December 29, 2022
A while back, I figured out I love David. I tried to figure out the moment when it was clear that was what had happened. And there was one particular moment.
I have genital herpes. He’s known that from the very beginning, soon after we matched online, before we ever met. I insisted he read A Completely Boring Herpes Educational Blog Post You Should Absolutely Read Anyway. With the precautions I take, the chance of transmission is 1%. But still. 1%. I wanted him to know exactly what he was getting into. I wanted him to make a fully informed choice.
The first time we were intimate, I insisted on a condom. He didn’t want to use a condom. I had anticipated he’d feel that way based on our conversations leading up to sex. I’d thought a lot about whether or not I’d be willing to go without. I’d made the decision a condom was imperative. I had no idea if things would work out. Even with the slim chance he’d contract the virus, there was still a chance.
He’d been married for 24 years. He hadn’t dated much in the three years since his divorce. If things didn’t work out with us, I didn’t want him to go back into the online dating jungle with the ever-present ethical imperative of having to disclose. It's a really fucked aspect of this virus. The stigma is BIG.
I asked him, “What if things don’t work out? Do you realize you’d have to tell every woman you might be intimate with you have genital herpes? Do you have any idea how difficult that is? Why are you willing to take that risk?”
“Because it’s you,” he responded in the calmest, tenderest voice.
That’s when I knew.