Then I woke up one morning with pain around my vulva and told myself every possible explanation for what it could be—every reason that it couldn't be an STI. I arrived at the urgent-care center with my thoughts racing and heart in my stomach. Deep down, I knew it was something , but I still held onto the hope that maybe it was really just an allergic reaction to that new pair of underwear. But testing confirmed my positive herpes diagnosis—and my newfound identity as a herpes-positive woman. One word and six letters left me questioning my chance at love, acceptance, and a meaningful life. Not all the time, but a lot of the time.
What it’s really like to date with herpes
Facts about genital herpes (HSV-2) and relationships
I felt more like, damn, of course, I got herpes. The strangest part was not knowing when exactly I contracted it : Herpes can lie dormant for years—sometimes, forever. Basically, if you went out for drinks with herpes, it would play hard to get. I got lucky though: I had an outbreak. I sought treatment at campus health services, where they concluded that what I now know were herpes sores were mosquito bites , saying less about my symptoms than the state of sex ed in upstate New York. They did eventually realize their mosquito-misunderstanding and called that weekend to let me know. I was the girl who had herpes.
Herpes & Relationships
Most of the traffic to my website comes from Google. WordPress shows me the search terms that bring people to my writing each day:. Seeing these search terms in my website analytics used to make me angry. The question felt like a personal attack, a request to justify my inherent value as a potential sexual partner, and as a person.
How exactly does herpes spread? Despite the millions really! Regardless, the end result is that dating with herpes can feel daunting. You're probably wondering at least three things: if you need to tell a potential partner that you have genital or even oral herpes, and when and how to do so. Plus, you're probably at least a little curious about safer sex precautions.