Advice for dating someone with herpes
One of the most romantic moments of my life was when an old partner told me that I had so thoroughly de-stigmatized herpes for him that he saw contracting from me as an inevitability he chose, rather than a nightmare I should have panic attacks over (and although I continued to have said panic attacks, I never did transmit to him).A true partner, a true best friend, accepts all of you.How did my partners after my diagnosis make the decision of whether or not to sleep with me? But mostly they looked at me, and thought about the fun, challenging conversations we had, and remembered how gorgeous my thick hair is.They considered me as a full person, not the “side-effects” of having feelings for me.” It’s “Do I want to date someone for who they are?There are some conversations that change your life.But too often my impulse to capitulate to people who stems from a desire to seem chill. At the end of the day, STI stigma is a form of prejudice.I am afraid of being that ranting feminist with herpes who seems to think herpes is great. It perpetuates a preconceived notion of someone’s moral character and individual worth based on a skin condition that itself is not a barometer of value or happiness.
Here’s another pet peeve of my email inbox: when a man (because it’s almost always a man) asks me if he should continue seeing this woman he’s been dating who just told him she has herpes.
When it came down to the brass tacks of who I am, there was no decision to be made at all.
In the past I have made room for the discomfort of strangers who do not want to date someone with an STI.
Sometimes the question is data-based, about what transmission statistics are real. When you ask me questions about if you should date someone with herpes, I know you’re looking for an expert opinion.
Sometimes the question is esoteric, about whether or not he truly knew this woman in the first place. You’ve never given herpes any serious thought before and here I am, a woman with herpes and a blog, who has so generously spilled her guts to the Internet about what it’s like.