Some think of people like Peckham as immoral, assuming only people who sleep around get genital herpes.The stigma of the virus, which exists at the heart of this faulty mindset, is usually worse than the symptoms themselves, as it affects dating, social life and psychological health.It’s not that he’s shy or insecure about his looks.Instead, what keeps this 27-year-old from approaching the cute girl across the room is a set of hypotheticals that most people don’t deal with.“My mind runs ahead to ‘the disclosure talk’ and then all the way down to, ‘What if we have sex and what if I give it to her?And when I write erotica, it’s impossible for me to not think about sex and the risks associated with sex, because that’s my own life.
My body broke down and I had an outbreak, and it was really actually anticlimactic because I’d been dreading having another outbreak for so long. For two or three days, I was moderately uncomfortable. And I was like, oh, I had been so afraid of this happening, and it was fine.
Ella Dawson has herpes, and talking about it is sort of her thing.
She writes herpes-themed erotica; she gave a TED talk about herpes; and is the author of “Why I Love Telling People I Have Herpes” and “Why I Celebrate the Day I Was Diagnosed with Herpes.” All this, and she’s only had two outbreaks — which is a pretty standard herpes experience.
And then from friends and friends of friends and random people I went to college with who don’t even read erotica but had my blog forwarded to them and said, “Oh my god, I have herpes, too.” It changed my life in a weird way because suddenly I realized that so many people had this experience that I did, and it made me want to keep writing about it. But yeah, so I had this kind of reputation that I had fun owning.
It was kind of like I had opened Pandora’s box, and inside was a lot of really entertaining Facebook comments. And I wound up meeting somebody who I fell for really, really fast.
On this week’s How did you start writing about herpes?