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Was23

The "Talk" from the perspective of a recipient

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Was23

I ran across this article today.

http://www.examiner.com/x-12534-Single-Life-Examiner~y2009m8d12-Back-to-school-for-lovers--sex-education-web-site-earns-college-credits

What do you think? Is she being honest when she says that his "lack of information about his own body ..." was a bigger factor than the herpes itself in her decision not to continue dating him? (I think not, but OTOH, I don't think her decision was unreasonable: its hard to blame someone for walking away from a relationship to avoid the risk, given how little she had invested in it.)

Thoughts?

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JBnATL

Everyone with h should read that article

and learn how to properly give the 'talk'. That guy did everything right, but she was right, he did not enough about his disease.

Most people when you give the 'talk' to want to know more about the virus, so everyone please read up here as much as possible.

I have never had a bad reaction when giving the 'talk'. I even had one girl say "oh I have dated a guy with herpes, no big deal".

JB

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bestfootforward

Secret To Your Successful "The Talk" Rate, JBnATL?

Hi JBnATL,

As someone who's really struggling with how to have the talk for the first time (I have HSV-1 oral herpes) with someone I've gotten really close to and would like to pursue a long-term relationship with, I would greatly appreciate it if you could share the secret to your success.

How do you frame up your talk? What kind of tone do you use? Is there a particular time or setting you've found works best for giving the talk? Is it possible to give too much information?

I honestly don't know if I want to do this in person even. I know it's cowardly, but I'm contemplating just disclosing it via email, because 1.) it allows her to absorb the information and think it over and 2.) I can avoid the awkwardness, hurt, and humiliation the safe distance that email communication would provide.

I really look forward to you shedding more light on your successful "The Talk" experiences, JBnATL, if you don't mind.

Thanks very much,

bestfootforward

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gotitsowhat
I ran across this article today.

http://www.examiner.com/x-12534-Single-Life-Examiner~y2009m8d12-Back-to-school-for-lovers--sex-education-web-site-earns-college-credits

What do you think? Is she being honest when she says that his "lack of information about his own body ..." was a bigger factor than the herpes itself in her decision not to continue dating him? (I think not, but OTOH, I don't think her decision was unreasonable: its hard to blame someone for walking away from a relationship to avoid the risk, given how little she had invested in it.)

Thoughts?

I got the impression that she basically did not like the whole way he presented it and also the way he presented himself...

First, that it was "no big deal" (this guy ought to become a doctor). His job was to inform her of his health status, not tell her how to assess it and judge it. He, as she put it, kept trying to put a positive spin on it. He acted like a salesman, trying to convince her it was no real risk. Yet if it had been no actual, real risk, he would hardly have had to tell her anything, would he? Instead of just presenting the facts, he was working hard to put an upbeat spin on it and it did not work. She decided she did not want to be told how she should feel.

Second, not only were his facts wrong but they were out of date. If a person is acting responsibly, he would keep in touch with the latest information, not hard to do these days of the Internet. And he would bring at least some correct facts to the table for discussion instead of making the whole thing a sales talk.

I don't think it was his lack of facts alone but his entire BS personality that did it. I think she wants to present a picture of herself as objective so she emphasizes his incorrect factual knowledge. The truth is, I don't think she really liked the guy that much. And it sounds like I wouldn't have liked him much, either. But I'll bet he gets laid a lot.

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foxyloxy25

I got the distinct impression that it had nothing to do with his knowledge (or lack of it) and how he presented it, and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that she had no intention of touching someone with herpes with a barge pole.

Hence her focus on not wanting to catch herpes and the fact that it can still be transmitted, and her criticism of him for trying to put a 'positive spin' on something she obviously considered a serious threat to her health.

I think these are the key phrases which tell me she would never be prepared to accept someone with herpes:

"it is still a big deal to me"

"couldn't change the seriousness of this issue, for me"

and of course, the way she even presents the subject - she starts with "he wanted an opportunity to discuss his incurable, sexually transmitted disease, herpes" which kind of gives an idea of how she perceives herpes to start with.

The fact that she sees him as trying to 'coerce' her into seeing it as 'not a big deal' shows just how set on seeing it as a big deal and as a deal-breaker she is.

She says:

"I chose not to continue dating him, because of his lack of information about his own body and the consequences of his actions upon others, more than the herpes, itself."

And yet, since she obviously knows about herpes, his lack of information has absolutely no relevance to her. He isn't aware enough about his infection? Educate him! Discuss it together! Research it together! And yet she won't because the key fact about herpes for her is the fact that she is not infected, does not wish to be and is not prepared to put herself at any risk of becoming infected. Fair enough. I strongly suspect she would be someone who would run if her date told her he had herpes, no matter how informed he was about it.

I actually thought it was quite a cruel article. Where is her pity for the poor guy, or any understanding of what he might have been going through in order to inform her? Her tone is almost slightly mocking. She is not showing any compassion.

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ntdc

foxyloxy25, I agree 100%.

The author comes off as rude bitchy and dishonest. There is no problem if you want to reject someone because they have herpes, its understandable. However to put the blame on the guy because he didn't have the latest up to date knowledge of herpes that's ridiculous. She says he got the information from his doctor that's usually enough for most people. This reminds me of the other thread where someone posted on an eHarmony board about rejecting a woman with herpes. It just seems like there is a certain personality type who takes pleasure in crowing about this kind of thing. Kind of like she is saying "Could you believe a guy with herpes tried to date me." those types need to get a grip its not hiv for christsake

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Lookonthesunnyside

Yeah, I thought she seemed like a bit of a superior bitch too. Also, I couldnt help but wondering, does she know 100% that she is in that "80% who doesnt have it"? Had she actually been tested? Or was this her own interpretation of a lack of herpes symptoms...?

But anyways, I do recognize the lesson from this article, which is to be able to answer a partner's questions and acknowledge that this can be a big deal to someone who doesnt know much about it. Once a person is educated a bit about it I would hope they could share the viewpoint that its not actually the catastrophe people think it is, but I can see how telling someone that off the bat is a bit unfair. Better to let the facts speak for themselves than actually voicing that at the very beginning I think.

But I agree, she didnt seem like she would have been accepting of it either way.

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gotitsowhat

Reading these posts I have to admit

she did sound awfully superior, as if she was bragging about her rejection of the guy. I guess I wouldn't like either one of them!

Some people really like to put a superior spin on everything they do and say, all of their judgments. Instead of admitting they have the same fears and problems and inadequacies as other human beings, they like to state things so it sounds like any problems or conflicts they have in their life occur because they are better than other people, have higher standards etc. Rather than admit she was put off by his herpes, and maybe by him, she decided to sound above it all, only judging him by his ignorance, just too high minded when it comes to sexual health to tolerate someone who is not fully knowledgable. Her rejection, in other words, was strictly on an intellectual basis, owing nothing to any feelings she has about wanting to feel superior to a herpes infected person--NOT!

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oxygen

The talk went sideways...

Definitely a worthwhile read. I waited six weeks to tell the man I thought I'd marry, that I am suspected of having HSV-1 and he exited the relationship. I really tossed and turned about the right time to deliver the news. There was actually a moment that night that I felt my relationship would definitely be over because I did not have courage to put it on the table. What a juncture....falling in love with someone so intensely and then having them walk away for a very valid reason. I really struggle though because I think to myself, if you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone, on the grand scheme of things, is this really a big deal? I still love him and cannot fault his decision. Mostly, I angst about falling in love again and being hurt and repeating this darn process until I encounter someone who is understanding. It re-opens all of this "stuff" re: selfworth, for sure. I should have spent more time becoming more aware how this type of information is processed on the receiving end, rather than stressing about the actual conversation. To this day, I don't know what he knows or does not know...all I said was that it had minimal impact on my life. I really did not think about how overwhelming it would be to hear from a girl he already loved. *Sigh*

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Was23
I got the distinct impression that it had nothing to do with his knowledge (or lack of it) and how he presented it, and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that she had no intention of touching someone with herpes with a barge pole. ...

You know, I wrote a very long post expression almost exactly the same thoughts as you did (after Brainy put up her first response), and it was lost because my "login" expired while I was writing it (I clicked preview and it jumped to a login screen, then a blank page. ERG!)

So, "what foxy said". (*That* was easy!)

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foxyloxy25
Rather than admit she was put off by his herpes, and maybe by him, she decided to sound above it all, only judging him by his ignorance, just too high minded when it comes to sexual health to tolerate someone who is not fully knowledgable. Her rejection, in other words, was strictly on an intellectual basis, owing nothing to any feelings she has about wanting to feel superior to a herpes infected person--NOT!

Great psychological assessment.

What Brainyblonde said :)

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Guest Seatortuga

Prudent beeyotch "I'm in the 80% that don't have it." I wanna see your results.

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Now18

I agree with foxy and everyone else. And it did remind of of the eharmony thread Ntdc was talking about. I remember the title of that thread was something like "Sorry, but I'm not into incurable STDs." Condescending. It reminds me of a high school cheerleader in some teen movie saying "Sorry, I'm not into nerds." The woman who wrote this article was not just condescending about herpes, she was condescending about being health conscious. She's probably the type who thinks that she would never get herpes, simply because she's so informed.

I think the stigma even affects people who are relatively educated about the disease. I was reading a study today about how a lot of people who are not consciously racist, are actually subconsciously racist. Actually most of us are. But people who still know all of the facts or most of the facts about herpes, don't calculate risks rationally. The same person who would be too scared to take the 1% chance a year with an HSV positive person who is taking valtrex, and using condoms, is sometimes the same person who wouldn't think twice about having a bunch of one night stands.

I can understand someone not wanting to get herpes. But I still don't get people judging people with herpes. It's like my friends who won't get tested because "oh well, I use condoms." or "Oh, I don't sleep with that type of guy." They want to believe herpes is only something that happens to people who somehow deserve it, not just anyone who's sexually active.

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inspired83

Wow! That is an eye opener considering I'm from the same location as the author of the article. I do have to agree with the rest of you here. She wanted to spin the article in her direction. The guy didn't know what he was talking about. And sad as it is to say (at least those in the US), Indiana is a bit slow and backwards compared to the rest of the states. It's not that we don't want to know more about fashion, sports, or anything. People are set in their ways. I know each state has their city/town that is like that. However, we aren't Chicago or NYC or LA.

Unfortunately, I've run into a lot of these kinds of people about telling them about having hsv2. It's lack of education really. No one wants to know because it is so taboo. What's crappy about the article is that she totally is one of the people that doesn't even want to "touch" a person that has hsv. Just because it's incureable doesn't mean it is unmanageable. There are plenty of things in life that are unmanageable but we all still deal with whatever it is i.e frizzy hair, unruly parents, paying for college....you name it.

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