Did you know that there are a disturbingly large number of people in the swinging community who have ingested the Kool-Aid and believe that 80% of people have HSV-1 and therefore it is not important to disclose to play partners? Let that sink in. There are people out there, who are not disclosing because they have made an assumption that everyone else already has the virus and it’s a waste of breath to say anything. Furthermore, there are people out there telling new swingers that getting tested is a waste of time and energy unless you are currently symptomatic. Now, I want you to get angry. I want you to look around at your community and get really fucking pissed off that there are people who think this, and have decided that it is acceptable for them to make assumptions over someone else’s health and well being.
This is disgusting and needs to stop right this second. No one, and I mean no one, has the right to determine someone else’s exposure to a virus, disease or even the common cold, ever! If you care at all about your body, your partners and your fellow playmates stop this asinine way of thinking immediately. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid and passing it around.
If you look at the low transmission rates for HSV-1 and how difficult it really is to transmit (10% men and 4% women) then this virus should be on its way out the door. We should be rallying together to out HSV-1 from our community and even better yet, looking out for the 20 and 30 years old who are dipping their toes in non-monogamy. Rather than maintaining a cesspool of virus’s, diseases, bacteria, etc let’s work to grow and learn and just freaking be ethical human beings. Look at what shaved pubic hair did for crabs? If we really work together we can accomplish anything!
This community is supposed to be all about consent and no means no. Yet here we are running face first into a complete disconnect by what that term really means. You do not just assume everyone you meet is lying and therefore you play at your own risk. You man the fuck up, have the difficult conversation and then you make educated and healthy decisions! I’ve had the safe sex conversation with every single partner I have had, and even did a little write up to help my friends who were struggling with how to broach the subject. Have a read, share it, add things to the list that are important, ie safe words, just start now (Safe Sex)! Have the tough talk and be a contributing member in the community and continue to fill it with ethically non-monogamous sexy people.
There are risks in everything we do, including crossing the street. But if you get tested regularly, disclose to all your partners prior to play, practice safe sex and good hygiene, then you are a valued member of this community. And we will soon become the norm and flush out all the people who hold onto stupid beliefs that put people at unnecessary risk.
And my final point in all this. If you know someone in the community is not disclosing their status with their play partners, stop protecting them! We are not going to keep silent anymore or subscribe to this stupid myth that the community is so small we must protect our own and keep silent. The community is not nearly as small as you think it is. It is incredible the amount of people who have come “out” to me as a result of this little blog within my own social network. Try talking to the couple first, explain that even if they are asymptomatic they still should disclose every time as a risk still exists for transmission. At that point, if they laugh in your face, say they don’t care, or brag that everyone has it and if you are that fearful then this lifestyle isn’t for you… out them! But do try talking to them first, please. Sometimes good people are under preconceived notions and just need a little education and guidance.
So with that in mind, I am including a few helpful resources that I read when a couple we were interested in disclosed their HSV-1 status to us. My partner and I read up on the risks and made a decision based on our comfort levels. And I strongly encourage each of you to do the same. Only you can decide what’s right for you and your body, with of course some education behind it!
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