Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

"How Herpes Saved My Life"

2 posts in this topic

How Herpes Saved My Life by adult star and sex educator Midori:

I have genital and oral herpes—and I swear it saved my life. It sounds weird, I know, but it's true.

I contracted herpes as an undergrad at Berkeley in the mid 80s. My boyfriend had a cold sore on his lips after the first sunny day of skiing. Since childhood he would get the same little blister after the first day on the slopes, so he didn't think much of it. Both of us ignorant of the potential transmissions to genital areas, he went gloriously down on me.

If I hadn't contracted herpes in college, I think I would have engaged in a lot of stupid, unsafe sex. I'd likely have contracted far more serious sexual transmitted conditions. Let's be serious, I'd be… Dead.A week or so later my entire vulva erupted in horribly painful oozing sores. The nurse practitioner at the university health clinic coldly declared the diagnosis and bluntly dismissed me with a prescription slip. She was neither helpful nor comforting for this scared kid. Judgment hardened her face.

This initial outbreak lasted for a couple of painful weeks. For the next few years I suffered frequent and debilitating outbreaks. Why did I suffer so when others with the same disease got away with hardly an itch?

As I struggled with feeling contaminated and crippled during that first year, I was accepted into an excellent seminar on the mind-body connection in the Psychology department. As a coping mechanism of the grieving nerd, I decided to make herpes recurrences and triggers my research topic. Since this was before the Interweb, much less Google or medical information sites, it wasn't uncommon for the average citizen to be totally in the dark about their medical conditions. Armed with treasured access to the university library, I combed through card catalog (how archaic!) databases on disparate current research. This research process, supported by a non-judgmental and brilliant professor, helped me to better understand the disease, manage outbreaks and, most importantly, normalized the situation for me.

But that's not how herpes saved my life.

In college I claimed my sexual rights as an adult and became very sexually active and very experimental. I continued in my sexual growth as I moved from Berkeley to San Francisco. This was during the death-filled days of the AIDS pandemic. Having herpes was just so common that it just wasn't a big deal under the shadow of HIV's certain death sentence at the time.

My Herpes—yes, I saw the disease now as mine; the very bugs that would now live in my basal ganglion and share my body with me, as common as the bacteria in my stomach and mitochondria in each of my cells, were part of me now. My Herpes became the little annoyance that gave me the best reason/alibi/excuse ever to whip out a condom or dam or gloves with that new hottie I hooked up with. I'd smile and tell them I have herpes and talk about it as a common nuisance. I'd then tell them I was hot for them and don't want to harm them so I'd like to use a condom. I figured that if anyone had an issue with hot latex sex with me because of My Herpes, they didn't like me, the whole person. I wouldn't want to hang out with such a shallow sob.

It never caused a problem and no one ran away. With each occasion I felt stronger, smarter and sexier.

If I hadn't contracted herpes in college, I think I would have engaged in a lot of stupid, unsafe sex. I'd likely have contracted far more serious sexual transmitted conditions.

Let's be serious, I'd be…


Herpes is most contagious right before an outbreak and continues to be transmittable through the outbreak. You may or may not know when you're in a pre-outbreak stage. Some people feel a tingling sensation, others don't.

If you want to know more about the real facts on herpes, the CDC's website has some great info. One stat reads that 1 out of 5 sexually active adolescents and adults have herpes. That one may be you without even knowing it.

While not everyone with herpes experience recurrences, people with recurrent herpes usually have particular triggers or sets of triggers. These will vary from person to person. Obviously the college boyfriend was triggered by first exposure to bright sun light. Others are triggered by nuts, chocolate, stress, etc. You have to observe your own patterns.

My triggers turned out to be a combination of sleep deprivation, negative emotional stress, and a lowered immune system. So when I have an outbreak, I take that as my body's alert system to get some sleep, consider the blessings in my life, pop some vitamin C and take care of myself. My Herpes behaves as my personal stress watch-bug.Herpes is a pain and a hassle—but in the dating world I turned it into an advantage to stay healthy, ethical and joyously sexual.

Yes, My Herpes saved my life.

Source: Carnal Nation (

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great read..... great article - thank you so much for sharing.

I just checked Midori out via the link and wow, what a woman! She certainly didn't let herpes stop her. She's an inspiration.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Latest Buzz

    • edcoop
      This very same drug finished phase 3 in Japan rite ? Any mates from japan here who had a chance to participate in the trial and can share the experience? 
    • edcoop
      Hi Sanguine thanks for the reply. Im now taking daily antiviral, do you reckon I can take this supplement along wit it ? i also have st johns wort tabs at home. scared to use it as i heard it mihht impact wit the acyclovir. any idea about these mate ? 
    • twinkle27
      Hi. I've been diagnosed with HSV2 last year Dec and since then i'm having frequent OBs. every month i usually get 2 to 3 times obs. does anybody here have similar experience? i thought over time the frequency of OBs will be lessened. its been 9mos already and i still get it every month. i'm getting frustrated.  so i went to my doctor the other day for a check up and she said it might not be herpes. so she took a swab culture on it. the first time i was diagnosed with hsv2 was through a blood test. she also told me that i have mild yeast infection. is it possible that the cause of the sores was because of the yeast infection? now i'm waiting for the result of the swab test. i'm really worried about this..  
    • Hester
      I had a patient last week tell me she sometimes gets herpetic lesions on her gums (keratinized gingiva).  Apthous ulcers, on the other hand, form only on the soft, non-keratinized oral mucosa  (inner cheeks and lips, tongue, tissue not bound to underlying bone.)   I found this article online that helps distinguish between intraoral Recurrent Apthous Ulcer lesions and Herpetic lesions.
    • JBnATL
      Hi there, You are doing the right thing by demanding tests.  Hopefully they will find out what is wrong with you soon! This website has a keyword search function so if you were to search on "frequent outbreaks" you might find what you are looking for. Good luck! JB 
    • Sammie27
      Thank you. I know i just wish my ex woukd be honest i never blamed him for anything and all I asked was for honesty and he hasn't given that to me which is so unfair.i feel like if he told me yes I'm positive I'd have some closure.
    • YammyTea
      Sammie you have to forgive yourself. The lack of forgiveness can lead you down a very dark path. I'm tiring to get away from that place. Lean on your faith.
    • YammyTea
      Thanks for sharing BeachGuy. Today is my day of deliverance from the shame, guilt, depression, and anxiety. I will pray and take it day by day. Your story of running through the storm, is exactly what I will do. Through the heavy rains and lightening, I will continue to run because rain does eventually stop. Again, thanks.
    • Sammie27
      Ok I'm ready to be honest about how I got infected but please don't judge. I'm married. Have been sive 2011. I love my husband but never fully got ivee my ex. We had an encounter back in May. I was diagnosed with HSV 2 in August. My husband has never experienced symptoms and I never did until after my diagnosis. My symptoms are still fairly mild. Thank God. Here's my dilemma or several anyway. My ex said he doesn't have it. Promised me he'd get tested.  He's saying bith an IGM and IGG text came back negative. He hasn't shown me the actual report so not sute if I believe him or even that he took the test. I'm still living with the regret of my decision to be with tge ex. My husband is supportive and knows about my H but doesn't know all the info. He's decided to get tested this week too i don't want to pass this on to him if I can help it. We had sex for the first time since my diagnosis and all I did was cry from worry after. We used a condom and he didn't perform oral like he enjoys. I'm so ashamed that i complicated our marriage even more by allowing H to join our marriage. It sure puts a damper on being free in the heated moment. Now we have to be so cautious. Takes the fun out of it all. Sucks. Thanks for letting me vent. 
    • WilsoInAus
      This is very unlikely to be genital herpes of either type. Many things can cause a blister like lesion such as yeast and staph. It is possible you have an oral HSV-1 infection (despite testing negative) and this would mean you do not have genital HSV-1 owing to the immunity. It is also possible that you have actually experience bacterial issues or similar that have appeared like cold sores.
  • Featured