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My first outbreak was quite painful because it coincided with an infected spider bite, but now I show symptoms so rarely that I pose no credible risk to my partners 99% of the time.
In retrospect, if my ex-boyfriend had known he had herpes and told me before we started dating, I wouldn’t have done anything differently, and I would still have herpes today.
They considered me as a full person, not the “side-effects” of having feelings for me.
When it came down to the brass tacks of who I am, there was no decision to be made at all.
Why on Earth would I knowingly choose to put myself in danger like that? But to me, it feels like you’re asking me to justify my value.
The facts on herpes are actually quite clear when you do research online: herpes transmission is not that simple, particularly when both parties make an effort to use condoms, antivirals, dental dams, and so forth.
I know couples who have gone years without transmitting by being honest with each other about when they are having outbreaks.
I don’t want to be the selfless Mother Teresa of herpes.
To you it may seem reasonable, a matter of self-preservation. If you let someone’s herpes define who they are as a person and the role they will or won’t play in your life, you have reduced them to their STI status alone.
And here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with asking yourself, or asking Google, if you should date someone with herpes.
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