Jump to content
  • Want to be a part of a supportive community? Join the H Opp community for free.

    Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

Need some answers for gays

Recommended Posts

I am a H- gay male who is currently in a relationship with an partner who has both HSV1 and HSV2. He takes viral suppressives daily and was diagnosed about four years ago and only gets OBs on his penis from time to time. We've been together nearly five months now and have just recently began having intercourse. The problem we have is neither of us is sure exactly what is safe and what isn't and there's almost no information I can find on this from a gay perspective. My partner is dyslexic so intense research like this is out of the question for him and his doctor isn't much help, with most of their appointments being a quick exam followed by a reminder to wear a condom. I am hoping you guys can help us out and answer some questions for us. We've only had sex once (with me being the dominant partner) and I nearly had a panic attack afterwards lol. He has had a few boyfriends since he was diagnosed and only one ended up catching it when the condom broke. So I guess that freaks me out some. Anyways, any help you guys can be would be great. I apologize for anything that may be TMI for some people. But we just want to enjoy the intimate part of our relationship without having a nervous breakdown and don't know where else to turn.


1, With viral shedding, how can any sex be safe at all? Even with condom use its nearly impossible to avoid genital (Boxer shorts area) contact during sex. I am afraid a simple brushing of skin during sex will start it off.


2) Does being a submissive partner put you at greater risk of infection from a H+ dominant partner?


3) My partner wants to perform oral sex on each other but I am terrified. Whats the risk to me?


4) Is naked cuddling or sleeping together safe at all? What about accidental genital contact in our sleep? Is it safe for us to have naked body contact at all such as lying on top of each other or wrestling around?


5) During foreplay, if while both naked my partner sat upon my waist area am I in danger of infection since his butt would be right on top of my penis?


6) Is any kind of intimate naked body contact (not full blown sex) in a swimming pool safe? What about a hot tub or a soapy shower?


Thanks in advance.

Link to comment

I'm not a gay male, but I wanted to reply and say I would think that any information on this forum would apply to you both also.


Your partner has had this for awhile, he's on suppressive meds, and you use condoms. That is all good, you've got the basics covered! If you are concerned about the boxer region, it has been mentioned that you can wear underwear to make a barrier between the areas not covered by a condom. Boxers or perhaps biker shorts? Simply brushing his skin is not going to give you the virus. Friction is usually what causes irritation and in turn outbreaks for some people.


If he is wearing a condom, I do not think him being the dominant partner would matter. If the outbreaks are in the area the condom covers then you should be okay. (BUT you should always avoid sex when he is having an outbreak). Now, since you are having anal sex, the risk of microcuts or maybe even slight tearing is higher. Lots of lube is always good with an H+ partner. Again this applies here. Any dryness would cause that dreaded friction. I hesitate to suggest this because I don't want to offend, but have you thought about using/trying a female condom? I saw them suggested for anal sex for females, I'm thinking they might work for you both also.


Oral sex, well.. the risk of you getting HSV1 genitally would be a concern. There are many posts about oral sex that can help you out with that. As for you getting HSV2 from performing oral on him, it's rare. It doesn't like the mouth, but it can happen. Look for the threads on oral. They will give you some stats. I think there is a video about that also. If you really want to be safe, there is oral with condoms.


Go ahead and cuddle. It's not that contagious. Granted they say "skin to skin" contact, but really, its rubbing (friction) that transfers things. Ditto with showers, hot tubs etc...


Does he know when he is having prodomes? Any tingling itching etc? That usually warns people when they may be shedding.


Remember, avoid rough sex if possible and use lube and condoms. There is a thread about other ways to get intimate with your partner besides penetration. You might be able to get some ideas from that also. While I think it is very good that you are concerned about your sexual health, I also think you may be overthinking it.


Best of luck, and I'm sure there is a gay male out there somewhere that may be able to give you clarification.

Link to comment



Hello and Welcome!


Straight female here but I can give you some info ;)


1) Well, truth is there *will* be a small risk of you getting H from your partner. But honestly, I feel that those of us who know we are H+ at least know to take the anti-virals and practice safe sex. Remember that 80% of those with herpes don't know they have it... and those people are the ones who pass it on in most cases.


You said his outbreaks are on his penis ... if the condom covers the area then you should be fine ... but DO avoid sex (even with a condom) during an OB simply because the condom *can* break.... just find some other way to get your freak on during those times (I will post a link below that may give you some ideas for non-penetrative sex)


http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/5807/list-the-ways-to-protect-my-partner-from-getting-herpes-hsv2 Safe alternatives to sex


2) Not sure how to answer this. Certainly if you have anal sex, there's a chance of micro-tears which are a super-highway for the virus to get in .... and then the OB's would be that area .... but if he is "receiving" and his OB's are on his penis, then you should be ok because he shouldn't be shedding there. (and BTW ... nothing is TMI here... we HAVE to be ok with having these conversations in order to educate... and hell, we are all adults here!)


3) Well, there's the chance you could get HSV1 from him (assuming he's got it orally) BUT... remember that 80% of the population has HSV1 orally and 80% of them don't know it, so odds are you have been exposed to partners in the past who are carrying HSV1 oral (knowingly or otherwise) and haven't got it yet. And I assume you HAVE been tested (remember you must ASK for the test) so you know your status? Given he's on anti-virals, though, the risk should be pretty minor. I have H1 and 2 as well, I've given plenty of oral and none of my partners has got it from me. Again, I know my symptoms so I avoid anything if I have ANYTHING that may be an OB even if I am sure that it's just chapped lips or whatever.


4) Get naked and cuddle the man! Sure, if he's having an OB, get him to wear boxers... otherwise, you should be fine :)


5) again, you said his OB's are on his penis ... so his butt should be fair game :)


6) Herpes dies pretty quickly outside the body. Also, you need to get a "minimum" amount of the virus in order for it to take ahold in your body..... any time you are in water the virus would not only be drastically diluted, it would likely be killed prety quickly... and soap will kill it... period :)


These handouts and video should help you to get educated too .... and the best antidote to stigma is knowledge!




Handouts + disclosure e-book:



Herpes facts video


Link to comment

@ kobalt34

All your questions have been answered by @Mmissouri and @dancer2010 in her usual comprehensive and caring way! I am merely going to pipe up just as a light hearted comment..... gay sex and herpes is exactly the same as straight sex and herpes it doesn't matter whether the "parts" are matching :)

Herpes loves us all equally so your question wasn't actually a question for gays, it was a question for humanity ;)


You have come to right place for answers as you have seen. Credit to you for wanting to learn and understand more. For those of us H+ positive folks, whether gay or straight, people like you are the ones we all hope to meet.

Link to comment

@WSDancer2010 @fitgirl @MMissouri


Thanks so much everyone for clearing up some things for me.I was able to read your responses almost right away but didn't have a chance to respond until now. But I am still a little uncertain on some things. Dancer said if his outbreaks are on his penis then he should not be shedding from his butt. Does that mean shedding only occurs in the area where you have your OB? I've been told that a person with H sheds in their entire boxer short area, which is part of the reason I am so paranoid. I know his condition limits what we can do, but at least being able to have some bare skin contact with our boxer area would help a lot. I've also heard it spreads thru extended skin contact, so if we cuddle naked isn't that a risk since cuddles, especially naked ones, are meant to be extended? As far as oral goes, do we HAVE to use a condom if he is giving it to me if he is not having an outbreak? And being together in the water; again with the extended skin contact. If our genitals are touching (No sex) does the pool water or shower still minimize the risk of transmission? Thanks so much for all your helps guys. I will show my BF this site and see if I can talk him into joining. I am sure you can be a great deal of help to him as well.

Link to comment

From what I understand shedding occurs where the outbreak is. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but if he has OBs on his penis, that is the only area I would think you would have to worry about. Extended bare skin contact is fine. If he has an active outbreak just cover that outbreak area. I can't tell you how many times I've been spooned overnight while naked and it's never been an issue. Oral with condoms is truly up to you. I suggested it because you seem to be very worried about getting it, and there will be a risk. Reread WCSDancer's #3. I could not clarify it any better than she did. The water, the pool, it's all okay. Seriously.. cuddle, enjoy each other.


You are doing the right thing becoming educated, but seem to be fixated on "skin to skin contact". If he has an active outbreak, cover it and abstain from sex. If you have any open wounds in an area that may come in contact with an area he has the virus in, then I would also cover and abstain. (If you shave, I wouldn't have sex (oral or otherwise) for a few days since you will have microcuts) Otherwise, don't stress so much.

Link to comment

The *normal* area where people get H is in the "boxer shorts" region ... so that is why they say you can be shedding anywhere in that region. But the fact is that the virus enters the body and finds it's way along to the nerve ganglion of that specific nerve ... which will only ennervate a small area around the OB .... it's *possible* that it may travel down other parts of that nerve so that's why I say to be careful of the *general area* of the OB ... however, in his case that should just be the penis .... this any other area should be safe. If you want further clarification I suggest that you call Westover Heights Clinic (as I'm not as up to date about gay sex facts... I'm going on what I understand with hetero sex ... and to be honest, there's a LOT that Doctors stull don't know for certain :( )... WH Clinic are one of the best known clinics regarding Herpes ... they charge $5/min for a consult.... well worth it for peace of mind for you :)


http://westoverheights.com/ (503) 226-6678


As for cuddling... again, outside of an OB, its generally considered that you need the FRICTION of skin to skin contact to get enough of a "dose" of the virus for you go catch it. And yes - the water should pretty much kill the virus on contact.


And oral ... again ... the best you can do is be smart with it all ... ifyou are really that concerned see if he will go on antivirals ... given that he doesn't seem to have a lot of oral OB's, that should knock anything down that may be lurking.... and will give you protection in both places anyway :)

Link to comment

Thank you everyone so much for your input and for helping to put me at ease. I feel a whole lot better now that I've spoken with people who deal with this on a daily basis and have done a great job of educating themselves and sharing that with others. I am so glad I joined this site.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...