When you contract oral or genital herpes, there is no need to put a full stop to your sex life. You can still have a sex life that is fulfilling enough even if you have HSV-1 or HSV-2. It all boils down to being careful about what you have to do in your present situation.
When the sores are fresh on your mouth or on your genitals, it is wiser to avoid sexual activity but only for those days when the sores are irritating you. It will not be considerate on your part in terms of your partner if you continue to have sexual intercourse during those days when the sores are fresh or when you feel that there is going to be an outbreak of herpes that is coming on.
When do You Avoid Sexual Activities?
You have to avoid indulgence in oral sex, anal sex or vaginal sex when you notice that the sores are fresh on your mouth, lips or your genitals. If you do not have any fresh sores, it is perfectly alright to have sex in between outbreaks. You need a partner who accepts the possible risks and understands enough. There is a possibility that he or she could get infected even when there are no symptoms present or visible sores on you.
In order not to infect your partner, it is safer to use a latex condom when you indulge in vaginal or anal sex or when you give or receive fellatio. Though the condoms do not ensure 100% safety against infection, research has concluded that they do provide a fair share of protection. Dental dams can be helpful cunnilingus is involved. It is always better to avoid touching a sore and then touching your partner immediately after that. Body fluids should not be exchanged, even by accident when you have HSV-1 or HSV-2.
If you do not have herpes sores on the mouth and lips, you can certainly have oral sex with your partner as and when you like. You could engage in oral sex when you get affected with an outbreak of sores on your genitals. It will not make any difference to your partner.
There are some couples who indulge in mutual masturbation when either of them suffers with herpes and there are no risks attached. Masturbation is possible while you are lying on the side or facing each other. Extra precaution is necessary to see that there is no broken skin on the hands. It is safer to wash the hands with warm water and soap before and after any sexual activity.
Your sex life can continue without long interruptions if you help yourself with some antiviral drugs for your genital herpes condition so that the impact of the virus is reduced.
Suppressive therapy on a daily basis significantly reduces the outbreaks and the frequency of the sores. It also keeps your partner from getting infected with the virus. Suppressive therapy is only partially effective; it is better to use the protection of condoms when you have sex so that you can arrest the spreading of virus. You can use a sexual lubricant which is water-based such as AstroGlide to reduce the friction during sex. It will reduce the irritation and also control the outbreaks from being triggered. You can avoid the use of lubricants that are oil-based as they will break down the latex.