I have an STD and I feel like I’m damaged goods. How do I deal with this when dating?

by Simone Kornfeld

One of the most amazing things about being alive is getting to experience life through this extraordinary body. But one of the tough things about having this incredible body is that it’s vulnerable to all sorts of injures, illnesses, and strange conditions. We are all host to infinite viruses and bacteria throughout our lives. We all get our share of unique and freaky physical challenges to take on. And yes, huge percentages of people are exposed to, and contract sexually transmitted diseases. Although we encourage you to take precautionary measures to safeguard your health, we also urge you to avoid plummeting into the black hole of shame and self-degradation that sometimes accompany contracting an STD. So you’ve got some warts on your twat, some sores on your labia, an extended family of crabs frolicking through your pubes. It happens! Go to the doctor, get the medications you need, and get on with your radical life. If you recall from The Attitude chapter in Smitten, NO ONE IS MORE AWESOME THAN YOU – even people who never had an STD. You are still a prime candidate to be sexually craved and deeply loved. When you want to be involved with someone, if it’s relevant information to their health, put it on the table. If that person and you have got something special going on, and they have a modicum of emotional maturity, they will understand. And the conversation and subsequent plan on how to be sexually involved will likely deepen your bond. Choose to respect and love this incredible body, no matter what nicks and bruises it acquires in this unpredictable life.