Derek was the last man I disclosed my herpes to in the shit show that was 2016. This is someone that I, again, met through an online dating site. We had been in contact for well over a month and I never actually got to meet him. Still, my experience with Derek has special meaning for me because the day I told him about my herpes is the same day that I started this blog.
For the first week that Derek and I started talking to each other, our conversation was pretty standard. We talked about our hometowns, families, jobs, etc. After that our conversations began to take a very sexual turn. We talked a lot about our fantasies and the things we enjoy sexually. This went on for weeks – we would go from talking about work to talking about fetishes and then to talking about weekend plans.
This was a completely different interaction than I had ever had with anyone I’ve never actually met before. To be honest, I never actually thought I’d meet Derek since he lives about 2 hours away from me. So for me, the conversations were mostly about having fun and opening up to someone I’d never really meet.
But then the opportunity to meet him became real. The week before Christmas, Derek started asking me about meeting up and not being able to wait to see me anymore. Once it hit me after weeks of sexting and intimate talks, I’d have to actually tell him I have herpes, the only thought running through my head was:
I told him I’d like to see him as well, but then we stopped talking for a few days. I was completely relieved and hoped that I wouldn’t receive anymore texts from him.
Fast forward to December 23. Just as I was getting on my train to go home for the holidays, I saw the text from Derek pop up on my phone screen. I waited a solid 20 minutes before I opened the text. He apologized for not texting me all week and said he had been sick, but that he wanted to see me (and all of me) the following week.
Before I had time to think, I bit my tongue and sent him the following message:
“I’d love to meet up with you next week, but I should tell you that I recently found out I have HSV2. I have it under control and am very serious about making sure I don’t pass it on to anyone else. Still, if you’re not comfortable with this I completely get it”.
Not to my surprise, he wasn’t comfortable with it. So I wished him a good holiday and that was the end of that.
I spent the next 2 hours going back and forth through text message with my best friend and my sister. My best friend and I joked that I should write my own book considering how fucked up my dating life has been, both pre and post-herpes. And my sister completely encouraged the idea of using writing as a healthy outlet to deal with my HSV. And that’s where my idea to blog came from. I’ve always had a “no fucks given” attitude, and wondered why that shouldn’t apply to this aspect of my life too.
So thank you Derek, and all the other boys past, present, and future that will be unknowingly helping me add content to this blog. You guys are fucking rock stars.