Now after submitting to 'true love', I find myself dealing with reality: expose yourself, and you will take hits. I have taken hits. I risked, and lost.
The STDs were not the 'losing' part. STDs have taught me incredible amounts about myself, and those around me. The 'loss' was in realizing how dissapointingly shallow and cruel other humans can be. How easily they can shed their concern for you when it no longer suits them. How convenient it can be to deny responsibility, when they'd rather ignore the obvious and continue pleasure seeking behaviors.
I've also learned how to be boxed and set aside by those who dont' take the time to understand. It has become another filter through which I can gauge the depth and caring of a potential partner. There are plenty of people out there who risk being exposed to herpes every day, and they do it in a state of denial. I refuse to be their scapegoat, their untouchable, just becuase they don't care to see the reality of their risks.
I don't write often here. But I do read, and comment.