Two Abortions, Herpes, and 69: Some Things That Made Me Not Go on a Second Date

I wanted Missy to stop telling me so much: that her favorite position was 69, that she didn’t like to use condoms, and that she had had two abortions.

I had met Missy on an online dating site less than a month before meeting her face-to-face. Missy’s profile picture had been from a few years ago. She had smooth, taut skin framed by a bob of blonde hair. When I met Missy in person she kept pulling at the bottom of her shirt to cover up a bit of belly. But I didn’t care that she was bigger than I would have liked, because I was curious. I wanted to see how far it would go.

And there I was having dinner on Missy’s living room couch, while she drank white wine, then read my palm and told me that I would be a good husband and father. I had just turned 22 and was still an undergrad, while she was almost 30 and a teacher. To get Missy to stop talking I made out with her.

We both had our shirts off and Missy was rubbing my dick through my shorts, when Missy stopped and sat on my feet. She said that she needed to tell me something. I didn’t want her to stop rubbing my dick. I thought maybe she’d continue after she told me this. So, I nodded.

Missy said that at a party in high school she had “scissored” with a girl and now had genital herpes. I couldn’t believe that a moment ago my hand had been at her damp crotch. I wiped my hand on my shorts. Still, to be polite, I stayed a little longer before I said I needed to go.

At her door, Missy said she’d see me again.

For a second, I considered seeing Missy again. Even though she has herpes, I thought, Maybe she’ll give me a blowjob. Then I thought, What would I have to do in return? I realized not only was I desperate enough to put myself at more and more risk, but worse, I was willing to use her.

Missy had been honest enough to tell me she had herpes, but I didn’t want to deal with that. I thought nobody wanted to deal with that. While she was being responsible, Missy’s consequence was probably getting turned down again and again.

“Sure,” I lied and forced myself to accept her goodnight kiss.

The next day I called Missy and said, “Thank you for telling me the truth. I just can’t handle it.”

Missy said she understood.

I was too much of a coward to say I was sorry.

For more terrible, awesome, and real dating stories, head over to our “Men and Dating” and “Male Heartbreak” sections.

—Photo Tobyotter/Flickr

About Chris Wiewiora

Chris Wiewiora earned his MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University. His nonfiction about relationships has also been published on the Billfold, Nerve, the Rumpus, and many other magazines. Read more at


  1. I’m a bit sensitive about the whole genital herpes thing. I have genital herpes and have had it for ten years now. I got it from my first boyfriend, I wanted to have protected sex but he wouldn’t hear of it, in short he coerced me into having unprotected sex and then anally raped me. I got herpes from him, and it actually really upsets me to think that when I do disclose to potential sexual partners that they might think me to be sexually promiscuous at best.

  2. This is completely ridiculous, people please educate yourselves. The reality of the situation is that 60% of the population now has genital herpes. Most people have no idea that they have it because either their symptoms are too minor to notice or they do not ever get any symptoms. Herpes does not pose any risk to your health, except in very rare circumstances where a woman contracts it during pregnancy. At worst, it is aggravating and socially stigmatizing. So here is the reality, most people have genital herpes. Most people that have had more than a couple of partners have already had sex with someone that has it. If you are with a partner that no longer gets outbreaks, then the chance that you could contract it from them would be one or two days in the course of a year, when they have asymptomatic viral shedding. This translates to a less than 0.03 chance of getting herpes from your partner on any day of the year that you have sex with them. Condoms reduce that chance.

  3. Sexual health is very important to maintain, obviously. Is an orgasm worth getting an STD/STI? For me, it’s not. It is good that she told him before it went too far and good that he decided not to think with his penis and go for it. I would not be with someone who had an STD because I would not want to get it (duh). It’s not shallow, it’s logical. When you have good health, protect it.


    • I agree with your comment.. no sane minded person would want to expose themselves to such a thing.. though I’m seeing her through compassionate eyes.. we’re hearing through a second party of his view point of this woman… my ex didn’t ask for it.. and I saw how he tortured himself daily because he had it… it did effect our marriage as he ‘listened’ to the judgments of society.. though I agree YES when you have good health, protect it!!!

  4. In my opinion, reading this article just shows me the high and mighty ego this man has and the very low self esteem the woman has.. he makes himself look so innocent.. when he himself states to see how far he can go with her… then oh no lets judge her because she’s made some bad choices in her past… due to facts we don’t know why… she just went looking for love from this guy who is all about himself… why didn’t he leave the moment she told him that she has herpes?? why is he at her home on a first date?? if he is so chaste… why is he breaking all the rules.. who goes to a strangers home on a first date.. IF they’re searching for the real thing??? This guys ego is hurt because he couldn’t get his rocks off because she told him she has herpes!! She may not be making healthy choices.. but she told him something that she felt she needed to on before things got to a point… btw I was married to a man who had herpes.. with proper caution I didn’t get it.. then again.. I don’t know.. because it doesn’t always show up.. grow up people.. judge yourselves before you judge others..

    • With all due respect, Sarb, I don’t think you understand the meaning of the word “judgment”.

      At no point in this article, do I see the author saying that Missy is a bad person, a lesser person, etc. On the contrary, he commends her honesty. And he admits to the fact that he was (a) a coward, (b) desperate and (c) willing to use her.

      You are responding as though you didn’t read the article. We do know why he didn’t leave the moment she told him she as herpes (to be polite, he says). At no point does he claim to be chaste (I don’t know where you got that from). And the sense that he makes himself looks so innocent…

      While I don’t think he presents a flattery picture of Missy, I don’t think he tries to paint a flattering picture of himself either. I don’t think the point here is to go away thinking, “What a great guy Chris is; and what a terrible person Missy is”. If that’s what you got, maybe you started responding to this before you stopped to think about it.

      That’s the challenge with this kind of conversation. We all start arguing with who we *think* is on the other end of the conversation, instead of who’s actually there. We start substituting all the shallow, selfish, non-thinking people who we would imagine saying insensitive shit (ex-partners, self-righteous holier-than-thous, etc.) and impute all their words and characteristics who dare talk about the subject.

      I read this as a story, not an argument, not a polemic, not much of anything. It’s just a story of a guy and what he did and what he didn’t do, with a window into the internal dialogue behind of all that. But hey, if you chose only to see goblins and demons, and choose only to respond to perceived judgment with, um, *actual* judgment, then by all means, go right ahead.

      • In due respect Jack… I don’t comment on something if I don’t read it.. infact I read the article a few times to see and understand through different perceptive angles.. I did the same to the comments.. so that I open my mind try to understand what is being shared.. and I gave MY opinion… I also should say I read your comment.. and frankly your long winded ‘garble’ was about your opinion.. and I respect it… I don’t agree with it.. but it’s your perception and opinion… When I share an opinion I seek no expectation of agreement from others… if people do then thats ok too..and if people want to comment constructively.. I’m open to it too…

        BTW have no idea what your last paragraph is meant to express.. but hey again.. your view point again.. thanks

  5. If you need to disclose herpes to peeps, you should do it BEFORE the other person is wet or hard. Telling in the moment is rather like taking advantage of someone when they are drunk; their thinking is impaired. AND why where they having dinner on her couch as a first date? That right there was the indicator of bad boundaries…for both parties concerned.

  6. Mistinguette S says:

    I didn’t read this as a story about an STD. This woman communicated in many ways how little she was able to care for or protect herself from harm: she has had an STD and two unplanned pregnancies but still doesn’t use condoms; she shares intimate sexual information way too soon; and is willing to initiate sexual contact and ensure his desire before disclosing her herpes infection (which she has already said she won’t protect him from). Meanwhile, she’s talking about marriage on a first date. I think this woman thinks of herself as sexually free, when , in fact, she has poor personal boundaries, and telegraphs desperation.

    I believe that , if we are willing to listen, people will tell us who they are. From her too-tight t-shirt to her inappropriate revelations, she told him who she was. I don’t think the statement “Thank you for telling me the truth. I just can’t handle it.” was a statement about her herpes infection, I think it was about her character. And there’s not an ounce of cowardice is saying that.

  7. sorry for the grammar errors, I should have proofread my comment

  8. Wow, I find a lot of these responses are really upsetting. Herpes is a very common STD (as the person above said, 1 in 4 people for HSV 1 or 2)and a large number of the people who have it don’t even know it. You can have it for decades and not even know it and unless you have an active outbreak likely won’t be able to test for it. I I know quite a few people who know they have it and are on medication. A good friend of mine got herpes in college from his girlfriend who had cheated on him. 15 years later he is fine, it happens. Grow up.

  9. On the contrary, working in OBGYN as I do, I never look at patients with herpes or any other communicable disease as dirty or tainted. Someone gave that person the disease, she didn’t invent it. And I see many couples in which the other partner remains uninfected. Consider that, and the fact that 1:4 people in this country test positive for HSV1 or HSV2, the main herpes viruses that cause us so many problems . . .and both viruses can be found orally and genitally. So my view is now, “That poor person, look at that cold sore at the corner of his/her mouth . . . what a shame that they have herpes”. Don’t just think genitally. People that get cold sores have herpes too.

  10. “to get Missy to stop talking, I made out with her”

    Way too much information for a first meeting. I appreciate her honesty, but when a guy tells me about that much bad baggage on a first meeting, there isn’t a second date.

    I give him points for calling her the next day.

  11. I think the key point here–as usually only mothers understand–the idea of biological symbiosis. All life on earth functions from it. While mother’s give birth to another being that is intrinsically dependent upon them, it is their dream that the favor can be returned. Medicine and faith allows so many to give birth to healthy women and men. But so many women and men have such little faith in medicine and spirituality to take the risk to settle down with just one woman, despite her fallacies.

  12. Thanks for coming aboard E and saying something that needed to be said.

  13. I don’t think it’s at all cowardly or shallow to decide not to sleep with TMI herpes abortion girl. She obviously has some inappropriate boundaries and possibly some mental health problems, in addition to the incurable STD. It’s great that she told him about it BEFORE they had sex instead of afterwards. I think that’s a very honest and good thing to do, but nobody ever owes anyone sex. If I went with a guy and he said “I don’t believe in condoms” or “I don’t believe in abortions,” I’d say “I don’t believe in having sex with you, then,”…SAME THING. If the person’s views on safer sex and what to do about an ‘oops’ don’t fit with my own plans for my goodies, then I have the right to NOT have sex with that person. No one owes anyone sex, EVER.

  14. Probably should have made this clear, not talking about herpes but incurable life-threatening ailments.

  15. Everyone makes their own decision in this regard. I was appointed custodial father of two children with no spousal support working in a manual labor profession. I made the call that I needed to stay healthy, and it was more about my responsibilities than fear about my own health.

    • I can relate in a way . After I split with my ex and gained custody I made my child my only priority for the first year. Once there was more shared custody and I was home alone, I no longer constantly had my crutch .I didn’t want a relationship because my focus was on my daughter, and I just didn’t want to deal with anyone else. I just wanted someone to temporarily fill a void. I started off back when Yahoo I.M. was the thing, meeting my first “friends”. Once I was on Myspace and Facebook , hooking up had become an addiction worse than any drug , AND MUCH MORE DANGEROUS ! I used protection with anyone I only planned to be with once or a few times. The frustration I was releasing through sex often made a condom useless . They would break or come off and after that I seen no point in wearing another one with that girl, “the harm was done”. I had gotten a vasectomy before I had even broken up with my child’s mother so reproducing was not a concern… I soon started filming my encounters which became another addiction within itself. … There was a few times I found myself with wealthy married women because of the convenience. Not only did they just want the same as me but they came bearing gifts. My sex drive was unreal and my conscience became less and less, I had become a whore !

  16. Wow. Shallow.

    • @Tyler…so you think it is shallow to not want to get a lifetime disease that seriously inhibits you from having intimate relationships with anybody besides the one person you got it from? People have to live with the consequences of their actions…if they get an std from being careless then they limit their pool of partners to others who have same std OR lie about it and conceal it and feel guilty OR try to find a saintly person who feels sorry for them and sacrifices their own health and happiness for them

      • Life is a lifetime disease that seriously inhibits you from having intimate relationships with anybody besides the one person you got it from.

      • Well said ! I wonder how many of these people responding negatively are dealing with open wounds or scabs right now because of being irresponsible. In response to the other “commenter” talking about leaving a wife because she has cancer . Just think of catching the easiest s.t.d. =H.P.V just by making out with someone during a one night stand. Then years later while living responsibly you meet the love of your life , get married, try to have children, then realize that you gave her a disease that you didn’t even know you had. Now she has cervical cancer, can not have children, and may even die before the age of 40.

    • Sorry, but I don’t consider the decision not to expose oneself to an incurable disease “shallow”. I consider that “responsible behavior”. “Shallow” would have been walking out the door and never bothering to call the next day.

  17. Mark Ellis says:

    This resonated for me. Though I’m older than the writer, this happened to me so many times (the part about the herpes revelation) when I started dating after my divorce that I began to think that the only women available out there were women with some kind of communicable disease. I did just what Chris did, I walked, though I tried to evoke sympathy. People who reveal like this are class acts, enough to make you almost willing to risk catching what they’ve got. Those who conceal and put others at risk are sad, but also irresponsible. I got lucky with my dates, in that sense.

  18. Really? Wow.

    No offense, but I hope you don’t get married and then discover your wife has cancer or something. I guess you’d have to get divorced in a hurry.

    Women are fallible and get diseases, just like men do. I didn’t realize this was an outright disqualification these days!

    • Wow really ? They just met online, it wasn’t worth the gift that keeps on given just to temporarily amuse one another. To compare dealing with cancer in a devoted marriage is obtuse to say the least.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      Daisy … are you freaking kidding me? Are you for real? If my wife contracted an STD, shoe wouldn’t have got it from me and she’d be a gonner. Cancer? I was at her side. How does what he said have anything to do with “married” guys?

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