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shurenka 1
Dan is spot on. An 18-year-old from America is very likely to not have had comprehensive sex ed in high school, and TBG should have been extra careful to make sure they were on the same page, wrt names and risks and routes of transmission.
Posted by shurenka on February 5, 2013 at 5:50 PM · Report this
2
You're both barebacking strangers. You both have bigger things to worry about than HSV1.
Posted by ishf on February 5, 2013 at 5:51 PM · Report this
3
What a despicable cunt!
Posted by Falcor on February 5, 2013 at 5:54 PM · Report this
4
HAHAHAHAHA

Ain't Life in Gommorah just Grand?
Posted by relax. you're both stupid sluts. on February 5, 2013 at 5:57 PM · Report this
eclexia 5
I know this is a brand-new letter. But I hope you don't mind if I just re-run my slog comment from last week:

With all the generational change, and new dilemmas created by new media, it's a relief to me that 18-year old guys are still so horny that they stick their dicks places that they regret 5 minutes after shooting.
Posted by eclexia on February 5, 2013 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Rotten666 6
@3. Took the words out of my mouth. I don't like throwing that word around, but what a fucking selfish cunt.
Posted by Rotten666 on February 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM · Report this
7
Great response. Really top form.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 5, 2013 at 6:09 PM · Report this
seandr 8
The odds of a man getting herpes from unprotected sex with an infected women who isn't having an outbreak and is on suppressive therapy is 2% - if they fuck twice a year for an entire year.

Given that these two fucked just once without a condom, the odds for him are .02%, or 1/5000.

The kid doesn't have herpes.
Posted by seandr on February 5, 2013 at 6:17 PM · Report this
seandr 9
Oops, should be "if they fuck twice a week for an entire year."
Posted by seandr on February 5, 2013 at 6:18 PM · Report this
10
Love the fact that the way she ends the letter is "I really want to keep screwing this boy when I feel like it, so how can you help me make that happen, but nothing more because clearly he's not relationship material." She's just full of class from start to finish.

Posted by genevieve on February 5, 2013 at 6:21 PM · Report this
11
"That was unsafe of us." Yeah, what a shame only one of you knew it. "Why would you say, "Well I have herpes" if you'd already told him that? Because you hadn't. I think you knew damn well what you were doing. What a manipulative twat. Too bad he wasn't a year younger, he could press charges.
Posted by portland scribe on February 5, 2013 at 6:27 PM · Report this
12
@8, or, she's lying about not having an outbreak/using suppressive therapy.
And now he does have herpes.
Posted by portland scribe on February 5, 2013 at 6:29 PM · Report this
13
@8: While it's very likely he doesn't have it (and he should go get his idiot ass tested rather than guess if every itch is A Sign), that's the difference between "lowers the chance of transmission" and "makes the chance of transmission literally zero."

The one time could be more like half a dozen if they went with condom-at-the-last-second sex. But even if it was just the one time: it is possible. When people catch any STD, it was not the cumulative exposure that did them in but that one really unlucky time.
Posted by IPJ on February 5, 2013 at 6:37 PM · Report this
eclexia 14
I'm a bit bothered by the level of rage against the letter-writer in some of these comments.

Any sexually experienced woman who gives hands-on (pussy-on) sexual education to an 18-yr old is doing public service.

So she was not 100% issue free. Neither is any person. If we were to limit the women we allow to service 18-yr-old guys to only those without any issues, there would be one woman for every ten thousand horny teens dudes.

So this guy got his first STD scare, from a person who informed him. He also got the pussy. Give him a few weeks to educated himself, and if he did not get herpes, he will get horny enough to come back for boomerang pussy. Because, franky, 18-yr old guys are so horny, electric barbed wire would not prevent them from trying to stick their dicks in there.

Yeah, the letter-writer fucked up. But measure it on a curve people. She gets a B+. She handled it better than 85% of humanity would have.
Posted by eclexia on February 5, 2013 at 6:39 PM · Report this
15
LW, Dan was very gentle with you. You did a horrible thing. Even if you didn't give him herpes (herpes! not cold sores on your genitals) you still did a horrible thing. You're selfish and shortsighted and apparently unwilling to take responsibility for your actions. Yuck.
Posted by scromni on February 5, 2013 at 6:50 PM · Report this
T 16
She tried to be cheeky and indirect about her STI as a means of not desexualizing herself or the situation. She knew what she was doing and it backfired because the kid couldn't read between the lines. Hopefully going forward, she will have the good sense to state outright "I have herpes" prior to any sexual contact whatsoever.

And because of her misdirection, he will hopefully do the same.
Posted by T on February 5, 2013 at 6:52 PM · Report this
Rotten666 17
@14. I'd hate to see what one has to do to earn an F on your scale.

Posted by Rotten666 on February 5, 2013 at 6:54 PM · Report this
18
Um, I'd like to add that "I'm clean, I get tested regularly" is not the most reliable statement from an 18-yr-old guy who wants to fuck you without a condom. Moreover, LW, ass sex without a condom puts *you* at a high risk for getting anything he might be carrying, since even with lube the skin in the anus tends to tear a little during sex. Receptive anal sex without a condom is the least safe sex ever - the bottom is risking way more than the top.

So you may have mislead him as to your HSV status, LW, but he shouldn't have pressured you to engage in sex that put you at risk to pick up anything he might have had (not to mention the possibility of come dripping from your ass to your vaj and knocking you up. It happens.)

So you're about even, the way I see it.
Posted by cinct on February 5, 2013 at 7:01 PM · Report this
eclexia 19
@17, I dunno, maybe give him crystal meth? You know, like half the middle aged circuit-fags in LA try to push on 18-year old twinks?

Maybe call him up a month later announcing she was pregnant and suing him for paternity?

Maybe not bother to tell him about the herpes at all, before or after, like 90% of people with herpes?
Posted by eclexia on February 5, 2013 at 7:03 PM · Report this
20
@14: B+ is way too generous. Being 28 does not make her automatically good at sex, and it clearly made her crap at disclosing. ("I get cold sores, but don't worry I'm on treatment" ≠ "I have herpes" for most listeners. Or she would state she has herpes without the cutesy locomotions.) I would catch it, but I'm simultaneously old and well-read and not on the verge of having sex with her: she phrases it that way in the hopes of actually getting sex.

(There was an earlier linked piece by someone with herpes who liked to disclose just before penetration. Comment discussion generally agreed that this was a terrible time and chosen to make a 'no' very unlikely and terribly awkward if delivered. Successful HSV+ commenters usually cited e-mail as a good way to get the info out without the 'so: sex now right?' pressure, time for the person to read up, etc.)

The camp site rule has four parts: one does not apply to her male partner, and she appears to have failed on two of the remaining three with the third unknown. That is not a B+. Part of the appeal of 18 year olds is their willingness to go along with what a more confident and experienced partner suggests they should do, thus the whole existence of a campsite rule. "I like 'em malleable" is not at terribly attractive trait in those angling after the barely legal.
Posted by IPJ on February 5, 2013 at 7:03 PM · Report this
21
omg, she had HERPES. this woman is my worst nightmare.
Posted by go ahead and brand an H on every ass on February 5, 2013 at 7:04 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 22
@8: I sincerely doubt you're quoting the odds from unprotected anal sex.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 5, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Report this
23
This LW is the biggest MORON I have seen in quite some time. Fell in love with an 18 yo boy?? Whatthefuckever.
Posted by Common Sensei on February 5, 2013 at 7:06 PM · Report this
24
Also too: If his symptoms are not just paranoia they could be something besides herpes. It's not like HSV casts a magical shield over the person and all partners protecting them from everything else. (It could also come from someone not her, depending on his history.) Could be HPV, or even a basic yeast infection. Which yes, men can get, usually if their partner has an asymptomatic one.
Posted by IPJ on February 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM · Report this
lolorhone 25
Make no mistake, the Birthday Girl sucks but anybody having (or, in this case, damn near insisting on) unprotected sex with a stranger has to take some responsibility here. We're all naïve at 18 but 'use a condom or your dick might fall off' was a lesson drilled into me well before I ever got laid. That said, the Birthday Girl SUCKS.
Posted by lolorhone on February 5, 2013 at 7:15 PM · Report this
26
We're all just gonna pretend that a man who point blank turns down a pointed reminder to wear a condom so he can fuck a woman in the ass doesn't know what he's doing are we?

Please, an 18 year old (especially one who takes drugs, has already used condoms twice during the session and then goes for anal sex) knows they're supposed to wear a condom, and he chose a bit more sensation and social transgression over safety.

Not that it changes the fact that Dan is spot on about "cold sores" being a deceptive euphemism for herpes, but let's not pretend both parties can't shoulder some of the responsibility here.
Posted by kindsight on February 5, 2013 at 7:16 PM · Report this
27
What? Wait!

Danny told Bristol Palin
that condomless anal sex was 100% FOOLPROOF and SAFE.

so why is he ragging on LW?
Posted by if your on your period Danny try Midol don't rag on LW on February 5, 2013 at 7:16 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 28
@27: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…

Lying is very unChristian. Not that you ever were the one you claim to be, of course.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM · Report this
29
Sometimes a herpes outbreak is not as obvious as the horrific, worst-case scenario, STI images you may have been subjected to. I had oral HSV1 for years without knowing it, because I didn't catch it sexually and I never had anything that looked like a cold sore. I got chapped lips that got flaky a little outside my lip area once or twice. It took a doctor seeing me when I was having an outbreak to inform me that a herpes outbreak doesn't always look like cold sores, after I had unknowingly passed it on to a partner. NO idea I even had it, and I'd been asking for the full range of STI tests every year since I'd been sexually active. They don't give you this test unless you ask for it, typically, and even then they may be hesitant. So, I would not be surprised if a lot of people are unaware of their herpes outbreaks, including this woman.

The kid was probably going to get HSV anyway, though. Not that the LW is absolved of any fault. Of all the things he could have caught from a partner at 18 for making a stupid mistake, this isn't that bad. Hopefully, he will learn his lesson, learn a bunch more about STIs, and be safer and more informed in the future. LW was still foolish, but everybody makes stupid, stupid mistakes when they're horny and/or ill-informed. And let's not forget that it was probably all that pre-penetration dick poking that transmitted the virus, not the lack of a condom (though that was a dumb move too).
Posted by procrastinatrix on February 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 30
Um, shouldn't she tell him to go get checked as well?
Posted by passionate_jus on February 5, 2013 at 8:16 PM · Report this
31
The kid didn't just have unprotected anal sex with an older, more sexually experienced partner, he insisted on it. According to her account, he initiated condom-free sex without asking, turned down the offer of a condom, and proceeded without compunction.

Yes, she should have tried harder to dissuade him from unprotected sex. But not only was he old enough to know that sticking one's unprotected penis in somebody's orifices has consequences, he was old enough to be legally responsible for where he puts his dick. If herpes is the worst consequence he experiences from his bad habit of initiating unsafe sex with acquaintances, he'll be getting off easy. So to speak.
Posted by Age of Majority on February 5, 2013 at 8:20 PM · Report this
32
Yeah, sorry, but I'm with @25, @8, and @13. An 18 year old should know enough to "use a condom or your dick might fall off", he needs to get his paranoid ass tested and acknowledge that he played with fire and he got burned. Yes yes, what Dan said too. But let's not hold the horny 18-year old blameless, especially when she prompted him, and seriously, she's more at risk of getting something than he is.
Posted by dccc on February 5, 2013 at 8:35 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 33
"Any sexually experienced woman who gives hands-on (pussy-on) sexual education to an 18-yr old is doing public service."

ooh! i did this for a couple of lads when i lived in england. followed the campsite rules and left them better than i found them. they were very sweet and good students. can't say the same for the one american boy i 'tutored'. he was a product of christian education and was having second thoughts. a blowjob calmed him down.
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on February 5, 2013 at 8:36 PM · Report this
lolorhone 34
@27: It's like Fox News gone drunk and dull and sad every time you post.
@26 and @29: That's exactly what I was saying. I was clueless at 18, but not so in the ether that I didn't know were babies and STIs came from. She's an asshole, but he's a moron.
Posted by lolorhone on February 5, 2013 at 8:45 PM · Report this
lolorhone 35
Oops, I meant @31, not @29
Posted by lolorhone on February 5, 2013 at 8:47 PM · Report this
wingedkat 36
I think Dan is right on with his response, but most of the commenters are being a bit harsh.

Sure, her disclosure sucked, but it was better than no disclosure.

Also, the 18 year old boy deserves some blame for deciding to stop using a condom. Yeah, she should have insisted, and with her knowledge and experience more of the blame falls on her... but not all of it.

No need to carry the guilt of ruining a life or something, but she needs to apologize, move on, and stop fucking 18 year olds.
Posted by wingedkat on February 5, 2013 at 8:48 PM · Report this
secretagent 37
I hope she's getting checked too. Any rando who's fucking you without a condom is also fucking others without a condom. As a person who already has one STI, you're extra susceptible to catching another, bigger, badder virus.
Posted by secretagent on February 5, 2013 at 9:02 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 38
I have to join the camp saying some of the comments are too harsh.

Dan is right to call her out for giving a half-assed disclosure that the 18 year old didn't understand. (And in this age of abstinence-only sex-ed, a LOT of 18 year olds are pretty clueless.)

But if the worst thing she did was give him HSV, that does not make her a horrible person. A little negligent, yes. Pol Pot? No.

And he should at least get tested. He may be freaking out over nothing if he doesn't actually have HSV after all.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on February 5, 2013 at 9:17 PM · Report this
secretagent 39
Also, this isn't about HSV, and the bigness/littleness of it as an STI. We don't get to decide for this kid what the impact of it is on him.

Also, it's kind of surprising to hear people victim blaming. He made a dumb mistake, like everyone else who's ever been 18 has.

The fact is that MOST young people don't use condoms consistently, and that doesn't mean they deserve an STI. If you have something, and you knowingly expose someone, without being 100% sure that they know and completely understand the risks, you're an asshole. I wouldn't do so with anyone less than a long term, serious partner, personally.

Let's not equate minimizing the stigma of having an STI with going easy on people who transmit them. Especially older people who transmit them to clueless 18 year olds, when they damn well know better.
Posted by secretagent on February 5, 2013 at 9:33 PM · Report this
secretagent 40
Also, can you imagine that convo? "I think you gave me an STI, and I feel really misled and I'm freaking out." "Herpes (a word I have carefully avoided until after your exposure) is no big deal, and you should have known better. You probably don't have it anyway."
Posted by secretagent on February 5, 2013 at 9:37 PM · Report this
41
Dan's final advice is the best - "Do better in the future"

As someone who gets to deal with HSV2, most of my grief about it is my _own_ hangups due to how _I_ reacted (badly) to the gold-plated ladies in my life who disclosed it to me.

I don't remember the statistics offhand, but when I was frantically researching it once infected, it was something like 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 5 women (and I think people generally) with herpes don't even know it. It feels like a really annoying yeast infection, and it's not part of "standard" STI screens - you have to ask for it specifically or be presenting symptoms.

I'm pretty sure I caught it from someone who didn't know they had it, and we actually had a perfect condom record any time we had sex for pregnancy reasons.

Although I've been very straightforward about it with potential partners, it hasn't much screwed anything up with anybody I should have been having sex with in the first place. My fiancee knows the risks, takes the risks (with continued disclosure of "hey, not a good weekend"), and has so far remained HSV-free as far as we can tell over 5 years.

But the central fact is, even with condoms, chances are the sore/transmission point _isn't_ covered (think about the mechanics a bit - the sores aren't generally on someone's cervix or deep in someone's ass or they wouldn't notice - same as right on the head of someone's cock - right there, it's got a man's attention). You can rub up against it before you think you should have a condom on, in something you're fooling yourself into thinking is "pre-sex, pre-condom". Or you can put a condom on, fuck away, and still come in great contact.

My "cold sore" is right on the base of my dick by my pelvis. I expect many if not most women with herpes have them on their outer vulva (or for those with other preferences, other sphincters) _if_ they even know for sure it's herpes.

Condoms are great at any number of diseases. Herpes ain't among the better defenses it gives.

Good disclosure before first sex (oral! HSV1 didn't get to genitals by accident - it's mostly prevalent as oral cold sores) should be a gold standard.

But, frankly, anybody having adult sex with other adults ought to put it in the "risks to be avoided when possible/limited as much as possible for partners" category. If you're having sex with several partners, more of them have it but don't know than have it and do know.
More...
Posted by LW is in the clear by my book on February 5, 2013 at 9:43 PM · Report this
42
They are both idiots, and they both dodged a bullet. Take a deep breath, be thankful for your fun, and move on with your lives. Falling hard and intense for horny young 18 year olds is not good for you. Having him be mad at you know will spare you the larger train wreck to come as you two fuck each other stupid while being in very different places in life.
Posted by former tri-state on February 5, 2013 at 9:55 PM · Report this
43
*now ... sorry
Posted by former tri-state on February 5, 2013 at 9:57 PM · Report this
44
As soon as I saw "I get cold sores" I thought, Coward! She screwed up by pussyfooting around the issue and letting him fuck her bareback. He screwed up by fucking her bareback and not asking "what does cold sores mean?"

They both wanted to get laid and ignored what they should have done. I think they're both dumb as shit.
Posted by Hannah in Portland on February 5, 2013 at 9:57 PM · Report this
45
Wait wait wait, since when does "cold sores" =/= "herpes"? I went to high school in the last decade, had abstinence-only sex ed and I was still taught that. Gonna be honest, I think this is mostly the 18-year-old's fault.
Posted by pzzz on February 5, 2013 at 10:01 PM · Report this
46
Sorry @14 and Dan. This women is a sleaze bag. I don't agree that she is "teaching," she is using. An age difference, even a big one, is no big deal as long as both partners have the maturity to deal with it. Neither of these people have that maturity. She definitely didn't leave this "campsite" better off.
Posted by kevin11 on February 5, 2013 at 10:08 PM · Report this
47
Dan,

I've listened twice to the very fine doctor from Planned Parenthood on the Lovecast talk about how not a big deal herpes is, and it's really only an issue for women who are pregnant or might become pregnant. That covers a significant percentage of women, so why again is HSV not a big deal?
Posted by ignatz ratzkywatzky on February 5, 2013 at 10:22 PM · Report this
sirkowski 48
I dunno. That 18 year old guy sounds like a whinny little shit. Got paid a trip to Chicago, drugs, sex. But now he's got herpes because he's an under-educated immature moron. You live; you learn. Read a fucking book.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on February 5, 2013 at 10:30 PM · Report this
seandr 49
@13: Something like 1 in 9 men have herpes, so they're definitely getting it somehow. I'd speculate a lot of transmission is among younger people who don't know they have it because their outbreaks are so mild.

@22: A very good point, although odds are that at least some of the couples in the studies backing those stats included anal in their sexual repertoire.

And I'd like to change my answer @8 - the kid may have herpes, but if he does, it's highly unlikely he got it from LW.

Posted by seandr on February 5, 2013 at 10:36 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 50
I think they were a pair of dumbasses, and people are being a little harsh on the LW. Drunk/drugged heat-of-the-moment bareback ass-fucking that two adults discussed beforehand and both obviously wanted. Bad idea? Yes. Evil? No.
Posted by aureolaborealis on February 5, 2013 at 10:56 PM · Report this
Clara T 51
Great story. My favorite part was when he fucked her in the ass.
Posted by Clara T on February 5, 2013 at 11:02 PM · Report this
52
@49 1/9? Try 1/3. 33% of people are seropositive for HSV2. 66% for HSV1. 50% for EBV (mono, also caused by a herpes virus).

These are diseases that are easily transmitted and highly prevalent. If you don't know about them, you shouldn't be having sex. If you don't know a cold sore is caused by herpes virus, you are not ready to have sex. If you are planning on kissing more than 3 people in your life, you should know that the risk of exposure is high.

The woman disclosed. Yeah, she used "cold sore" instead of "herpes". We're allowed to use euphemisms for touchy subjects on things that are the a responsible sexually active adult should know.

It was a bad idea all around. But both of them share the blame equally for whatever happens so no one is the bad guy, just two people making a mistake. Whatever happens to each is on each of them.

He got lucky he was fucking a woman that obviously gets checked out (so she's unlikely to have other STIs) and that was taken suppressive medication for the one that she did have. If she had herpes, didn't know, wasn't on suppressive therapy, and infected him people would consider her as not bad because she didn't know.
Posted by R2R0 on February 5, 2013 at 11:19 PM · Report this
53
The kid initiated unprotected anal intercourse with a woman who paid his way to another city, and did a bunch of drugs with him. Reminded about protection, he indicated he'd prefer not to use any, and then proceeded to have unprotected anal intercourse.

He was bound to get herpes or worse, sooner rather than later, especially if the Letter Writer is his typical sex partner, and if he often uses drugs and has unprotected anal intercourse. Whose to say his outbreak isn't the result of some earlier exposure?

Sure, the LW gets a fail for her poor judgment, and for her half-assed disclosure, but this 18 year old kid is engaging in a pattern of risky behavior, so I can't muster much righteous fury on his behalf (but I do understand the kid's disinterest in seeing the LW again).
Posted by Functional Atheist on February 5, 2013 at 11:39 PM · Report this
seandr 54
@53: He was bound to get herpes or worse

He may already have had it, especially if he's the kind of lover boy that compels a 28-year old woman to fly him up for a weekend of MDMA and fucking.

He should get tested, and if the test comes back HSV2, he knows he didn't get it from her. And wouldn't that be ironic? All this hand wringing from LW and turns out he exposed her to HSV2.

Posted by seandr on February 6, 2013 at 12:28 AM · Report this
55
They both get the STDs they deserve.
Posted by madcap on February 6, 2013 at 12:34 AM · Report this
56
@54 so it's like the gift of the Magi, only with horny stupid people.
Posted by former tri-state on February 6, 2013 at 12:45 AM · Report this
57
@51 for the win
Posted by former tri-state on February 6, 2013 at 12:47 AM · Report this
58
I don't know former tri-state. It was your answer @56 that made me spit tea all over my keyboard. That might have to be the win. Also, that might have ruined The Gift of the Magi for me forever. Worth it.
Posted by Kitchenwitch on February 6, 2013 at 1:02 AM · Report this
seatackled 59
Tough on the kid. He's young, but he's an adult; he's 18 and he's flying across the country to do a mess of drugs and screw a woman he's known just for a little while. He pulls off his condom to bang her in the rear. You think this is his first time? You think he doesn't insist on barebacking with girls younger than him? He's already spread some STDs himself, and anything he got from the LW he was going to get soon enough anyway.
Posted by seatackled on February 6, 2013 at 1:36 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 60
@39 "Victim blaming?"

Trolololol 2/10

Kid's not a victim. He's just dumb at best. And he's as culpable as the woman if not moreso. I'm sorry people. I don't buy Dan's assertion that most adults don't know that cold sores = herpes. Herpes is such and ugly sounding word. HSV is even worse. Cold sores actually is the least offensive sounding to me.

However, that's not to completely absolve the Birthday Girl. She should have informed BEFORE, or as, she offered the trip. And when you're high on whatever illicits they were high on, your judgement su-ucks. But, he's as culpable as she was in having unprotected sex, if not more so. As they say in law, ignorance is not a valid defense. Victim blaming indeed.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 5:01 AM · Report this
61
"X was a moron, but that absolves Y for none of their wrongdoing".

Works for domestic violence. Works for sexual assault. And it works for having an STI.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 5:24 AM · Report this
62
39

actually, young folk, or anyone else, who has unprotected promiscuous sex will get STDs, WILL get STDs; because they are engaging in behavior that inevitably leads to STDs.
so, yes, they do "deserve" to get those STDs.
if that seems unfair please take it up with Darwin.
because STDs are nature's way of weeding defective material out of the gene pool.
Posted by don't fear science on February 6, 2013 at 5:25 AM · Report this
63
28

Thanks for the link.

There was also the teen girl whose BF didn't like using a condom, Danny suggested anal.

WTF?
Posted by Danny Hates kids and wants them to get AIDS on February 6, 2013 at 5:30 AM · Report this
64
25, 26 et al: Had the 18 year old written in, we'd be telling him he was a dumbass. That if he wants to be treated like an adult, able to make adult decisions about sex, it's up to him to be on the alert for lines like "cold sore" and know what they mean. That the simple rule is Don't Bareback Randoms, full stop, and he was an idiot. That the transmission risk of a partner who knows she carries HSV and discloses in vague aphorisms or doesn't disclose or doesn't know she carries is exactly the same.

But he didn't write in, so she gets the advice. Especially when she's talking about following the campsite rule (fail!) and how can she get him to not think an incurable STD is any sort of big deal so he'll come have more no strings sex weekends with her, cause it was hot and now he doesn't want to play any more frowny face.

I'm big on 18 and over acting like adults, in terms of responsibility for their actions. But 18, barely adult, is a transitional time, and people a decade older who look to this demographic do throw up a lot of "I just love the way they don't argue and aren't comfortable enough to push back" flags for other adults.
Posted by IPJ on February 6, 2013 at 5:45 AM · Report this
65
@64 re dumbass: I see that you agree with @61

This FTW, thricefold:
I'm big on 18 and over acting like adults, in terms of responsibility for their actions. But 18, barely adult, is a transitional time, and people a decade older who look to this demographic do throw up a lot of "I just love the way they don't argue and aren't comfortable enough to push back" flags for other adults.
A twenty-eight year old man who cruised an 18 year old girl, bought her a flight to a cool city, and the gave her drugs before he agreed to bang her with his diseased dick and without a condom would be instantly called a predator. It's obvious that the LW is trying to tee-hee-I'm-just-a-fun-girl-! her way out of this one. Me, I've always leaned to the notion that wrongdoing doesn't come in pink for girls and blue for boys, so I think she's slime.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 6:02 AM · Report this
Alanmt 66
Yes. LW is a bad person. A selfish, bad person who took advantage of the naivete and lust of a barely adult young man. The campfire rule is good rule and she completely ignored it.

That was her question, and that is the answer.

Some of you want to answer a different question (how could he have prevented this/did he act wisely) and some of you seem to think the campfire rule is an unnecessary or wrong. It's not. And this case is why.

And LW: You "tried" to tell him? Even Yoda calls bullshit on that.
Posted by Alanmt on February 6, 2013 at 6:06 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 67
@61 1/10

Transmission of an STI != domestic violence or sexual assault.

Terrible conflation. Try again.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 6:07 AM · Report this
watchout5 68
The HSV series is one of the most communicable "STD's" if you ever are to have sex with anyone. Let me put it this way, if you ever have sex without a condom without someone who's given you a recent blood test you put yourself at risk for it. With modern medicine it's one of the least problems if you even have problems with it, doctors don't even test for it anymore unless you ask and/or present symptoms. The only reason I know I "had (exposed is the better word)" HVS2 is that my body produces the anti-bodies of HSV2. I've never had a sore. I've been with a partner of over 2 years who's HSV negative. It's likely to stay that way in my opinion and in the opinion of every doctor I've talked to. In fact my doctor even mentioned that unless something's a sore on or near my penis there's 0 reason to disclose such information as the social stigma far exceeds anything HSV2 can do to my body. There's some ethics here, but you know what, it's not going to kill me, and it's not going to be the end of the world. Plenty of people will still fuck you, and the prudes who won't are ignorant and have made a decision that feels comfortable to them. If they're more than a one night stand you have every obligation to disclose, but if you met someone and you're using a condom, my doctor basically laughs at the idea that you could transmit anything, just stop having sex if you have any cuts around your junk.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on February 6, 2013 at 6:11 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 69
@65 5/10

Better. But, in your scenario, you have the carrier of the disease being the one who actively took the condom off. In LW's scenario, the receiver of the disease is the one who took the condom off.

Also, I know a few girls who willingly were taken on trips by older men for sex and fun. I didn't think Predator. Neither did they.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 6:13 AM · Report this
70
@67 - Unprotected sex when you know you have an STI is a sexual assault where the other party hasn't consented to it, and I think it's clear here that there really isn't a genuine consent. (Funny, isn't it, how "informed consent, clearly expressed", the centrepoint of so many campus rape awareness programs goes out the fucking window as irrelevant when we're talking about a male victim and a female perpetrator, even where he may have a disease he'll carry for life. Being alive to privileged gender assumptions is supposed to be, ideally, a two-way street and there's a shit-ton of 'em here.) It is in law in many jurisdictions (including Canada, although the SCC recently very badly muddied the waters) and it is certainly morally equivalent to same. And this goes fourfold for where the non-infected partner is on a recreational drug.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 6:15 AM · Report this
71
One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is that conservatives are very often too goddamned eager by half to affix personal responsibility in cases where it doesn't apply, and liberals are very often too goddamned eager by half to absolve from personal responsibility where it does apply. Weird, that.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 6:37 AM · Report this
72
I should be clear. Do I think that THIS LW is guilty of a sexual assault? I'm not sure I'd get past reasonable doubt for the reasons @69 and for the reason that while her disclosure was half-assed and arguably deceitful it was disclosure, and perhaps enough to keep her out of an orange jumpsuit.

Let me put it this way: if I were a judge sitting in criminal court, I'd acquit. If I were a judge in civil court I'd find for the plaintiff 18 year old, but find him contributorily negligent. The proportion would depend on what drugs, how much, and who provided them. If he arrives with his own stash, more responsibility for him. If she gave them to him, more responsibility for her.

That said, acquittal or civil judgment aside I think she's a scumbag for the reason noted by IPJ: she knew that somebody else might not have been so easily softsoaped on the herpes thing and might also have had more capacity to listen to more than his dick.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 6:46 AM · Report this
73
Also, I know a few girls who willingly were taken on trips by older men for sex and fun. I didn't think Predator. Neither did they.
Did they give 'em drugs and a social disease wrapped up in deceit? If so, inapplicable examples.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 6:55 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 74
@Seeker you certainly seem to have a fixation for shaming the older person in an adult relationship. 18 is an adult. Woman or man. If I knew an 18 year old gay dude who caught an STI from some random hookup because the 18 year old decided not to use a condom, I'd be telling the 18 year old he was a fucking idiot. Yes, I'm sorry you caught something...next time use a condom.

Were you given an STI once by somebody who insisted on barebacking? Maybe it was an older person? Is that why you seem so intent on shaming the LW?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 7:27 AM · Report this
75
(Sighs) Why does it always go ad hominem? No, I don't/didn't have an STI, nor do I have anything against older/younger romances. (Got a few of 'em in my past where I was the younger man.) And I'm pretty sure I'm on record here as being in favour of people getting what sex they want, from whoever they want, as much as they want, subject to the four Nevers: Never kids, Never Animals, Never without consent and Never do it in the streets and frighten the horses.

I just also think that giving people social diseases when you were in a position to avoid giving one to them is deeply morally wrong. I think that lying or deceiving about it is deeply morally wrong. I think that sometimes, depending on the facts and the context, that moral wrong can also be a criminal wrong. (And it did drive me nuts on the SCC/HIV thread where people just blew off giving people a potentially fatal disease as a-okay, because, hey, um condoms um freedom um getting laid is more important than infecting innocent people.)

I was also 28 once, and 18 once, I know that there was a considerable amount of difference in life experience, judgment and self-awareness. There's a reason why armies do their damnedest to recruit eighteen year olds to go out and get killed, TheMisanthrope, and it's this: it is enormously easy to get eighteen year olds to do stupid things that are against their health or best interest.

Is he an adult? Yup. Does he legally and morally own his own actions? Yup. Does that make the LW any less of a scumbag? Nope. Did she clearly tell him she had herpes? No, she dissimulated and other commenters here called her on it. Did she say "no" to barebacking when she knew damned well that the kid was about to stick it into an infected person? Nope. Here's the thing: the fact that somebody else is a fucking idiot does not absolve us of legal or moral responsibility for our own acts. It amazes me that the simple and inarguable reality of "my right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins" tends to escape a lot of supposedly enlightened people.
More...
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 7:45 AM · Report this
76
seeker6079, calm down a bit.

What kind of desperate 28 year old needs to import her 18 year fuck buddies?

What kind of desperate 18 year old feels compelled to accept money and travel to fuck a 28 year old?

Well, obviously the same dumb shits that will bare back when one of them is being ambiguous about her cleanliness.

Also the same dumb 28 year that gets all but hurt when the 18 year doesn't want to talk to her anymore over an STD, or so he says ... You know, it might not be the STD that's getting him down. Maybe he just doesn't want to fuck her or associate with her again. He's 18, and he just got off, and the other what do we when we aren't fucking part of his brain lit up. At best he may not want to want to lead a woman ten years his senior on, at worst he's a self centered kid who's onto the next thing, but he didn't write the letter.

I think the forcefully imposing of STD thing is overblown and irrelevant in this case
Posted by former tri-state on February 6, 2013 at 8:01 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 77
@54: "He may already have had it, especially if he's the kind of lover boy that compels a 28-year old woman to fly him up for a weekend of MDMA and fucking."

Yeah, definitely possible if he does the bareback thing regularly with first-time encounters.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 8:13 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 78
@75 I am on the record above saying that I think saying "cold sores" is perfectly acceptable disclosure. It's why we have various other nicknames for other diseases. If you have HIV, its perfectly acceptable to say "I'm poz" without following up with "do you understand what that means?" It's perfectly acceptable to say "I've got the clap" for gonorrhea. Why does one HAVE to say the word herpes? We've got nicks and euphemisms for almost everything else. Clinical disclosure isn't necessary, but actual disclosure is. Saying "I have cold sores" told me, when I was 18 "ooo...herpes."

And, as for being fucked without a condom. It takes two to tango. It's not like he didn't know he was barebacking somebody. It's not like he was all "OMG, she didn't put the condom on me!" Hell, it's not even that she purred "Forget the condom, stud, and stick your bare cock in me." If the latter had happened, yes...she would be completely at fault.

I think you're all too ready to dismiss the responsibility of the 18 year old adult, and way to eager to shame the woman, which is why it seems so personal.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 79
@78: "I am on the record above saying that I think saying "cold sores" is perfectly acceptable disclosure. It's why we have various other nicknames for other diseases"

Until everybody understands what a "cold sore" and what a "canker sore" are, and stop conflating the two, it's not good enough. Too many people are dumbshits about confusing them.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 8:28 AM · Report this
80
@78. Fair enough, fair enough. I may be riding too much not on this thread but on the SCC/HIV thread where people were too goddamned blase by half about infecting people. Being sexually free and liberal does not give one an asshole license, which a lot of people seemed to feel it did and didn't like being called out on it. It's also more than a bit weird to me because Savage Love folks are all about the importance of informed consent and clear guidelines and rules ... but many are all to eager to give a pass on exactly that in disease transmission cases. That baffles me, because the moral onus goes up, not down, in such cases.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM · Report this
81
TBG is not blameless. Most people are seriously uneducated about herpes. Especially 18 year old boys and girls. She should have asked a few follow up questions to make sure he understood. Condom use and antivials do not cut transmission to zero, but from a woman to a man it does cut it down to .05% if she is not having an outbreak. It doesn't mean that kid couldn't be the unlucky one, but in perspective, probably not.
HSV1 is the virus that causes cold sores. Period, no matter where it is located. If she had a cold sore on her lip and kissed him and he got HSV1, he would have a cold sore! If she had a cold sore on her lip and went down on him and he got HSV1, he would have a cold sore. The DNA did not change because hsv1 is on her pussy. I agree that most people might not get that because STI shaming and "good" herpes and "bad" herpes drivel tell people that anything on your genitals is automatically WAY WAY worse. But medically, that is not true. Not even a little bit. If we actually educated our children in a way that was not sex shaming then perhaps 30% of newly diagnosed genital herpes wouldn't be from "cold sores".
So while I agree the disclosure was not a good one; medically, it was accurate. I don't think society can have it both ways. If we continue to teach people that an STI on your lip is a cold sore, but when the EXACT SAME STI is on your genitals it's OMG IT'S THE END OF THE FUCKING WORLD; then this is gonna continue to happen.
Posted by @SOP on February 6, 2013 at 8:31 AM · Report this
82
@79: I'd like to see the stats on a good survey where people were asked "are cold sores and genital herpes different things?". I'd wager a fair bit that a majority of people would say "yes", including the LW ... which is, I feel, why she said it.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 8:32 AM · Report this
Alanmt 83
@misanthrope: If you don't recognize a difference in maturity and decision making between an 18 year old and a twenty-eight year old, you are ignoring reality. If you think that she didn't have both the power and the duty in this scenario, you are ignoring reality. Dan believes in the campfire rule. Seeker and I do too. You apparently don't.

The woman deserves to be shamed, because what she did was reprehensible, not because seeker (or I) carry some grudge. Part of being a responsible sex partner is full dsiclosure of any STD's, in clear and equivocal language. When you are hooking up with someone, you tell them before you fly them to your city and get them high and horny. It goes double when they are young and/or inexperienced. Full mental maturity doesn't come til 23ish. This is basic ethics. She is a rotten person whose main concern now is trying to tap that again til she gets tired of it, and assuaging her undeveloped but nagging sense of guilt.
Posted by Alanmt on February 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM · Report this
84
So while I agree the disclosure was not a good one; medically, it was accurate.
And it would thus absolve TBG of moral responsibility if her lover knew that, or was an epidemiologist. But, as you correctly note, most people think they are different things and that aids in disease transmission. Which is exactly why people must conduct themselves in a way which minimizes disease transmission. She didn't.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 8:36 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 85
@82: If people were asked "do you get cold sores", "do you get canker sores", and "do you have herpes", do you think you'd have the same accuracy?
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 8:47 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 86
@79 Actually, for a little while when I was 16, just having gotten out of sex ed, I was pissed at my mother for awhile because she was prone to canker sores, and then I got them recurringly as a crap-eating teenager (it was always after eating a lot of chips). But, she used to call them cold sores, and then when I went through sex ed I thought I had herpes. Because, as a family you do thinks like share sodas or whatever.

But, then I learned, after seeing the doctor, it was actually a canker sore not a cold sore, and I did not get HSV from my mother...and that I needed to not eat so many damn chips in one sitting.

That being said, I learned that cold sore was herpes, and didn't even know the existence of canker sores until after that. And, I was in high school when I learned both.

Of course, there is the whole abstinence education bullshit, which is a valid point. But, if you're going to be a free sexually active adult, you should learn a bit about the responsibilities about being a free sexually active adult. Just like I didn't know what "I'm poz" meant when I first heard it. But, I asked, and learned. Straight people need to educate themselves as much as gay people.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 8:49 AM · Report this
87
@seeker6079: I respectfully disagree with your comments in post 84. This kid was sticking his dick in someone. He is 18 and should know what an STI is if he is going to be having sex with someone other than himself. He has a responsibility to himself. Second, though I do not agree in any way with how the OP handled her conversation, it is not her moral responsibility to correct the whole history of this kids STI education or societies continual shaming. She is only responsible for herself. She let an uneducated 18 years old bare back her ass, she was not being very responsible for herself.
I don't disagree with she should have handled that better. I do disagree with the STI shaming statements and I medically inaccurate information in this thread. I disagree with the comments that allude TBG has any more responsibility than disclosing she has an STI, how she is treating that STI and what safer sex practices her and her partner can follow if he is concerned. Her scope of responsibility, and where she failed miserably, is that she did not make sure this kid had enough information to make an informed decision. I will not justify that behavior in any way! I will also not make this person out as Satan because she didn't have a power point presentation ready and a doctor in the room with them when she told him.
Posted by @SOP on February 6, 2013 at 8:54 AM · Report this
88
Everyone who is blaming the woman here: if you want to keep shaming the woman, you can, but first go out and get an antibody test for HSV1, HSV2, and EBV. That way you guys can disclose too, 'cause I bet plenty of you are infected but since you don't know, you don't tell.
Posted by R2R0 on February 6, 2013 at 9:01 AM · Report this
89
@87: While I don't disagree with much of your post (and extend in return your respectfulness) I must be candid: I do find the transmission of a sexual disease to another person when the transmitter was in a position to prevent it, and doesn't, as a shameful act. That's the thing about shaming for progressives. methinks. We forget that sometimes shameful conduct should be shamed; it's just a question of what is shamed. Conservatives and religious types seem to feel, well, pretty much everything, especially sexual, and they're wrong. Liberals often feel "nothing", and that's wrong too. I don't disagree that the 18 year old was nine different morons rolled up in one, and he isn't without agency or responsibility here. (Indeed, even calling him "the kid" is a bit infantalizing.) But I do believe now and will always believe that in a place where physical harm can be done by one person to another the moral responsibility lies on the person who can best prevent that harm and here that's the LW. If you fail to act to prevent harm to another due to selfishness, or negligence, or artful dodgery (as TBG did here) then that is a shameful act. We must be careful not to conflate having a disease, which is not shameful, with handing it over to somebody else when you could have avoided it, which is. Being sexually liberated -- like any other kind of liberty, such as political or religious -- brings with it a higher amount of personal responsibility. The golden rule gets stronger, not weaker.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 90
@83 I believe I said, up @60, that the LW was not fully blameless. I completely agreed she needed to disclose before the trip. And, having both had trips that were intended to have sex in them and had people have trips for sex, full disclosure always came before the trip was discussed. You don't bring somebody up for a weekend of sex and drugs, then suddenly say "Oh, BTW, I'm poz." Or, "I have HSV." That's just wrong.

And that is completely a valid point.

However, people are harping on the rest of it. That she didn't disclose ENOUGH (disagree). Or that she should have insisted on a condom (which she should have, but at least she made a passing effort).

But, they're also making the 18-year-old blameless. Which he isn't. It was his decision to bareback, and he had been informed in an, in my mind, appropriate way. By 18, you should be informed enough about what you're doing. And, in this age of CONDOMS, he should be as safe as anybody else.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
91
R2RO - Nothing wrong with blaming a woman if the woman's to blame. Nothing wrong with blaming a man if the man's to blame. Both are that thing called "accuracy".

Your comment regarding testing is perfect. Everybody should get a full gamut of STI / HSV etc tests done, especially before engaging in a new relationship, however transient. I can't speak for others but in my town I was amazed to find out just how easy it was to get a full spectrum test done. You should insist on full disclosure.

Bit of a buzz kill, I know, but that comes with personal responsibility.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 9:16 AM · Report this
92
I had the igG test. It's how I found out I had hsv2. Never had a symptom. Still don't. I am representative of 90% of the people that have herpes (HSV1 or HSV2). So before you go making personal attacks on TBG, go get the test. If you're positive for either HSV1 or HSV2 and you have no symptoms, you'll feel okay about it. Then go tell someone and let the stigma rain down. Deal with that for about a year, and then come back and make judgements on others. I don't agree with how the TBG handled her shit. It was bad. But I understand why she did it the way she did. I also understand that the 18 year old in question never had an IgG test, so he could already have HSV. We don't know who he stuck his dick into before flying to see TBG. Odds are whoever it was doesn't know their herpes status either. So, his risk of getting this from someone else? Pretty high. His risk of blaming her if he does have it because she is likely the only one that knows her status and disclosed, 100%. Her risk of completely being vilified in this thread by ignorant asshats that don't know their status either, 100%.
Posted by twusock20 on February 6, 2013 at 9:20 AM · Report this
93
@90. It seems that we aren't as far apart as one might think. I agree that The18 (I am so tired of typing the full designation) should have [done all of those things that you listed] and was [the pejoratives that you listed]. I believe, however, that we differ on a key point, and that turns on the ability to prevent harm and in which direction the harm passes. She could have reduced The18's chances of catching the disease to almost zero if she said, "no condom no sex, period". Does that put a greater onus on her than on The18? Yup. And there it quite properly lies because she was the one with the STD. If he was the one with the STD and she was the one begging for barebacking (and all other things, age, etc., remain the same) then that greater onus would be on his shoulders. We tend to forget that the first line of the Hippocratic Oath morally does bind us all: first, do no harm.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 9:24 AM · Report this
94
@92 - I love how you make an assumption in order to blast folks for making an assumption.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 9:26 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 95
@90: "But, they're also making the 18-year-old blameless."

Oh come on, the LW asked if she was culpable for what happened, we're telling her she could've been more responsible if she wanted to keep this from happening. The letters wouldn't sound pretty if the LW was the boy, asking if she was at fault after he pulled the condom off. Are our responses skewed because of the asker? Of course! He's not here to lecture, so people aren't bothering.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Helix 96
@2 My thoughts exactly. For all she knows this kid has HIV or something.
Posted by Helix on February 6, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
97
On sex education: We're unsurprised if people can't remember how to calculate a cosine or how the subjunctive works. Someone upthread is implying that to kiss someone who carries latent cold sore virus is *to catch it* rather than to have a very tiny risk of exposure. (Just like sex with someone on suppressants not having an obvious genital herpes outbreak carries a small but nonzero risk.) And I regularly see people who are allegedly up on sex ed but can't figure out how "90% effective" translates to whether accidental pregnancy is proof no birth control was used.

He might have had perfectly decent sex ed and still mixed up cold and canker sore, or not realized that cold sore was being used as a euphemism for genital herpes. There is an obligation to disclose clearly, in ways people understand, and not pout that they didn't understand your preferred euphemisms for "I have herpes" or "I have a jealous boyfriend who beats up guys I flirt with" or whatever other important information you find makes it harder to get laid if clearly disclosed.
Posted by IPJ on February 6, 2013 at 9:32 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 98
@95 Actually, you're making the same correlative error that seeker did @65. In reversing the sex of the letter, you forgot to make the error of reversing who insisted upon removing the condom.

How about this? A guy told a girl (or at least thought that he did) that he had a disease, and they mainly had vaginal sex with a condom. But, when he went to do anal, he went for the condoms, but she stopped him. He asked if she was sure. She said yes. They went at it, then she freaked out after the fact. Is the girl is completely blameless for that?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 9:35 AM · Report this
99
@89: " While I don't disagree with much of your post (and extend in return your respectfulness) I must be candid: I do find the transmission of a sexual disease to another person when the transmitter was in a position to prevent it, and doesn't, as a shameful act."

Are you arguing that a person that has an incurable STI should abstain from sex? Even if they got that STI on their lip because Grandma kissed them? Or got Herpes gladitorum from the wrestling team in Junior high? Or got Herpes Whitlow as a medical professional. Or is it just STI's that live in the boxer short area? Not being facetious, I genuinely want to know how you decide what is and isn't a sexually transmitted disease. The examples I give are all HSV1, which you are arguing is a sexually transmitted disease.

" If you fail to act to prevent harm to another due to selfishness, or negligence, or artful dodgery (as TBG did here) then that is a shameful act. We must be careful not to conflate having a disease, which is not shameful, with handing it over to somebody else when you could have avoided it, which is."

We don't know the STI status of the male partner. Wouldn't this then, apply to his treatment of her? If we are arguing what is a shameful act, We cannot do that in this situation, without examining the males shameful acts as defined by you.
Posted by twusock20 on February 6, 2013 at 9:38 AM · Report this
100
@95: I also don't see how language like "his idiot ass", "has to take some responsibility here", "foolish", stupid, stupid mistakes", "ill-informed", "bad habit of initiating unsafe sex with acquaintances", "an 18 year old should know enough to "use a condom or your dick might fall off",", "moron", "deserves some blame", "clueless", "both idiots" and "both dumb as shit" .... [and that only takes me up to, what, comment 44?] constitute making him "blameless".
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 9:38 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 101
"In reversing the sex of the letter, you forgot to make the error of reversing who insisted upon removing the condom. "

That's not a logical error. We're addressing two sides of the same story, not "reversing" the story, which would be useless because then we'd be talking about something that didn't happen.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 9:40 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 102
@97 "here is an obligation to disclose clearly, in ways people understand, and not pout that they didn't understand your preferred euphemisms for "I have herpes"

If "cold sore" was actually a individualized or cultural euphemism, I'd agree. Like Coke vs pop vs soda. But, its an actual term used in this country nationwide. Maybe, as some people have stated, not crystal clear. But, certainly not obfuscating the fact.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 9:40 AM · Report this
103
@97:
There is an obligation to disclose clearly, in ways people understand, and not pout that they didn't understand your preferred euphemisms for ... whatever ... important information you find makes it harder to get laid if clearly disclosed.
This, to loud applause.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 9:41 AM · Report this
104
We don't know the STI status of the male partner. Wouldn't this then, apply to his treatment of her? If we are arguing what is a shameful act, We cannot do that in this situation, without examining the males shameful acts as defined by you.
100% agreed. But in this case the LW hasn't said that so it's a pointless hypothetical. If your question is "does this extend to every adult regardless of gender?" then the answer is a loud, clear, and unequivocal "yes".
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 9:44 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 105
@100 You meant to address that at me. And, should I point out that you equated this, @61, to domestic violence and sexual assault? Crimes where there is clearly a victim who didn't necessarily ask to be beat up or raped.

And THAT was in response to my first comment that was aimed @39 who actually used the term "victim blaming"?

Then you later, @65, called her a predator, which usually implies prey.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 9:49 AM · Report this
106
@99, she has HSV2. Again, you are positing a scenario other than the one we're talking about.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 9:51 AM · Report this
107
I do want to point out that though a person can be sued in CIVIL court for not disclosing they have herpes and then giving or to someone. There is no CRIMINAL law against it. I also want to say it is VERY hard to prove it is a CIVIL case, if the complainant has no history of HSV testing and any partners they had around the time of acquisition have no testing history as well.
Posted by twusock20 on February 6, 2013 at 9:53 AM · Report this
108
@105: No, I said a man who did it would be called a predator. It was a noting of an unfairly applied gender distinction, not a seeker-imposed designation. Truth be told I think that a lot of our language is unfairly gender-applied, just different words used to slag the different genders in different contexts, but it's still slagging.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 9:54 AM · Report this
109
@106: both viruses share 50% of their DNA, they physical symptoms, if there are any are exactly the same. The treatment options (valtrex, acyclovir) are exactly the same. If I got a blister on my nethers. whether HSV1 or HSV2 it would be indistinguishable without a swab test. SO CLEARLY, this is not the same the same for the purposes of this argument.
Posted by twusock20 on February 6, 2013 at 9:57 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 110
@106: It clearly says she has HSV1 in the genital region.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 9:57 AM · Report this
111
Oh, you mean a cold sore, right? HSV1=cold sore, HSV2=genital herpes, right?
Posted by twusock20 on February 6, 2013 at 10:02 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 112
@101 I apologize. I misread, and thought you were creating a hypothetical where the LW was a boy and the girl was the receiver of the disease.

But, I think the advice should be tempered as if they both wrote in. Is she culpable? Yes. Is he? Yes. Is she a predator, villain, or bad person? Not completely for this set of actions. Is she a good person for her set of actions? Pfft.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 10:06 AM · Report this
113
English is not my first language and I know that a cold sore is herpes.

@97: I may have not clearly said what I intended to say. What I wanted to say was that you'd be exposed to it and make it clear that prevalence is really high.

BTW, one thing that no one has considered is that the there is probably a more than 50% chance (depending on where they live) that the 18 year old already has antibodies against HSV1 so he's not at risk for anything from the woman...
Posted by R2R0 on February 6, 2013 at 10:11 AM · Report this
114
Re 106, 109, 110, 111: I erred in noting it as HSV1, having slipped and missed that as I read the bit about "cold sores in the genital region"; I thought she was being euphemistic. And, to be frank, I am reconsidering my position regarding this LW. I stand by my comments on the morality of disclosure (yes, including HSV1 ... any sex partner should know that you get cold sores) but the more that I think about it the more that I'm sure that her level of disclosure was adequate. I still think she should have refused unsafe sex (hell, as noted by others, for her own purposes at least) because, so far as she knew, she was infected and he was not: do not harm (etc) as noted above. If he has HSV1, different rules apply about unprotected sex.

Re 113: I can't speak for your linguistic experience, but I know that in learning French I can, on occasion, understand things more clearly than native speakers because, if you aren't operating in idiom you get the precise technical meanings of the words and aren't distracted by words (like cold sore and HSV1 or HSV2) which use colloquialisms to denote multiple things; I note it in my ESL clients, too. FWIW.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 115
@114: Absolutely true about the idioms, plus the benefit of getting more explicit information about STIs and HSV-related infection versus schoolyard misconceptions that substituted for or interfered with fact.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM · Report this
aureolaborealis 116
So, for whatever reason - maybe it reminded me of the hot, hot, unsafe encounters I had in my long ago and far away youth from which I somehow emerged unscathed - and in spite of the knowledge of infection, this letter gave me a funny feeling in my danger area. My brain does not approve.
Posted by aureolaborealis on February 6, 2013 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Michael of the Green 117
LW probably wouldn't have misled him if she hadn't been told repeatedly that her infection is not a big deal. To her it's not, and to Dan it's not, and to most reasonable people with the facts, it's not, but he wasn't given the chance to decide if it's a big deal to him.

She knowingly and selfishly made this judgment for him. It's easier to say "I have herpes" than "I sometimes get cold sores, but I get them genitally," and she knew exactly why she chose to say it that way.
Posted by Michael of the Green on February 6, 2013 at 11:16 AM · Report this
samanthaf63 118
Okay, those of us with a little mileage all have a 'boy, was I lucky!" moment of which we are not proud. Maybe it was a disease that didn't take root or an unplanned pregnancy. But beating this dead horse isn't going to suddenly put a condom on his dick and un-do the deed. After 110+ comments, maybe it's all been said. It was dumb, we've castigated both parties, time to get on to the rest of the day.
Posted by samanthaf63 on February 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM · Report this
119
1) The young kid is a moron who should have asked what "cold sores on my genitals" means. It's likely he's engaged in past risky behavior that put the letter writer at risk for other diseases and his future partners almost certainly should be careful with him.

2) The letter writer did a terrible thing. Regardless of whether the kid should have known that she was *technically* admitting to having herpes, she should have said "I have herpes." Euphamisms are not OK in this context. If you like/trust someone enough to fuck him, you should like/trust him enough to use the the actual words for the disease so he knows exactly what he's getting into. She was wrong.
Posted by J from Oregon on February 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM · Report this
lolorhone 120
@118: I concur. I think we've covered every iteration of dumb and blame here.
Posted by lolorhone on February 6, 2013 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Bonefish 121
Calling the 18-year-old a moron may sound harsh, but it's accurate. Let me be clear: I don't absolve her of her wrongdoing in this. I don't deny that there is a large gap in maturity between 18 and 28, and that 18-year-olds need to be handled with a bit of extra care by any older people who fuck/date them. She should have been clearer in her disclosure and she should have been more insistent on condom use.

What I'm saying, though, is that she doesn't have all the blame or accusations of monsterhood either. A lot of people making these "reverse-the-gender" comparisons are conveniently leaving out the fact that he insisted pretty hard on not using the condom. He may "only" be 18, but he behaved stupidly even for what should be expected of18-year-olds, and that's what we mean when we call him a moron. When I was 18, if someone I was about to sleep with said "I have {something}, but on my genitals," that would at least be enough to prevent me from insisting (multiple times) on condom-free anal sex. It wouldn't matter whether or not I recognized which STI, exactly, {something} specifically referred to.

Anyone who knows of the existence of STIs in general should know to use a condom with people who mention having {something} on their genitals, whether their word choice was "herpes," "cold sores," or "chaswozzers." Whatever her word choice, it should still be pretty obvious to any nonstupid 18-year-old that she wasn't just giving him some fun trivia about her junk. If he, at 18, didn't at least view that as a prompt to err on the side of condom use, then he was exhibiting stupidity; not innocence.

Again: she was irresponsible too, but comparing her to a predator is just ridiculous and puts way too little responsibility the younger adult there. We shouldn't expect as much from 18-year-olds as we should from 28-year-olds, but we shouldn't expect nothing of them either.
More...
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on February 6, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 122
@121 THIS. ALL OF IT.

Also, I just want to state, for the record of everybody else that you and I are not sock puppets, because the similarity of our statements almost totally sounds like we are. And while stating that sounds like an admission to sock puppetry, it really isn't.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Bonefish 123
@121 THIS. ALL OF IT.

Also, I just want to state, for the record of everybody else that you and I are not sock puppets, because the similarity of our statements almost totally sounds like we are. And while stating that sounds like an admission to sock puppetry, it really isn't.
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on February 6, 2013 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Bonefish 124
Damn, double post.

Wait, oh FUCK! Ignore this! It's not what you all think!
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on February 6, 2013 at 12:58 PM · Report this
125
Okay, 122-124: effin' brilliant.
Two (or four?) thumbs up.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 6, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 126
@124 <3
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM · Report this
127
Mr Misanthrope:
My issue with her is exactly that she did use a euphemism.

Euphemisms are used to obfuscate. That is what she did. No-one used to call sores on the genitals "cold sores" until it was known that cold sores and those pesky genital thingies were caused by the same virus.

(Btw, I don't agree that the "clap" is a euphemism, I think it just is the older, more colloquial term.)

Regarding the stupidity/ naivite/ moronity (?) of the 18yo: he is a complete idiot. However, reading how many of the commenters here think that him refusing a condom for anal was what put him at risk for getting HSV, I think too many people don't understand that HSV and HPV are transmitted by skin contact, not by insertive sex.
Posted by migrationist on February 6, 2013 at 2:03 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 128
@127: "reading how many of the commenters here think that him refusing a condom for anal was what put him at risk for getting HSV, I think too many people don't understand that HSV and HPV are transmitted by skin contact, not by insertive sex"

Of course it is transmitted by any contact in the wider anogenital region, but the condomless anal sex puts him into contact with a much greater surface area and the possibility of bleeding on top of everything.

"skin contact, not by insertive sex" is a very silly phrase.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM · Report this
129
@124 lol
Posted by EricaP on February 6, 2013 at 3:46 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 130
@127 When does a euphemism become a colloquialism? How does it? By common usage, I'm sure. And, "cold sores" is a quite common substitute for "herpes" at least in the worlds I run in. YMMV.

Also, euphemisms aren't always to obfuscate. If I say dick, cock, johnson, pee-pee, or something else, I'm sure you know quite well that i'm talking about penis. Same with va-jay-jay, woo-woo, and whatever other euphemisms there are, you know I'm talking about vagina. Frequently, they're to ease, soften, or otherwise stylize a conversation from the clinical.

And, BTW, saying you have anything in the genital area is always a red flag for an STI.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 4:02 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 131
"Also, euphemisms aren't always to obfuscate."

How about this, it's often less a charming euphemism than it is a "weasel word". Context is everything, and here it was used to minimize.

That said, I've probably said everything I can say on the matter too.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 132
And....the battle between the 'OMFG! You have a DISEASE!!!! Stone anyone who doesn't have a scarlet D on their chest!!!' and the 'chill out. If you're gonna have sex, you're gonna take a risk' folks rages on for over 100 comments. Again.
If you don't want to take a chance on catching HSV1 (I disagree with the above- canker sores, cold sores, genital herpes, oral herpes- all caused by the herpes virus, and many of us had HSV1 as small children) or HSV2, HPV, HIV, Syphilis or Gonorrhea, DON'T HAVE SEX WITH ANYONE BUT YOURSELF.
Posted by OutInBumF on February 6, 2013 at 4:55 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 133
@132 Canker sores are not caused by the herpes virus.

Educate thyself.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM · Report this
134
Gah. Aside from the LW's question...all I keep thinking is "You two idiots had genital-contact/insertion sex w/o a condom and w/o jointly getting tested for EVERYTHING."

I started having sex long before I was 18. I demanded and provided the barriers. Sheesh.
Posted by LaSargenta on February 6, 2013 at 5:30 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 135
@133: This is why I am sad.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 5:40 PM · Report this
136
Just out of curiosity, how many of you guys were hot 18 year- olds who were also wonderful and charming? I sure wasn't, and I'm still not, though I'm working on actually building some muscle and not going out of my way to never talk to guys who show an interest in me.
Posted by arachnar on February 6, 2013 at 5:42 PM · Report this
137
LW here - I used "cold sore" because that is what it is, it's HSV1, most commonly known as cold sores because they are usually on the face. I told him about it while he was hanging out and I was working from home during the afternoon, both fully clothed - no horniness to obsfucate his judgement. I told him the risk of transmission was low because I was on therapy, because it is. Statistically, he is more likely to already have it (or end up not being positive anyways) than for me to give it to him over 3 days without an outbreak while on therapy. And yeah, "herpes" has a stigma that is unwarrented. I guess should have told him before I paid for the trip, but honestly, it is such a small part of my life that I forgot until a day or two before. So I thought a face to face conversation was best. I should have insisted on condom use, but he was also rubbing his bare cock all over me several times the day before we had anal and the day after. I also had already given him a blowjob before I disclosed - it was unprotected and he didn't request a condom - thats a really good way to get herpes too. I thought he was being stupid when he turned down a condom for anal, but he said several times over the trip, "I'm an adult," so I was letting him choose the risk level he was comfortable with. I may have herpes, but I'm smart (baller job, 4.0 degree in math, national merit finalist), considerate (vegan for the animals, don't drive for the earth), giving (paid close to 400 for the plane ticket, drugs, all expenses), and fucking HOT as hell (5'11, 34D, blonde, size 6, triathlete, blue eyes, big smile). And I am still valuable and worthy of love and affection despite my STD status, esp. since almost everyone already has it too.
Posted by FunFact on February 6, 2013 at 6:04 PM · Report this
138
I think canker sore is a stupid word. I didn't hear the word until high school. In my family, we called them mouth ulcers. The latter is much more descriptive, and suggests a remedy (i.e. baking soda solution and avoiding consumption of acidic beverages).

Dumb American English.
Posted by wxPDX on February 6, 2013 at 6:20 PM · Report this
139
The fact that so many commenters seem to confuse HSV1 on the genitals with "genital herpes" (which usually means HSV2) shows why LB said "cold sores." And, a question: if LB occasionally got cold sores on her mouth, how many of you would be up in arms over her telling 18 that she got cold sores on her mouth, as opposed to having "oral herpes"? And how many of you would be furious about her giving a blowjob without a condom? There's no difference in transmission risk between oral sex from someone who has HSV1 on their mouth and vaginal sex with someone who has HSV1 on their genitals.
Posted by WildOscar on February 6, 2013 at 7:07 PM · Report this
140
The fact that so many commenters seem to confuse HSV1 on the genitals with "genital herpes" (which usually means HSV2) shows why TBG said "cold sores." And, a question: if TBG occasionally got cold sores on her mouth, how many of you would be up in arms over her telling 18 that she got cold sores on her mouth, as opposed to having "oral herpes"? And how many of you would be furious about her giving a blowjob without a condom? There's no difference in transmission risk between oral sex from someone who has HSV1 on their mouth and vaginal sex with someone who has HSV1 on their genitals.
Posted by WildOscar on February 6, 2013 at 7:10 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 141
@137: For what it's worth, most of the comments here have been nitpicks or commenting on specific things that may have been handled better, not casting aspersions on your total worth as a human being.

@140: "if TBG occasionally got cold sores on her mouth, how many of you would be up in arms over her telling 18 that she got cold sores on her mouth, as opposed to having "oral herpes"?"

You could just explain that you have oral HSV1.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 6, 2013 at 7:27 PM · Report this
142
She was calling calling them cold sores because HSV-1 usually is referred to as ‘cold sores.’ Saying she got cold sores genitally is perfectly accurate. You can tell from her letter that she sensed he didn’t understand it though, and not clarifying was her mistake.

The 18-year-old’s mistakes include not asking for clarification, and insisting on barebacking a stranger. Those are his responsibilities regardless of her age.

She was trying to disclose without bringing up all the stigma attached to the word herpes. This does not make her a ‘cunt’ any more than it would make a black man disclosing in this way a ‘nigger.’
Posted by Tongue on February 7, 2013 at 12:57 AM · Report this
143
@128:
""skin contact, not by insertive sex" is a very silly phrase. "

You are right, of course, that it is a silly phrase. Blame it on red wine and me not being a native speaker.
I meant "not ONLY insertive sex". It still sounds clunky.
Posted by migrationist on February 7, 2013 at 1:57 AM · Report this
144
@137:
Yes, if you describe the situation as you do here, it does sound different to in your original letter.

But then you started to describe yourself as smart, considerate and yada, yada, yada.
The size of your boobs, your being vegan, and your GPA have nothing to do with you having herpes and with your way of disclosing/ kind of disclosing it.
Posted by migrationist on February 7, 2013 at 2:03 AM · Report this
145
The situation was poorly handled—at least according to the original letter (now revised by the LW @137).

But what I'm getting is that the 18yo beau is a bit of an irresponsible douche, who feels entitled because he's "gorgeous". This attitude is encouraged and rewarded by the LW, who later uses her own "hotness" (@137) as a supporting argument for the correctness of her actions.

While it's nice that there are cute people in the world, I wouldn't mind if more of them died off from consequences of their "the-world-is-my-oyster-because-I'm-beautiful" attitude. And it would be a satisfying counterpoint to natural selection if this were due to fatal STI's.
Posted by GasparFagel on February 7, 2013 at 3:23 AM · Report this
146
@140 "There's no difference in transmission risk between oral sex from someone who has HSV1 on their mouth and vaginal sex with someone who has HSV1 on their genitals. "

Actually there *is* a difference. The transmission risk is much lower for someone who carries HSV1 on the genitals than someone who has oral HSV1 cold sores. Outbreaks of a genital HSV1 infection are far less frequent (it is common to never have a second outbreak), and asymptomatic viral shedding is significantly less. Most practitioners do not recommend taking suppressive acyclovir therapy for genital HSV1 -- it's not considered worthwhile due to the already very low re-transmission risk.

More info here: http://www.herpes.com/hsv1-2.html
Posted by A PhD HSV1 carrier who has done her research on February 7, 2013 at 7:13 AM · Report this
147
LW here again - @144 and @145, I wasn't saying that I'm so hot that I don't have to disclose. I was trying to use objective evidence that I am still a valuable person worthy of love, that I'm completely date-able, and more than fuckable, despite having HSV1. It would be stupid for me to sit back and remove myself from the dating pool for a tiny thing like a rash that almost everyone has or will get in their lifetime. I'm charming, and sweet, and outgoing, and genuine, and passionate, and witty and funny - it would be a shame to the world if I just curled up in a ball and never left the house again.

Birthday Present Boy still says he had a great weekend and he also admits that he was being stupid for not being more curious about my status before fucking me without a condom.
Posted by FunFact on February 7, 2013 at 7:53 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 148
"I was trying to use objective evidence that I am still a valuable person worthy of love"

HSV1 is a pretty minor thing to get worked up about in all contexts, but you'd still be a person worthy of love even if you were less conventionally-attractive straight D average making minimum wage. Just be conscious of others and you'll do fine, no upsell necessary.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM · Report this
Alanmt 149
People aren't shaming you because you have herpes, FF. People are criticizing the way you handled the situation and particularly the lateness and obliqueness of your disclosure given his relative youth and immaturity. Having Herpes doesn't make you a bad person or undateable. It does require honest and complete disclosure on your part. Because like it or not, your sex partners deserve the opportunity to make an informed choice about the risks of sleeping with you. Maybe if you took a declination for what it is - a risk management decision - it would be easier for you to see it not as a personal judgment of your worth as a person.
Posted by Alanmt on February 7, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
150
I heard lots of shame up there about having herpes. I also made a spreadsheet analyzing the opinions in the comments, and the reaction is mixed on whether I did a horrible job disclosing, an adequate but not optimal, or a perfectly fine job disclosing. The biggest consensus is that birthday present boy is an idiot. Which is probably true, and I also understand his feelings being angry. Obviously, I got herpes from someone at some point, and he never told me that he had it before he gave it to me. He knew he got cold sores, but hadn't had one in 20 years, and didn't go down on me. It was random and unexpected and we were doing low transmission stuff. It sucked, and I got over it.
Next time, I'll still say cold sores, but follow up to check that my partner knows what that means. But if there is a plane involved, I still might not say anything until he gets to me. I told him before he came, "hey, no pressure when you get here. I think you are really cool and I'm attracted to you, but if you get here and we dont click or if one of us decides that we don't want to have sex, its ok." I really thought he understood when I said "cold sores." During the first conversation, he acted like he wanted to get off the subject, looked me in the eye and said "It's not a big deal" and smiled, so I didn't press it. After I disclosed, he could have said, "What does that mean, can you give me more info?" and then could have said, "this is a weekend fling and herpes is forever and even though the risk is low it's just not worth it." And, disappointed, I would have been like, "ok." But he didn't follow up with anything. I really was trying my best.
Posted by FunFact on February 7, 2013 at 10:11 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 151
"During the first conversation, he acted like he wanted to get off the subject, looked me in the eye and said "It's not a big deal" and smiled, so I didn't press it. After I disclosed, he could have said, "What does that mean, can you give me more info?" "

That's why it's generally easier to give more info to begin with. People have a way of blocking out information and getting mad at you for not giving them "full disclosure" (even if it should be obvious) to begin with.

"I also made a spreadsheet analyzing the opinions in the comments"

Oh gosh, don't do that.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
aureolaborealis 152
but I'm smart (baller job, 4.0 degree in math, national merit finalist), considerate (vegan for the animals, don't drive for the earth), giving (paid close to 400 for the plane ticket, drugs, all expenses), and fucking HOT as hell (5'11, 34D, blonde, size 6, triathlete, blue eyes, big smile).


It seems to me that a 28-year-old with a 'baller job' and '4.0 degree in math,' would view high school accomplishments ('national merit finalist') as something of the distant past, probably no longer worth including on the CV, formal or informal. It just rings a bit false with me, not that it really matters.

And don't we already have a commenter who's tall, thin, young, brilliant, blonde, with huge tits, perfect body/personality and a 'baller' STEM job? Is there room for two? Or is that just the preferred sockpuppet profile for fat, hairy, middle-aged neckbeards?

Ah. Ignore me.
Posted by aureolaborealis on February 7, 2013 at 11:01 AM · Report this
Alanmt 153
Yeah. Nowhere in FF's letters/posts do I see an acknowledgment of the campfire rule or the fact that you and he were operating on different levels of emotional maturity, even though you refer to him as a boy the first time you mention him in your original letter.

You don't get to treat him like an equal. He wasn't. Regardless of his past experiences or how mature he was for his age or how immature you are for yours. If your takeaway from this thread is that he was an idiot, you've got some problems. Like lack of empathy. Lack of maturity. Lack of acceptance of personal responsibility.

You're 28 years old. You ought to be able to say the word herpes. Sound it out. Practice it. And be more responsible. After reading your posts, I stand by my initial opinion. You are a bad person. You weren't trying your best to give him, a hormonal immature young man, the information he needed to make an honest assessment of whether to have sex with you. You were trying your best to seduce him into still having sex with you while disclosing just enough about your condition to not alarm him while preserving your ability to say AFTERWORDS "But I told you I had HERPES".

Your posts are mostly efforts to justify yourself, as is your spreadsheet. Reasonable people can differ, but if morality and ethics are objectively determinable, as I believe, there is one answer to your question, which remains the right answerregardless of whether 0%, 5%, or 90% of the posters here agree.
Posted by Alanmt on February 7, 2013 at 12:13 PM · Report this
154
No. I did my best. And it wasn't perfect. Next time, I'll do better. And I told him that I was deeply sorry. Sleeping with me wasn't a condition of his visit and I communicated that before he came up. I told him while we were sober and clothed. He told me that he wanted to be treated like an adult. And he is really mature for his age, he's following his dreams and confident, and sometimes he makes stupid choices (sorry for the idiot comment - I was using earlier language).

I'm not going to say, "Hey I've got this scary horrible lifelong disease that terrible and painful and if you get it no one will ever have sex with you again so only touch me with a 10 foot pole if you hate getting laid." That would be stupid.

I genuinely thought I was clear. I genuinely tried to protect him and disclose. I could have said nothing - there was a good chance I would never see him again - but I wanted to be honest, as I am with EVERY partner (even the major douchebags - which he's not - lots of the comments say he is). I chose those words carefully, at least I was trying to. I did my best. That's all I can do.

I cared about him, and I definitely didn't want to hurt him or cause drama. I wanted to follow the campsite rule. I wouldn't have written in if I didn't care that my actions affected someone. You may think I'm a bad person. But the worst that could come out of this is he gets HSV1 (which he isn't even sure of). And the best is that he starts ALWAYS USING A CONDOM. (And that I resume insisting on condoms as I had done for the prior 11 years.) I think it's a net gain in his life. My conscience is 99.9% clear. I can move on.
Posted by FunFact on February 7, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this
155
And thanks for all your comments! I appreciate them in my quest to be a better person, better lover, and better partner!
Posted by FunFact on February 7, 2013 at 1:09 PM · Report this
156
I'm gonna go out on a limb here & guess the 18 year old man from Portland wasn't ignorant of the risks of unprotected sex, unless she met him at an evangelical retreat. The letter makes it sound like he has a fair amount of experience with sex, so he's not off the hook. She did stop the action & ask if he wanted to put a condom on. He should have had enough sense to put condom on before putting his dick in a stranger. He put himself at risk & now he's being a drama queen.

But, saying you get "cold sores" is a pretty weaselly way to tell someone you have herpes. And even a fairly experienced adult may not really make the connection. Even though he may not really have herpes, you've lost his trust & respect. Don't be such a coward the next time you meet a potential lover. And Dan's right: you always to assume more responsibility when you have sex with someone in that 18 - 20 age range.
Posted by Uncle Joe on February 7, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
157
@FunFact- Guess I should have read through the comments before posting! Sounds like you have a handle on how to negotiate a situation like that a little better in the future. I had to laugh at the idea you made a spreadsheet to analyze the comments!
Posted by Uncle Joe on February 7, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
158
Like, nothing in my heart said, "Hurt this boy. Use him all you want for your own desires."

Everything in my heart said, "Show him the funnest weekend ever. Give him everything he wants. Be the best thing that's ever happened to him."

Those were my only goals. And my execution was flawed, for which I'm sorry and would change if I could. Dan says that doesn't make me a bad person. I'm cool with that.
Posted by FunFact on February 7, 2013 at 1:43 PM · Report this
Bonefish 159
153: You seem to be confusing an 18-year-old with an infant. The campsite rule doesn't include wiping people's asses for them.

Granted, it's not reasonable to expect an 18-year-old to show the same knowledge and maturity of a 28-year-old. It is perfectly reasonable, however, to expect them to show the same levels of knowledge and maturity expected of other 18-year-olds, and that includes expecting him to know better than to bareback a stranger who just got done telling him about having "sores" (of ANY kind) on her genitals. And once you stop exaggerating this younger guy's youth and start holding him to 18-year-old standards rather than 8-year-old standards, the LW looks less like the villain you make her out to be and more like a MILDLY irresponsible lover.

Using a colloquialism to describe one's STI is not an act of deceit, and your attempts to conflate it as such just make you look shrill, not moral. Sure, it would have been better for her to use the clinical term, but 1) I sincerely doubt he heard "cold sores" and thought "candy," and 2) not every act is split neatly between "shining perfection" and "vile cruelty." Her actions fall under "mild negligence," his fall under "mild idiocy" (yes, even for someone who has only just entered adulthood). Find another moral crusade.
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on February 7, 2013 at 1:47 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 160
@159: I'm gonna have to agree.

And FunFact: Your self-description is a bit bizarre, but the situation as laid out here doesn't make you a bad person. Just, as Bonefish said, mildly negligent.
Posted by aureolaborealis on February 7, 2013 at 1:57 PM · Report this
161
Not to exonerate the letter writer, but 18 or 28 or 48 or 88, WHO HAS UNPROTECTED SEX WITH A STRANGER?!! Also, so he maybe got herpes. Did she, I dunno, maybe get HIV from barebacking someone she doesn't know? This kid knows how condoms work and he was completely willing to put her at risk as well by not putting one on. It is very telling that she refers to him as an "18 year old boy" and herself as a "28 year old woman" as if their ages are in any way indicative of past experience. I've met 28 year old virgins and 18 years olds with a litany of STIs. Frankly, they're both irresponsible adolescents and I can only hope that this experience taught them BOTH a lesson.
Posted by Amanda Huggenkiss on February 7, 2013 at 2:22 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 162
@159 So, I just had some candy on my gentials. But, I'm in suppression therapy to make sure the candy doesn't come back.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 7, 2013 at 3:11 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 163
@162: Wasn't that how she got him in the van?
Posted by aureolaborealis on February 7, 2013 at 5:48 PM · Report this
eclexia 164
Welcome to Slog, FunFact.
If you stop by L.A. and need a bit of the no-strings, I'm a down with love boy.
Posted by eclexia on February 7, 2013 at 6:38 PM · Report this
165
He may have gotten herpes from another girl he's had sex with - bareback seems like a trend for that young fellow - and for all we know, have exposed the letter writer to HSV2!

I'd love to hear the follow-up to this situation...

And yeah, even people in their 20s and 30s have no clue cold sores are caused by herpes. I watched a couple make out on the subway a couple of days ago, and the girl had a big fresh sore going on. Ugh.
Posted by ghostworld on February 7, 2013 at 8:54 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 166
@165: "He may have gotten herpes from another girl he's had sex with - bareback seems like a trend for that young fellow - and for all we know, have exposed the letter writer to HSV2!"

Yeah, I definitely thought of that. I'm sure she's not the only woman who's fallen for his "just the tip, just to see how it feels" lines.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 8, 2013 at 9:26 AM · Report this
167
Observation: Your GPA, National Merit Finalist status, job, and car ownership category do not make you worthy or unworthy of love. How you treat other people does.
Posted by IPJ on February 8, 2013 at 12:16 PM · Report this
168
@ Almost everyone -

Oh for goodness sake. Okay, quick bit of medical information:

The letter writer said she had HSV-1, not HSV-2. HSV-1 is cold sores. That is the common name for the disease. It's not a euphemism any more than the word "dog" is a euphemism for Canis lupus familiaris.

HSV-1 usually presents around the mouth. However, that is not always the case. It can sometimes present below the waist. However, even in those cases it is still HSV-1. Cold sores.

HSV-2 is the disease people think of when you say "herpes." It typically presents in the genital region. However, it sometimes presents around the mouth. When it presents around the mouth, it is still HSV-2.

And while only about 20% of the population carries HSV-2, roughly 80% of the population (some estimates range all the way up to 90%) carries HSV-1. HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted disease, meaning that sex is its primary mode of transmission. HSV-1, on the other hand, is not. (Remember that the flu can be transmitted during sex as well but that doesn't make it an STI either). In fact, the majority of people infected with HSV-1 are infected during childhood by their parents.

~*~

@ 22 - Anal sex is more likely to allow for the transmission of STIs than vaginal sex. However, it is more likely to allow for transmission TO the RECEPTIVE partner. (The reason for this is simply that the vagina is a more hostile environment for diseases than the anus.) So no, the fact that this was anal sex does not render the study irrelevant or suggest that the results would be significantly different in this case.

@ 85 - Cold sores (regardless of location) = HSV-1
Genital Herpes (regardless of location) = HSV-2
Canker Sores (aka mouth ulcers) = Neither. Canker Sores are idiopathic. Generally simple canker sores are associated with tissue damage inside the mouth and/or stress. Complex canker sores are associated with various other health conditions such as vitamin deficiency and Crohn's disease.
More...
Posted by MiscKitty on February 8, 2013 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Agent Michael Scarn 169
This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass, Larry!
Posted by Agent Michael Scarn http://twitter.com/Jukebox_Hobo on February 8, 2013 at 2:50 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 170
@168: Are you quoting the right posts? I don't understand what you're arguing with.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 8, 2013 at 7:23 PM · Report this
171
I'm not usually on the chick's side, but I'm on the chick's side.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 10:38 PM · Report this
172
much ado about very little
Posted by Doot on February 9, 2013 at 2:12 PM · Report this
173
A couple of thoughts on older persons who want to have sex with the barely legal:

First, there's a reason the campsite rule does not read in its entirety, "Anything's okay so long as your intention was for them to have a good time."

Second, it's tricky to judge someone's maturity via their willingness to go along with anything you suggest. When telling you 'no' becomes a sign they're not as mature as you thought, your standards need a little work. Sex fuzzes judgement: as the older person it's your job to acknowledge and overcome that.

Posted by IPJ on February 10, 2013 at 7:01 AM · Report this
174
Wow, boredom brought me back here ... but you know what? My two cents. Please don't fuck 18 year olds, please don't import 18 year olds. You can't even take them to the bar, you can't introduce them to your friends without drama. and It's not necessary. Especially if you are going to fall HARD for them. Try at least making the cut off 21, 22 and he might be through college!

That and you are overly obsessive, and you try to make everyone happy, the slogging community up to and including said 18 year old. (Could that be why you didn't explicitly say "herpes"?) Yeah be SLIGHTLY more mindful next time, BUT tell everyone to fuck off. Don't worry about being so polite, and don't worry about offending the 18 year old. There are a number of things that can scare off 18 year olds post getting off. (Tell him you are late on your period! ) He could be masking his anxiety about hooking up and blaming you for "herpes". If that's the case, tell him to grow a pair, and that's all you have to say.

Posted by former tri-state on February 11, 2013 at 8:06 AM · Report this

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