Fear of SEX OR STDS

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pianolover
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Fear of SEX OR STDS

Unread post by pianolover »


I recently had sex with my new partner, and we've both been previously tested, and our results were negative & we had no sexual partners since, but that was months before we got together. So, I was still a little scared, but we had sex anyway with protection, but I could not help but feel uneasy about possible STDs like herpes. I have never been tested for herpes, but I know I do not have them because I have been examined many times, and there was no complaint about possible infection, and no one I previously had sex with had herpes, as far as I know. But I am still afraid of it. I got tested last week for the common STDs, and he plans to get tested tomorrow so I can ease some stress. I plan to get a wellness exam to share my concern about herpes and get checked for bacterial vaginosis because I had it in the past and want to see if I still have this. Does anyone have any tips or advice for this fear? Should I request my partner get tested for herpes even though there is no sign of sores? I hate feeling this way and thinking these uncomfortable thoughts. I want to enjoy sex with my partner. In addition to all of this, I am in college and have so many other responsibilities, and this has been weighing on me.
Mo
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Re: Fear of SEX OR STDS

Unread post by Mo »

In general, doctors don't tend to test for herpes unless someone has an active outbreak of sores they're concerned could be herpes or if they know a current sexual partner has herpes. We have a bit more about herpes and how/when testing occurs here: The STI Files: Herpes. It definitely sounds like talking to your doctor about your worries around herpes would be a good idea; hopefully they can ease your fears around this a little bit.
It sounds like you're both already in the habit of getting tested and using protection during sex, which is a great foundation for looking out for your sexual health. Do you have a sense of what, in particular, feels especially scary about herpes right now?
I do also want to note that it sounds like you have a lot going on at the moment; if having sex is making you feel extra anxious, it's okay to take a step back from it for a bit! You may find that some kinds of sex make you less anxious than others, or that taking a break from sex altogether until you're able to talk to your doctor is going to be the best plan. Maybe that's something you could talk to your partner about, when you're talking about plans for getting tested.
pianolover
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:21 pm
Age: 20
Awesomeness Quotient: I am easy to talk to
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Location: California

Re: Fear of SEX OR STDS

Unread post by pianolover »

Hi Mo,
I talked to my partner about the decision to pause on sex until I talk with my doctor and feel safe around the STDS part. Maybe pause after feeling less worried about STDs and take it slow after that because I have so much going on. For some reason, sex adds some anxiety to my life, which sucks because I have sexual desires and want to be close to my partner. I just felt awful for the way I would panic after having sex with him. I also feel like a bad person for having sex despite my fears of herpes. It is such a scary and frustrating though that I have that I could potentially have herpes. Mainly this thought happened the first night we had sex. I had this pimple that made me feel insecure the first night we had sex, and I was like...what if? I also feel bad because I do not think I mentioned that I was feeling this fear. I mentioned a little bit about STDS, but I was still a little uneasy about one of us having herpes because neither of us has tested for it. I also think that having gone through with sex, when I had my fears and discomfort instead of pausing, I think I ruined the relationship. It probably is not true, but I feel embarrassed. If he had oral/genital herpes and we had protected sex could he still spread the infection to me?
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Re: Fear of SEX OR STDS

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi pianolover,

Taking a break from sex sounds like a good call in terms of looking after your own mental health, even if it can be frustrating to have sexual desire but know it's not wise to act on it. When thinking about that anxiety, do you have any sense of what would lessen it? In other words, are there things you could learn, or one or both of you could do, that you feel would help that anxiety go away?

You can read about how Herpes is, and is not, transmitted in that article Mo gave you. It may also help to parse out why Herpes has become the anchor point for your anxiety. Is it simply because it's one that isn't usually tested for? Or are there other things about it that your anxiety tends to fixate on?

Can you say a little more about why you're afraid you might have ruined the relationship? And is that a fear you've mentioned to your partner.
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