First off, I love your blog girl. I've been a fan for a REALLY long time...so now I have the courage to actually write you. I have a serious matter over here. I've been dating a guy for a minute now. We get along great. He's sweet, kind and has manners. He is sexy as all hell. Let me stress that he's VERY fine. No..FIONE. We've been taking it kinda slow so we haven't rushed into sex...but we've made out a lot. Heavy petting, kissing, fondling..but no sex. Well...last week..we went to romantic dinner and he said he had something "serious" to talk to me about. I was like.."Oh boy..he wants to break up or something.". He started off by saying he cares about me...he wants to be totally honest with me..and doesn't want to lose me. He's never hid anything from me (which is true) and he doesn't want to start. Then he drops the bombshell on me...."Well..I have Herpes so before we take it to the next level..I wanted to tell you" I sat there stunned. I mean...I never dated a guy with any kind of STD and this is freaking me out. He tried to assure me that his case was mild (whatever that means). Well..ever since he told me, Ive been sorta backing away from him. I resist his touch and kisses. I wont call him back. HE keeps asking me "whats wrong"...and I wont tell him cause that sh*t is freaking me out and I just need time to process if I wanna stay or go. He's such a good guy to me. And I appreciate the honesty but I dunno. I've always practiced safe sex so this is a shocker. What do I do? What would YOU do?
My Heart OR His Cooties.
Dear "My Heart or His Cooties":
First of all, can I just say thanks for the letter! IT was SO BRAVE of you to write this. Secondly, Let me give a hand clap of praise to the BROTHER in this situation. *standing ovation* OMG...that took GUTS for him to be honest and forthright about his condition with you. Think about it..how many guys would just let you catch some shit and NOT tell you they had anything. How many men take the CHOICES away from you? Not disclosing diseases? Not disclosing marital statuses? Not disclosing if they have children?? LOTS...so this man is rare indeed. With that said, let's dig right into the issue.
First, let's talk a little about Herpes *putting on my nerdy L-Boogie glasses and pulling up the CDC site* . You seem like you are a woman of good health, practice safe sex and all and haven't been exposed to anything like that....OR HAVE YOU??? Truth is, most people with something like herpes have no symptoms sometimes. One in five Americans have genital herpes (yet at least 80 percent of those with herpes are unaware they have it). Furthermore, you can get genital herpes even if your partner shows no signs of the infection. And if you've had a cold sore, my dear, then you have had herpes. (And the oral herpes cold-sore is often the reason for transmission of it to the genital area because about 80 percent of American adults have oral herpes (cold sores).). If you have had CHICKEN POX, then you have been exposed to a form of herpes. And sadly, Genital herpes infection also is more common among African Americans (45.9%) than among White Caucasian (17.6%). So we get the sh*tty end of the statistics when it comes to STI/STD infection rates. But there is HOPE! Just like a cold sore, genital herpes is quite manageable. With drugs such as Valtrex, Zovirex (a topical cream) and Acyviclor, this is VERY managble. Taken daily (if herpes is that bad), transmission rates are damn near lowered to nothing (not totally) and you can resume a NORMAL sex life which includes anal, oral, and vaginal sex. Touching is fine and learning to KNOW the symptoms of an outbreak and avoiding sex is key (and I am sure your partner wouldn't put you at risk for anything like that..given his honesty). Furthermore, there seems to be some research about a new vaccine being developed. Herpes is centuries old...so this is progressive news.
Now, I know you didn't want to hear all of these statistics, but you needed to know, sista! TRUST ME..it coulda been worse. He coulda said he had HIV or another disease that wasn't curable but DEADLY. Herpes isn't going to kill you. Now, if I had to spin the wheel of STD roulette, I'd be hoping I'd land on herpes or something I can get a shot for and not the awful death of HIV. A little discomfort every few months..(or even once a year) isn't as bad as suffering lifelong, not being able to give blood, etc. Trust me... And the fact that the man has waited, not rushed into sex also says a lot. He coulda got your love candy and BOUNCED..and the first time you turned up itching and burning you woulda called him all kinds of dirty, filthy liars. Which situation would you rather have? Knowing the risks upfront? Or being duped at the end?
I know this is a whole lot for you to process. Only you can say if you can deal with this. But the man seems to be a good guy. He's being upfront. He apparently cares about you. He hasn't rushed into sex...THEN you said he's fine? Chile please! *OchoCinco voice*. You have to look at the bigger picture. I know it seems scary but just pray about it. See if it's something you can deal with. But in the meantime, tell the man: "Look..this is a lot for me to process. Can I have sometime to think about it?" And if he's as good as you say he is, he'll give you time to think about it, continue to not rush into sex, and be patient. BUT..don't leave the man in limbo. Say a firm YES or NO as to whether you can deal with this or not. And def don't spurn his affection such as a kiss or hug. You cant catch it from a hug (lol). And he probably needs that hug badly. He's shared a lot with you right now. He was open, honest and put it all on the line...
And in the end, honesty IS always the best policy, isn't it?
Stay strong, sista! And Happy Lovemaking! :)