

 

I've always been pretty liberal, but safe, with my sex life, and she has as well. We ended up having a threesome and emotionally it wasn't the best idea, since she didn't know how I felt about him. He told me he wouldn't do anything unless I was involved. I wanted him, and our talk made me feel better, so I went along with it anyway. It's not the first time I've been with her, but it's been almost a year. She's the type that doesn't really get sick, but when she does, it's bad. Her sister mentioned that she got cold sores and she's the type that would take a drink out of a glass and not mention it. My friend said she's never had a cold sore, but timing-wise, I really could have only gotten it from her, as she went down on me and he didn't.

 

He's upset and shutting down, as I expected him to do, but it's only a temporary thing and I know he'll talk about it eventually. I haven't talked to her yet, and I when I do, I don't really know what to say. I'm not really blaming her ... it's not like she knew. He hasn't had an outbreak yet, oral or genital, and she hasn't either.

 

I'm upset because everyone I've been with has always come back clean. I still really like him, but he's just so... unemotional. He doesn't know how to handle emotions, so he just suppresses them until they go away. He doesn't want to be alone but he's introverted and down on himself to the point where he just won't date because he feels he's just going to be rejected anyway, and I feel like this is gonna make it so much worse. I'm feeling the same way right now, but this site has helped so much and I'm already feeling a little better. I'm just really lost and don't know where to go from here. Any help or advice would be welcome.

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Ah, yes, this is increasingly the most common way that people are getting genital herpes. 50% of all new genital herpes cases are HSV-1 from oral sex. Here's a blog post on that:

http://herpeslife.com/genital-hsv-1-herpes-and-oral-sex/

 

The fact that there is so little stigma around oral herpes and so much stigma around genital herpes creates a schism when oral herpes become genital herpes. (From how I see it, I see any form of herpes as not deserving any sort of stigma, but that's beside the point here.) The same herpes that doesn't have any stigma gets transferred "down there" and all of the sudden society shuns it. Not fair. And just sad. And even more reason to dispel the stigma in our culture.

 

I'd love to help and offer advice, but I'm still unclear on exactly what sort of help and advice you want? What do you want to come out of this situation?

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

Helpful resources:

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I'm not really sure what advice I'm really looking for yet, but I'm sure I'll figure that out. This forum has already helped immensely. I talked to both of my friends that were involved, and although my guy friend was initially incredibly upset (because he's always kind of had bad luck, and this is an "icing on the cake" situation), he's okay now. I talked to my girl friend later, but the same day of my outbreak. We're still on really good terms. She feels like shit about it, but honestly, there was no possible way we could have known. It turns out that her sister has gotten cold sores since she was a small child and her dad gets them as well, so there's an incredibly high chance that she's had it for a long time and is just asymptomatic. We talked, and she's going to be more observant to whether or not her lips/face/piercings hurt and if they do, then she won't be doing much with her mouth, now that she knows. She's hesitant to get a blood test because what can she do with a positive result? You can be more careful without knowing for sure that you're HSV-1 positive, and I think she's decided that it's better to assume she's positive and just take all steps necessary to keep it from transmitting to anyone else.

 

I'm way calmer now. I'm not sure if I've fully accepted it yet or if I haven't and I'm going to have another breakdown. I'm leaning towards the former, though. I'm still a little worried about the stigma around herpes. I finally told my mom what was going on, and although I could see the slight disappointment in her face, she came around and realized that since my dad gets cold sores, she, too can be positive right now and have no idea. I figure if I can talk to her about it, I can talk to anyone else about it, too. I've found it helpful to talk to some of my friends about it, and so far they've all been nothing but supportive and understanding, with a general attitude of "hey, shit happens. At least this isn't serious!"

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Nice! I'm so happy to hear that you're feeling so much better! See how letting shame out into the light with people you trust can be so healing? (I definitely am still riding high after outing my actual name on this forum.) And as far as not being sure whether you've fully accepted it yet or not ... hey, it's probably somewhere in between (if I had to guess). It's one of those interesting things for me personally: Even years later, I feel that for the most part I've accepted it, but sometimes all it takes is some corny herpes reference in a movie or a snide remark and all the sudden a wave of shame comes over me. Surprising. And that's an opportunity to see a part of myself that I get to love more. I know, I know. Sounds corny, but it's so true. As a good friend of mine put it, shame is breadcrumbs that lead to more opportunities to accept myself and ultimately more wholeness. A beautiful process of self-growth that leads to more capacity to love and be loved.

 

I don't think the point of all of this is to actually be "over herpes." I think the point of this is to become more and more accepting of myself, in all of my perfections and imperfections and everything in between. It's not so much about focusing on herpes being smaller and smaller in my life; it's about focusing on healing myself and loving myself more and more so herpes becomes less and less of an issue by comparison. Focus on making your own light brighter so the shadows dissipate. Anyway, that's my soapbox. Stepping down now. ;)

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

Helpful resources:

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Hey Adrial,

Your soapbox is such a gift to us all, please rejoice in it! We love your soapbox!

In time it will be a gift to the world and many many more people as we take your lead in owning how precious we are and how minor this is really; and learn how to use the gift in it......and bring that to others in our own circles x

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  • 3 weeks later...

hii i read your story and is kind of similar to mine. This is how i got it, it was a week after my bday, my friend invited me to a party and since i was always working and taking care of my son i accepted to go with her and her boyfriend, on the way to he party we started to drink and by the time i got there i was drunk and ended up not going in, so we left and decided to stay in a hotel. When we got there my friend and her boyfriend started kissing and touching in front of me so i gave them a little privacy and went outside and kept drinking, after a while i wanted to use the bathroom so i went in and i saw them having sex. When i came back out my friend asked me if everything was alright and i told her that i was Ok then she told me to lay in bed with them because she didnt want me to feel 'lonely' .She Started playing with my hair and then she asked her boyfriend do you wanna have sex with her and he said yes, but only if shes ok with it and i agreed and had sex with him, after i did it i felt very guilty because i knew that was a bad decision. My friend's boyfriend called two of his friends and asked them to come over with beers and when they arrived i was laying on the other bed and one of them started to kiss me but i got up and left him there and thats when i saw my friend having sex with one of the other guys while her boyfriend was watching and then again i dont know how i got sucked in bed again and this time i was doing it with one of the other guys, after that i went to the other bed and had sex with the other one his name is Jon and i slept with him all night. In the morning i went home and I was very upset for the way i acted and for my poor choices i did the night before. After a week my friend called me said that Jon wanted my number so she gave it to him and we started talking and hanging out together, on the second week i came down with a fever and i got very sick, i went to the doctor and told me that i have herpes, i told my doctor what happened and he asked me if i used protection, and i told him that i did but with only two of them except Jon, my doctor told me to ask him if he has it, but i never did because i was afraid that he was gonna deny it and blame it on me and because he seemed like a good guy and wanted to get to know him, and i wanted to know if i really got it from him or from the other two guys. After i found out I was depressed for days, i didnt even go to work because of how i was feeling i took medications and i did a lot of research and learned that you can have a normal life and that 1 out of 4 people have it. After a month me an Jon decided to be in a relationship and i wanted to know if he had it because since i met him we have always had unprotected sex and one time i went with him to do some blood test for Stds and he appeared to be clean, and i asked my friend if she had it and she said no, and asked why and i had to tell her that i was doing an essay on herpes for school( she does know i have it). im pretty sure that i got it from the other guy but i never saw him again since that night. i been in a relationship with my boyfriend for a year now and we're getting married the next month, hes the love of my life very sweet and caring, i regret that night and i really dont know how im gong to tell my boyfriend what i have and how hes reaction is going to be, i really dont want to loose him, i love him so much, i am lucky because i only had one breakout in a year and it healed fast.

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