Reported by MTV Act.
Dan Savage was back on his home turf of Chicago for Savage U last night and it was a sex and relationships dish session like you won’t see anywhere else. The story that really moved him (and us) was shared by Maria, a University of Illinois at Chicago student dealing with a herpes diagnosis. Watch her talk to Dan at the 11:30 mark:
Maria got tested while she was in a long term relationship and confessed she felt like crying in the doctor’s office when she found out she has herpes. She and her boyfriend did end their relationship, but Maria stayed strong, is openly sharing her story and wanted some advice from Dan for the future.
“When is a good time to tell my next partner that I have a disease?”
+The (SEX)perts weigh in
Maria is doing so many things RIGHT: To begin with, she got tested, which is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD since many show no symptoms. She got treatment and told her partner and is taking responsibility to tell her partners in the future.
Dan recommended disclosing the info after two or three dates, and said it could be her “superpower” in the dating scene. For real, anyone who can’t handle honest talk about STDs isn’t worth the time anyway.
And although there are no rules about when or how to tell your partner that you have an STD, it’s important to disclose before things get intimate.
Maria was so brave to share her story on TV, but in the real world why is it so hard for us to talk openly and honestly about STDs?? They are really common — one out of every two sexually active people will get an STD by the time they turn 25. The good news is that all STDs are treatable, and many are curable.
+What you can do:
The only way to protect yourself from getting an STD 100% of the time is to not have sex. A lot of people wait to have sex, and not having to worry about STDs is a major benefit.
If you are having sex:
-Use condoms! When used consistently and correctly each and every time you have sex, condoms are the only method that can help reduce your risk of getting infected.
-Get yourself talking about STDs and testing with your bf/gf. It isn’t always easy to start a conversation about STDs and testing, but these tips can help you get started.
If you have an STD that has no cure, like herpes, there are treatments available that make the symptoms manageable and steps you can take to reduce the risk of spreading the disease to your partner. Get more info on herpes and other common STDs here, all STDs are treatable and many are curable.
STDs don’t define who you are or what you’ll do in life: Dan said he’s sure there are guys lining up to be with Maria and we have no doubt that’s true.
Here are some of our other favorite moments, and Dan-isms, of the night.
Best sex advice that applies to all areas of life:
“You shouldn’t be doing anything that you find painful.”
Best pep talk:
“Your vagina ain’t dirty and it ain’t full of nickles and lost keys” – Dan talking about the need for women to get over being self-conscious about their genitalia.
Best call-out of the show:
“Why aren’t you using condoms!! Where are you?!?” -Dan searching in the audience for the anonymous couple who admitted to having sex without condoms.
Dan’s best geographic reference:
“It’s like the Hawaiian Islands! It’s a CHAIN of hickeys.”