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!