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I was brought up a very strict Catholic. And I mean VERY strict. I was not allowed to even have chaperoned "dates" with the opposite sex till I was 17. My first sexual encounter was at age 19, with my HS sweetheart. We were both virgins so much in love; but frankly not all that sure of what we were doing sexually speaking. Then we went our seperate ways. I met a European man in my early 20s and practiced safe sex using condoms. After several months, we were monogomous, I was and assumed he was too. I once asked him how many partners he'd had prior to me as he was almost 5 year older. He said 12. I was instantly aghast and intimidated considering my strict upbringing and. We had already begun to make love without condoms by that point and I was on the pill. We were about to move in together and saw a future together. I did not think much of this after some time. Then during a routine visit to my gynecologist I was tested positive for HPV. I also was given a (was it vinegar?) a sort of test on the vaginal skin, whereby I was also told I had genital warts even tho I couldnt see them. I was devastated. I called my european boyfriend in tears to tell him about my visit to the doctor. Nothing could have prepared me for this news. He and I of course knew it was not me, I was practically a virgin. We both knew my only sexual partner until that point had been also with a virgin. I was FURIOUS- shocked and absolutely livid. At age 24 having only had one partner - we were each others first then to have met my next boyfriend only to find out he had been with others &consequently passed what he had to onto me. I was warned about promiscuity. I held to passionately to the belief to abstinence until I met my true love who I anticipated marrying, remaining monogaomous with defined who I was, in fact. I said to the gyno "How horrible the 2nd man I have ever had sex with in life gives me an std" I was angry beyond repair. It was the most embittering experience Id ever had in love- before or since. We split. Turns out, I reconciled with my first love who chose no other lovers and wooed me back. We got married and stayed true to each other. He since has passed away and I have dated but not gone to bed with anyone. But now Im considering a sexual relationship with a man Ive fallen in love with- technically my 3rd sexual partner ever. Im almost 40. What do I say or do? I do belive obviously that promiscuity can make you very susceptible to STDs true. But as with what happened to me, sex with only one partner who happened to be a carrier is also possible. Im practically middle aged, was never promiscuous and so far slept with 2 men; one a virgin and the other was just the one time *unprotected*. The kind of emotional pain this has caused me all my life is the kind I could never get over. From my example it is SO easy to get infected even with merely one sexual act with one person, only the ONE time. Tragic. Especially considering my values, upbringing, and how I hold monogamy and abstinence until commitment so dear on a personal level. Especially now, Im frightened of what to say to my new love, how to approach the topic. Your thoughts and comments are welcome, especially from the medical community.

February 23, 2012 - 12:55pm


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