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Dating Dilemma: When Should I Talk About VD?

August 02, 20222 min read

Question from JD: "I have cold sores from time to time, which I'm ashamed to say is actually herpes. When is the right time to bring up this venereal disease so to be fair to my prospective date but also not turn them off before they really like me?"

Answer from Paul Aaron Travis:

Such an excellent question, JD!

Thank you for your willingness to bring this out into the light -- so many people are stigmatized by when is now much more commonly known as "STI's" (sexually transmitted infections).

Fact is, almost all STI's now are treatable and it's time to lose the stigma around them.

In fact, the CDC now discourages doctors from testing for HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus #2) with the logic that a significant percentage of the population already has it -- often dormant meaning no symptoms -- and there's not much to do about it. The first strain of herpes, HSV-1, which you most likely have, is usually oral (around the mouth but can sometimes show up in the genital region) just like HSV-2 usually appears genitally but can sometimes surface orally.

There is plenty of information out there on the science of STI's and allopathic as well as naturopathic and homeopathic remedies, that we won't take screen real estate here to review. See, for example,

Your question is one of timing and my answer is, "the earlier the better". Probably not on the first date, but don't wait a month either. Breathe deeply, knowing that your date will either accept and appreciate your disclosure and opening up the conversation -- or not, in which case they weren't right for you anyway. We spend time talking about this in The Great Dating Reset, but the short form I suggest is:

"Say I'd like to discuss some things to help us in the event we want to get sexual, ok?"

Stop if you don't hear consent.

"Here's what I test positive for and when I was last tested. How about you?"

[Dr. Evalene Molina Dacker created a framework for such discussion early in the dating process, which was featured in the Dare to Date Differently summit presented by The School For Love].

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Paul Aaron Travis

Paul’s commitment to making dating joyful, respectful, expansive and consensual comes from extensive training in interpersonal relations — from Nonviolent Communication to the Wheel of Consent, from Landmark Education to Human Awareness International, from Body Electric to ISTA/Tantra. In his early years, Paul cofacilitated the Seattle Men’s Wisdom Council, working with hundreds of men every month. In the years since his divorce, he has dated dozens and dozens and dozens of women – mostly first dates which didn’t yield sufficient chemistry to go further. Yet this practice manifested 3 wonderful, multi-year relationships – helping him create the Authintimacy method he now teaches in The Great Dating Reset and Dating Sherpa.

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Ask The School For Love for Free Advice - Dating Dilemma

Ask The School For Love for Free Advice - Relationship and Romance Rupture