Category Archives: Dating and Herpes: How To Get Your Mojo Back

Protecting Your Partner When You Don’t Want To Take Anti-virals

Anti-virals like Valtrex and Zovirax and Acyclovir are a God-send for many …. and as someone who got Herpes before all these things were available, I know that they have helped many to get through the early stages post-diagnosis and have helped to give H+ partners something to help to protect their partners from getting the virus. But not everyone wants to take medication … and there are those who just don’t do well on them. I see a lot of questions about how to protect partners without taking the meds …. so here’s a list of the most useful and best known things that you can do to reduce the risk of passing it on.

  • Condoms – reduce the risk by 50% … but that number depends a LOT on where your OB’s are. So if your OB’s are on the boxer shorts area, don’t rely on them to protect your partner (but you should still use them to protect YOU from getting anything else!)
  • No sex with ANY knicks/cuts/irritation present on you or your partner. IE: if you have any breaks in skin, it’s *possible* that the virus could get into your partner’s system. This may sound “bad” but you can just look at those times as an excuse to explore other ways to get yer freak on, so it can be a GOOD thing too 😉
  • Shaving/waxing: There’s a school of thought that H has increased with the advent of shaving, and there’s good reason to believe that there’s some substance in the thought. Shaving/waxing can create micro-cuts/tears/irritations to the skin which in the H+ carrier can bring on OB’s (and thus possibly induce asymptomatic shedding as well) and in the H- partner, it can create an open door to the nerves which host the virus. Also, when both partners have a “full bush” that would create a “buffer” of sorts from any areas that are shedding. So if you are a shaver, perhaps you might at the very least want to go to using a trimmer/electric shaver that doesn’t irritate the skin, or perhaps the depilatory creams that are out there.
  • Be sure to use plenty of lube and be cautious with rough sex … esp if it leaves you a bit raw…. which can trigger an outbreak.
  • Try to keep stress levels down.. H LOVES stress!
  • Vitamin B-12: Medical research in England found that many people with cold sores were low in B12. Studies found that by adding 250 mcg. of B12 the condition improved rapidly. This research also suggested taking B complex supplements with emphasis on the B12 and folic acid. It follows that this could well help to reduce OB’s and/or shedding for genital HSV2 … it certainly won’t hurt anything and you might find that you at least have more energy!
  • Take L-Lysine supplements – for *some*, this reduces OB’s significantly so it likely would reduce shedding as well (though you will never know for sure).
  • Use H as a good reason to learn other ways to be intimate. Tantric sex requires no insertion at all and can be VERY hot. Use role play and toys and porn and whatever else works for the pair of you … this can open up a whole world that you might miss if you never had to consider alternatives to “vanilla sex” 🙂

So you can see that there’s a TON of ways to protect your partner … and the bottom line is that a life well lived entails some risk of things “going wrong”. You get in your car every day, take “precautions” (Put on the seat belt, obey road rules, etc) and you could STILL get broadsided and get hurt or killed. So try to see this is a lesson in learning to accept that you don’t have complete control over everything. All you can do is to reduce the risk as best as you can, make sure your partner is well informed and knows the risks, and then get on with life….. 😉

Peace

Article: What It’s Like To Tell Guys That You Have Herpes

Inspiring doesn’t even start to describe how I felt when I read this beautiful blog/article on Women’s Health Mag online.  Written by a beautiful young college student by the name of Ella Dawson, it tells of her experience of living FEARLESSLY with Herpes.

Starting with her diagnosis where she quickly that despite feeling very alone, she was FAR from being the only person with Herpes

When I looked up the statistics on how common herpes is, the math didn’t add up: If one in six people had genital herpes, how was I the only person I knew to do the ultimate walk of shame from the student health center clutching a stack of STD pamphlets? Further Google searches opened my eyes to the powerful and invisible stigma associated with sexually transmitted diseases.

To her resolve to push herself to be ok with saying “I have Herpes”

I was sick of making myself small because I had herpes. Six months after my first outbreak, I started dropping the “herpes bomb” into conversations casually. My logic was that every time I told someone, “I have herpes,” the words would get easier to say.

To her favorite disclosure

My favorite disclosure happened when a guy made a herpes joke while chatting me up at a party. He offered me the rest of his expensive beer and said with a wink, “Don’t worry, I don’t have herpes or anything.” I had a choice to make. I could laugh his comment off and pretend it didn’t hurt, but that would mean laughing at myself. Or I could steer into the skid and stop being so afraid of what people thought.

“That’s funny,” I said, with as warm a smile as I could manage. “Yeah, that’s really funny. Because I have genital herpes.” His face crumbled. Not because I grossed him out—I could practically see the wheels turning in his brain as he realized he’d made an ignorant joke at someone else’s expense. The guy started apologizing profusely.

Isn't she a cute as a button? But in reality this girl is one Bad-Assed Chick!
Isn’t she a cute as a button? But in reality this girl is one Bad-Assed Chick!

Ella has hit the nail on the head about why there is so much stigma surrounding having Herpes and why we need to learn that when someone makes a joke about Herpes, it’s not personal (see my blog about Herpes Jokes for my POV on how to handle them)

The thing is, this stranger wasn’t intentionally making fun of me. He wasn’t making fun of anyone because most of us don’t associate herpes with actual people. …….. I had seen in the flesh what a simple “I have herpes” could do when said fearlessly, without shame. Because when a real person—a woman you know and respect—casually mentions having herpes, it stops being a punch line and starts being someone’s reality. The more I saw that understanding dawn on someone’s face, the less fear I felt. I wanted herpes to have a human face, and I wanted it to be mine.

I think I cried a little when I read that, because I work every day with young women (AND men!) who have bought into the Herpes Stigma and who have gone from confident, radiant souls to someone who now believes they have to “settle” for anyone who will love them … and that is soooo far from the truth…

Ella’s last statement echos my own experience with being out and confident with my H+ status

Every time I tell someone that I have genital herpes, I run the risk of it being the only thing they remember about me. But when I tell them on my terms, with confidence and cleverness instead of shaking hands and shame, I am immediately positioned to get a better response.

And finally, I couldn’t have put it better…

When you disclose having herpes, generally whomever you’re disclosing to follows your lead…….

Amen sister! Please, read this blog … it may well change how you look at Herpes – whether you have it, or you know someone who has it ..

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-relationships/dating-with-herpes

Peace Out!

 

Dating Online: My Personal Experience With Being Out and Proud

Just over a year ago, I hit a wall and an epiphany at the same time. Previously, like most people with herpes, I had approached herpes with the alternating depression that I would have to disclose and the fear of being rejected. After 35 years with the virus though, I had finally figured out a few things:

  • That rejection was not about me.
  • That most people are woefully ignorant not only about herpes, but STD facts in general so their reaction told me a lot about who THEY were and whether I really wanted them in my life anyway.
  • That I wasn’t ashamed of having herpes.
  • That I no longer wanted to hide in a closet of shame and fear.
  • That I wanted to just be my fully authentic self.
  • That I was tired of the stigma.

Continue reading Dating Online: My Personal Experience With Being Out and Proud

Driving Yourself Crazy: A Reality Check About Sex and STD’s

To walk across the street is a risk.     Mikhail Baryshnikov

So often I see people beating themselves up for acquiring Herpes. The majority of the time, they were just plain blissfully ignorant about the risks, about the fact that we are not automatically tested for H in the STD panel, or they just plain got caught up in the moment … (Damn Hormomones!!!).  Many get HSV1 from oral sex because they didn’t know that cold sores could head South (and their “giver” often didn’t know either and/or didn’t know they had the virus because they got it as a child). Others are told by their partner that they are safe as long as they are not having an outbreak,  because that is what their Doctor told them. The vast majority of Herpes transmissions are a result of inaccurate information combined with the fact that 80% of the population has no idea they have H. Then, once they get Herpes, they obsess (understandably) about passing it on. Even when you point out that with anti-virals and condoms, the risk falls to about 1-5% (depending on your gender), they are deathly scared about getting in a relationship and passing the virus on to their new partner. So they vow to either become celibate (also perhaps to punish themselves for being so “stupid”), or to only date someone who has H. The problem is, they have forgotten that if you are living life, you are ALWAYS living with risk. The secret here is that once you are educated, you have the power to reduce that risk to an “acceptable” level. Ignorance, as we H+ folks know all too well, is the cause of the vast majority of new cases of Herpes. The following is something that I tell people all the time who are obsessing on the risk factors of passing Herpes on, or who are beating themselves up for having acquired H. Continue reading Driving Yourself Crazy: A Reality Check About Sex and STD’s