The oft-lamented notion that “all the good men are taken” is silly. All the good men are not gay either. Bewails that all the good men are emotionally wounded feels about right at times, but surely not every man was abused as a child, or struggling with depression, or writhing in the fetal position from dirty deeds perpetrated by the dastardly dames they’ve dated. And as I mine for gems on online dating sites, I’ve stumbled upon another surprising subset of men: All the good men have herpes.
I met a talented and attractive man online awhile back who confessed prior to our first date that he had herpes. We didn’t end up clicking, so I escaped grappling with a decision about an intimate encounter from which there could be no turning back. Then I met another, then another. All are good men.
My mind has run through that ultimate decision – to have unprotected sex with someone with genital herpes. I imagined it like the scene in Twilight where that surly bitch decides to go to the dark side and become a vampire. I think that was a good decision on her part, btw, because as she ages her furloughed brow will only become more pronounced and sparkle balls would end up ditching her for a nubile ingénue with an actual personality. But I digress.
I recently spotted the profile of a gentleman within road tripping distance who knocked me on my ass.I found myself nodding in agreement with every statement in his beautifully written profile. If I ghost wrote the perfect profile of a man I wanted to meet, this was it. Then I got down to this statement: “I HAVE HERPES,” followed by more heroic transparency about what it means to him and what it could mean to a partner. (Wouldn’t it be great to get a man’s potential deal breaker skinny right off the bat like this in ALL CAPS?) We exchanged multiple messages which cemented that this is indeed a superior human being.
He shared a gut wrenching story about the love he lost because at the end of the day, she was too scared to deal with his virus. She thought she could handle it then retracted, leaving them both shattered. I told him that I would likely do the same thing, and it’s best to not even be tempted. BUT DAMMIT, though! DAMMIT anyways. Why him? Why? Why? Why?!
Then, by a cosmic coincidence, I ended up sitting next to a nurse at the bar on Friday. We talked about online dating and I asked her about herpes. She said, emphatically and hilariously on the wrong end of a martini, “Herpes scherpes! It’s no big deal. Of all the things that could be worrisome about a person whom you’re dating, a virus like that is inconsequential. It’s not like it is cancer or anything. If you get tested, you will find out that you have likely been exposed to the virus. Nearly everyone has. We have good meds for it anyways. Herpes, fucking scherpes!”
These encounters prompted me to do some research. Did you know that according to the CDC, 11% of men and 21% of females have herpes and 90% don’t realize it and could be spreading the virus? Communities of color are at a higher risk (Black at 39% and Hispanics at 12%). STD screenings do not include herpes unless requested. Here’s some info on the topic: http://www.ashastd.org/std-sti/Herpes.html.
Yeah, so not all the good men have herpes, but a rather startling percentage do, and a good percentage of us women too. So, let’s be careful out there. And at the end of the day, if you want to go to the dark side, remember, it’s only a virus, it’s not life-threatening, it’s not cancer, and you won’t need to drink blood for survival. Also, true love could be worth it. Herpes scherpes!