Jun 19, 2008
an article written by freelance columnist, mQ
Ok, so I know what you guys are thinking: herpes is a success? How on earth? Isn't herpes that disease you get that bothers you all the time and spreads like a stinky fart in a crowded elevator? Actually, it's not. And I'll tell you why. I'm here to tell all you readers out there, whether you have herpes or not, that you can kick butt with herpes. I'm living proof. I've had herpes for almost four years now and I can tell you that it hasn't been the life altering in a negative way bomb that I thought it would be. This is not a mushroom cloud, folks. It's a blip. It's one more wrench thrown in the wheel of life.
I got herpes from my first boyfriend and I never thought I'd be able to date again. I quickly got over that as soon as I realized I wanted sex and kissing and breathless "Did you hear that? I think someone's coming" when getting into a heavy petting session in my dorm room at college. So I decided I'd be responsible. I started to research information on herpes, arm myself with knowledge so I could then tell my suitors how best to protect themselves. My first relationship after herpes, armed with all my knowledge, my desire to get busy in the bedroom and my inner mantra of "I am not my herpes", I set out to tell my then-boyfriend. But then I balked. I freaked out. I seriously debated breaking up with him instead of telling him my scary secret. But I didn't. I decided I wanted to let ME decide my life, not a stupid virus who wouldn't even get to feel the JOYS of an orgasm. Why does a virus get to rob me a much deserved orgasm? Well, herpes ain't keeping me away, I thought. So I told him. And I expected shock or anger or fear or a flat out rejection. And I especially anticipated that considering I started crying halfway through my telling! Instead, he pulled me to him and told me I was a beautiful and honest woman whom he had even more respect for now because of my integrity. It made him want to sleep with me MORE, because he knew he was getting into something good with someONE good. I felt peaceful, happy and safe.
Fast forward a few years. That relationship didn't work out for unrelated reasons, I dated a few guys with herpes that didn't work out (turns out guys with herpes can be just as judgmental as those without it. Shame on me for my own reverse stereotypes). I meet a guy randomly one day and we hit it off. We talk for weeks. We share so much together and we're not even intimate. Eventually the moment comes where I realize that this could easily go to the next step (and you all know I'm talkin' about a lil mattress dancin') and I just blurt out that I have herpes before I even get a chance to psych myself out of it! Guess what? He said something that trivial isn't gonna scare him away. I guess that means I'll have to double up my efforts on letting my true (crazy) self show through just to see if he means it. Almost two months later and he still does.
So, really, dear readers, it's not even about herpes at the end of the day. It's about being true to yourself and deciding whether or not you're gonna let a virus (who, let me remind you, doesn't get to experience the wonders of an orgasm) rule your life, sexual or otherwise, or if you're gonna grab your own life by the reins and take charge.
Are you up for the challenge?