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Old 02-06-2014, 06:00 AM
london london is offline
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I wouldn't worry. You probably have it. They could take some precautions.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:12 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I have been actively poly for 5 years, and also dipped my toes into it 15 years ago with my ex husband.

I never asked the herpes status of people I've dated in the past 5 years. I have never knowingly kissed or had sex with someone with a lesion on their mouth or lower body. I have been texted for HSV 1 and 2 recently and do not have it. I have a gf of 5 years who is poly and a bf of 2 years who is married and poly. None of us have HSV 1 or 2. (You have to ask to be tested when you go for a STD test, they do not do it automatically because the disease is so common and relatively benign.)

In recent months my bf has chosen to date 2 women. One has HSV 1 and 2 and he has decided not to have sex with her, but he does kiss her. The other one has HSV 1 and he has kissed her. He does not kiss her when she has an active lesion.

I do not feel great about this but I do not plan on a quarantine after each time he sees these women!

Here is a thread I started about our specific experiences and decision making process:

Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags (poly, F, 63)
Pixi (poly, F, 41) my nesting partner since January 2009
Master, (mono, M, 37), Pixi's bf since April 2013
BigGuy (poly, M, married, 43, dating me since late summer 2018)
Ravi (poly, M, married, 37, dating me since late summer 2018)

Last edited by Magdlyn; 02-06-2014 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:30 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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I have had two partners with HSV 1 and I never caught it, I have been tested and I'm fine. We avoided kissing when they had cold sores, and I didn't let either of them give me oral sex, ever. HSV 1 is very common and I don't think you can be poly and completely avoid contact with people who have HSV 1 for long.

HSV 2, the genital variety, is another matter. It is a dealbreaker for me, and for my primary partner. There is no way either of us would get into a sexual relationship with someone who had this. Period. Your wife doesn't have to either.

You have the power to make agreements with your wife to protect the two of you, and to protect your relationship. You do not have to be a passive doormat in this while she does whatever she pleases. This is assuming that you are OK with her having poly relationships, period. If you are not OK with it, she isn't having a poly relationship, she's just openly cheating on you.

Good luck.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:51 PM
london london is offline
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Location: UK - land of the free
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Your wife can absolutely make her own choices regarding risk assessment. So can you. They may not be the same choices because youre different people. Before you make any decisions, know your own status.. Women are more likely to get it and less likely to pass it on.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:21 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by scarletzinnia View Post
HSV 1 is very common and I don't think you can be poly and completely avoid contact with people who have HSV 1 for long.

HSV 2, the genital variety, is another matter. It is a dealbreaker for me, and for my primary partner.
You are aware, aren't you, that you can have HSV1 on your genitals or HSV2 on your face? They are just two strains of herpes and the type of strain doesn't always correspond with a specific location when it surfaces.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:29 PM
LoveBunny LoveBunny is offline
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So yes, I am mono and not interested in anyone but my amazing wife. Trouble is, if you want someone to be amazing, you have to let them be fully who they are
I want to applaud you, @JacksonCage. You sound much like my husband, who has also struggled with my desires for relationships outside the marriage and came to a similar conclusion. I appreciate and love him to the bottom of my heart, and I let him know it often. I hope your wife realizes how amazing you are.

I have no advice to offer you about herpes. For me, a guy I'd never met in person but who had herpes would simply not make my to-do list. If you're uncomfortable/concerned about anything your wife is doing, you need to tell her and you guys need to find a way you can BOTH be comfortable within your mono/poly marriage.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:52 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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I was aware of it being possible to spread HSV 1 to the genital area, nycindie. That is why I didn't let my two past partners who had it give me oral sex. We also didn't kiss when they had active cold sores. It seemed to work, I was with each of them for a year or two, and I never caught it.

Since something like 60 percent of the population has HSV 1, and since so many are unaware of it too, I don't really see a way to completely avoid contact with HSV 1 short of monogamy AND never kissing a friend or relative.
One of my partners who had it, had it from childhood, and he believes he caught it from his mom.

I was unaware that one can get HSV 2 on one's face, but it makes sense.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:42 PM
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Bluebird Bluebird is offline
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My husband is mono and I am poly, and no way, no how would I ever want to do anything that could potentially give him herpes. I dated someone for a couple of months who was herpes negative, but whose girlfriend was dating a type 2 positive person. We didn't end up being intimate because I felt the risk was just too great.

My husband does not have veto power over who I choose to date, have sex with or chat with online. However, if he came to me with concerns such as yours, I would definitely hope I could respect this as a concern and we would be able to dialogue about it. Has your wife explained why she feels this risk is warranted? Maybe she hasn't thought it through - she is definitely going to have to disclose this encounter, ever after, to all other potential partners.

If you are this uncomfortable/worried about this burgeoning relationship - you need to let your wife know. She can't respond to concerns you haven't shared.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:00 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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I can only speak to HSV 1 - Yes, an outbreak can begin before it's visible, but it is not without symptoms. It hurts before it's ever visible (days), sometimes it feel like a pimple or a bug bite other times it's much worse. As my dad's the only other person in my family that has it, I must have gotten it from him (likely when I was very little), but didn't have an outbreak until I was 13 and got a bad sunburn on my lip. Now I can almost count on an outbreak if I'm out in the sun for a couple days straight. My husband of 23 years nor either of my kids (14/18) have contracted it. I've always been really careful about contact during an outbreak, which is really hard to do when the kids are babies or are sick. In general, I wouldn't rule someone out just because of HSV 1 or 2, but there would need to be a great deal of trust established first. Unfortunately, this doesn't sound like the case with your wife as this will be their first time meeting.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:00 PM
WhatNow WhatNow is offline
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Location: Phoenix
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I am sorry you are in this situation. I understand you are open to your wife being poly because you care very much for her and want her to be happy. That is awesome. Just because she is poly and you are not, that's okay. Just noticed a lot of people criticizing your relationship, that's not helpful at all. Have you and your wife had a direct talk about whether she wants to have sex with him even with the herpes? It only sounded like an assumption.
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herpes, hsv

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