Doin’ It With Dr. V: Dating A Guy With The Herp

Hi, I’m Dr. V. I’m not a real doctor, I just play one on the Internet. What I am is a lady, a lady who is a fool for love! And I love nothing more than sex. My deepest desires have happily led me on many adventures in the sack, but they have also, sadly, made me one of my gyno’s most valuable players. But I’ve lived to tell the tale(s)! So, from time to time, I will dish the dirt on everything from getting freaky to getting freaked out. Now, let’s get this party started…

April is STD Awareness Month, but I can tell you, I, Dr. V, do not need a special month to become aware of STDs. Unfortunately, I’ve had brushes with almost every bacteria and virus in Bum Town. What can I say, I’m a Frisky gal who has challenged a lot of cowboys to whip out their guns. So, over the course of this month I’ll be speaking up about some of my more dangerous showdowns. I fell in love with a guy and after a bunch of very hot dates, we did the nasty. In this case, nasty is the appropriate word. Right after we has sex, and I was lying there naked next to him in bed, he whispered in my ear that he had genital herpes. O-M-G! My new sexy boyfriend had a secret he should have shared first! I felt lied to, genuinely hurt, but, most of all, manipulated. What right did he have to decide what risks I would take with my va-jay-jay?! As I jumped up to tear him a new one, he started to cry. The last few girls he had dated he was completely upfront with about his situation and they immediately dumped his ass. So, he was wary of telling me beforehand, which was a d-baggy move, but he didn’t know what else to do. His situation was so sad, I couldn’t even break up with him then. Have you ever seen a six foot tall man weep? Although, honestly, I always had problems trusting him after that stunt for obvious reasons, and we broke up a few months later. So, learn from his mistakes and always be upfront with your sexual partners, at the very least for karma’s sake.

Now, while he was my first boyfriend with genital herpes, he wasn’t my last. First of all, I’m not a real doctor and herpes is a very real, very easy virus to catch. While I’ve managed to have sex with people who have herpes and not catch it, I definitely could have and let’s be honest, still could! But I try to be as careful as possible while still keeping my possibilities for romance (and my legs) open. Forty-five million Americans have herpes — that’s just about all the people living in Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming combined! So, before you go discarding a perfectly good guy just because his trunk has some extra junk, here are five ways you can try to safe guard yourself:

1. Always Use A Latex Condom: Duh! Less skin contact, less chance to contract the virus.
2. Don’t Have Sex During Outbreaks: If you can see a blister or if they think they can feel an outbreak startin’ something, don’t have sex! Good things come to those who wait.
3. Take Valtrex: I don’t like to endorse products, but Valtrex effectively limits the number of outbreaks. Not only does it reduce their symptoms, it also reduces your risk. Bonuses for both of you!
4. Avoid Cold Sores: No kissing, licking, or sucking when your partner has a cold sore because yes, oral herpes, HSV-1, can still cause sores in your crotch.
5. Use Contraceptive Foams: In lab tests, some foams have been shown to kill the herpes virus. While there’s no guarantee that it’ll stop the virus in the name of love, if you combined with a condom, you’re at least in theory doubling your preventive measures. It’s two against one.

Whoever you decide to do or not do, it is your vagina. But there is one thing you can definitely do to improve the situation. Herpes carries a real social stigma. It’s sad, it’s unfair, and it’s crippled a lot of love lives. Around 500,000 Americans contract it each year, so be sensitive to the issue. Don’t make herpes jokes in mixed company — you just don’t know who around you has it and will be hurt by the humor. It can come off as cruel judgment which is harsher than the virus itself. Oh and here’s some good news, kids — a vaccine is currently being developed!