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19 and scared to start my life

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Hello forum Im a 19 year old female who has just found out that they have what is mostly likely GHSV1. To start my story I got out of a 3 1/2 year relationship with my high school love in March. I started dating new guys and as as soon as I got home for summer feel instantly head over heels in love with a great and very special guy. He introduced me to polyamory which gave me the sexual freedom to find myself and have a fulfilling emotionally connected relationship! long story short we both started seeing secondary partners (I ended up dropping mine for a multitude of reasons). I met his new girl and me and her hit it off right off the bat and started to have a sexual relationship of our own. We were all so excited to explore this new development and have a relationship blossom between the 3 of us but before we knew it...something very bad happened

I noticed pain one day when me and my boyfriend had sex and assumed it was just a weird vagina thing since I had been having lots of sex. After 2 days I went the the gyno (I wasnt worried since I just got a clean std screening the week before) and they told me that I probably have herpes. I was devastated and immediately called him, he informed me that he's had cold sores his whole life and for some reason had never told me and had no idea they could be transfin this way. I called the other girl we were both seeing and she was having the same symptoms. We concluded that we both must have bee exposed it form receiving oral while he had a breakout on his mouth. 

I haven't gotten my test results back but Im pretty sure based on all this information that I have genital HSV1. Ive been driving myself crazy doing research and have found a lot of helpful information that genital HSV1 is less contagious than oral HSV1 and that theres a huge possibility that I could go the rest of my life without another break out. I talked to my mom who has oral HSV1 and has never exposed my dad and she has also gave more some reassuring advice,. But despite all of this I am still in a very depressive mood I always thought i would make an amazing partner to anyone and now I feel like I have this scary thing that people have to accept about me and that being intimate with me is a huge risk. Even though my boyfriend wasn't properly informed of his risk of exposure I still feel very betrayed by someone I love. Mostly I just need reassurance that my life isnt over and that this isnt as horrible as i am feeling it is in this moment. I want to continue casual dating/ the polyamorous lifestyle but I feel like its no longer possible. My life is just starting and I'm just starting to explore my sexuality and part of me feels like I'm being punished. I also have found little to no information about female to female transfer rates which makes me feel like if i continue to explore relationships with women i cant have them the proper statistics about what risks they're taking? If anyone can give me some reassurance i'd greatly appreciate it!! Ive also read about GHSV1 having such a low transfer rate this its not totally necessary to disclose? I have a lot of mixed emotions about that but at the same time OHSV1 is so common people rarely disclose before kissing and if the rates of transfer are lower in GHSV1 why are we being punished for having it on a different part of out body? any thoughts? would also love to hear from any other Poly/Lesbian/Bisexual women on the forum of their experiences!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi @chichi! Yes, you're correct that with genital HSV-1, there's less viral shedding (since HSV-1 prefers the mouth area) and hence less risk of transmitting herpes and less frequency/severity of future outbreaks. 

Read the handouts that come with the free disclosure e-book I wrote, as they break down the %s of viral shedding and risks of transmitting herpes. The overall transmission risks would stay the same whether it's a male-male or female-female relationship. The %s are based on the risk to the person who doesn't have herpes. The risk is less for men because there's less mucous membrane on the penises than vaginas. Since you have genital HSV-1 and it sheds about 1/5 of the time than genital HSV-2, then your risk will be lower.

And now, this brings us to your question about disclosure. There's always a risk. And with that in mind, how would you feel if the roles were reversed and someone else put you at risk without disclosing? For the sake of trusting relationships and for the sake of us upholding our integrity, always disclose. And part of your disclosure would be to tell them that the risk is small.  

Does all of that help?

Here's a link to the e-book & handouts for you: https://herpesopportunity.com/free-ebook-signup.html 

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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. 

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Hi chichi, besides what Adrial said, which is one of the best advice you can get on the internet, I wanted to reassure your open sex life will survive, and be almost the same, if not the same, and if not better.

Incredible right? Why better? At least for me (and I'll try to open a post describing it) having herpes has grounded me. Without herpes I was a much more insecure person. Now, my destiny has been "cleared out" in that sense; I know I have it, and I have to live with it, and this gives me a new power, a combination of urgency, ferociousness (lol, sorry) and "destiny". It has reinforced my identity (and my sexual identity too) somehow. I have a much clearer self-image and grounded feel. I go straight to sexually conquer my partner now - as I didn't know how to do before. The feel of being "half-out-of-the-race" makes me stronger and more bold. Non-carriers can't know this sensation. You will rebound.

Second thing I'd like to say: if you take some steps every day (really every day) you will be fine, with minimum outbreaks, and with minimun risk of asymptomatic transmission. This steps involve a super-healthy, super-natural lifestyle, with several natural supplements (search the forum for that)...combined with:

  1. daily medication.
  2. Avoiding sex during outbreaks (mutual masturbation and cuddling is fine, the rest is not).
  3. Using condoms. I don't know about female vs. female condoms but there has to be something
  4. Taking your shower before and after sex.
  5. Avoiding shaving yourself or your partners. High risk of transmission if the uninfected person is freshly shaven. Guess how I discovered it.
  6. With guys, if you feel like with a weakened inmune system, or stressed out, or any other "good condition" for the virus, have a softer sex so there aren't micro-abrasions that could transmit the virus when skin to skin genital sex produces (remember the base of the penis isn't covered with male condoms, a little better with female condoms).
  7. Avoid arginine-rich foods and take L-lysine foods and supplementation, alongside the medication, daily.

All those steps seem annoying, but you get use to them and they are part of you soon. The daily medicine and l-lysine for example, it's a micro ritual that will protect you and your partners so it's one of the uber important routines in your life. It takes a second. Without herpes you would lose that second scrolling the internet somewhere else so nothing really lost here...

Third thing: disclosing. You have a free lifestyle regarding sex which is great. Many people in your lifestyle will have herpes (even unkowingly), I don't remember the stats right now but it's very spread in the population, this will get you some interesting matches automatically. The difficult part is disclosing. Not easy when you have lots of opportunities (well it is never easy, but you'll have to do it more, some say you get used to this too).

Many people are prejudiced against it. But many other, the truly valuable, will be not, and they will accept you. Mind you, when a non-carrier accepts you, that hot sex you are going to have will go through the roof.

So, please, do not worry more than necessary. Take your steps, get your protection, tell your partners.

Many of them, being polyamorous, will have a) an open mind or b) a knowdlege about this particular condition, as in "technically aware". Others will be directly known carriers. I'm not sure about it but I guess it can exist a discordance between carriers and one has HSV1 and the other HSV2 so prevention may be needed anyways not to get "the whole collection".

As Rocco Sifredi, the classic italian porn star told some years ago, in porn "Everybody has Herpes". I'm not a porn enthusiast myself, but you get the idea. Life can be awesome anyways.


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