Re: Cooties

1

The ads for the herpes drugs are pretty vague about the relationship between the partners. One assumes full disclosure at one's peril.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 11:47 AM
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There's some connection with the American tendency to judge unfortunate people harshly: if you're unemployed, you were probably useless and deserved to have been fired, and anyway if you were smart and hardworking you'd have another job already; if you have an STD, you're a nasty slut with poor judgment, because sensible, careful people who behave themselves don't catch diseases.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:07 PM
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The shame and stigma attached to STDs is awful.

Ya know, to go all tangental and square root-y, this sort of thing makes me wonder just how this culture has somehow intensely politicized shame, but only about looking bad.

Lie, cheat, steal, break your word, dump your trash randomly, screw people over every chance you get, abandon your kids to a vision quest, or much worse, treat you kids really badly and screw with their minds, lie to the public, break the law (if you're a white person): no sweat. That is, actually do bad things, and you're fine. Get the crabs, or sleep with the wrong person, or have cellulite in the wrong place, or fail to have enough zeroes on your paycheck, and you're the worst person ever.

Screwing people over and getting away with it: SUCCESS! Screw people over and get caught having a good time: FAIL. Refuse to screw people over: EPIC FAIL.

"It's okay to be sexually active in today's world, as long as you don't slip up and do it with someone who may be secretly gross."

All the sexual hysteria of the last however many years seems to translate to me into 'Keep Your Daughters Off the Pole'.

Jesus, it's a medical condition, and people have those.

max
['This is B's theme, really, but what the hell.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:08 PM
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I see we're in the same mood today, LB.

max
['No pwning my mind!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:09 PM
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I am too far removed from this as a cultural issue (too old and too much of a dork when I wasn't old), so I don't think I can really address the premise directly. But I have a couple of things that touch on relevance:

1. When I was in Brasilia for a day trip and a lovely young lady chose to spend the day with me, complete with smooching and an invitation back to her place (all across a very high language barrier), my #1 fear was STDs (which played into fear #2, getting found out by BOGF back home; #3 was a mild fear that this was somehow a scam, and that going to her place was a bad idea for reasons unrelated to social diseases). And so we never got past fooling around in the back of a taxi, at least 90% due to a very practical (if not nec. realistic) fear of STD.

2. When BOGF and I first hooked up, she assured me that she'd been recently tested and was clean (don't know if that was the word she used). We used condoms for contraception, not disease prevention.

3. When AB & I first hooked up, she thought that I was pulling out a condom for disease prevention; she clarified that she was on the pill, and that was that.

Point being (such as it is), STD fear in the age of AIDS and herpes seems to me a practical matter, not a hopped-up moral(istic) one. But I'm not particularly in touch.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:18 PM
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Oh gawd, who picked that book cover? Eew.

Also, I'm conflicted about the 'product description' blurb. If they're going to mention that the author is

herself diagnosed with a cervical HPV infection
seems to me that they should also mention the 1 in 4 statistic. So that it's reading less like "the author, herself incredibly unfortunate," and more "the author, like 25% of other women."


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:22 PM
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Max,

The anthropologists have a nice distinction between shame and guilt (perhaps you know about this.) While both are negative emotions we feel in response to our own failings, they have a very different character and often attach to different objects. Guilt is generally felt for an action that caused harm for another. We generally describe it using audio metaphors, such as the voice of conscience. We make up for it by atoning for the action.

Shame is generally felt when the individual feels they are no longer worthy of some social status. Visual metaphors are important: the judging eyes of the community are on you. Spacial metaphors are also important. you have done something beneath you. Because shame is about the individual, and not the action, it can attach to all sorts of things that don't involve harm to others, especially sexual rules and food rules. Oh yes, and associating with members of lower castes.

Liberal democracies are supposed to be guilt based societies, while traditional Asian societies are supposed to be shame based. (Think about the caste system in India or elaborate Chinese rules about saving and maintaining face.)

The fact is, though, a lot of America really is shame based. The patterns of things people are shamed for illustrates how it is detached from harm-based ethics.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:23 PM
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A little followup to 5:

The day-to-day effects of permanent STDs are probably hyped up by general sexual puritanism, and thus the STDs are viewed as being more consequential than a mere recitation of symptoms/effects would suggest.

That said, young people in this modern age are more isolated from "permanent" diseases than any of our predecessors. Having sex with Mary Brasilia could very realistically (if not actually very likely) have led to me getting AIDS; I can't think of any other action, so simple, with such potentially massive consequences (cue reference to car accidents). The fact that, as a first world male, I can more or less control my exposure to permanent STDs puts them in a very different category from cancer or diabetes or whatever. Some of it's based on actual distinctions, and some of it's based on puritanism. But I don't think it's just puritanism.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:24 PM
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As a shame-based man I tend to only feel shame for having done something bad to someone else, but the only time I feel like other people expect me to feel shame is for being a loser.

Maybe what I feel is not shame, but guilt.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:26 PM
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I dated a girl in grad school for 3 weeks and everything was going great until she told me she has herpes. I ended it a few days later and made it clear to her that the reason was my fear of contracting an incurable STD. It didn't change my opinion of her - I was just scared shit about getting something so permanent.


Posted by: Ronald Reagan | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:26 PM
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6: I've heard even higher percentages, too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:27 PM
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Liberal democracies are supposed to be guilt based societies, while traditional Asian societies are supposed to be shame based.

Just curious: "supposed" by whom? Is this an outside voice looking at how societies present/view themselves, and categorizing by that, or did Locke talk about the necessity of guilt for good citizenship?

I'm not disputing you at all; I'm just curious about this concept.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:28 PM
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I initially read 10 as "I dated a girl in grade school [...] until she told me she has herpes," which was surprising.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:29 PM
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The fact that, as a first world male, I can more or less control my exposure to permanent STDs puts them in a very different category from cancer or diabetes or whatever.

I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at, JRoth. Of course it's different: you're not going to die of herpes. But that difference is exactly what is being discussed in this book, right? The ways an STD effects your sexuality, in particular?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:30 PM
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I've heard even higher percentages, too.

Yeah, I think the 1 in 4 percentage is the conservative one out there. And given multiple partners (4 in a year isn't terribly crazy), well.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:32 PM
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4 in a year isn't terribly crazy

Probably should have left that out. I'm not trying to re-ignite the 'what constitutes promiscuity' discussion.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:33 PM
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"Roughly three-quarters of U.S. adults have had at least one HPV infection, according to an editorial by Matthew R. Golden, M.D., and Judith N. Wasserheit, M.D., both of the University of Washington."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:35 PM
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Just curious: "supposed" by whom?

I think Ruth Benedict first put forward the hypothesis.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:35 PM
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15: Yeah. I really wasn't aware that there was an HPV related stigma -- it is hugely common among women in their 20s and 30s and symptomless (unless of course you develop cervical cancer!). Many OB/GYNs now throw an HPV test in with the Pap.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:36 PM
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It's not symptomless. "Papilloma" means a type of wart.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:43 PM
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I think the 1 in 4 percentage is the conservative one out there. And given multiple partners (4 in a year isn't terribly crazy), well.

I think you were correct to mention both of those things together.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:43 PM
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20: Most people who test positive for HPV do not have papilloma. They have the virus, which can cause it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:44 PM
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I really wasn't aware that there was an HPV related stigma -- it is hugely common among women in their 20s and 30s and symptomless

I think having genital warts carries a huge stigma, and people are loosely fuzzy on the connection between HPV and warts.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:45 PM
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It's not symptomless.

Most HPV infections are symptomless.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:45 PM
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I thought for most people the warts come and go, like the symptoms of herpes. Don't know much about that virus or its many subtypes, though, except for the cancer effects (of the 16 and 18 subtypes).


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:46 PM
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Wikipedia says: "Approximately 130 HPV types have been identified. Some HPV types can cause warts (verrucae), but those types don't cause cancer. Other types can cause cancer, but those types don't cause warts. Other types have no symptoms and are harmless."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:48 PM
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Of course it's different: you're not going to die of herpes. But that difference is exactly what is being discussed in this book, right? The ways an STD effects your sexuality, in particular?

Well, and I wouldn't die of diabetes, either. It's not the lethality, it's the permanence. And permanent diseases don't afflict youngsters very much. And, when they do, it's viewed as a bolt from the blue - "Cancer! And he's only 26!" - whereas getting herpes (or whatever) comes directly from voluntary activity. Now, you're not nec. volunteering to get the disease, but, like rock climbing, it's sort of a known risk. But sex (in the modern world) doesn't seem like it should be quite so risky (at least not along that axis).

It's probably useful to note that, since I was 21, I've also had a fear that something would happen to result in me having bad knees or a bad back - those are also things that don't kill you and can be managed, but that also don't go away - ever.

Youth culture in America is all about distance from death (and extreme sports are about flaunting that distance - we are so youthful that not even skateboarding on the rim of an active volcano can kill us!), and permanent diseases bring aging and death right into the everyday.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:52 PM
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BTW, since we're in the medical weeds on this stuff: what's the deal with cold sores? Am I correct in thinking that a. this is a form of herpes, but somehow distinct from sexxxy herpes, and b. it's permanent? Because, again, damn, what a drag to think that I'll be getting occasional cold sores from age 27 (iirc) until death.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 12:56 PM
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28: Yep, you've pretty much got it; cold sores are generally caused by herpes simplex 1, genital herpes by herpes simplex 2. The caveat is that HSV-1 can cause genital sores too, so you need to be careful about infecting both others (via oral sex) and yourself (by touching the sore and then your genitals or eyes).


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:02 PM
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28: Yep, cold sores are herpes, but different from genital herpes, although you could transfer the mouth kind to somone's (or your own!) junk. I get cold sores from time to time and was told by my gynecologist not to "give oral sex to some guy" when I have one. How can I resist such an enticing possibility -- to "give oral sex to some guy"?!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:03 PM
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you could transfer the mouth kind to somone's (or your own!) junk.

Transferring your oral herpes to your own junk promotes it from herpes simplex to herpes duplex.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:08 PM
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It's probably useful to note that, since I was 21, I've also had a fear that something would happen to result in me having bad knees or a bad back - those are also things that don't kill you and can be managed, but that also don't go away - ever.

Speaking as someone who permanently damaged his back at age 21, and who now has to cope with both potentially-disabling arthritis and diabetes in his mid-30s... you adapt. There are definitely lows, but you learn to deal with them. It's the plus side of the hedonic treadmill.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:10 PM
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my gynecologist not to "give oral sex to some guy" when I have one.

Notice how the patriarchy doesnt care about you giving it to some girl? Bastards.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:10 PM
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I thought for most people the warts come and go, like the symptoms of herpes.

In some cases this is a person clearing up one infection and getting another. HPV often clears up on its own.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:14 PM
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Is the premise that stds shame women more than men?

After disclosure, do more women decline sex with the std carrier or do more men decline?

Or does it disproportionately impact the unattractive?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:17 PM
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Cold sores in general are HSV-1, and genital herpes in general are HSV-2. This is not just due to the higher frequency of oropharynx:oropharynx and genital:genital encounters compared to oropharynx:genital encounters. Also, something in the HSV-1 genome makes it more likely to reactivate lytically if it infects the oropharynx but stay latent forever if it infects the genital mucosa. While the opposite is true (to a lesser extent) with HSV-2.

evidence


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:21 PM
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permanent diseases bring aging and death right into the everyday

But with herpes or HPV, the intrusion into the everyday isn't death, but rather 'uncleanliness' or 'contagion'. Going to live with diabetes the rest of your life? Okay fine, but you're not going to give it to anyone. Herpes is going to affect the way you interact with and present yourself to others (i.e., potential sex partners) in a very particular way.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:21 PM
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Okay fine, but you're not going to give it to anyone.

Certainly not with that defeatist attitude, you won't.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:23 PM
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Sorry, I inaccurately conflated "virus that causes cancer" with "virus that nearly always stays latent in the body for decades after infection".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:25 PM
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About three or four years ago I realized how fucking dangerous and widespread STDs like syphilis actually were in the 18th-19th centuries. So much of the virginity-mongering simply had to be related to this not entirely irrational fear of disease.

Syphilis is a scary disease, man. Thank God for modern medicine.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:40 PM
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It's my understanding (and has been my experience) that oral herpes infections tend to sort of trail off, symptoms-wise. I got my first cold sore in college, and got them a couple of times a year after that, but less and less often until now it's every couple of years. And I believe the same thing is true of genital herpes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:43 PM
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That would make sense if the virginity-mongering applied to men and women equally.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:43 PM
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Anyone who wants to read a prior discussion of herpes on this site should google 'goat molester' in the archives.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:43 PM
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How can I resist such an enticing possibility -- to "give oral sex to some guy"?!

I'm some guy.

Laydeez.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:51 PM
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That would make sense if the virginity-mongering applied to men and women equally.

It's totally fucked up, but I think I've read that a woman has a better chance of not passing syphilis on to a fetus if the infection is in its primary stages.

I know, I know, it's really an insufficient cause for the prevalent moralizing and misogyny. Still, if I were transported in time back to the 19th century, I would probably be too terrified to sleep around much, if at all.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:52 PM
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It's not the lethality, it's the permanence.

What suggests that there's something irrational going on is that both HPV and genital herpes are pretty small potatoes, actual effect on your life-wise. HPV is mostly asymptomatic, and where there are symptoms they're treatable, and herpes is a matter of outbreaks meaning that you can't have sex for about a week every three or four months for most people, or no outbreaks ever after the initial outbreak for plenty of people, and that you should really use a condom to avoid transmission even between outbreaks. That's annoying, but not tragic -- in the absence of strong feelings related to irrational disgust, Reagan's story in comment 10 would be unlikely. (Not judging Reagan, I'd bet more people than not would react that way. But the normalcy of that reaction says something.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 1:56 PM
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37: I meant that it brought the idea of death, not death itself. A cold is no harbinger of death, but disease - permanent, chronic (albeit mild) disease - is. Psychologically. For instance, it's clear to me that Josh lives every day with the specter of his own mortality. Makes me shiver to think of it.

That last part was a joke, people.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:01 PM
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41 sounds like good news, and I think seems applicable. I do think I'm more susceptible when sleep-deprived - I think I got a couple when Kai was new - but it's probably true that they're trailing off.

For a lot of people it seems to be the appearance - the feeling that you look gross to others - and that's certainly there, but they're also just unpleasant, with the constant reopening and... well. You can imagine.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:03 PM
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47: disease - permanent, chronic (albeit mild) disease - is.

But you've got herpes already, and it doesn't seem to bother you in the same way as genital herpes would. It's a 'drag,' but probably not a good enough reason to avoid dalliance with an attractive Brazilian. There's got to be some specific sense of sexual uncleanness that drives the reaction, no?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:04 PM
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46: I was a kid when herpes first came out*, and everyone made a big deal of it, I guess because it was the first disruption of the sexxy seventies. So I had that imprinted in my mind as a big deal before I ever reached puberty. Then came AIDS**, of course, and sex==death. So I'm not sure it's irrationality as such (in the sense that it's purely symbolic - there's some there there).

I was never aware of HPV as an STD at all. But, again, my sexual history fits on the back of a matchbook, so don't read too much into that.

* in the sense of "in the papers." No idea of its biological course

** again, in the papers. That I know the history of


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:10 PM
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49: If I'd known how to avoid herpes 1, I would have.

Honestly, it was mostly AIDS that kept me away from her, with a backup notion that, even if I didn't contract a deadly illness, I'd still be returning to BOGF's arms with a potential unwanted gift for her.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:13 PM
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the first disruption of the sexxy seventies

70s=free love and cocaine
80s=crack and AIDS

I've had bad timing my whole life.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:18 PM
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48: I've never actually gotten medical treatment for mine, but I find that Blistex is remarkably effective in soothing them and even seems to make them look less obtrusive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:23 PM
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Chicken Pox is a herpes virus so really most people already have herpes before they are even thinking about being sexually active. They did in the past at least, not as much now or so I gather.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:24 PM
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I associate the dynamic in 2 with pop Calvinism and its penumbrae, cross bred with strains of objectivism and its relatives. The elect are blessed in this life as well as the next, so god will not smite them or permit them to be smitten, and the heroic rationalist individualists are too smart and special to be felled by a mere microbe.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:26 PM
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52: Dude, I feel your pain. I came of age in AIDS ground zero before antiretrovirals were available. On the plus side, the government actually gave a damn, so condoms were widely available and subsidized so they cost the equivalent of a US penny each.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:33 PM
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Are STDS playing the role that virginity used to, in more ways than just a consequence of sex?

I'm pretty sure virginity is not a consequence of sex.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:38 PM
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Sure it is. Not sex that you had yourself, but you wouldn't be around being virginal if someone hadn't had sex.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:39 PM
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I totally remember when Herpes hit the papers. I remember having a sit-down talk with my parents, where I was told never to share food with other kids. I remember being told "Your friend K has it. Dum-dum-dum!" But the word "herpes" was not actually part of it. And then I never heard of it again, for a decade, and occasionally wondered if I'd dreamt the whole thing. Then, eventually as an adult, I put it together, because I'm a medical detective like that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:44 PM
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google 'goat molester' in the archives

and get your full name into the query log so that in the happy future day when all electronic activity ever anywhere is browseable, there will be no confusion about who asked that question. (in the phrase "sexy goat molester" which noun is modified?)


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:45 PM
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I've had bad timing my whole life.

Am I remembering correctly that you were something like a Soviet Studies major in the late 80s?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:49 PM
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I think people have their herpes history a little askew. Genital herpes has been recognized for quite some time and hit the big time, in terms of public awareness and epidemic status, in the late 1960s.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:52 PM
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Yes, Soviet and Eastern Bloc Studies. I graduated just as the entire damn thing--POOF!--disappeared into the mists of history.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:52 PM
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70s=free love and cocaine
80s=crack and AIDS
I've had bad timing my whole life.

Whereas I really got the most out of the crack and AIDS era, but free love and cocaine simply hurt my sinuses.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:53 PM
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62: No, yes, the Science! was not new. But it had a sensational journalism flare-up in the 80s, (easily treated with Blistex.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:54 PM
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61: My best friend was a Soviet Studies major at Wellesley. She was a junior 20 years ago. This did position her nicely however to move recently-opened eastern bloc cities post-graduation and be paid by Soros and Lauder etc.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 2:55 PM
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But it had a sensational journalism flare-up in the 80s,

Ah, I see.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 3:02 PM
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66: The missing "to" there really makes for a fantastical comment!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 3:04 PM
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59 made me laugh, picturing adult Heebie putting two and two together.

I don't remember the herpes alarum, but when AIDS hit the news our folks sat us down for a sex-and-drugs talk. I was about five. Of course I'd known about sex for ages---we're Unitarian---but this was definitely the first time there had been a safety element to the discussion. They were so sad and scared for us. It made a strong impression.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 3:07 PM
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No one person's virginity is a consequence of sex but were it not for sex there would be no room for virginity in our conceptual armamentarium, so, you know.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 3:09 PM
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Do you know where the General keeps his armamentariums?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 3:11 PM
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"armamentaria", heebie.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 3:16 PM
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Wow, that's not even close. Think about articles of clothing, neb.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 3:20 PM
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But it had a sensational journalism flare-up in the 80s

http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19820802,00.html


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 3:23 PM
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That is an awesome cover. If herpes doesn't kill you, it'll probably show up in your dreams tomorrow night and kill you then.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 3:27 PM
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71: That is the Flip-Father's favorite joke in the world.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 3:39 PM
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36: You're as bad as Shearer with your "evidence"!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 4:07 PM
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Oh gawd, who picked that book cover? Eew.

I can't stop laughing at that cover. I can never look at an apple the same way again. "Dude, what are you doing? You're never going to finish that apple if you just keep licking it like that."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 4:38 PM
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My consciousness was first raised on this topic by the Pharcyde:

I got more flavor than 7-11 Slurpees
If Magic can admit he got AIDS, fuck it--I got herpes.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 5:25 PM
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40 Except that doesn't explain the class and geographical differences. In France virginity was not a big deal in the lower classes. In the upper classes it only was for women, and even there once they'd been married and produced an heir sexual fidelity wasn't a big deal, in some ways less than it is today. Mme. Bovary is a good bourgeoise and thus wrong, not just because of infidelity, but also that her screwing around is a hopeless attempt to break out of the confines of middle class propriety and into the more exciting mores of the upper class depicted in novels.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 5:47 PM
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In France virginity was not a big deal in the lower classes.

Life expectancy wasn't very high in general, though. And I imagine that the Catholic church had something to say about your proposition!

As for sleeping around after the heir and the spare, most of that is surely inheritance anxiety, but my argument (as silly and slight as it may be) is that some part of it is concern that the children have congenital syphilis, with its consequent physical and mental deformations


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 6:33 PM
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82

My God, I'm doing a decent Slate impression, aren't I.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 6:34 PM
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83

69: 59 made me laugh, picturing adult Heebie putting two and two together.

Zero. Right?


Posted by: EFS | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 6:36 PM
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84
Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 6:37 PM
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85

One thing nobody has mentioned about the early days of AIDS is how many people were saying AIDS would get worse and soon. First herpes comes (easy to get, not dangerous), then you get AIDS (relatively hard to get, swiftly fatal at the time). It doesn't take much to image something as deadly as AIDS but which cannot be reliably stopped by a condom. That never happened, but neither did a nuclear war and I'm still uncomfortable keeping nuclear weapons in the basement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 6:44 PM
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86

Anyway, during the 80s I learned that plenty of people and things were either trying to kill me or wouldn't care if they did kill me. As far as the utility of the lesson, it could have been improved if someone would have explained that everybody not trying to kill me was going to try to annoy me, but I wouldn't call it incorrect.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 6:51 PM
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87

At least that means I don't annoy Moby Hick.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 6:52 PM
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88

Uuh, actively don't annoy me or passively don't annoy me?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 6:55 PM
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Oh, you can annoy and be murderous?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:09 PM
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I suppose so, but I was asking about the distinction between 'trying kill me' and 'wouldn't care if they did kill me'. Like the difference between the Port Authority and the Department of Public Works.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:10 PM
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91

Is surrounding someone's house with razor trip wire active or passive?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:12 PM
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92

Get a room you two.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:13 PM
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93

I'm already in a room.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:13 PM
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94

I am also in a room. Which I just returned to from a trip to the room where the wine bottle is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:15 PM
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95

Get two rooms, each surrounded with razor trip wire.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:16 PM
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96

"Love at first fight." It's how they used to spell it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:17 PM
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97

Have you seen this room?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:17 PM
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98

I think I just made the worst s/f joke attempt ever.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:19 PM
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99

That fucks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:27 PM
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100

It fupes fucks. But, hey, Kobe!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:30 PM
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101

Are you infane? This is Hitler's room!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:35 PM
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102

Hello! Why do you think I need the rafor trip wire?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:39 PM
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103

Birth control is so confusing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:41 PM
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104

Apparently, they can now grow rabbit penises. Maybe in a few years, instead of a condom, you'll just have to get a new penis.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:42 PM
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"Oh, me? Yes, of course I've got the 4G penis with Bluetooth and wireless-N capability. What kind of rabbit do you take me for?"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:44 PM
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106

103: Ahahahahahhaha.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:44 PM
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107

Is 106 a laugh or a scream?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:49 PM
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108

It's a paradox!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:52 PM
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109

103 made me laugh for a long time.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:56 PM
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Antinomy? She was at the hospital when I was born!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:56 PM
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I never knew what a paradox sounded like.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 7:58 PM
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112

There was a time when I was little when all I knew about human reproduction was that a penis goes in and a baby comes out. Evidently I had no concept of gestation, since, in my mental picture of the whole process, the time elapsed before penis-in and baby-out was negligible. Mom and Dad moosh their genitals together and a baby pops out, moosh, baby, moosh, baby, until the growing heap of babies reaches a predetermined size.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 8:40 PM
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113

What is the sound of a blog with no new comments?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 8:41 PM
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114

before s/b between


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 8:41 PM
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JP Stormcrow is pwnzz0red by a heap of babies


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 8:42 PM
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116

115: Yep. The secrets of comedy and tragedy are the same.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 8:45 PM
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117

Had a lady queen, married since 18
He protested, that he was infested
Get lots of love and he couldn't digest it
All propaganda, one big fat lie
Cuz I see the king with my very own eye
Schemed and schemed like a crack fiend king
And poppin up on the teammates scene
And poppin and pimpin on hunnies with moneys
Whole situation to me, was kinda funny
He hold the crown but not the jimmy hat
Now he wears a frown and the jimmy hates that
So the fair maiden in the royal bedroom
Caught the king scratchin, so she had to assume
That he got vicked by the enemy's trick
The thought of cheatin made the maiden so sick
That she screamed and screamed, went on and kept screamin
Threw a pot and his dome was beamin
You could hear him yellin in the motherland
"Baby, baby please. Baby, understand."
She ignored and walked through the gate
The king is in the kingdom to await his fate...of the enemy

The Pubic Enemy


Posted by: Qtip | Link to this comment | 11- 9-09 11:26 PM
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JRoth,

I don't think I've ever had a cold sore, but I believe that my sister has on occasion.

There are two folk remedies that I've heard. As soon as you feel one coming on

(1) get a fresh toothbrush and replace it as soon as the outbreak is over.

(2) take the amino acid lysine as a supplement.

In the OTC-actually-works realm, there's abreva


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 4:33 AM
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119

On the plus side, it seems that there are exciting vaccines for herpes on the horizon.

I'm pretty low risk for HPV, but I still wish that I could get the vaccine easily, i.e. through insurance.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 5:58 AM
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I had cold sores on my lips several times a year as a kid, now it's more like once every four or five years. Doesn't make sense to me but I'm not complaining.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 3:48 PM
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it seems that there are exciting vaccines for herpes on the horizon.

Those sexist vaccines don't work for men. Y'all will be out whoring it up without a care in the world, which I'm pretty sure makes you at least as bad as the Nazis. It's in the Bible.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 3:57 PM
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Too many people are afraid to admit they have herpes on their horizon.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 5:04 PM
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One of these days, there will be a vaccine for horizons, Standpipe, I'm telling you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 5:28 PM
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I really can't understand why things like the search for herpes/HIV vaccine aren't approximately 7% of GDP. instead, we have things like giant houses and fighter planes.

also, the herp makes me never want to test be tested, because konwing you are positive seems like a real crimp in things (awkward).


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-10-09 5:45 PM
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121: Herpevac doesn't, but a quick google revealed that there have been some recent adavnces in culturing the virus in other animals which look favorable.

I want them to come up with a hepatitis C vaccine bad. My Dad got that when he had heart surgery in the 80's. His particular genotype is one of the less aggressive ones, but he's starting to show cirrhosis. The symptoms may be treatable, but the liver itself probably isn't.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-11-09 5:09 AM
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