011: Casual Sex Is Like Getting A Cold with Alexandra Harbushka

Herpes, Hookups, and Honesty


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Welcome to episode 11 of Life With Herpes, I’m happy you’ve joined me! Today we’re talking about how casual sex is a bit like catching a cold from someone.

Not sure what I mean but you’re intrigued? Great! Then tune into today’s episode to hear my thoughts on this topic, and more.

More About Life With Herpes

The other day I was going to visit my friend and her newborn baby, but I had a sore throat. I realized she might not want her baby exposed to whatever germs were causing my sore throat and thought I should ask her before coming over, sore throat and all.

Then it dawned on me: it’s the same with herpes. Not sure what I mean? I’ll explain my logic, follow along.

For me when I found out I had herpes I was devastated, shocked, pissed off and hurt. The major reason I had all of those feelings? I got it from someone I trusted, and because I trusted him I believed I wouldn't get herpes.

My belief at the time was that if you know someone you won't get herpes, you only get herpes from one night stands, and from casual sex. You don’t get the herpes virus from having sex with your committed partner.

Obviously, that is 100% false - herpes doesn't care if you know the person or you don't!

It's like the common cold. When it's cold season and you go into your office it's fair game for you to get it. You're going into a public setting with other people around, those people aren't going to tell you they have a cold. And they certainly aren't going to stay home because they have a cold - no one wants to use their sick days for actually being sick!

Tweetable: “Herpes doesn’t care if you know the person, or you don’t!” - Alexandra Harbushka


It's not their due diligence to tell you they have a cold. Casual sex is the same way: when you just met someone and you don't know them, it's fair game at that point. But if you are invited to someone's house then it's your responsibility to tell them you have a cold or you are sick.

Being in a relationship with someone is like being invited to someone’s house: you know them, you trust them so it is their responsibility to tell you they have herpes. They should talk to you about it before having sex. It’s their obligation to tell you they have herpes and what that means now that you’ve moved into the sexual intimacy phase of your relationship with them.

This, of course, is in no way meant to excuse someone in a casual sex setting, anyone with herpes needs to tell their partners whether it's a casual sex setting or a committed relationship.

Now I’d like to hear from you: what do you think? Join the super secret Facebook group and let me know after you listen to episode 12 of Life With Herpes.

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