Monthly Archives: January 2019

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

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So- I have herpes, and have had it for quite some years. After the initial wave of shock and disappointment passed and I realized I didn’t want to live a life of celibacy I had to find the strength to start dating again.  

I will admit in the early years of my diagnosis I did not pre-disclose prior to intimacy. At that age and with the stigma being so heavy I didn’t know how. I resorted to military logic – don’t ask, don’t tell. In my mind if he didn’t care enough to ask me about my sexual health, and just assumed (let’s be real- most of us assume the stranger we sex is STD-Free) I was not going to offer up the information. I did not want to have the awkward conversation and risk being exposed and or shamed. I convinced myself that once they got to know me, fell in love with my amazing sex, and realized that sex without transmission was possible -they would all be fine with the information; this logic worked more times than I could’ve ever imagined. Looking back on it now, I know that was a horrible choice, but as it is something I can’t undo- I just do better now.  

Even thought I had not passed my virus along I always dreaded getting “The Call”. The call from a partner that he had come from his doctor and was now HSV+. I also feared meeting the love of my life, waiting to tell him after the fact and he would break up with me because I was dishonest. So, I figured it would be easier dealing with a person that was in my same situation- if only there was such a thing. An episode of Doctors and a few searches on the google machine and I realized there was an entire community of HSV+ people. I had found Nirvana! 

I set up my profile, picked the most flattering images of myself (with inconspicuously big shades), paid the insane $35 per month membership, prayed to the dating Gods and waited for Cupid. 

Immediately Cupid Struck Gold! 

Within a month I had my first experience with a woman and it opened my eyes to a world of new possibilities. (Stay tuned for this story) 

But shortly after Cupid handed in his resignation letter. 

The first man I met was Justin from my “Going Grocery Shopping”. Yes, the man that ate my ass in a bathroom stall of a Hell’s Kitchen Irish Pub. But, after lack of appropriate follow-through and my assumption that he probably had a girlfriend or wife, I had to cancel his ass. I just wish I didn’t give him my panties. I really liked them. 

Next was Sal from “Attack of the Gherkins” (car sex guy)- Abysmal. 

After Sal, there was Black Mike from my “Too Far for Richard” post… You know that man that only wanted to have sex, but because he lived in South Side, Jamaica Queens – I cancelled his ass. 

Then, next came the inspiration for my “Bum Magnet” series. We met up for a date; this fool brought only $10- Where they do that at? It was cold so he bought me a coffee and we walked around Central Park. We kissed a bit and during conversation realized what he actually had was HPV not HSV (how the hell do you mistake your STDs?). None the less, because he was packing, when I returned from my cruise, we started having sex. The D was large and plentiful, the oral was phenomenal, and his stamina could rival mine. Only issue was – he was a bum, with a criminal record, and no job. NEXT! 

And last but not least- Chris, from part 2 of my “I Forgot to Tell You I’m Married” post. Remember the one whose wife called my phone, while I was at work and questioned me about how I knew her husband. I screenshot his profile page, that claimed he was single, and sent it as proof that I was not playing role of home-wrecker, and exited stage left.  

With the above track record and Cupid giving me a huge FUCK YOU, I realized that my hopes of finding an HSV+ love was dumb as fuck. I cancelled my subscription, (which by now had cost me a few hundred dollars), and figured I’d rather deal with the same bullshit for free with other dating apps. So, I put myself back out there; HSV+ badge proudly tattooed across my chest, and again I was pleasantly surprised at how many men did not care.  

I went back and disclosed to one on my longest partners. Of course, he was annoyed that I didn’t tell him earlier but that did not stop him from hitting me up when he was ‘feeling frisky’. 

I told Nick from my “Month in Russia” story- he accepted it with little to no hesitation. 

I told Dean from my “Casper, The Un-friendly Ghost” post. When we were making out on his couch and a minute from sex, I told him about my genital herpes. In return he told me about his oral herpes (presumably HSV1) AKA Cold Sores. He further went on to tell me that he, of course by mistake, transmitted his oral herpes to his girlfriend’s genitals… Would you look at that! I had always hoped that during a DC (disclosure conversation) my partner would turn around and tell me they too had herpes- and then we’d live happily ever after… Silly Rabbit! 

Hell, I even disclosed my herpes status to G_OKC (“Attack of The Gherkins”) hoping that he would want to end the relationship. Surprise-surprise… He did not! He still wanted to date me, so I had to lie and tell him I didn’t like giving oral (which is a total lie) But it did the trick. 

My last time disclosing was with Nick, I haven’t written about him yet and I don’t know if I will. But long story short he’s HSV-. We connected via OKCupid sexted back and forth for an entire day. Before I agreed to meet him that night, for a much-needed Dick Appointment, I told him my status. I, like I always did, told him exactly what I expected: 2-3 rounds of good sex and fantastic oral. He told to come over and he serviced me from the night into the morning.  

Herpes, as I discovered, did not stopped me. Not one bit! 

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THE EX THAT NEVER LEFT

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In the beginning of the New Year I disabled and deleted all my online dating apps. I went cold turkey; I cut them all off. As I write this post, I am 15 days sober, and I realized that I over-estimated the number of horrible stories I had. Now I am faced with the question- Where do I want this blog to go? There a still a healthy amount of dating mishaps I will divulge but the topic of this post is essential to fully understand the upcoming stories. This post of extreme open-vulnerability IS LONG BUT NECESSARY. I will explain how I emerged from the flames and entered into a world of self-love and self-discovery, that I might not have otherwise experienced, had it not been for the below. So, I hope that at the conclusion of this post; you take a moment to be open and honest with yourself and start to change your mind about all that you thought you knew.  

I lost my virginity at the age of fourteen. I wasn’t in love or anything, I just thought the guy was cute and I wanted to get it over with. After that, I had a string of high-school boyfriends (at which time, dating for a month was the emotional equivalent of being married). I was never the girl your mother warned you about- because I would travel far and wide to do my dirt. Armed with thick bottle-cap glasses and my Catholic school uniform- no one could detect my true-sexual identity. In my late teens and during college I had a few flings here and there. After a long-term break up, that rocked me to my core (stay tuned for that one), I took a few months off from dating and then I met HIM- the one that would become THE EX THAT NEVER LEFT

We connected on BlackPlanet.com. He was educated, handsome, and he demonstrated a genuine interest for me and my likes. He was a stark contrast to the men I had dated and slept with before; he put a smile on my face and I never felt so secure. We would joke together, laugh together, and one day he even met my mom. It wasn’t official introduction, but it meant a lot that he joked with her, rather than evade conversation. When he took me out for my birthday; I wore a dress that I made and he complimented me on it, which made me feel very good. All was going well, until it wasn’t. After about 5 months of perfection he became unreachable, and we started seeing each other less and less. Eventually after two weeks of him pulling away, I sent him a message- I guess you no longer have interest. Wish you all the best. I concluded that he had started seeing someone else, so I left it alone. 

Two weeks later he popped back into my life- but not in a way I could see coming…  

It wasn’t the horror show you find online when you google; mine was much like a mosquito bite, which was why it didn’t cause for alarm at first. But when nothing aided in easing the discomfort, I showed my mom (a RN) and her friend and I went to my GYN. A week later, when my doctor finally confirmed my suspicions, my response was: “For all the years that I’ve been fucking- it’s the time that I’m in a committed relationship that I get herpes? YOU’VE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME!” Yes; He gifted me with Genital Herpes Type 2. WHAT THE ENTIRE FUCK!!!!! My young mind, in its early twenties, could not understand how this could’ve happened. I was doing everything right: I asked him all the questions: When was his last test? What were his results? -He assured me everything was fine. We used protection (condoms) and I know I wasn’t fucking anyone else; so why me, why now, and how?  

Through my research I discovered the following: He very well, may not have known he had it prior to me. Why? You ask. How could he not know? You ask. Well here’s your answer. 

1- People can be carriers and never have symptoms of the virus. So, people who never have an outbreak will automatically assume that they don’t have herpes, and yet, may pass it on to their partners.  

2- Doctors don’t willingly include herpes testing. On a medical scale of diseases and viruses in the world- herpes is at the bottom of the list. I can remember getting tested, for years, and not once was herpes ever included. Sure, they tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis; because if left untreated these could actually lead to cancer, infertility, and/or death. But, herpes- NOPE! So, since one has to specifically ask for it; and, (back to point 1) if you have no symptoms- why would you. 

3- It’s everywhere. Another major reason why doctors don’t test for herpes is because 80% (every site will indicate a different number) of the population is living with or has had some form of the herpes virus. For example, if you ever had chicken pox – that’s a strain of herpes; if you get older and develop shingles – that too is a strain of the herpes virus. The blisters people call cold sores is also a strain of the herpes virus. The only difference is the strain, stigma, and location of the outbreak. People with oral herpes aka cold sores (commonly HSV1, but can also be HSV2) don’t go around telling everyone about it; they live their life, kiss and date and be merry. However, people with genital herpes (whether Type 1 or Type 2) are expected to disclose. There is a reason there’s a rise in Genital Herpes Type 1 cases. Ever got head or ate pussy from a someone? Well- there you go. 

4- And lastly, he simply could have neglected to inform me. As horrible as that idea may seem – it’s just as much a possibility as the above are. I eventually had to take responsibility for my actions and my decision to take his word as truth. But, take it a step further…

Think about it- Did you ever had a one-night-stand? Did you ever meet a person and have sex (intercourse or oral) that night? Did you ask the person you were dating when they were tested last? Did you go and get tested together, just to be sure? Did you abstain from sex the required 3-6 months it takes your body to build antibodies once a virus is detected? Do you always use condoms (not just for intercourse, but for oral as well)? Do you follow your partner everywhere they go, to make sure they are being faithful? If you answer no to any of the above, you too, could have found yourself in my situation. You were just lucky not to. 

The occurrences of my outbreaks (1-2 a year) were as annoying as random mosquito bites. So, even though I wish I didn’t have this- I still consider myself lucky. The worst part of this virus is THE STIGMA attached to it. The idea that people would think you’re dirty (I take 3 showers a day sometimes), or a slut (I prefer the term sexually-free) is more painful and always in the background of my mind.

During the many years and conversations, I’ve had with thousands of people I can confirm that, there is no direct relation between sexuality and herpes. I met people who were born with herpes or contracted it from sharing a beverage with a parent or friend. I met virgins that were gifted by their first partner, women and men that were gifted by their cheating spouses, people who were victims of rape and/or sexual assault, people that could count on one hand their partners and acquired their gift, and people that fell in love with a positive person and made the decision to stay with them. I also know sex workers and porn stars (with hundreds and thousands of partners) that are herpes negative. Herpes does not care who you are, how sexual you are, your nationality, religion, salary, etc. It simply does not care and having this virus does not change who a person is. 

So, after the initial wave of devastation passed, I confided in a close group of friends, one of which had a history of cold-sores (Oral Herpes) and asked her how she dated with the virus. I didn’t run into conversations exposing my diagnosis, but I told my partners on a ‘need to know’ basis and it worked, for years. When I would enter relationships, I would tell my partners and, luckily, they were all accepting. The fear that often lurked in the back of my mind: What’s he going to think? Will he hate me? Will he break up with me? Was always put at ease the moment he said ‘It’s ok. I still want to be with you. Thank you for telling me. And, “This doesn’t change how I feel about you”. I was lucky to have met men that were accepting of my status; and to this date, I have been successful in never transmitting my virus to a partner.  

Fast forward some more years- I had concluded that, if the man really liked me, and was ok with getting to get to know me before trying to have sex, my disclosure conversation (DC) would go over much better. This worked out great; until I broke up with my last ex (The Ex Files) and started dating again. After him It was obvious that I was in a very new world of dating and I was totally clueless to the rules of the game.  

Long gone were the days of conversation; everyone wanted to ask me my favorite position. So long was the idea of meeting up for a first date; everyone wanted to send me dick-pics and get a confirmation of sex. Hell, even the corny guys were playing the fast game. How the hell was I going to manage my newly found sexually-free identity with my status? Would I be outcasted as a leper? Would I be forced into celibacy? I didn’t like the idea of either. I could limit my dating pool to people in my similar situation, but I never liked limits and the people on those sites were just as bad as other online dating apps. So, I took a chance and I figured the only way to discover what would happen, would be to dive right in; and I’ll admit what I found was quite empowering, and I hope you stay tuned for more.

Yay! She’s Back!

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I wake up to the sound of her alarm – loud and obnoxious in my ear. It’s the first alarm so she probably doesn’t hear it, but I do, and boy is it loud. The alarm goes continues to ring for another 30 minutes before I feel her wrestle awake. She reaches for her phone and hits the snooze button. I guess she wants five more minutes of sleep; which only makes sense. Last night, she wore me out and we didn’t get into bed until 3am. Another 5 minutes goes by and the alarm starts again; this time I can feel her reach out to remove her phone from the charger. She scrolls through her notifications, taps the iHeartRadio app after a few minutes the soothing voice of Drake is playing in the background. Oh yea! – this is going to be a good day. 

She gets out of bed and goes to shower. When she re-enters the room, she smells of artificially scented strawberries and cream Lovely!. I can hear her going through her drawers and saying out loud as she gathers her essentials; 

“Thong, bra, jeans, tank” 

She lays them all on the bed. 

“Perfect!” She says.  

Suddenly the corner of the bed sinks a bit and then I smell her lotion; Nivea with Vanilla essential oils and a squirt of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Oil.  

“Little Bitch! You can’t fuck with me, if you wanted to.” I always thought she should go on American Idol. She has a great voice. 

“What time will you be home tonight?” In busts her mother. I would say good morning but she never acknowledges my presence anyway. 

“I don’t know. Why?”  

“Oh, Because I was gonna go to Costco after work.” 

“Well, I wanted to come home and go for a run after work today.” I would never tell her, but over the past year she had gotten a little puffy around the edges, but I kept that to myself. 

“Ugh. Fine.” Her mother closes the door and walks away.  

“Like she can’t do anything herself. Just get the shopping cart and call it a day. What’s she gonna do once I move out?” She mumbled to herself. I wanted to reply- Yea right! But I know it will only fall on deaf ears so I continued listening to the radio. 

“My bad, my bad for trippin’ on you” – She really should go on American Idol, or better yet, The Four. 

“Ugh! I feel like a sausage stuffed in a casing. I can barely breathe. Legging it shall be.” 

She sits down on the bed to slide her leggings, socks, and then shoes on. I hear her zip her coat and then she’s out the door. 

“Love you mom! Have a good day!” She screams as she runs down the fourteen stairs to the front door. Geez she’s really heavy footed. The door slams, I hear the keys jingle, then she is gone. 

I’m immediately bored. When she’s gone it’s so quiet. If I’m lucky she’ll leave the radio on but recently she’s been being responsible and turning it off. How dare she! 

So, other than the occasion argument between her mom and dad or the neighbors yelling on the catwalk outside her balcony window; I spend my days listening to the sound of the many race bibs she has pinned all over her walls being rustled by the wind from the fan. In the summer I hear the birds chirping as they perch on her air conditioner. On summer mornings she’ll bang on her balcony window to shoo them away, but they always come back – pesky birds. If I’m lucky her mom will come back in on the phone and I can hear about her latest patients feeding tube or catheter needing replacement; but I think her mom is still on vacation, so I will hear no such thing.  

Ten hours later. 

“Ma!” Yay! She’s back. I was getting very lonely.  

She comes upstairs and I feel her toss her bag on the bed. She strips off her clothes and changes into her running gear, and she’s back out again. I was hoping we’d get to hang out.  

I hear her mom and father enter the house. They’re arguing about something, but I’m feeling a little hazy so I can’t quite make out what they are saying. A few minutes later I hear her enter the room before I can see her. 

Yay! She’s back! 

“Geez! My room smells like fucking weed again!” She yells down the stairs.  

Oh! Maybe that’s why I was feeling hazy. I hear a few sss-sss-sss noises and I begin to smell the scent of crisp linen. She takes off her running clothes and yells: 

“Does anyone have to use the bathroom? I’m going to take my shower and I don’t want either of you to bother me.” 

“Just don’t stay in there all night” Yells her mother from downstairs.  

An hour later.  

Yay! She’s back! 

She’s on the edge of the bed and puts on her pajamas, which are really just shorts and a tank top. She leaves then goes back downstairs. I can hear her and her mother laughing all the way up here. It’s Monday night, so I assume they’re watching Love & Hip Hop, which means it’s around 8pm.  

Two hours later. 

Yay! She’s back! 

She’s starts to pack her bag for the next day.  

“Barre. Sports bra, pants, and sock- you go there. Now, what am I gonna wear? Let me check the weather. Hmm- black dress, black tights and DM’s.” She does a final call to make sure she has everything packed then I hear her toss her bag on the floor.  

“Goodnight! Love you!” She yells and then she gets in the bed. She pops back up to turns the ceiling  light off and crashes down on the pillows- Mmm minty! . She tosses a little bit; kicks one leg out, then the other, then frogs her legs around the covers. She jerks up and then I feel the cold air from the cracked window- much better! She climbs back into bed and reaches for me.  

I’m laying down next to her and she has her phone in her hands. She starts to type in g-a-n-g-b-a-n-g-p-o-r-n.  I like this site! She removes her shorts and then I go to work. Much of my day may be boring, but this is the highlight. It’s nice and smooth today, that means she must’ve gotten a wax –the price of beauty right. I spot my love interest. Over the past years we have become very close but we only ever kiss; she never lets me go all the way- bummer. But patient as I am, I respect her wishes and wait until she’s ready. One time I didn’t see her for 11 days but we made up for that when she got back. I continue to buzz and then I begin to hear it. That beautiful voice that I know would definitely win American Idol. 

“Oh fuck! Oh Yes-Yes-YESSSSS!” She moans and spasms a few times.  

Her body goes limp and she turns me off. Will she put me back in her hiding place or will she keep me beside her? I really like lying beside her. I feel it brings us closer; then maybe one day, she’ll let me go all the way. 

After a few minutes, she deletes the history from her phone (God forbid someone borrow her phone to look up ‘gangs or gangrene’- they’d be in for a surprise). She plugs the phone back in to charge, and places it on the night stand. She must be really tired because she forgets to put me back in my hiding place. I tell her I love her, but she’s already asleep and doesn’t hear me.