Can I Have Sex after Getting Herpes? 3 Myths Busted

Can I Have Sex after Getting Herpes_ 3 Myths Busted - alexandra harbushka

YES You Can Have Sex Even Though You Have Herpes. 

This is the number one thing we all freak out about when we’re diagnosed with herpes. Getting the diagnosis that says, “you have herpes” somehow equates in our mind that we can never have sex again. 

We immediately go to the place of this is punishment for having sex and I did something wrong so now I can’t do that any more. Or maybe we go to the place of who’s going to want to have sex with me. The thought of being damaged goods or dirt or disgusting often comes along with a herpes diagnosis. This is 100% false and you can absolutely have sex even with a herpes diagnosis.

Here are 3 myths when it comes to herpes and sex:

  • You have to have sex with someone who has herpes

This is totally false. Yes, in the beginning we all feel this way because the last thing we want to do is put someone else through the pain we’ve just been in. I get it and I was totally there. One of the big differences is most likely you got herpes from someone who didn’t tell you or they didn’t know so in a way you didn’t have a choice in the matter and wake up with herpes. The difference for you moving forward is you’re going to disclose to your future partner and let them know about your diagnosis. Giving him or her the option to make the decision to have sex and potentially contact herpes is a whole different ball game. 

When you  have a conversation about sex and about herpes you’ll be so surprised to find how open people are with herpes. Yes, it’s possible that they will reject you and will want nothing to do with you but take a step back and think, do you really want someone in your life that's going to act like that?  We’re going to get rejected for so many different reasons and the issue is usually with them not you. Don’t take it personal and I know that’s easier said than done. 

The truth is you don’t have to find someone who has herpes too but you have to find someone who is ok with the potential of contracting the virus. 

  • If you have sex with someone who doesn't have herpes they will automatically get herpes

This is also a huge myth. You really don’t know when or if your partner is going to get herpes. I mean, it’s pretty much a guarantee if you have an outbreak and your partner comes into contact with that active outbreak. But, when there’s no outbreak present you really can’t predict or know if and when. I’ve been with my husband for over 5 years and he does not have herpes. One of the key’s here is that we communicate about herpes. I let him know if I think an outbreak is happening or if an outbreak just cleared up. Talking about it with him has helped prevent him from getting herpes. 

We often freak ourselves out and think that maybe we passed it to our partner. You have to let that go. Just because you have herpes doesn't mean that you can't live a normal life and have normal contact with people. 

  • You’ll never have a normal sex life with a herpes diagnosis 

This is also a huge concern and a huge myth. We automatically think that sex is in someway going to be different now that we have herpes. Like it can’t be spontaneous or it’s not as sexy or you are limited on ways you can have sex. This is totally not true at all. I mean unless you have a lame partner who is just bad in bed. Lol. But in all seriousness don’t use herpes as a scapegoat to have a lame sex life. Herpes has nothing to do with it. It doesn’t make you less desired, less sexy, it doesn’t impact your ability to have pleasure nor does it limit ways you can have sex. 

What having herpes does do is require you to communicate with your partner. You have to discuss how you’re going to do your best to prevent transmission but it’s no different than having a talk about preventing pregnancy. Yes, there will be times you can not have sex because you have an outbreak. But there will be times you can’t have sex because you have the flu or because you just don’t feel like it. And there will be times you don’t feel sexy because you just ate a 2 lb burrito and drank a pitcher of beer and are feeling bloated AF. So can’t have sex here and there. 

The truth is your sex life can be as normal as you want it to be or as wild as you want it to be. Having herpes has absolutely nothing to do with it. I talk about sex a lot in other episodes in fact I talk about ways you can have sex with a herpes outbreak. If you’re curious you can check it out here. 

In a recent podcast interview I talk with Dr. Sami Longo-Disse, who is a psychologist and a former legal sex worker in Europe. We dive deep and talk about dating, disclosing, sex, and how to feel comfortable with your partner. I highly recommend you check out this episode on the Life With Herpes Podcast. 

 Life With Herpes Podcast Interview

Also, if disclosing is something that’s on your mind or you’re about to disclose then you should check out the, Tell Your Partner Toolkit. There are 14 videos walking you through the steps to disclosing to your partner as well as scrips so you can practice and be ready for your big talk. 

Tell Your Partner Toolkit


Watch Life With Herpes




Xina warrior princess

Thank you so so so much for this. I was recently diagnosed. And everything you mention  is how I’ve been feeling. Really I’ve been an emotional wreck, and that is not like me. But you have really helped to calm my fears. It’s really really So appreciated. 

Read more
Read less
Kim Ledet

Thank you for sharing your story. I was diagnosed in October of this year snd everything you stated is how I felt and to be honest still feel.  You definitely are giving me hope that I will find the right person for me who will accept that I have herpes. 

Read more
Read less