I’m not sure what it is. It could be paranoia, it could be insecurity, it could be ignorance, but I have now had three men “double check” to make sure that I was not having a herpes outbreak when we had sex. I find this insulting and rather offensive for several reasons. While I understand that I might be the first person that these men have encountered that knows that they have herpes and this is probably new and scary for them, I would like a little credit.
The bottom line is that I don’t want to infect someone else. I have (thankfully) never had this happen to me before and honestly, if it did, I’m pretty sure that I would never forgive myself. This is absolutely not something that I want for myself or for my partners. I’m aware that no matter how careful I am with someone, it can still happen, and that bothers me a great deal. When it comes to an outbreak, if I even think I’m having one, I inform my partner of it and do not let them get anywhere near my pants.
I do all that I can to make sex as safe as possible. I take my suppression medication every day, I alert all of my potential partners to my status, I look for signs of an outbreak regularly, and I carry condoms where ever I go. If I wanted to infect someone I would go off my suppression meds, not tell anyone shit about my STD status and have wild, bareback sex whenever I wanted with whatever random dude that hit me up on OKC. And seriously, if I went through the painful and awkward process of telling you that I had herpes, do you really think that I’m not at all concerned for your safety?
It occurs to me that the men inquiring were not doing it in order to doubt my integrity, but I have to say that it comes off like that. When I go out of my way to be safe and responsible about this, someone checking up on me sounds like they think I’m not doing everything I can to be careful. And I am.
I’m sure there are people out there with herpes that don’t give a fuck and are not willing to do everything that I do in order to keep their partner safe. I once read on a herpes forum that a doctor once told a woman that she didn’t have to tell future partners that she had HSV-2 at all because it was so common. But I’m not like that and I never will be. Everyone that I sleep with will have all of the information that they need in order to make their own informed decision. So don’t check up on me. Don’t make sure that I’m doing everything that I need to for you to be safe. Because I am. I’m doing it all.