I contracted genital herpes and feel like this is the death of my sexual freedom.

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Throwaway account since I don’t want this tied to my main.

I am devastated my STD Test results are known. I have only had sex within relationships and was always pretty responsible. Since my relationship of four years fell apart last summer, I spent a lot of time recovering from the breakup and have been doing better for the last two months. Emotionally, I am still far from getting over it, but physically, I was craving to feel close to someone, so when I met up with an old friend the other day, I suggested going to my place, and we hooked up. Since then, we have had sex two more times. We used protection, but the oral sex was not safe. After experiencing pretty bad symptoms and going to the doctor, I found out from a herpes test I got type 1 from oral sex.

My past

I had sex with three people in total in my life. I hooked up with literally one person outside of a relationship. Now, when I was just at the start of appreciating being single, I got an STD Test, and I was devasted. My life has gotten out of my hands within the last half year. I can’t think of how I will ever have casual sex again if my Herpes test result is positive. The burden is psychologically so heavy right now, I don’t know. I feel like I will never receive oral sex again because who would want to eat someone with herpes?? And I am disgusted and feel actually like damaged goods which are fucked up, but that doesn’t change the fact that I feel that way.

I will have to talk about my STD Tests with literally anyone I want to have sex with for the rest of my life. AdmitI am so ashamed and feel like I was denied my chance for a good sex life. I know it doesn’t rationally make any sense, but I feel like this is my punishment for wanting to have fun outside of a relationship.

What happened

I contracted herpes through an unprotected casual sex encounter. It was an awful, devastating blow. Honestly, my feelings were pretty much the same as yours. It felt like this was the end of my sexual life as an adult. I didn’t have sex for quite a few years, and when I did, the person I had sex with was not the right person. That led to another long stretch of no sex.

Eventually, things will get better. I now have a bank of supplies of STD test kits from Medicines Online. And you will be able to have a sex life again. But for now, I suggest reading all your information about herpes tests and getting educated on them. Getting on some anti-virals will help a lot. Take whatever time you need to deal with this because there is a lot of shame and stigma surrounding herpes. And many people joke about it, not realising how common it is.

I found the right person eventually, and we decided to get a Full Profile STD test each. we had a satisfying and lovely sex life. It includes all the fun stuff I did even have before contracting herpes.

So, a couple of things…

If you got herpes from oral sex, it’s likely HSV 1, the virus most people think of as cold sores. Symptoms are much the same outwardly, but the virus doesn’t like living in the genital area as much as in the facial area. So, you’re more likely to have fewer outbreaks and milder symptoms than you would with an HSV2 infection. Your doctor can test which one you have.

You’ll be shedding it less because the virus is not living in its preferred place and isn’t as active. If you take daily anti-viral meds, your risk of spreading it is LOW, a much lower risk than having sex with someone who doesn’t test regularly and doesn’t take precautions.

Also, hsv1 is common; 1 in 4 adults is a carrier. It’s so common that many Healthcare places don’t include hsv1 on a standard std panel UNLESS YOU ASK SPECIFICALLY.

Take some time to sit with it and be sad. I keep repeating to myself that the STD Test is positive, and my life is damaged forever. Then, pick yourself up and move on. Anyone worth having in your bed will understand that everyone comes with baggage, life comes with risks that we all do our best to mitigate and, most importantly, your worth isn’t determined by something as slight as a skin issue.

I say all this as someone who got hsv1 in the genital area YEARS ago; I have almost no issues with it now and have never had a shortage of partners who are excited to hop in the sack with me. Yes, even oral sex.

Comments:

Ok, breathe!

It is fine. I have had it for 8 years now; it gets better. Initially, your immune system is not used to it, and the breakouts are constant over everything you do… Shave.. breakout, bad night of sleep… breakout… But your body gets used to it, and the frequency and severity decrease tremendously. In the last 5 years, I only had maybe 4 breakouts and tiny little things that healed in a few days.

In the beginning, antivirals like valacyclovir can help. But it’s not a sex-life death sentence.

Treatments

Also, the contagion rates are VERY LOW if you are not having a breakout. So, your sex life will go back to normal when your body balances out. The only thing is that you will need to tell partners about it. I came out of a 5-year relationship, we used no protection, and he went down on me a LOT; he never got it. It was, of course, my responsibility to let him know we couldn’t have sex because I was having a breakout, etc…

Also, if you have HSV type 1 in your genitals, I have good news for you: something like 70% of the world already has it in their mouth so that you wouldn’t be giving them anything anyway. They can go nuts on that honey pie!

Sex Ed in most places is pretty terrible. The STD Tests with a Full Panel are the way to go. And the scare tactics used to educate us about sexuality created a terrible stigma. Make sure it includes a Herpes test, too. It causes no health or life-threatening consequences. If you are going to talk to a partner from the mindset that your life is ruined by this huge curse you carry, you are not ready to do it yet. You will only have a healthy sex life, loving it when you have a healthy relationship with it.