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Lori

Herpes is just a skin condition

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I like what you said about herpes being basically a skin condition. If I ever have to do the talk again (I currently have a boyfriend now) but if I was in the situation of getting intimate with a new partner and the time arrived that I had to let him know about the herpes I would start off by saying that I have a skin condition before actually letting him know that the skin condition is herpes. I have had to tell previous bf’s in the past that I had herpes and when I told them that I have genital herpes … the look on their faces said it all: “fear”… and I understand that because of what I was taught at an early age in school about STDs. If you say you have a skin condition then the person you are telling will see that you aren’t ashamed but merely letting them know the facts so that they can use protection. I always found it awkward to say that I have “genital herpes”… it just sounds worse than what it is. My current boyfriend (of 9 months) was shocked when I told him and it took him awhile to not be paranoid that he was going to get it. Now he has even admitted a few weeks ago that he was so afraid of getting it…I thought he was over reacting and I was constantly having to reassure him he wasn’t going to get it but at the same time I let him know that there is a slight chance you can get it even if you do use protection. He was insensitive to my feelings and the way he acted made me feel as though there was something wrong with me or that I was defective. I didn’t feel like anything was wrong with me at all. I’m not perfect but the herpes is the least of my imperfections.

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Hey Lori! Thank you for sharing this. And I agree that if we're able to shift our own association with it in our heads and therefore shift our relationship to what herpes means to us in general, we're better off for it. And that better, less shameful relationship we have will show in all our interactions with it, whether it be disclosing to partners or just how we relate to ourselves. The words we use are powerful (click here for an article on that). Think about it. If we have recurring acne on our face, would we shamefully explain "I have puss-filled sores that explode on my face every so often and ooze occasionally"? (sorry if I ruined your appetite with that one) ... NO, we simply say "I have zits." We can create a much more horrific story around something we believe to be horrific. Call it like it is. "Genital herpes" I officially dub "Acne genitalis." No biggy, right?

 

P.S. For everyone else reading this, if you would like to read the article Lori's referring to, click here.


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