To Screw or Not to Screw

herpesvirusAs 2016 was just about to end I was really looking forward to dinner with a gentleman I’d been seeing. I was beginning to think this one had some possibilities. Serious possibilities. We got along well and there was attraction and a good rapport – the elusive chemistry you might say. Having somewhat similar life styles, values and work ethics made it even more comfortable. So after a great meal and a few drinks it was time to find out if we’d be compatible in one last way…

Things were getting very hot and heavy in bed when suddenly everything came to a screeching halt. I looked at his face. I watched as he sat up and leaned his bare back against the headboard. The room was silent until he said,

“I have to tell you something.”

His words echoed against the bare walls. Oh god, it’s never any good when someone says those words. Was I doing something wrong? Did he have a peculiar fetish or need porn to get an erection? Maybe he also suffered from Erectile Dysfunction? Or had recently recovered from Prostate Cancer? My head spun not sure if I wanted to find out.

“I have Herpes.”

“The mouth kind?”

“No, not the mouth kind.”

Why in god’s name did he wait to tell me this when we were both nude in his bed?

parisian-chic-street-style-dress-like-a-french-woman-1“It wasn’t a big deal for my last girlfriend.But you know the french, they’re very relaxed about sex. I honestly thought you’d just say fine let’s use a condom.”

He actually said these words although we were talking about putting a band-aid on a paper cut. My mouth hung open. Stop that I thought. Do not judge him. Appreciate his honesty. Thank god he told me BEFORE anything happned. I was an adult so I wanted to communicate my honest feelings,

“Wow. No one has every told me this before. I’m not sure what to say.”

“I can’t believe you think this is a big deal. Do you realize almost 70%* of the population worldwide have herpes?”

I hadn’t and wasn’t even sure if his facts were true or if he was Donald Trump-ing me.

{NOTE:*His figures were not even close to accurate according to Atlantic Magazine “genital herpes statistics are usually quoted at closer to 25 percent for women – that’s one in four – and 10 percent for men, but most of these people don’t even know they have it.”}

“That may be true but I’d like to remain in the other 30% and not have to have this conversation with my next lover. I have enough problems already.”

“It’s really not a big deal you just have to take a medication…”

“I don’t even take aspirin. I’m not taking any drugs just to sleep with you. Or anyone. No offense.”

“Now you’re making me feel like a leper.”

“A leper? That’s your stuff not mine. If I felt that way I wouldn’t be having this conversation I’d be sound asleep by now.”

1-2“I’ll call my gynecologist on Monday and see what she says. Let’s talk then.” I hoped he
realized I was giving him the boot.

“I thought we’d spend the weekend together brunch, museums, movies…”

“I have to work tomorrow.”

“You didn’t tell me that.” He sounded beyond disappointed.

I hadn’t. Not because I was lying it just didn’t come up.

He called me the next day to see how work went and explained he wasn’t a “needy guy” (his word not mine) he just wanted to get to know me better over the weekend.

I was conflicted. He communicated and was pretty comfirtable with his feelings as far as men go(okay so I’m stereotyping – please forgive me). He was honest to share with me he had herpes. He didn’t have to tell me that. I never would have known. He was a good guy, a generous guy, handsome, a little rough around the edges but dressed in Armani with all the trappings of a successful man.

genital-herpesI agreed to see him Sunday night for a casual bite. Our clothing remained on at all times.

Of course my genitals itched and I was convinced I had already contracted herpes until I heard back from my doctor on Tuesday after the new year. She explained the risks.

In the meantime, he went to his doctor for a full blood work up and tests. Ten days later he claimed he was good to go although he never showed me the results from his doctor. I’m not willing to take a chance.