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Am I shallow for not wanting to have sex with her because she has herpes?

Tagged as: Health, Sex<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 March 2017) 5 Answers - (Newest, 29 March 2017)
A male United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I have a friend of around two years whom I am very close to, we were considering a relationship but due to the distance between us and financial difficulties on both ends we decided to just stay as friends for the foreseeable future.

Despite this, we do have an intimate online relationship and she has initiated sexual talk and has expressed that she'd like to have sex with me when we next see each other in a few months - though recently she was diagnosed with genital herpes (and a few other, now treated STD's). I have always known of her hook-ups with other guys as we're both open about who we see and when we see them, though since she's been diagnosed I no longer want a sexual relationship with her. Is this shallow of me?

I do not think differently of her, because this can happen to anyone. Equally though I am frustrated at how she does put herself in vulnerable situations and has unprotected sex constantly, I have advised her time and time again that this isn't a good idea, though she still insists she doesn't like condoms and is now paying the price for it. She is on ongoing treatment - but I fear myself catching it, and I feel too anxious to tell her that's why I am no longer interested in a sexual relationship. I still want to be friends, and still want to talk to one another, but I can't help but feel guilty about now not wanting to be with her in that way. Am I a bad person? And is there anyway I can bring this up without hurting her feelings?

View related questions: condom, herpes, std, unprotected sex

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (29 March 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI agree with Chigirl,

Just tell her you don't want to add sex to the mix as you value the friendship BUT that also mean absolutely no "naughty pics dirty talk cyber sex" going on.

I wouldn't want to be with a person who is THAT careless about their health (and mine, and EVERY partner she has). So, no I don't think it's shallow to NOT want to have sex with her. I think it's actually pretty smart.

Now if she was CAREFUL and took CARE of managing symptoms, meds and birth control/condom (people can still get STD's while careful) THEN I think I'd be less inclined to have an issue with having sex. Someone who just act like "It's not going to happen to me, so sex galore!" is just not a "safe" partner.

She can though still be a good friend.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (29 March 2017):

chigirl agony auntOh, if we're going to talk about saving friendships, then just tell her that you value her too much as a friend, so wouldn't want to risk the friendship by having sex. Everyone knows that adding sex into the mix alters a friendships and usually destroys it. So if you want to continue being friends, use the friendship itself as your excuse to not have sex.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (29 March 2017):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntWe have a gut instinct for a very good reason: to protect us from things that don't seem right and/or which could harm us. LISTEN to your gut instinct. Do you really want to risk having unprotected sex with someone who is so casual about their sexual health? I wonder if you would even be able to "perform", knowing what you know and being as (understandably) worried about it.

Your friend has a death wish. She is lucky that she has "only" got STDs so far. While herpes is apparently only contagious during flare-ups, I do wonder if she will practice safe sex going forward. From your post, that doesn't sound likely. While I would not normally judge someone for picking up an STD, in this case I am going to make an exception as this young lady obviously has no regard for her own safety at all.

You do, of course, need to tell her you have changed your mind about engaging in sex with her. I suspect your friendship is never going to be quite the same again once you have this conversation. There are few women who, after initiating talk of sex with a bloke, would be totally pragmatic about a rejection, regardless of the reason(s). I would normally suggest perhaps thinking of a different "reason" so you could let her down gently but, in this case, I think this young lady needs a serious wake-up call. I understand you don't want to lose her friendship but, if she was MY friend, I would be telling her in no uncertain terms that she has a death wish and that you do not wish to endanger your sexual health (and possibly your life) by having sex with her.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (29 March 2017):

chigirl agony auntYou are not shallow or a bad person. Get yourself checked though, if you havent. Chlamydia does not have any symotoms. So good to check for that. Just avoid the sexual talks with her, see if it fades away without you telling her directly. Or you can say a white lie about you liking another girl. Or be honest about your health being more important to you than a casual hook up.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 March 2017):

I have genital herpes and I wouldn't consider a man shallow if he decided not to have sex with me because of it . Having said that , I believe the risk is extremely low if she is on meds and you use a condom . It's about the same risk as her falling pregnant with a condom I think ( you should check the stats and ask doctor ) but no your not shallow

Just also bare in mind that anyone who has EVER ( in their entire lives ) had a cold sore carries the herpes virus too and could technically pass it on to you through oral sex even if they don't have a sore . Considering 80% of the population carry the virus the risk is Small but present

People forget that type one which is usually on the mouth and type two which is usually on the genitals can both affect the other areas and can technically be transmitted through shedding when the virus isn't present . Small risks but still

Difference is that there is lots of stigma and prejudice against herpes on the genital area

Good luck with your decision . Either way you are not shallow .

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