Sexual safety

I’ve written before about sexual safety, about safer sex, and about how people think about questions relating to these questions differently, in general, than I do.

They don’t particularly worry me.

Mostly, I think, this is because I’m good at assessing the likelihood of infection, as well as the risks associated with being infected. Partly, it’s because my sexual shame doesn’t manifest in this arena – as it does for many, leading them to be bad at assessing risk, to overestimate both the likelihood and the consequences of infection. In this vein, I’m always amused by people who blithely put their bodies in cars, but stress about unprotected oral sex. And partly, it’s because my sexual behavior with partners other than my wife (kissing, mostly unprotected oral; very occasionally vaginal intercourse with a condom) doesn’t, actually, put me at very much risk – either of contracting or of transmitting – STIs.

I’ve had two sexually transmitted infections in my life: gonorrhea, at age 19, and a genital wart, in my 20s. I had the former treated successfully with antibiotics, and the latter was removed. The prevalence of HPV (which causes genital warts) is on the order of 90% in sexually active males, and 80% in sexually active females. In other words, I don’t believe my having had warts years ago should concern any thoughtful partner.

Similarly: although I’ve never had a herpes outbreak, I (along with more than half the adult sexually active population) test positive for the HSV-1 (oral herpes) antibody. This (my HSV-1 antibodies) shouldn’t concern any thoughtful partner, either.

That leaves all the other stuff.

On February 21, 2024, I had a full panel blood test completed. I was negative for everything but HSV-1.

I’ll keep you posted on all my sexual partners (other than T) subsequent to the test date here, just so you have a sense of the actual (minuscule) risk I present.

As of today April 9, 2024, this is a comprehensive list:

Hope (details tk shortly – unprotected oral, no fucking)

Serena (a couple of encounters)

Milica (just once)

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