Can You Have Casual Sex with Herpes? What a Herpes Diagnosis and Casual Sex Really Mean

Can you have casual sex with herpes_ - alexandra harbushka

What a Herpes Diagnosis and Casual Sex Really Mean

I’m going to get right to it. Yes, you can have casual sex even with a herpes diagnosis! 

But here’s the deal, there’s a few steps that need to be taken before jumping in between the sheets. 

When this topic comes up in my Emergency Calls or our Support Group calls it usually starts out with something along the lines of, “I can never hook up again” or “it’s so hard to watch my friends hook up with whoever they want and I can’t do that anymore” or “the only people who can have one night stands are people without STD’s”. Seriously I can go on and on with this.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Now the way I look at it is nothing has really changed now that you have herpes.  If you want to have casual sex there’s nothing holding you back. Of course unless you have an outbreak but really nothing has changed. You still need consent from your partner, you still need to have the STD talk and you both still need to practice safe sex. 

The only difference now is that you're worried about rejection from that potential one night stand. And when we take a  step back we’re worried about an opinion of someone we don’t even know. I get it, rejection or fear of rejection can hurt or keep us from going out and doing our thing.  The truth is we never really know why someone doesn’t like us nor do we know why they’re not into us. I talk about this a ton our weekly Support Groups. 

Anyway, here are 2 things you need to follow before hooking up with your fling.


This is a must in my book. I know that it’s hard to do and for the main reason being that we’re scared of that rejection. But Disclosing you have herpes allows you and your partners to go into this with all the cards on the table. This way when you disclose both you and your partner can both feel comfortable moving forward.

Agreeing on best methods of protection

Now that your partner knows and you both have discussed your sexual health you can both discuss and agree on the best methods of protection as well as  how you want to proceed with safe sex. Is it condoms only or are you taking the daily antiviral to reduce transmission or maybe you don’t expose the are where you’re infected. For example, if you have oral herpes then perhaps you avoid kissing and oral sex? 

There are  lots of ways to protect yourself and your partner from herpes transmission. And seriously, your sex life can be normal. I know the initial thought is that I'll never hook up again but let’s face it if that’s the case the herpes virus would have died out over time and become extinct with the dinosaurs. People with herpes are still having one night stands and having casual sex, let’s just hope they’re doing it safely and communicating with their partner. 

So if you want more information on dating from an expert you should listen to this month's Life With Herpes podcast interview with Dr. Aziz Gazipura. With his expertise in confidence and being a confidence educator he shares how to date with confidence even with herpes.  




Telling your partner is seriously one of the hardest things to do and it is what holds us back from dating. So...I put together a toolkit that walks you through how to disclose to your partner that you have herpes. It’s super helpful and will give you step-by-step tips and tools to get out there and tell your crush you have herpes. Go here to get your Tell Your Partner Toolkit


Watch Life With Herpes




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