"I contracted genital herpes at 18 years old from someone that I was dating that did not disclose to me that he had it. I felt betrayed, alone, used, shocked, scared, ashamed, angry, stupid, dirty, disgusting and worthless. I grew up religious and never thought that contracting an STI would ever happen to me because after all, I was not that "type of girl". "Guys tell me I'm 'wifey material' so how could I have gotten herpes?" I'd ask myself over and over again.
13 years later, though it still can be tough to talk about at times, herpes went from an enemy to a teacher, helping me to constantly question and challenge my conditioning around STIs and the root that the stigma of herpes comes from, which is the stigma of sex itself. I've come to a place of respect for herpes and its mysterious role in mother nature, realizing that I have no idea why humans contract viruses like herpes and that it has nothing to do with "God's wrath or sexual immorality". Not only have I gained peace of mind in sharing my experience with herpes, but I've learned to embrace the Sex Goddess that I am."