By Kendra Holliday
Via email, a friend of mine decided to tell me he had herpes two weeks AFTER I played with him. Due to the nature of our play (very little skin on skin contact, I even put a condom on my strapon), I wasn’t too concerned.
Except for the bump I had down there.
I thought it was an ingrown hair, but suddenly freaked that it might be an STI. My partner and I had both been with other people since that encounter, and while we practiced safer sex, it was still a sobering thought.
With a quickness I called my awesome STI guy Frank Lydon, and he helpfully directed me to a couple of places for testing.
Then I called my partner and told him what was up, and whoa that got him riled up. He came over ten minutes later. I sat on the bed.
He sighed. “Alright, let me see your herpe.”
I lifted my skirt and spread my legs. He peered closely at my crotch and declared, “That is not herpes. That is an ingrown hair.”
Then, since he was there, he went ahead and ate my pussy.
“OH thank you, Doctor!” I breathed a sigh of relief. Still, I needed a second opinion.
I went to Any Lab Test Now! on Manchester by Trader Joe’s, and for $50 got a herpes blood test. The nurse Pam was super cool. I explained why I was there and she ranted, “Big deal! People get freaked out about herpes, but in most cases you get one or two breakouts, and then it pretty much goes away. It’s the drug companies that blow it all out of proportion. Now, HIV on the other hand, that scares me – I just had three attractive 20something patients in the past month test positive,” she winced.
I got my test results back the next day, and it was negative.
Frank suggested I get tested for everything else while I was at it, so I made an appointment with the St. Charles County STD Prevention Clinic. They see folks by appointment only, and you can get a bunch of tests done for only $30. (They didn’t offer the herpes blood draw, just a fluid skin culture, which was not applicable in my case.) Test results take two weeks to process. You can also score a dozen condoms for $1.
Definitely learned my lesson. I’ve been using condoms and all that, but I plan on being more cautious. For instance, it’s not a good practice to start putting on a condom, let it touch the tip of the dick, then realize it’s backwards and flip it around.
Check our Links page under “Sexual Health” for STI testing options!
I do think that people really need to start talking about how “blown out of proportion” herpes is. ESPECIALLY the unnaturally inflated statistics numbers that always include type 1 to bump up the numbers. HPV is the same way. Yes, we GET it, you want us to think sex is bad and this could be punishment, but start treating us like GROWN UPS!
Polyamory Weekly (www.polyweekly.com) just came out today with Part One of Two-Part podcast on STI’s – specifically Herpes and HPV – and it’s got some great cut-through-the-bullshit info.
One of the more interesting lines I took away from the podcast came out of a conversation about how testing for Herpes is often not included in a so-called “full” STI screening (I had no idea) – and that MANY people have Herpes, and don’t even know it because they’ve never experienced any symptoms.
I’m looking forward to hearing Part Two of the podcast.