Why Should I Date Someone With Herpes?

Here’s another pet peeve of my email inbox: when a man (because it’s almost always a man) asks me if he should continue seeing this woman he’s been dating who just told him she has herpes. Sometimes the question is data-based, about what transmission statistics are real. Sometimes the question is esoteric, about whether or not […]

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Why Having A Boyfriend Doesn’t Cure Herpes

We’ve all read that essay: the woman who gets herpes because she caves to temptation just once and has a regrettable one-night-stand, but goes on to find happiness because she meets that one man who loves her just as she is, STI and all. You can find it in glossy women’s magazines and anonymous chat […]

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To The Woman Who Announced Her STI on Snapchat

I learned about you when I Googled myself—as a narcissist is wont to do—and discovered I’d been mentioned in an article about you on the Daily Star. I’m not entirely sure why my efforts to destigmatize herpes were mentioned in the article, which was a masterpiece of stigmatizing, sensationalized journalism that in no way respected […]

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The (Not So) Black and White Ethics of Herpes

I’ve been thinking more and more about writing a book and the many reasons I don’t know if I can. I haven’t written a single word of what this memoir could be but I have already Googled ‘defamation of character lawsuit’ at least five times. Have you ever noticed it’s only rich, white men who sue […]

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Writing The Ones You Love(d): Consent In Sex Writing

Most of my essays start with a text message: “Hey, do you mind if I write about you for my blog?” What I’m really asking runs the gamut from hey, do you mind if I write about our not-quite-relationship that defies definition but makes me feel all giddy to hey, do you mind if I write […]

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To The Teenage Girls Who Have Herpes

I remember the first time I was ever called a whore. I had just turned fifteen and this boy, this arrogant little fucker, was angry because I had “broken up” with him after one movie date in order to ask out someone cuter. Our group of friends was walking to the gas station after school to buy gigantic fountain […]

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How I Lost My Post-Herpes Virginity

I was eighteen when I lost my virginity. A few weeks into my freshman year of college, I met a hipster with gorgeous blond hair and an obscure instrument slung over his shoulder, and a few weeks after that, we had sex. It was not altogether a memorable experience. What stuck with me weren’t any romantic details […]

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The Herpes+ Writer Directory

Here’s a list of herpes+ writers you need to be reading, AND, if you’re a journalist or an editor, contacting about writing for your publications.

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TIME Magazine Ruined Herpes Journalism. Here’s How To Fix It.

In 1982, TIME Magazine published a very special cover story: “The New Scarlet Letter.” In five dense pages full of salacious personal anecdotes and some incredibly horrifying doctoral testimonies, TIME set the standard for herpes journalism. I read the entire piece with my friend (and this site’s editor) Gabe Rosenberg so that you don’t have […]

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