Recently one of my favorite sexual educators, Midori, came out with an article on Carnal Nation about her contraction of HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) and how it helped her survive the pinnacle of the AIDS epidemic.
It's a good read, and I highly recommend it.
It made me think of the judgment that people put on those who are STD (sexually transmitted disease) or STI (sexual transmitted infection) positive. Recently a friend came to visit me from Las Angeles. We were gossiping about a disliked fiancée of one of our mutual friends. As this man (the friend) had hooked up with one of my friends during the past year or two, the subject of his infidelity and their complicated relationship is always a good topic. This time she snidely remarked that my friend should get tested because his fiancée tested positive for HPV. There was a pause. A wait for my negative reaction, to call her a slut, for us to make fun of her sexual misfortune. I just couldn't though. HPV has become so common these days it's not funny. Well, no sexually transmitted anything should be "funny", but I'm sure I'm not the only one whose guilty of laughing at someone I don't like when they've contracted the clap one too many times. If I am, my bad. Sorry world, I am sex positive, but above all, I am still human with my faults.
One of them being HPV.
Oh yes, I am one of so many who are positive. (holla!!!!) Though I take it very seriously, I still get a jolt of excitement when I find another fellow HPV-er or someone else who has an STD (STD meaning incurable, STI meaning curable.) It's like we're in this club. And many times it's highly misunderstood. Did I want this disease? No. Could I have prevented it? Possibly, if I were abstinent. Do I practice safe sex as often as possible and preach sexual safety to the high heavens? Fuck yeah! Did I still contract something? Yuppers. Life happens, sex happens, and therefore we must accept the consequences.
I sent Midori a thank you letter for "coming out". It's hard to declare being positive, so many assumptions are made. I should know, I am guilty of making them too. As I have stated before, I am only human, not a sexual p.c. saint. But seriously? Kudos to her and kudos to anyone else that is positive and still living a safe and active sex life and are damn proud of it. In no way do I mean to encourage spreading STDs. What I mean is that knowledge and experience should be spread. Every time I explain my HPV to a partner they learn something new, and come face to face with what I feel our society has taught us to fear the most: the sexually diseased. Those deviants who to their own misfortune have turned to sin and are now paying for it. But again much thanks and kudos to those public figures who are able to step out and educate the public. Who take their "misfortune" and spin it into gold.
My oh my that was an intimate post.