Sex Tips for Boring People: Herpes, Engaged Exes, and Sexual Ruts
What's the likelihood of getting herpes from someone who's been in remission for years?
Chances are, genital herpes is not on your Christmas list this year. That's entirely valid. It's not the most fun STD (unlike chlamydia, which I hear is downright hilarious). When you've got the herp, you've got it for life. The virus has been destigmatized in recent years, thanks to the fact that one in six American adults has it. It is also highly maintainable now to the point where you could have one outbreak in your entire life and never see it again. That said, you probably still don't want to catch it.
"If you are sleeping with someone who has genital herpes but has been in remission for years, the chances that you will catch it are still not zero," says Dr. Michael Krychman, executive director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine. "Many people can have HSV (herpes) or be shedding the virus without symptoms. It's unlikely, but it can still happen. HSV is a virus that lives in the body and can reappear. People who have chronic or recurrent infections can take suppression to decrease their chances of transmission, but it can still happen."
As always, it's best to have open and honest conversations about this stuff with your partner. And also remember: no glove, no love.
How do I cope with my ex getting engaged?
Drinking excessively, rageful texting, and posting any type of "feeling" on Facebook are three things to definitely avoid. Let's face it: this situation SUCKS, especially if not all the feelings are actually gone. The only true way to deal with this is time, but that's the incredibly lame answer that no one wants to hear because we wanted to feel better five minutes ago.
In the here and now, you can stay off Facebook and try to avoid the temptation to do any kind of masochistic stalking. You don't have to "unfriend" your ex (although for your sanity it might be a good idea), but you can definitely hide his or her feed. Same goes for any other form of social media. It truly is the worst.
Hopefully you have friends. You should talk to them. That's kind of what they are there for. If you find yourself really depressed over the situation, talking to a professional is also not a bad idea. That helps speed up the whole "time" thing.
But remember that everything you're feeling is totally normal. Relationships, even if they ended years ago, have a way of sticking with you and shaping you so it's only natural if you feel weird, sad, or even skeeved out. You won't feel that way forever.
What's the best way for a couple to get out of a sexual rut?
People in relationships will be the first to tell you that after a while, sex becomes routine. And those couples who insist their sex is always fiery, passionate, and pornographic are definitely lying. The difference between couples and friends is sex. It's pretty important. That said, when you're with the same person day in, day out, it can, and will, get old. But fear not! Just because you might not be feeling the old repertoire doesn't mean you can't strike up a new one.
"Being in a rut usually comes from having sex the same way all the time, either in the same position, place, or time, or if it follows the same format," says Claire Cavanah, co-founder of Babeland and co-author of Moregasm: Babeland's Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex. "Human beings are wired for novelty and there are so many sexy things to do together that you don't need to run out of options."
Cavanah suggests exploring erotica or porn together as a way to come up with new ideas. "You can also use a yes/no/maybe list as a communication tool," she says. "It's a list of every possible sex act you can think of. Each partner fills it out alone, and then you share with each other. Compare notes and get started."
Visiting a sex shop together is another way to brainstorm. "Each of you can pick something that you want to try. Anal sex? Restraints? Strap-ons? A remote-control vibrator? There are so many choices," she says. "A simple trick is to change the time/day/place where you have sex. If you usually have sex at night in bed, try it in the afternoon in the living room or kitchen."
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