Two Stigmas: Stripping and Herpes

by Secret
(Atlanta)

Within my second month of "stripping" (dancing or entertaining); I had also reverted back to celibacy. I randomly requested to get a full STD screening, which by the way must be requested. The OBGYN only tests for Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and other STD that are harmful and prevent future pregnancy. About three weeks later I received a call informing me that I indeed have herpes. I thought I was going to die! I was grateful I’ve already decided to begin practicing celibacy, and could never fathom including sex in my love life ever again.


I knew my sex life was over; not only, was I a stripper, but a stripper with an STD. At least once I graduate I can stop stripping, but this HERPES stigma will stick forever! I was in denial for a long time, since I have no symptoms or signs. Eventually I faced it, found supports sites, and begin telling my close friends. Especially speaking about it I found it is extremely common. No one ever said anything, but PLENTY OF PEOPLE HAVE IT. Once facing it, I took responsibility and started taking Valacyclovir which was $200, until I changed to Acyclovir which is $21 taking a pill a day.

Almost a year later, I met the most amazing guy at my place of employment as he celebrated his birthday. I was working of course, but I knew he was someone special so I gave him a chance. On date three we had sex. I was terrified of telling him my dark secret, being my first time in this situation. I met it with fear. Our 8th time a few days later he wanted to have unprotected sex and he asked my STD status, "Are you clean?" I lied and said, "Yes," but refused to have unprotected sex with him. It ate me up. Every second I was with him I wanted to tell him the truth. I had grown so close to him and felt as though I could tell him anything. I hated myself and wanted to fix it but how?

I googled "dating with herpes" and read thousands of questions and responses. Most said don't say anything, few said tell him/her. I asked my friends and they were afraid for me saying, "disappear on him", "tell him", "he's going to ruin your job", "make a lie for both of you to get tested"," he'll put you on the internet", and "please don't tell him".

Current in world literature we were reading "The Bhgavad-Gita" a historic Hindi parable, the teachings are phenomenal, philosophical and life changing. Ghandhi and Martin Luther King Jr studied it. One of the many themes is MAN MAKES DECISIONS BASED ON THE REACTIONS: SUCCESS, PLEASANT OR FAILURE, WRONG, UNPLEASANT. TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT ONE MUST DETACH ONESELF FROM THOSE REACTIONS/CONSEQUENCES AND LIVE IN MODERATION. DEEP SHIT. And another friend mentioned, "Character is not based on the mistakes we make, but the why we try to recover and fix those mishaps."

Those thoughts helped me decide to take my chances, tell him the total truth and act selflessly. Consequences being I may lose a great love, he may want or try to kill me, ruin my job, put me on the Internet or never speak to me again. On Super bowl Sunday we had an amazing date then went home to sleep. That afternoon I prayed for the Packers and my situation. Without hesitation I told him that evening. He was grateful for my honesty and held me as I cried until Monday night. Monday he skipped his workday to hold me, comfort me and figure it all out. We are still dating and closer than ever. We have a very healthy sex life. I love him, and am very grateful for him. I am also grateful for all of the support I was given.

I will admit it was hard, but take your mind off of the consequences and do what is right. Tell the person and see what will happen. What is meant to be, will be in the end. Pray about it……. Best Wishes

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Mar 25, 2017
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Help
by: Anonymous

Did you get Herpes from dancing? I think I have it and it's not from who I was having sex with. My vagina touched the stage one night and I haven't been right since. I'm waiting for my results. But I do give nude privates. I have never had done anything sexual with a costumer they can't touch me in my private area either. But now I'm stuck trying to figure out how I got it or if I do and I just met the love of my life and I have to tell him

Dec 29, 2016
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Reaction to me telling women about having herpes...
by: Anonymous

Reading this story helps in that after having my 1st breakout, after having unprotected sex with a women on a vacation. I learned that you actually have to ask for certain test. And before I thought telling a stripper I had herpes was not necessary, until 1 was starting to feel something for me, and knowing I had a secret, I felt it was time for me to come clean and stop hiding the truth. At first she got mad and tolled allot of hard things that made me realize how bad it was not to tell her about that from the beginning, eventually she accepted my apology and we continued having protected sex, but also I had an experience with another girl that was also a stripper, but that wen't totally different, because as well as the other I had protected sex with her but didn't tell her, and when that came up she got really mad and tolled me she would have not accepted having sex if she knew, that same night after having that talk, I ended up telling the next girl I sat with and she totally didn't care because we were going to use protection, but since I was very thoughtful because of the things that the other girl tolled me, I decided to just from now on, when sex is even a possibility, I will let women know as early on as possible about what I have. It's not an easy thing to tell someone, specially if it's a person you want to date or even a women of the night. They also need to know and decide if they want to partake or not. The thing that came to mind with strippers at least, was that I am pretty sure other guys don't tell them, why should I, or it's part of the risk of the job, if you have sex for money. And well who ever I got this from, never tolled me either, or I am taking my medication, so they are not really at risk with me, all of those things came to mind, but after that night, I stopped those thoughts and accepted the fact that it is my duty to tell the women I come across with that I have herpes and let them decide if they still want to date, have sex and have a relationship with me or not. With women outside that world, for the most part they didn't have bad reactions when I tolled them, that was partly why at times I felt it was not a big deal not to tell a stripper. But after that 1 night, I saw that I was wrong and just want to take the time to thank her & for making me see how wrong I was too feel this was part of the danger of the job, and realizing my job & duty is to come clean and let them make their own mind.

Jul 10, 2014
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I am glad for you
by: Anonymous

I think you are super brave, but I am not sure why a doctor would put you on antiviral medication, if you are not even showing any symptoms. I guess to make you less contagious. Please be careful with those antivirals. They can be very hard on the organs, especially the kidneys. There are wonderful holistic methods, I would encourage you to go that route.


Sep 14, 2012
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In regards to that post
by: Secret

Lol. I posed that a few years ago, and feel like I've grown so much since then. Have found that herpes along with other life trials have been a great test of my strength and I attribute surmount great things to herpes.

At first it is hard to see such an annoying, manageable virus as such a small thing, and after years and years of telling people and over coming the mental wounds it is not so bad.


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