I am a final psychology undergraduate at Northumbria University, and I am currently recruiting 18-25 year olds to take part in my project research. I am investigating young adult’s knowledge of sexually transmitted infections, their attitudes towards them, and motivations for testing.
Could you possibly advertise my study on your blog? All it involves is completing an online questionnaire, which should take no longer than 15 minutes and is completely anonymous. If anyone would like to take part this link will take them directly to the questionnaire; https://surveymonkey.com/s/STIquestionnaire.
If you would like more information about this study, please email Hannah Harwood at email@example.com.
This research has received full ethical approval from the Department of Psychology Ethics Committee (Undergraduate) in accordance with Northumbria University ethics and governance regulations.
Thank you! Any participation is massively appreciated. :)
Thank you for this site. My friend directed me to you when I broke the news to her that I have herpes (& was swiftly falling into the shame spiral & doomsday thoughts associated w/ the news). I look forward to sharing my story for your research, but for now, I need a trusted source to answer some simple questions I never had to consider before: is it appropriate for me to get a bikini wax at a salon, or will I be denied service after telling the esthetician I have herpes?
Hi! Thank you so much for checking out the blog and I am so happy that it has helped you in some way. Regarding the bikini wax: you do not have to disclose this information to them as the virus is transmitted through skin to skin contact and they use wax paper, often with gloves. If you decided to disclose this information and were denied service, I think you would have legal case on your hands! However, I would warn you against getting waxed as waxing can oftentimes bring on an expression. Some of my worst expressions have been from waxing/shaving. This is something you will have to experiment with however, as every body is different. You might need to switch up your self-care routine! I hope this helps? :)
First I'd like to say that you have gotten me through my HSV 1 (genitally) diagnosis. But this question doesn't necessarily have to do with that but more about myself as a person. I've always been, but even more so after the diagnosis I'm a very sexually open person, I love talking about sex and I'm so open about myself and how I feel or what i want. This tends to scare guys away. Am i supposed to tone myself down?! Why is it me being a girl and loving sex is so taboo, makes guys run?
Hi there! From one incredibly sexual self person to another, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. I have had many people be afraid of my sexuality, judge me for it, etc. But I am who I am and I can’t change myself, particularly in that sense. Don’t allow the fears of other people to coerce you into “toning yourself down” - you are who you are and your sexuality operates the way that it does, and that is that. Historically, women* have been socialized to believe that we should be pure, chaste, nurturing, “well-behaved”, passive, domestic, private etc. This trope of “successful womanhood” can be seen almost everywhere within culture, particularly in Western cultures or nations who have a history of colonization, and everyone is socialized in accordance with these gender constructions. Of course, these notions of femininity are not necessarily true, fixed, or universal. Your sexuality, as does mine, brings these apparently “naturalized” notions into question which makes people uncomfortable. For men*, masculinity is constructed directly in opposition to these hegemonic notions of femininity (this is the gender binary at work). For example, if women* are passive then men* get to be active. If women* are private then men* are public etc. Men* are socialized into believing that “successful masculinity” is as the sexual aggressor, seeker, initiator, teacher etc. Women* who prevent this from happening complicate and disrupt the norms (which gets even more complicated when we look at lesbianism/queer practices etc). The advice I would give you is that you are fine just as you are and trust that sexual partners who are intimidated by your sexuality are likely partners you wouldn’t want to have anyway. I assure you that there are plenty of fantastic people out there who will be entirely welcoming and excited by your fascination and enjoyment of sex :)
I've noticed an unusual amount of vaginal mucus lately, does this mean anything potentially negative?
It depends on the characteristics of the discharge. This is a good link that could guide you (sorry for the bullshit language of ‘healthy vagina’ and ‘abnormal vagina’ - there is nothing more irritating than this kind of charged language. Whether you have chlamydia or nothing, your vagina isn’t fucking abnormal) Excuse my rant - good luck!
Hi there, I was diagnosed with genital herpes 3 days ago after 2 days of awful symptoms. I contracted it off my first ever sexual partner who is my boyfriend. I am 19 and I am not only having to cope with the news but also the excruciating pain of my first outbreak (or expression as I've seen you like to call them!) I know as somebody with HSV you will have some insight on how long this initial episode will go on for. I am on aclyvior 5 times a day and my blisters have only just started to burst
Hi there. Thank you for reaching out - I’m sorry youre in this situation but know you’re not alone. So many of us are right there with you and know, in our own way, what you’re experiencing. To answer your question, you’re about half way through. The first outbreak is absolutely the worst and the ones you experience after this will be minuscule in comparison! After the blisters burst it will be another 5-7 days until you completely heal. Don’t pick them and try your best not to itch them. If you need to, use a cold compress. Damp a towel and press it into the irritated area instead of rubbing or scratching. Keep taking the acyclovir and try to get your hands on some Lysine, Red Marine Algae and Vitamin C. They should be available in your local vitamin store or health food store. If you dont have any stores like that near you but have a credit card/debit card, buy some online. Perhaps the most important thing you can do at this time however is to take great care of your emotional health. The kicker about HSV is that the more stressed out you get about having herpes, the more expressions you have. Make sure you get plenty of rest and allow yourself to feel all the emotions that come up. Let them wash over you and move through them instead of bottling things up and feeling anxious. Try to be kind to yourself, engage in acts of self care and self love. And above all else know that you aren’t alone :) I hope this helps!
Hi, I noticed that I have herpes outbreaks always on the last day of my menstruation/period, respectively the first day when I start taking the birth control pill. I know that hormone fluctuations can activate the virus. But is there something I can do against it? Do I have less hormone fluctuations if I take another or if I stop taking the birth control pill? It's really frustrating having an outbreak every month.
I hear you. Many folks with HSV who menstruate experience expressions during or around the time of menses (myself included!). All bodies are different, so the only advice I could give you is to experiment a bit. If you feel like taking the plunge, go off of birth control for several months to see if you notice a difference. If you do this, it is extremely important that you use an alternative form of birth control, like a barrier method. I would recommend using non-lubricated condoms as the lubricants used in condoms have spermicide, which is a really bad irritant and could contribute to outbreaks. Are you using supplements? If not, get to taking Lysine, Red Marine Algae and high doses of Vitamin C. Keep a little journal and take note of things and see if it helps! Be a little biohacker investigator :) Hope this helps and keep us updated!
Today I really felt compelled to be open about me being HSV-2 (genitally) positive. I really think it would help empower myself and even perhaps serve as an inspiration to others who also have the virus. I asked my boyfriend & close friend what they thought about it & they both were very serious when saying they think its a bad idea because it would embarrass them. They said it is important that I take their feelings in consideration. Now I feel even more ashamed. What should I do? :(
Find a new boyfriend and a new close friend! This is YOUR circumstance, your HSV is YOURS and you have your own relationship with the virus, you have your own story with the virus, you have your own feelings about the virus. If you’re finally in that place of empowerment and positivity and the people who love you don’t want you to explore and express that positive change because they’re concerned with how THEY feel, then I say completely ignore them! Why do they have such deeply personal feelings about your herpes??? Especially your close friend!?!? If they are afraid of you being open about something that is completely and entirely yours because it will somehow “embarrass” them, then that means they haven’t wholly accepted you as you are. If anyone ever told me to not start this blog, to not put my videos up on YouTube, to not write and research the condition while at University then I would very kindly tell them to go fuck themselves. By being open and empowered by your life experiences, it shouldn’t embarrass them but inspire them too. It means that there is much that they still don’t understand about the condition and that they are still engaging in deeply mis-held beliefs about the STI.
Listen, I mean it when I tell you that you are amazing, that you are perfect as you are. I mean it when I say you shine. Don’t ever let anyone force you to dim your light, to make you feel ashamed or wrong, especially when you want to be courageous and empowered! People who love you, people who wholly accept you for who you are would never hold you back from being excellent. For those of us living with HSV, the moment we reach that positive perspective of our condition, the moment we begin to feel empowered is an exciting, yet delicate moment. Surround yourself with people who will celebrate with you and encourage you in those moments not flood you with selfish feelings that have no place in your process. You’re fucking awesome and I think you should absolutely continue exploring those good feelings and how you want them to creatively manifest. You have a supporter right here and if you need help with anything, let me know.
Getting ready to tell someone you have herpes? Here is some advice of what not to do and how you can turn the desire to do these things into positive aspects that may make your conversation go better than expected! Also, sorry for the horrible lighting :)
Some thoughts on not allowing herpes to become something to hide behind! My attempt at providing some uplifting advice for a disease that can be not so uplifting most of the time :)
For some time, I've noticed that I've been attracted more to girls (I'm a girl), although my attraction to guys is still there, but while ordinarily I'd be all for acting on this attraction I'm worried that maybe I don't *really* want a romantic or sexual relationship with another female. I feel like I do, but if I get there and change my mind feelings could get hurt. Especially if she's more sure of her sexuality than me- I don't want her to feel like an 'experiment.' What should I do? :(
I can relate to your predicament! However, the only way to know about these things is to experiment, to explore. To avoid your fear of hurting someone or commodifying them is to simply be honest. There are MANY women who would probably love to help you explore your bi/pansexuality, you just have to reach out and be upfront that you’re exploring a newly developing aspect of your sexuality. Its all about communication! As your exploration (which you can also do in your fantasizing) furthers, you can then make more informed decisions about where you find yourself and your attraction. I hope this helps!