Dating someone who has herpes dating during annulment
Just another house party hookup, with a casually consistent partner for whom I felt nothing. “Come see me again if things get worse,” she said, shooing me out the door. Deep down, I knew I couldn’t be strong enough to take the type of rejection that I figured was in store for me. But I knew deep down that I’d want to disclose to my partners. If I felt stigmatized by my computer, how many hundreds of exponents worse would it be to tell someone I cared about, face to face? I’d just join a nunnery, or maybe devote my sexless lifetime to a more constructive pursuit, like academia or woodworking. I polled my closest friends, who varied in their advice. The odds were too low to even consider it a big deal, she said, especially if I never have another outbreak. So many people have herpes and HPV and gonorrhea without ever knowing it. “Then I’m glad I’m going.” I snatched the bra he had struggled to free and the top I lustfully tore off minutes ago. I remember whispering to my neighbor, who, wide-eyed, nodded in agreement. ” The exam room was sparkling and sterile; the stirrups cold. (Spoiler alert: everything down there was in proper order.) Months later, during a visit home, my father: “What’s the difference between love and herpes? “Herpes lasts forever.” *** Eventually, the virus that lay dormant inside of me slayed my fear of sex. I’m gonna go.” He jumped into his jeans and out the door. Let’s just fuck.” He was bleary eyed and hazy, the sex jabby and inhuman. ” I asked, just as surprised at his honesty as he was at mine. This is what happens when a penis meets a vagina, the presentation seemed to scream. I flipped on the TV the day of my diagnosis, and the queen from was having her royal gynecological exam. I’m having a hard time processing this information right now. In their dating persona test, one of the questions reads “If you have any STI’s, please go here.” The link opens a competing online dating site. Hysterical, I called my nurse, who ordered a cab for me. Even Ok Cupid had turned on my new quarantined clan.
I am listening to her, trying to keep up eye contact, and listen, just listen, to what she is saying. I could barely spread my legs in the stirrups this time — partly from the pain, mostly because I didn’t want to hear what I knew was coming. “Well, it looks like you do have herpes, you poor thing.” “But I didn’t even have sex! Finally, she told me I needed to calm down so I wouldn’t scare everyone in the building. “It’s not like I’m telling you you have HIV.” *** There are fenced-in corners on the Internet for people like me. Over and over again, my Google searches reinforced the burning shame of having herpes. ” The nurse tried in vain to console me: patting my hand, then giving me an awkward hug. This was my future, I thought immediately after being diagnosed. And then, definitely aloud: “I have herpes.” Silence. “But before you freak out,” I said as casually as I could, “let me tell you about it.” “The transmission risks are tiny,” I started, and they are: about 2–4 percent from woman to man, depending on condom use. I’d worry about how to escape this foreign part of Brooklyn later. Bye then,” I said, stepping toward him, him, a body shellshocked on the bed. So I made a sort of ill-informed compromise with my sexual cravings: everything but. Down there, I looked and felt the same as I always had. And then one day at the office I met him, a tall, dark-haired, sunkissed drink of coworker water. Thanks to herpes, I took things slow, until the temptation to make things NSFW grew too strong. I untwined my legs and sat up, hopped off the bed, and picked up my underwear. This was always the weirdest part: negotiating a leave. Pictures of the clap danced in my head whenever I had penetration to consider, even in college. The nurse, a bespectacled woman with short hair and a slight waddle, delved into the center of my spreadeagle. “Well,” she said lightly after I had tied my paper gown, “it looks like someone was a little overzealous down there! I had educated myself about STIs and the medicines available to fight them; the whiteboard images of unchecked disease were erased. The first time I told a man, I couldn’t help but cry. The second time, we — a different he — were stoned. The Conversation continued to ruin my life after dark; disclosure brought the othering I had dreaded. I felt more fragile and powerful and worthy of careful handling than ever. Instead, it became a filter for expendable men in my life.
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What happens if I stay with her, and then 5 or 6 years down the road, we decide to break up, but I contracted herpes from her in the meantime?