Hi, I saw your post "Related, I know a couple that both ended up with HSV1 genitally, because one of them had it orally, " is that because one didn't have hsv at all, the one who DID gave them oral, contracted hsv 1. Then had genital-genital contact ? I'm trying to understand bc my husband and I both have hsv 1 orally (couple years now) and don't know whether to participate in oral anymore. So i wanna know if either of us can get it below.
Iiiiiii actually don’t know. Will ask her & update.
Her reply is: “so, yeah, best guess is that it was oral sex passed to one of us, then genital sex passed it to the other. to be fair, we had a lot of rough unprotected sex early on in the relationship because i was on birth control and both of us had been “tested” (note, standard tests do not actually always include an HSV check) and were pronouncedclean within six months of us hooking up. but, as we know, you can have very safe sex and pass it too, so take the information for what it’s worth i guess? neither of us had visible oral sores at the time the whole thing blew up. i had been diagnosed with HSV1 as a kid; he had an ex-girlfriend who had periodic cold sores and gave him blowjobs, so who knows who gave what to whom.”
One of them caught HSV1 below the belt, and passed it to the other below the belt, and the best they can figure is that the first person caught it from oral sex. Ultimately, she had HSV1 orally as a child and contracted it genitally later in life, so IT IS POSSIBLE to do so.
With that in mind, consider a few things.
1) Anywhere between 50-80% of the adult population has oral herpes, whether they know it or not. And yet, genital herpes hovers in the 20-25% range. Oral sex CAN pass HSV to the genitals, but clearly this is not affecting the population at the same rate that they are receiving oral sex.
2) Most oral herpes is HSV1, because HSV1 *prefers* to be in your mouth. Most genital herpes is HSV2, because HSV2 *prefers* to be in your pants. Usually, if you’ve had a strain of HSV in one part of your body long enough to build antibodies, you’re much less likely to catch it elsewhere. Usually, when someone catches HSV1 genitally, they have significantly fewer and milder outbreaks — sometimes only one, sometimes none at all. Not always, but usually.
3) If you’re not willing to take those risks, which is a personal choice that only you and your husband can make, that’s perfectly fine. But if you still want to give and receive oral sex, there are things you can do to make it safer, even if it will never be completely risk free.
-Avoid oral when either of you has a cold sore, or thinks you might be getting one, and a few days after.
-Condoms, dental dams, latex gloves, or your barrier method of choice can help prevent transmission.
-Keep your health up and your immune system strong to prevent outbreaks and lessen the chance of spreading the virus. Stay rested, practice stress relief and self care. L-lysine pills, available at your local pharmacy in the vitamin isle, will help keep the virus at bay. Avoid foods high in arginine, and avoid the sun, or wear sunscreen.
Personally, I don’t think that having herpes is worse than a life without oral sex. Boyfriend and I continue to give and receive it despite the chance that one of us could catch it orally, because we enjoy it and have decided that we’re both ok taking that risk. What you do is, of course, up to you.