Sex with a Herpes Outbreak
Yes, you can have sex and be intimate with your partner even if you have a herpes outbreak.
Ok I’m sure you’re reading this going...what are you crazy!?! Before you start wondering about transmission and how this is going to work out let me calm you down and explain.
Sex doesn’t have to mean vaginal sex. That’s typically what we think of when we hear the words sex. It’s pretty conventional and socially we’ve been programed to think of sex as vaginal intercouse. Well, there are many other ways to be intimate with your partner and avoiding your outbreak.
Let me talk about my relationship for a bit. As of writing this, my husband and I have been together for 5 years, we have sex regularly and he does not have herpes. Me having herpes, does not get in the way of our relationship, our marriage, or our sex life. We’ve found ways to get around it when I have those pesky outbreaks or when I feel like they’re coming on.
In case you’re wondering how I haven't transmitted herpes to my husband I attribute it to being very open when it comes to communication. I let him know if I feel like something is going on or if I have an outbreak and when it’s all healed up. We do not use condoms nor am I on the antiviral so it really boils down to communication. I talk about the best methods of reducing transmission in other episodes so if you’re interested in that topic you can go here.
But what I’m wanting to get at here is that there are other ways to be intimate that doesn’t involve vaginal intercourse. There’s oral sex, there’s masturbation and there’s the use of toys.
Let’s quickly review how transmission occurs. It’s skin to skin transmission with the location of the outbreak.
So here’s an example, if you have oral herpes and have an outbreak on you mouth then would want to refrain from using your mouth and coming into contact with someone who is not infected. In other words, if you have an oral outbreak you can have vaginal or anal sex and receive oral sex but not perform oral sex. Make sense? Kissing or performing oral sex on your partner would put them at risk of contracting herpes.
Another example, if a man has an outbreak on his penis then he would want to prevent his penis from coming into contact with his partner. So in this case, he could perform oral sex on his partner and depending on where the outbreak is located he could potentially masturbate.
So do you get where I’m going here? You have to get creative and sometimes that can be different and fun. It gets you out of your normal sex rhythm and forces you and your partner to communicate and get creative. Yes, maybe it’s not sexual penetration but hey, you’re still intimate with your partner and you both can still share in the fun and pleasure. Outbreaks only last for a few days and they go away, don’t let an outbreak dictate or get in the way of you and your partner enjoying one another.
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