Can I Still Be a Slut Even Though I Have Genital Herpes?

MakeLoveNotPorn
5 min readOct 28, 2022

By Tricia Wise aka Safe Slut.

Despite what sex misconceptions we learned from our sex-negative society and what fear mongering tactics were used in our sex education (or lack thereof), you are still worthy of good sex and love if you are herpes positive. Also, you can most definitely still be an absolute slut!

I was diagnosed with genital herpes a few days after I had a one night stand with a guy I met at a Halloween party in 2019. Talk about a horror story, am I right?! I was devastated. I didn’t leave my bed for days. I laid in bed and cried as I went down a rabbit hole of false herpes information on Google, simultaneously mourning the life I thought I would never get to have. Could I ever have sex again?

After learning some basic herpes facts, I realized that my sex life wasn’t *really* over.

I knew I would eventually find a partner who wouldn’t care…but what about being a huge slut? I was 25, still exploring my sexuality, and really had no intention of settling down anytime soon. Unfortunately, my diagnosis left me scared to even touch any part of my vulva. I felt so disconnected from my body. If I couldn’t even touch myself, how would I let somebody else touch me?

Regaining my slutty, sexual confidence was a long, arduous process– but one that was so worth it. At this point three years later, I’m actually extremely grateful for my herpes diagnosis because it forced me to do this healing work and I’ve become even more confident than I was pre-diagnosis.

I realized overcoming the herpes stigma and gaining sexual confidence had everything to do with me and how I was feeling about myself rather than what others thought of me.

If I’m good with myself, literally nothing anyone can say would be able to hurt me. In the words of the amazing Audre Lorde, nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me. Make that your mantra. The herpes stigma will probably exist for quite some time (although not for long because I am plotting to turn everyone into a Safe Slut), so let’s do our best to not give a fuck about the stigma, okay?

The key to unlocking my safe and slutty energy was all about getting back into my body–even more so than the pre-herpes version of myself. Basically I needed to start from scratch because my pre-herpes self wasn’t nearly as confident, open or sex positive as I am now.

In retrospect, herpes was the best thing to happen to me.

The Safe Slut approved ways to become more slutty and sexually confident as a herpes positive person (or just anyone that wants to level up) can be divided into three categories: educating yourself, communicating like a bad ass, and taking hot fucking nudes.

Start by learning everything about herpes that we (or most of us) sadly didn’t receive growing up. Once you are fully versed in herpes knowledge, I guarantee you’ll feel so much more empowered. You’ll learn most of the population has herpes, whether they get cold sores or genital outbreaks, are symptomatic or asymptomatic. You’ll learn you can use condoms and you can still get herpes because it’s contracted by skin to skin contact as opposed to by sexual fluids. You’ll learn it’s not on the standard STI panel so most people don’t even know their herpes status. You’ll learn herpes is just a virus and that the only reason it’s so stigmatized is because it’s primarily contracted from sex. And as we all know, our society still has a hard time talking openly about sex. Did you know in the United States, only 17 out of 50 states are required to provide medically accurate information in sex ed? Big yikes! No wonder we seek out sex educators on social media for quality information.

Becoming a good communicator has given me the confidence to say what my needs and boundaries are, which in turn allows me to live my best slutty, herpes positive life. My herpes diagnosis forced me to become an advocate for myself, own my sexual health and start having sexual health conversations with potential partners. This, of course, takes practice–but obviously it’s also a necessary life skill. I now disclose my status like a bad bitch and ask my potential partners about their sexual health, like an even badder bitch. Talk to your potential partners about both of your sexual health backgrounds, and while you’re at it, communicate your feelings/boundaires/needs/etc are. Don’t wait until you have an STI to start having sexual health conversations with partners. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been told my openness is so attractive. The added bonus–it fosters trust and vulnerability (and great sex).

I cannot stress enough the importance of taking nudes–especially when these nudes are just for yourself! It’s become a self love/care ritual for myself that I do daily. It has helped my overall confidence and is a great reminder that not only am I so hot, but I get to enjoy being hot just for myself! You can get super into it also–put on some lingerie, your favorite lipstick, do your hair, etc! This was integral for me when I wasn’t feeling great after my diagnosis. I also make it a point to take nudes when I have an outbreak or if I get rejected after disclosing as a reminder that I am still a bad bitch.

To take my love for taking nudes and filming myself a step further, I started sharing them as a way to connect with my sexuality as a herpes positive person, to show people I am still hot and sexual even with herpes, and because I am a Leo who is 100% an exhibitionist. I’ve even filmed myself while I had an outbreak where you could really see the outbreak and guess what–I’m still hot. This obviously isn’t going to be everyone’s path, but if you’re thinking about doing it and it’s safe for you to do so, totally go for it!

I just really recommend filming yourself even if it’s just for you!

That’s why I love MakeLoveNotPorn. They’re ‘Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference’ — a platform that celebrates the funny messy loving wonderful ways we all have sex in the real world, and they’re the perfect safe place to see how everybody else has sex, and to share yourself sexually any way you want. MakeLoveNotPorn contributors are called MakeLoveNotPornstars — love that!

If you want to get some sexy inspo, right now you can subscribe for just $10 a month! You can watch it to be entertained, to get inspired for your own spicy filming, or to just appreciate how amazing humans are. Definitely go get your subscription because some real world Safe Slut original content will most likely be posted up there soon!

If you are herpes positive, please know that you are still hot and fuckable. Having herpes doesn’t change that–you can still be safe and slutty :)

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