Every once in awhile, I put a question on my Instagram stories asking what you would like me to write about. I love seeing your answers and ideas. It is because of your participation that there is a new post about causal sex and HSV exists. Thanks for helping me make this happen.
I know when I was first diagnosed, I thought my days of fun casual sex and sexual adventures were gone for good. For me, life when on, I went to therapy, and I generally came to terms about having genitally presenting herpes. Flash forward to now, and you can see what all that work boiled down to. Which is that I no longer feel like herpes is the end of casual sex.
Think back to before you were diagnosed with HSV, causal sex could have been with a stranger you just met at the bar or with a friend with benefits or any mixture of situations and people. Either way, the fun part about causal sex was the spontaneity of it. So now that you have HSV, the need to disclose your status can feel kind of a like a cold shower on your libido. Plus, the need to disclose comes with the added bonus of the fear of rejection. Which lets honest here is the reason most of us thought causal sex was over.
So, let's tackle this…
1. Disclosure doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out conversation. Give them the basics; how having HSV affects you, ask them if they know anything about HSV, and how you both can protect each other and have safer sex. Be matter of fact, and to the point, this is for fun so don’t put a ton of pressure on it.
Here is an example of something I have said, “hay so before we get to having some fun, I just want to let you know that I have herpes. Do you know anything about herpes? (Wait for a reply) When was your last STI screening, mine was (Date of test)? There are things we can do to lower the risk of transmission like using condoms. I personally take Valtrex, and I don’t have an outbreak right now — any questions.
2. You might be saying, “but, Heather, what if they reject me?” To this I say is… so what? Casual sex is spontaneous. You might shoot your shot and find out they have a girlfriend, boyfriend or both. Or any other number of reasons you might get a no thank you to a causal sex proposal. There is no difference in being rejected for causal sex before you had HSV or after. The nice thing about casual sex is there is usually no emotional connection yet, hell you might not even want a relationship with this person. They might be dumber than a box of rocks, but that body is something to write home about. All that being said is if you get turned down by your prospective casual sex partner, it might hurt, but it doesn’t have to hurt for long. You dust yourself off, remind yourself you weren’t looking to marry that person or even a real date and try again with another attractive human. Bonus is that you got to practice your disclosure in a low-pressure situation. It’s a win either way.
As usual, I have some “homework” for you.
I want you to create an “elevator pitch” for casual sex disclosure. My elevator pitch disclosure is in the body of this post. For those of you who don’t know what an elevator speech is, it is a very quick and to the point sales pitch. The point is it’s short, sweet and to the point.
Who knows you might even find that this works well really well as a regular disclosure. (My elevator pitch in this blog is pretty much word for word what I use for any disclosure situation.)