Episode 28: Open Mirrors
This episode features 26 year old Fleur from Australia who works in marketing. Fleur is a woman who contracted HSV-2 from a partner who chose to disclose AFTER she began to show symptoms. Fleur took 2 years off from sex to find herself. She saw a sex therapist who gave her sound advice on disclosing we'll call mirroring (more details below). Fleur took this advice and fell for a man who opened her up to polyamory which means 'many loves'.
A few major takeaways here that I found to be important are:
- Open to poly despite herpes; we often fear spreading the virus despite who we tell being accepting to the risks. Fleur rose above that fear and took a chance. She took control of what she could which was first accepting HSV for herself, understanding what it meant for her and what it means for her potential partner. She shared her diagnosis and the stats, allowing him to take that information to his partners. They all accept FLEUR over the risk of herpes. It's important to note that Fleur accepted herself before expecting someone to accept her. You have to take responsibility for what you can control. The other person is going to either accept you with the risk, or not be willing to accept the risk. Which takes us down to . . .
- Open to herpes despite poly; Fleur's current partner, while engaging in sexual activity with multiple partners, accepts Fleur along with the risk of contracting herpes. This man is either a smooth salesman or really has some open-minded partners. While we often strugge to share the risk of contracting HSV with one person, imagine sharing that possibility with multiple partners who have to share that with multiple partners. While there's less at stake making this easier for him, we can learn from this experience to take the pressure off ourselves when disclosing. It's important to recognize . . .
- The value of open, honest communication; This authenticity in Fleur's communication was mirrored here. Her confidence, her knowledge, her honesty is what was relayed to her metamours in that disclosure. How Fleur felt, is how he perceived Fleur felt and it was so genuine, so honest, so true, that when he took that to his partners introducing the risk of contracting herpes from a newly invited person into their circle. They took it well due to . . . .
- Mirroring; So I Googled this and there's already a word for what we talked about in a different context. What we mean by mirroring is how we feel is projected onto the recipient of our message. When we're shaking, avoiding eye contact, stuttering, crying, cracking our voices, that isn't received well. That is some draining stuff right there. We want to be around people who are energizing, motivating, assure us that it's safe to be ourselves around them. We ultimately want the freedom to be ourselves and connect with like-minded people. The reward for freedom is the risk of rejection.
At this point, we've broken the 5k downloads mark and I'm so thankful for everyone continuing to share the podcast with others as well as leaving us ratings and reviews for the podcast. The more reviews, the more exposure. The more exposure, the easier it is for those who think they're alone to connect with us and gain access to the resources they need to help them through their diagnosis so please keep it up you all. I can be found on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and Instagram @HonMyChest