Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Public Service Message from the Chaliceblog

A Gawker Blog I like did a story the other day about whether or not you should tell your sex partners if you have herpes. The lady who wrote the story cheerfully explained that she has herpes and didn't tell her last boyfriend until they were breaking up.

Lots of people in the comments are commending her for her honesty (her honesty in talking about how dishonest she was with her boyfriend, I assume) and taking others to task for being so "judgmental."

The survey attached has the following choices:

Do You Tell People About Your STDs?
When boning a new person, do you let them know about the STDs you have/had, even if dormant?
* Yes, always! I'm perfect!
* Yeah, sometimes, if I remember when I'm that drunk.
* Well, only if I think it could develop into a real relationship.
* No, never! I'm trying to get fucked here!

At one point last night, only 20 percent of those surveyed were in the "always tell" category. We're up to 44 percent. And I'm sure the "I'm perfect" doesn't help.

But still.

Even the STIs that are no big deal when treated BECOME A BIG DEAL when a person doesn't know he/she has them. I'm not sure on what planet putting your future partners and their future partners at risk of infertility and worse is acceptable just because you're embarassed or you've decided that it is "dormant."

Not my planet.

If you don't know someone well enough to feel comfortable telling him/her about your STIs, you should probably assume that person feels the same way about you. Plenty of STIs can find ways around condems.

Please people, be moral and be safe.



h sofia said...

Uggh. What happened to the Golden Rule? I don't think it's necessary to tell everyone you go out with that you have an STI, but if it's time to hit the sheets, the truth must out. I mean, what the hell?

There is no ambiguity about this in my mind - at all.

Ms. Theologian said...

Yeah, I just read that earlier this morning, and was like WHAT?

fausto said...

Isn't the whole premise of the question putting the cart before the horse just a little bit?

If your partner doesn't know and trust and care about you enough that you already know about his/her sexual health history without your having to conduct an eleventh-hour cross-examination on the point, why are you bedding down?

(I mean, I can guess why, but from a moral and ethical point of view, that's not a good reason.)

Chalicechick said...

I don't really take a moral or ethical stance on when people should bed down. I have my preferences, primarily based on the idea that people behave in bed the same way they behave out of it*, but I got these ideas through trial and error.

I do take one on taking chances with other people's lives and bodies, particularly when the reason for doing so is so selfish.

freaked out by the apparent widespread feeling that not telling is no big deal.

*So if you want a happy sex life, find people who are giving and fun and imaginative, rather than sleeping with just anybody.

h sofia said...

fausto - I have friends and relatives whom I know, trust, and care about (and who know, trust, and care about me), but that doesn't mean they all know about my sexual health history, or vice versa. Why? Because it's not relevant to our relationship.

Chalicechick said...

Well, sure.

But the moment you decide to have sex with someone, your sexual history becomes relevant to them.


h sofia said...

CC - exactly. The person you're wanting to have sex with may not know your father's occupation or how many siblings you have, but they should know whether you have an STI.

fausto said...

I wasn't suggesting that anyone you know and like should also know your sexual history. However, if you know and like someone well enough to consider a sexual relationship, then I would think it reasonable to expect the other person to show enough reciprocal care and respect to have been open and honest with you about relevant sexual matters. Notwithstanding the generally benign UU view of human nature, sex is an area where we reasonably ought to be suspicious of other people's motives. If there isn't enough trust yet in the relationship to carry you safely past that suspicion, then I would think adding sex to the relationship is a premature, foolish and selfish -- rather than mature, responsible and moral -- choice.

kim said...

fausto --- Now you tell me! Where were you forty years ago?!?! :-)

h sofia said...

People just don't talk about sex in very healthful ways, never mind helpful ways. It's basically either dirty/silly talk, or none at all.

*sigh* I sure am glad not to deal with these things anymore. If something fatal happened to my husband, I think I'd just pass on attempting another relationship. Too much stress and unknown factors!

fausto said...

Kim said:

fausto --- Now you tell me! Where were you forty years ago?!?! :-)

In a room with the door closed, intently studying old issues of Playboy that the kid across the street found in his older brother's closet, and trying not to make any noise that his parents could hear!