Tag Archives: sti

WHAT IF…

A few years ago, I found my first herpes support group on Facebook, and on the façade, it seemed very supportive. Messages of “Keep your head up!” Be strong, you’ll find someone!” and “It wasn’t meant to be.” seemed to flood the daily feed. Even though I knew I wasn’t the only person living with herpes, it was great to finally see and hear other people’s stories. The overall morale of the chats was positive and uplifting, which for a newly diagnosed individual can be essential. However, every so often, I would come across a post asking for advice and support.   

I feel terrible, and I need your advice. Last week, I was drinking, partying, smoking (whatever) with my friend. Things got out of control, we had sex, and I forgot to tell them about my herpes status. I feel terrible, and I want to tell them, I just don’t know how to.  

It didn’t take long for me to realize that once the comments have been disabled, it was safe to assume that the poster was virtually attacked. Similar posts often bring out, what I like to call, The Bully-Brigade. The Bully-Brigade is the barrage of people that come together to virtually bully anyone whose actions and views don’t align with theirs. With comments like, “You’re a terrible person.” “How could you forget…” and “People like you should be locked up!” — The Bully-Brigade has struck again.  

The comments and attacks vary, but the one that sticks out the most is the one of blame. It’s the person that says, “You know, many of us wouldn’t be here if our partner had told us. If my partner had told me that they had herpes, I never have had sex with them. You should’ve given them a choice.”   

This one always bugs me, because they so conveniently forget that they, in fact, did have a choice. To have consensual sex, without knowing your partner’s sexual health status, was a choice. The power to control the sanctity of my body is my responsibility, and the same for your body. Do you not eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty, or sleep when you’re tired? So, why when it comes to sex, is it only the other person’s responsibility to protect you? I don’t say this to point blame, I say this to take accountability.  

Think of your body as a new car you just bought. You wouldn’t give the keys for your new car to a person whose driving record you didn’t know and whose license you haven’t seen, would you? No! You wouldn’t! But if you did, and they crashed it, was it not your choice to hand your keys over to them, in the first place? We don’t take that risk with material things, but we assume that risk with our bodies every day. From the moment I laid eyes on my partner, once I know I want to have sex with him, the responsibility to ensure my sexual health is mine, and mine alone. It was my responsibility to make sure that he posed no threat to me, and the choice I made to not verify his status was, in fact, A CHOICE.   

Over the years, I learned to stop arguing with The Bully-Brigade; because they had already made up their mind that their positive diagnosis was someone else’s fault. What I try to do now is pose the question, what if…  

You say — “If they had told me they had herpes…” I pose the question — “What if you had asked…?”  

What if they told you they were clean, because the test they took didn’t include herpes? Therefore, they had no way of knowing they had the virus.   

What if they had the test that included herpes, but because they recently acquired the virus, the antibody test came back negative? (It took 9 months for my antibodies test to detect herpes).  

What if you had used condoms? (I used condoms when herpes was transmitted to me).  

What if they told you they had a history of cold sores? Marketing doesn’t make it clear that cold sores and herpes are the same virus. Many people don’t think that their cold sores are herpes or that they can impact their partner’s genital region. What if this information was made clear to the masses?  

What if doctors did a better job of educating patients before, during, and after their diagnosis? What if they pointed patients to support groups after their diagnosis, instead of giving them a prescription and sending them on their way?  

What if sex education was clear and transparent, and inclusive of all sexual behaviors, sexualities, and sexual health? What if consent and boundaries were mandated? What if the stigma was never able to exist because people were educated on the truth of all sexually transmissible and non-sexually transmissible viruses?  

What if testing were made easier for all to access? What if when I asked to be tested for everything, I was tested for EVERYTHING?  

What if we stopped shaming sex, sexuality, and people with STD/STIs?  

What if you’re herpes positive, you disclose to your partner, but you don’t ask to see their results in return? (Is that not, once again, handing someone the keys to your car without checking their license, all-over again?)  

What if asking about a person’s sexual health was as easy as saying hi? What if asking to see a person’s test results (and getting them), was as easy and pleasurable as having sex?  

What if they never assaulted me?  

What if the dad, the aunt, the uncle didn’t kiss the toddler, and pass them the herpes virus?  

What if the mother didn’t kiss her child and pass them the herpes virus?  

What if you had waited another 3-9 months to get re-tested before having sex?   

What if you had waited to go and get tested together?  

What if you had asked your partner their sexual health status?  

While the what-ifs are endless, none of them can guarantee that you still wouldn’t have ended up with herpes virus. With all the precautions that you could’ve taken in your adolescent or adult life, you still could’ve acquired the virus before ever taking your first steps. At the end of the day, we’re all here. So, instead of focusing on what if, focus on the future. A lot of why we feel what we feel is stigma. So, instead of trying to change others, maybe we can change our perception. And with that, we can change the stigma. 

Maybe this hoe life isn’t for me…

In January, 2019, I finally stopped beating around the bush and went public about, not only, my herpes status and polyamory; I also openly questioned my bisexuality. I spoke about the difficulty I had finding women that wanted to be intimate with me; and my struggle finding casual sex with women. I figured the only way to confirm if I was truly bisexual (enjoyed eating pussy) was to venture into a sex-club.  

What I didn’t expect was, while eating random woman’s pussy at the first sex-club; I also realized that I really-really loved being an exhibitionist; just as much as I enjoyed having, and watching people having sex. I would enter the room, shy on the outside, yet burning up on the inside. However, once I started engaging, all inhibitions left the room. With one random-hand squeezing my ass, another caressing my leg, random mouth licking my freshly pedicured toes, another sucking at my pierced nipple; add to that, the room filled with eyes on me; I was elevated to a level of sexual nirvana that I hadn’t experienced since I was a teenager.  

After that, each party I attended, was for the sheer joy of pure surprise-induced satisfaction.  

I used to dream of; entering a huge loft where every person would enter from a separate door, all wearing masks. There would be no talking, only action. After a few hours of pleasure, each person would walk back to the room they came from and no one would ever know the identity of the other person. Masks and anonymity, mixed with the cocktail of sexual aura was a recipe for great orgasms this fantasy.  

However, in real life; sex-parties, sex-clubs, and (in my case) just sex in general; turned out to be the recipe for repeated trips to the GYN.  

After I lost my virginity, I made the GYN my best friend. Because I was highly sexually active, (and not always the most careful); during my teenage and adolescent years, I got pretty comfortable waiting, and having my vagina examined. Quite a few times, I knew what my ailment was going in, and would leave with a prescription that would have be back in tip-top shape after a week. None the less, getting examined, swabbed, and blood drawn was a very natural thing for me. I was very sexually active, so I tested often in between partners.  

One day, in 2008, after a night of less than eventful sex, (so much so that I had to call someone else over to fuck the memory of the previous guy out of my mind); my vagina felt less than perfect. Naturally, I went to the GYN and she told me it was BV (Bacterial Vaginosis); something I had never heard of and she described as an STD. I was, not only, pissed and uncomfortable; I was extremely confused. By this time, I was WA-CONDOM-FOREVER, so how could I have gotten and STD? All she could do was give me the prescription and send me on my way. I notified both my partners so they could get treated. After the antibiotics to treat the BV, I had to take a round of treatment for the yeast infection that the treatment for BV caused. After a little over two weeks, I was back to normal. It wasn’t until month’s later that I had a new GYN and she informed me that BV was not actually an STD, but an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina (similar to a yeast infection); and that made more sense. Armed with that knowledge, I continued to use condoms, stopped using scented soaps, and was confident I would live happily ever after…  

I fucking wish.  

Once I got my first BV diagnosis, the son-of-a-bitch kept coming back. Every few months I would get a weird sensation, that would cause me to go to the doctor and every time it would return BV.  

Change of soap = BV 

Stayed too long in sweaty workout clothes = BV 

Toilet water splash back from poop = BV 

Occasional long session of rough sex = BV 

It was a repeat-offending disaster. 

It wasn’t until years later that, there appeared to be sunshine just beyond the horizon.  

In 2019, after my 8-month sex-break, I was confident that my vagina had reset itself. During that time, I learned some new tools to alleviate friction and I kept condoms on stand-by, just in case. So, after my 8-month sex drought, I was eager to walk into the sex-club. Armed with lube, condoms, and vibrator in my bag; I dived in. And, a few days later, I was in the doctor’s office, again.  

All treated, a month later, I met my first polyamorous partner and we started having amazing sex. He loved playing with my ass and probably had a digit slip every once in a while, once again. Every time he did – I had to go back to the doctor’s office.  

Treated again, a few months later, I went to my first all-black swingers party, followed by a day of sex, with an already sore pussy. And once again, I went to the doctor. 

I was really beginning to think, maybe this hoe-life wasn’t for me…  

It made no sense to me that, after every time I had a night of amazing (sometimes rough) sex, I would have to report to the doctor, days later. I once attended a party where the girl was literally filled with a dick the entire night. At parties, I would see all the other women taking dick after dick and I just knew they would be fine in the morning. It wasn’t fair! Not to mention $60 every visit, plus the price for the medication started to add up.  

To my surprise however, it turned out that, last time all my results came back negative. It appeared that, my vagina was not used to so much pounding. It was a crazy night after all. 

After a few more run-ins, my GYN, after seeing me for, what seemed, the 2000th time, decided to run a different test. She decided to check the bacteria in my vagina, as by BV was extremely recurrent.  

My results came back positive for high levels of ureplasma.  

Now, ureplasma naturally occurs in the body (hence why it’s considered a bacterial infection, and NOT An STI); however, the bacteria can also be passed to you via sexual contact. A-fucking-HA! That finally explained why once I got BV, it kept happening. It was all due to the rise in ureplasma in my vagina.  

She ordered me a prescription, along with advising me to take daily probiotics; to further promote the growth of healthy bacteria.  

After years of repeat occurrences, I finally had an answer; and due to her detective work, I finally had a cure.  

With that, in the closing of 2019, I was finally back to having the sex and the experiences I always wanted. I was not ready to hang up my sex-party robe just yet; and I was elated that I didn’t have to.