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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » scared about STDs

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Author Topic: scared about STDs
Member # 109547

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I was taken advantage of at a party by a stranger last year and found out later that I got an STD from it. Luckily it was curable, but now I have severe anxiety about sex. What happened had actually been my first, and only, sexual experience. He had also used a condom, and I still got an STD.

I'm terrified that I'll have sex with someone and get a permanent STD like herpes. I haven't had sex with someone since this happened. It would take months for me to trust someone enough to sleep with them, and even then I would want to be 100% sure that they didn't have any STDs, which isn't really possible because they could be lying about getting tested or they could've gotten something after getting tested. I want a normal sex life, I'm just worried that this anxiety is going to impact my future relationships

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Sam W
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 108189

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Hi tnnz89,

First, I am so sorry that you went through that experience. I want to ask if you've received any kind of help, such as counseling, to help you cope with the after effects of what happened? This may be especially relevant if you are, as you say, worried about your anxiety levels.

One thing that can help when one partner is anxious about STIs is if the partners go and get tested together. That can help alleviate some of the "what ifs" that you mentioned worrying about.

I do want to stress that if you don't feel comfortable being sexual, either because of fears about STIs or other reasons, there is no need to pressure yourself about it. You get to abstain or engage at whatever level feels most comfortable for you.

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Member # 109547

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I haven't. I think I'd feel guilty or stupid about getting counseling, like it would be an insult to people who have gone through something worse, like being legitimately raped or sexually assaulted? I was just extremely drunk and he wasn't, but I'm acting like it was rape and I feel stupid that this is still affecting me over a year later.

That's what I was thinking too, but I didn't know if that was common or not and didn't want someone thinking I was crazy for asking for that. thanks so much for the advice.

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Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

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If you were drunk, then you could not consent, and that is sexual assault.

And even if it wasn't, you wouldn't be taking anything away from anyone who has been assaulted or raped: it's clear this is affecting you, it's making you anxious, and that's reason enough to get counselling. It's the only reason you need, really. Other people's experiences don't make yours less real or less problematic, just as your experiences don't invalidate theirs.

All that said, if you don't want counselling, that's your call to make. But you may find it helpful, and there's no reason to feel guilty about seeking it out.

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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