my irrational fear of herpes

I have this irrational fear of herpes. I know you are thinking a fear of herpes isn’t unreasonable, but the amount of fear is immoderate given the mild nature of the fear-provoking stimulus. It isn’t herpes, itself, that I fear but rather what acquiring herpes would say about me.

My fear was generated in an extraordinary way:  When I consciously recognized that I was slated for a life of sluttiness, I conceded that I would eventually acquire herpes. I mean, such a large percentage of people have herpes and there were so many people I wanted to fuck. I even thought of it in terms of getting it over with, as for it to become one less thing to worry about. The inevitable does not provoke anxiety.

But once I hit the 20+ range, not even accounting for all of the blowjobs (although many of those were given with condoms–yes, condoms), something life-changing happened. I went to get tested at school, where all the nurses knew everything about my medical and personal history, and the nurse who read me my results did a doubletake. She told me that my results looked good, thought about it for a minute, and consulted the print out a second time. Puzzled, she announced, “Hmm, that’s interesting; most people at least have herpes simplex one.” A medical professional in disbelief that I could be herpes negative! I felt like I had somehow been spared, beat the system; I had abused sex all this time and now was my chance to reform, grateful of the advantage luck had granted me. I realized, fuck, it is possible to be a slut and continue to go through life herp-free!

This disease negativity didn’t come from nothing. I was obsessively careful about not hooking up with people if I had any mouth abrasions or cuts or if my immunity was down for any reason. I never brushed my teeth directly before giving head, which may seem like a bizarre consideration, but as a former bulimic (it is bad to brush your teeth directly after vomiting because you rub the stomach acid into your teeth, wearing off the enamel) you think about such things.

30+ and still herp-free! At this point I feel like I should advertise: I have accrued extra value as a slut (after all, my collegiate nickname was “extra.”) I am herp-free and I don’t cheat! This makes me biologically and morally superior and, to top it off, I am self-righteous! This is how I’ve garnered my slut self-esteem. I consider it a matter of pride. It goes a step beyond being disease-free; if I have managed to evade herpes all these years, I must be doing something right. Maybe I even have good judgment. And this is what I am proud about.

I would be devastated if 10+ years of sleeping around ever stripped me of my distinction. No, seriously I would cry myself to sleep for weeks. Because I am that vain.

To demonstrate exactly how fucking crazy I am, how disproportionate my fear:

Genie: i just got tested like two weeks ago, and the results were stellar, i’m so fucking clean the nurse did a doubletake, she actually checked the results twice because she was in disbelief that i could fail to have herpes simplex 1

Alec: You. Are. Lucky.

Genie: i know and i was telling everyone how i want to scan the results and miniaturize them and put them on the back of a business card that says “Genie _______, safe slut, list of random degrees”

[I actually think it is funnier if I list my actual degrees: Genie _______, Safe Slut, B.A. in Psychology 2007, M.A. in Psychology Expected 2010.]

Alec: lol

Alec: YES

Genie: but the problem is i’ve been having problems and i really don’t think i’m clean

Genie: so when i’m in ny i want to get tested again which i know is ridiculous cause i just got tested

Genie: but i’m worried

Alec: well….

Genie: and i don’t want to expose this guy to a potential disease but i also don’t want to have to go through telling him that i could be diseased because how bad does that sound when you are just getting together with someone

Alec: then get tested somewhere else.

Alec: if they say you’re clean, then you’re cool

Genie: yeah, but there is a time issue

Alec: oh my god.

Alec: you’re fucking obsessing.

Genie: with time?

Genie: the thing is if i want to be with him over the summer i sort of have to put out like tomorrow or at least the next day

Alec: what?

Genie: i could just suck his dick and only let him finger me

Genie: i don’t know how i would explain that

Alec: he set a blowjob deadline?

Genie: no, i’ve set the blowjob deadline

Genie: it just makes sense the way things are progressing

Alec: yes. blowjobs are good.

Genie: i haven’t hooked up with him yet, i’ve been explicitly avoiding it, and things have sorta progressed in a bed groping/conversing about being together kinda way in the past week, so now is the time

Alec: yes. blowjobs are good.

I was having shaving issues, in case you are curious. But I get everything checked out. And I notice any tiny aberration, every razor bump and ingrown hair, because I spend so much fucking time with my hands in my pants and so much time obsessing. Vagina OCD.

It isn’t about disease—it is about vaginal integrity, vaginal superiority. I don’t want my vagina to be marred. Because then how would I measure my self-worth? According to my value as a person? Vaginal integrity is so much less disputable.

I would like to be thought of as an exemplary slut, deserving recognition for my accomplishment.

The prospect of 10+ years of sleeping around is beyond depressing; when I am sleeping around, I consider every sexual experience to be yet another opportunity to get infected with herpes, potentially provoking the onset of my demise–the inevitable downfall of a slut. New partners take the form of accidental coconspirators, complicit in the quest to fulfill–what I have the sneaking suspicion is–my ultimate slut destiny: to become a ruined girl, damaged goods, someone who should have know better.

But, never a dumb slut.

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