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Pass the Herpes

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Pass the Herpes

Venus Envy co-owner Shelly Taylor wants to end the stigma associated with herpes. IMAGE 1 OF 1
Shelley Taylor launches new site to reduce STI stigma
Shelley Taylor believes in safe and consensual spaces when it comes to sex. The owner of Venus Envy in Ottawa has made a career out of educating people about sex and sexuality.
 
“We didn’t have the term ‘sex positivity’ when I started in 1998,” she says.
 
That was the year Taylor opened her first Venus Envy location, in Halifax.
 
“I felt that having a space that was welcoming, friendly and really open about sex and pleasure would be a really positive thing to bring into the world.” 
 
Now, Taylor has created a virtual safe space, a blog on a subject that has marked her life: herpes.
 
Called Pass the Herpes, the site is an ongoing collection of stories, personal anecdotes and all kinds of information about herpes. Taylor herself was diagnosed at 18 and has been dealing with the stigma that surrounds it for a long time.
 
“For many years I felt damaged, dirty and had a lot of shame about telling people I had herpes,” she says. “Consider that there’s almost no shame in having the exact same virus on your face, but when it’s on your genitals, it’s something completely different in how we relate to our bodies and how others relate to us.”
 
For years, Taylor led workshops on sex, many of them dealing with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including herpes.
 
“I try to make it sound really normal. Like, ‘Hey, I’m Shelley, and I have a cold,” she says. “Here’s how you can minimize the risks of getting a cold and passing it on to others. And remember, you’re not alone and it’s manageable.”
 
Taylor says people often come up to her and thank her for her disclosure, because they have no one else to discuss it with. When she started Pass the Herpes, it was no different. Since its creation, Taylor has received emails and messages from people thanking her for giving them a place to talk without judgment. She says that although she has spoken openly about her situation for years now, almost every time she does, she feels a twinge of anxiety. Creating this blog was a way for her to face that feeling head on.
 
“I feel like I wasted many years worrying about my body and that people would think I was disgusting,” she says. “I wanted to bring the topic out into the open in some small way to perhaps keep others from feeling crappy about something they have little control over.”
 
Although Taylor is the creator of the blog, she is not its only voice.
 
“[It’s] more like a public forum than a blog,” she points out. “I think it’s really valuable to have a place where lots of voices and experiences can be heard.”
 
One post on the site, written by “C,” portrays C's own story around disclosure: “If it’s on the table from the beginning, everybody knows what they’re dealing with. They can appreciate my honesty, ask questions and assess the risk for themselves, and I can assess their character by their response. So far that’s what’s working for me.”
 
Taylor agrees that talking about it is one of the best ways to remove the shame and fear around herpes.
 
“I understand that it’s hard to hear that the person you want to get it on with has an infection that you might be at risk of getting,” she says. “But I also think that by telling you in advance, they’re being responsible and caring and should be treated with gentleness, even if you make the decision that it’s not a risk you want to take in that moment.”
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Comments

Well
Of course using protection is important as is sexual education. The truth is there are much worse STIs to have then herpes. Shelley is right it is manageable, it also helps weed out the bad eggs if you will. If someone is not willing to accept you for all that you are flaws and all, then it is pretty clear that that person is not the right person to be your partner.
Bravo Shelley this is a remarkable and brave thing you are doing.
GET All PARTNERS TESTED BEFORE KISSING
It takes several weeks for antibodies to appear in your bloodstream when first infected with an STD. All potential sex partners should be fully screened for all STDs prior to even kissing them. Today's masses live in a fool's paradise believing that a condom is 100% protection against contracting STDs. Most people who have Herpes 2 ( genital ) do not know they have the disease and they have NOT had symptoms BUT they are SHEDDING the disease which is invisible to the naked eye. Also, many STD infected people are NOT alerting partners to the fact they are diseased.

Condom use is NOT protection enough. It is amazing how many women I meet who tell me they have always used condoms and therefore they could never have acquired an STD. They refuse to get
tested for STDs tests prior to sex. I then ask them if they always use condoms when they perform oral sex on men... ? Of course not... There is always a pause and then that moment of harsh realization that they have orally exposed themselves to STDs! Many women are infected with Herpes 2 in their mouths and do not know it. Men who perform oral sex on women have the same exposure to Herpes 2 for example and easily can contract it in their mouths as well.

So please everyone, demand fullSTD testing prior to even kissing someone. The only way to eradicate STDs is to assure that infected people only have sex with other diseased people. We can easily make sure this happens by demanding testing. Remember, especially for the ladies, that oral sex can easily transmit Herpes 2 into your mouth. Once you have Herpes 2, you will have it for life.
Your life hangs in the balance, do not simply take someone’s word for it.

GET POTENTIAL PARTNERS TESTED before kissing them or touching them.
Plenty of Herpes Fish
If you want to find more people with herpes for friendship or dating, you may try HepresFish.com, plenty of Hepres Fish
hi date
I have genital herpes and know what you are going through. a Herpes Dating Site--herpesdateonline.??M~-- has helped me find quality dates with women who share my medical condition.
Sometimes when you are diagnosed with something like this it is good to have hope and faith that you are still the same person and are still capable of have a wonderful relationship.
herpesdateonline.??M~ is a great genital herpes dating site online. So many singles from the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia are members.
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