I am a 39-year-old divorced man with no children. I have type-two herpes and I am finding it hard to meet a woman who is comfortable with this.
In the past year I have tried online dating. We would chat for a while, and if things worked out, we would meet for coffee or lunch—the idea being to let her get to know me a little and see that I am not a bad guy. The date would go well and we would make plans to meet again.
Now here is the honesty part—I tell the lady about the virus to give her a chance to think about it. I don't want to lead a woman on, and I feel the need to be honest. I don't want to waste her time or mine if she is uncomfortable with the virus. Needless to say, I am still looking. Am I going about this wrong?
Nobody wants to hear about contagious, oozing, incurable genital sores over lunch the first time they meet you. You want to leave her thinking how witty, charming, and handsome you are—not envisioning your scrotal sac covered in painful, bright-red, weeping blisters. Work the charm first—the other crap can come later (and herpes or not, there's always other crap).
I've dated two men (that I know of) who had herpes. Both of them broke the news at exactly the right moment—after they'd determined there was chemistry between us and before we had sex. There is absolutely no reason for full disclosure if you two haven't even figured out if you're going to swap spit yet. Though there is no cure, there are plenty of ways you can keep herpes from becoming the gift that keeps on giving. Ask your doctor, but obviously you have to monitor your condition and (of course) always use condoms. While both my S.T.u.D.s were good with disclosure, incredibly, both of them tried to weasel out of using condoms! Huh?!? Obviously, this is more symptomatic of a selfish jackass than any viral condition, but as I've been hearing about more and more men (gay and straight) whining about the necessity of latex love, I felt the obvious might need (re)stating. Duh! Something like one in four people have genital herpes, so it's definitely not a deal breaker for most ladies. I think if you work on your delivery, you'll do fine. Sorry to resort to a clich鬠but in this case, timing is everything.
Regarding your reply to Frustrated Foreigner [Dategirl, Oct. 2], I found your description of nonmaterialistic/image- obsessed girls very attractive. These are qualities I have found . . . errrr . . . a little lacking in American women. Throw in brains and a sense of humor and it could be perfection. Which leads me to the question, where the hell do you all hang out?
Another Frustrated Foreigner
Whoo boy—did that column come back to bite me in the ass! First I had to deal with angry girlfriends who claimed I ruined it for the women of Seattle by scoffing at the idea that men should spring for dinner. But that's OK, as I'm rabidly self-centered and reckon if I'm paying for my own pork chops, they can too. However, then, after patting myself on the back for rising above the stereotype of the materialistic American broad, I found myself out on the town with a guy so broke (or cheap) that when our first (and only) round came, instead of reaching for his wallet (as I reached for mine), he merely smiled wanly and whimpered, "I'll get you next date." Like there'll be one! I can buy my own beer—and hell, I'll buy you one, too—but if you're gonna ask me out, at least bring enough cash to cover the price of your own alcoholic beverage.
You were far from the only one wondering where my cheap-date girlfriends and I hang out, but apparently my pals aren't as altruistic as I'd foolishly assumed. Me, you can find me at your local bar buying drinks for assorted mooks and losers. I'm easy to spot—look for the chick with "sucker" tattooed across her forehead.
Cheapskate dates? Write Dategirl at email@example.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.