Avatar universal

what are the chances after 5 seconds of penis-vaginal contact?

I'm a 38-year-old male. In 2012, I tested negative for hsv 1 and 2 through the IGG test. In 2017 I tested negative again for both through the IGG test. It's a huge fear if mine. I tested whenever I thought I saw symptoms. Since 2017, I've had unprotected sex twice with a woman who also tested negative through a blood test. I have had no penis to vaginal sex other than this, though. However, I did put have my penis make contact with a different woman's genitals for about 5 seconds while fooling around. This woman's HSV status is unknown. She has had one sexual partner whose HSV status is also unknown. Seven months later, I masterbated with boxers on for three or four straight days. The fourth day I felt a pain right where it seemed I was using the seam if the boxer to rub and soon noticed a sore toward the head of my penis. The sore did hurt and eventually partially scabbed over. I did not want to think about it since my tests and what I considered low risk contact, but soon my mind went down the rabbit hole.
What are the chances that brief contact causes transmission? Is it possible to get an open sore from rubbing too much or too hard with cloth? I have had some oral sex in this time frame, but what are the chances HSV1 can lay dormant for a month or more?
Absolutley freaking out and devastated. Huge fear of mine and can't believe may have caught it this way.
The sore is healed, did not get it swabbed, but it's been 13 days and the skin where it was located is now very red, as if discolored.
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
I appreciate the advice. My last possible exposure to her groin area was seven months ago and very brief. Five seconds genital to genital. I have not seen any symptoms in that time. Only became concerned with what I think I hoped to be something I caused myself. I had spent years trying to be safe and am kicking myself at the possibility of hsv2.

And thank you for pointing me to where to go. I do know about those tests. Have had them twice years apart. Was hoping to never have to take them again. I'm hoping the chances of hsv2 are slim.

Heard about the 30 percent wrong on hsv1. Tested negative both times I took that test years apart.

And yeah, nothing changes the results. You're right.
Helpful - 0
Honestly, this panic is such an overreaction to the level of risk. If your last contact was the 5 seconds, you have nothing to worry about.

Is this level of anxiety normal for you? Do you have a therapist? If not, with compassion, I'd suggest you talk to a therapist.

If you have sexual activity, you have a risk of getting an STI, unless you are in a monogamous relationship with someone who has tested negative and hasn't had any other partners for the last few months.

I know no one wants an STI, and you should take precautions, but your fear of them is irrational. I hope you really consider getting some help.
207091 tn?1337709493
You asked this question in other thread, but it's easier for us to have all your questions in one place, so I'm answering it here:

Hello to anyone,

I recently posted about a sore I thought I may have made myself by masterbating into my boxers. It did scab and fell off and now, 13 days later, a red spot still remains. I did not get it swabbed like I should've, but I am now convinced this was probably an outbreak.

I've previously tested negative for both HSV1 and HSV2 twice years before. After my last rounds of igg tests, I've had sex with a woman who tested negative a few times. I've never had sex with anyone else.

However, I have had physical contact with a woman whose herpes status is unknown. I've never had my genitals inside her's and we've never grinded on each other, although there were probably times I used my penis to lightly touch her from time to time in her groin area in a teasing way. I have also used my fingers on her.

We have done oral many times.

Question is, does HSV2 usually require grinding or rubbing to transmit? I know shedding could happen in the boxer area for her, but is it quantifiable? A lot? A little? Could this behavier, no sex but maybe some contact here and there, considered high risk?

Hoping that little spot, which I though might have been a friction burn but it lingering concerns me, is HSV 1 and not 2...trying to figure out possibilities before testing which, I know, is probably a crapshoot.

Thank you for any insite

You then added:

I should add...the woman I've had physical contact with is not just once. Several times a year for the past few years.  No penetrative sex, just some touching and oral sex. If that info is needed.

Freaking out badly


So grinding and rubbing can transmit herpes, but we don't really know specifically how much it takes. It does take more along the lines of intercourse than a quick rub.

Oral sex can transmit hsv1, giving you genital hsv1.

Has it been 12 weeks since your last possible exposure? The simplest thing to do is test. You can get a type specific IgG blood test to see if you even have antibodies. It's not perfect - it misses 30% of hsv1 antibodies, and it doesn't tell you where you have hsv1 - oral or genital - but it can rule out hsv2, and give you a good chance of not having hsv1 if you test negative.

Your doctor can test you or you can go to STDcheck.com, letsgetchecked.com healthlabs.com, or ultalabs.com in the US. If you are outside the US, let me know and I can find other places.

Not testing doesn't change the outcome. It just extends the time where you freak out.
Helpful - 0
207091 tn?1337709493
Contact as brief as 5 seconds is so highly unlikely to transmit anything. Herpes takes friction, usually the kind associated with intercourse, to transmit. I would not worry a single second longer about this.

Yes, you can get a sore from fabric friction. I can't say for sure that this is what caused your sore, but if you continually rub two things together, it will eventually cause irritation. If the seam, especially, was rubbing against the skin repeatedly, it could cause that sore.

Unfortunately, since you didn't get it tested, you don't have the negative test to ease your mind. I know you are scared of herpes, but not testing doesn't change the outcome. It just means you don't have a negative test to provide peace of mind.

Herpes sores typically appear between 2-12 days, with an average of 4. There are some outliers, of course. It is very possible to get genital hsv1 from oral sex. If you use condoms for oral sex, that reduces the risk.

Helpful - 0
UPDATE: I'm posting an update here not to take over the board but to provide something for anyone who, like me, scoured the internet when it came to the risks of things like brief genital contact or frottage or whatever people are calling it now:

It can happen.

I know doctors rarely see it, if ever, but it now happened to me.

Basics: I was an hsv2 hypochondriac. My story is above. Tested twice, then for several years had occasional hookups with a woman whose hsv2 status was not known but never noticed symptoms.

We never had sex or penetration but made brief or light genital to genital contact from time to time. Like maybe four or five times. No grinding or dry humping.

One time I remember lightly rubbing, like not even intercourse rubbing, but more like teasing and brushing her genital area with my penis for a second after we were finished. And then another time I just touched her in her vaginal area with my penis.

That last encounter was for five seconds. Maybe less. Maybe like two. Just a touch.

I always figured, realistically, what are the chances? I've read the docs on this forum for yesrs. Some had never even seen a patient who got it through a touch. What are the chances?

Pretty good.

Seven months later I got a stomach bug and then an outbreak. Classic sore. Thought I had given it to myself. Hoped I had given it to myself through some rough masterbation. Tried to ignore it. Watched as it took forever to go away. Finally decided I needed another blood test, hoping it would somehow be hsv1.

It wasn't.

I don't know if I missed the first outbreak somewhere along those hookups. I didn't think so. I routinely checked my body...again, hsv2 hypochondriac...but judging how often it's missed I guess it's possible.

So either I missed a mild one or seven months later I got my first one. I don't know.

So for anyone who is like me and had feared this thing for so long, know that when the doctors say low risk it doesn't mean no risk.

The outliers are real.

If this isn't appropriate to post here my apologies. I know people say this isn't a big deal but it was to me and I'm still working on my mental health regarding this, and decided to write some of this out.

If you fear it, don't do anything without someone's test results in your hand.

Still FreakingOutBadly

So your blood test - what were the actual results? Do you have an index value, like HSV2 IgG  8.43 or something?

When you had your outbreak, was it ever cultured?

How are you handling the mental health aspect of this? Are you in therapy?

Have you read The Herpes Handbook? https://westoverheights.com/herpes/the-updated-herpes-handbook/

It's free, and written by Terri Warren, one of the world's leading experts on herpes. You can read it on any device.

Thanks for the link. I've read the handbook before. There was a time years ago where I was sure I had the virus but then tested negative. Then I had a protected by condom sexual encounter - I kept my boxers on I was so scared - where I convinced myself I contracted it then.

But tested negative years after that encounter, too.

Recent test was 7.something. I don't have it in front of me. Igg test. Nine months after exposure. Did not go to a doctor in time for them to do a culture. The sore had healed, it had been three weeks and all that was left was a red spot thst looked like a stain. A nurse said it looked like a healed herpes sore to her.

Not handling the mental health well. Left a lot of personal stuff in my narrative out to keep privacy. It's turned my life upside down and, again, like I wrote, even though it may be irrational, this was my fear. Talking with a counselor...but I don't know how much longer I'm going to want to do that.

I appreciate what you guys do with this forum. Just maybe wanted to put this out there for anyone like me who has fears of this nature to be careful. There are cautionary tales.  
Okay, so the woman who you had unprotected sex with twice since your last test in 2017 - had she had sex since her most recent testing? Did you see her results? Had she waiting 12 weeks since her most recent exposure? Do you know for sure that her testing included herpes, or did she say she tested negative for everything, and it was assumed that herpes was included?

It concerns me that you are considering discontinuing therapy. I think it's really important that you continue it.
The woman I had unprotected sex with blood-tested negative for herpes before we had sex. I asked her to, saw the paperwork and I'm positive she had been tested without sex in much longer than that 12-15 week window.

I know it's early when it comes to counseling...I'm not trying to make this more than it is for other people....a fear of mine came to life. A very big fear that's been a thing for me for years. That is hard to deal with right now. I'm coming away from counselling sessions feeling very negative.

I contacted the woman I believe I caught it from. She has never been tested. She won't test unless she sees symptoms. Which, that's her choice.

Okay, so the more I think about this, the more questions I have.

I'm not trying to doubt you, or give you false hope, but I just don't want you thinking you have herpes if you don't. It's just so unlikely that you got herpes in the way you describe.

Your "classic sore" - is that the sore you described earlier after you masturbated with boxers on?

Your test results - can you copy and paste them? Or screenshot and link it from imgur or something?

I'm really debating if you need a Western Blot.

Maybe you need a different counselor. Have you talked to your counselor about how negative you feel after?
I appreciate the optimism. I don't know the tech for screenshotting or imagur very well without giving some personal info.

My results for HSV2 antibodies is 7.90. that's the igg test. They also did the igm test which I know from reading here and elsewhere is worthless. I still tested negative for hsv1 in the igg test...which I had done twice previously. I know the test misses 30 percent of hsv1 diagnoses, so that's why I was kind of holding out hope it was from oral sex.

The sore was what I thought I had made myself, but it was just one of those things I knew right away, in my head, was different. It hurt, it stung when soap got inside, and it healed differently. Crusted over with a scab. Stuck around for a long time. Like three weeks. Left a red spot. Never had one like it. The red spot is faded and gone though I can look right at where it was and pinpoint it. Just because I looked at it a billion times.

It did leave what looks like a little scar, and I know herpes sores don't typically leave those but elsewhere other people say they've had them. Anyway it might not be a scar. Might just be a spot I might've never noticed and now fixate on.

I posted a version of what happened on Terri warren's site. I know the western blot is super accurate but I don't have the money to go for that right now. She said it sounded like it could've been a friction burn but, again, it just felt like something more than that. I think it just happened to be there and I ripped it open. I think getting a stomach virus activated - reactivated? - an outbreak.

I know you're not trying to give false hope...I think I read one of the doctors - Dr. H? - back in the day say in these forums "in theory genital to genital touching transmits'" the virus but he had never seen it in 40 years without more penetrative contact and friction, like intercourse. Basically he felt friction that comes with sex was needed, or that is what he always saw in the cases that came to him.

I think that stuck with me and I got a little risky.

But thank you for indulging this thread. If I gather up money I'll consider the western blot. I would love if there was a chance but I don't want to get hope up too high.

Trying not to be FreakingOutBadly

Yeah, it's really unfortunate that the WB is so expensive. If you've spoken to Terri and know who she is, that's a great start. She's had people who have had false positives into the teens - I want to say 17 is the highest, but don't quote me on that one.

Obviously, the lower the number, the higher the chance of a false positive.

Both of our docs - Drs. Hook and Handsfield - and Terri Warren would all agree that brief touch is a theoretical risk, not a practical one.

In any case, hang in there. I know herpes is something you had a great fear of, but I can promise you that if you do have it, it's probably not what you think it is.

Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Herpes Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.
Millions of people are diagnosed with STDs in the U.S. each year.
STDs can't be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging or touching.
Syphilis is an STD that is transmitted by oral, genital and anal sex.