Is it easy to talk about std's in general? No it is not because we've been mistakenly led to believe that only "those" kind of people even need testing. Unfortunately the medical profession continues to perpetuate this opinion too by not talking routinely about our sex lives and testing with us
Just keep in mind that this isn't a confession about having herpes when you have the "talk", it's a discussion about the both of you. It's so much more than just the fact that you know you have herpes. When I have the "talk" , I talk about condom use and birth control too. Both are important parts of the conversation. You don't want to find out a few months later that your partner wasn't practicing good birth control when they come to you to tell you that they are pregnant! You also don't want to find out that your partner doesn't like to use condoms ( or has issues that make using a condom difficult for them ) in the heat of the moment when you are more likely to agree to not using them just because you are all hot and bothered. Most folks are not getting std testing done ( even those who say that they do! ). The ones who are getting it done, typically only get tested for 2 or 3 std's and aren't getting tested for herpes. for some reason tv especially has made us all think that sex is something that is "sexy" and totally heat of the moment and problem free instead of the reality of needing to talk about things before you head into the bedroom.
do you have to do the talk face to face? No you do not. It's totally up to you. I feel that face to face helps it be more of a discussion and less of a confession though.
Are you misleading folks by online dating and not making the first line of your ad say "CAUTION- I HAVE GENITAL HERPES"? HECK NO!!! they don't put all their baggage out there on their ad and you certainly shouldn't have to warn people off about your herpes! You can control your herpes for the most part and get the risk to a partner down as low as 1-3%/year depending on their gender. the idea risk of pregnancy on the pill is 1%. real use risk is 8%. Do you not date people because you risk pregnancy? You are not a walking biohazzard because you have herpes. You aren't any different from anyone else and you certainly are not damaged goods. You are only dirty if you don't shower on a regular basis! Don't perpetuate society's stigma against std's by believing in it yourself.