Herpes, Two Years Later: On Sex Without Condoms

Ella Dawson

Condoms also make great party hats, just FYI. Condoms also make great party hats, just FYI.

I had to write an awkward email a few weeks ago. A journalist wrote a piece about me (and my genital herpes) for a very prominent, respected publication in the United Kingdom, and she included a line about how I’ve never had sex without a condom. It was a reasonable assumption; in my essay for Women’s Health, I discussed how shocked I was to get diagnosed with herpes when I had never had “unprotected” sex in my life. Had never. Past tense. I sucked it up and sent the author a short note, she made a quick correction, and no one was the wiser. But the exchange stuck with me, if for no other reason than for how self-conscious it made me feel. There was a strange shame in telling this relative stranger that I have had unprotected sex. More than once. Despite…

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About sunnysarah20

I'm a late-20-something going on later-20-something. I don't know what I'm doing even when I do. That's basically adulthood, right?
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