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View Full Version : Any swingers actually get an STD through swinging?



TakeAPicture
05-12-2007, 06:13 PM
So my wife and I are both very excited about getting into the lifestyle, and our only real hang-up is genital herpes. We don't have it and really don't want it. We've read all the literature, understand the risks, and are well-versed in safer sex practices. I see a lot of posts on here about education and fears of contracting an STD through swinging...but have any of you or anyone you know actually contracted an STD through swinging? Not through random hook-ups but through organized activities with other responsible people? What were the circumstances under which this happened? Were safer-sex practices employed?

I guess I'm trying to run the numbers, and since about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men have herpes, it seems like there's a pretty good chance you're going to encounter another couple who has it. Since it's estimated by the CDC that 90% of people with herpes don't even know they have it, you can't count on someone saying "I'm clean!" to really mean anything. They could either be lying, or simply not know. Since condoms only provide about a 50% risk-reduction, with drugs increasing that reduction to 75% and most transmissions are from asymptomatic people, why doesn't everybody have it?

I've been reading through this board, and I don't see any posts from people saying, "Oh crap, I got an STD from swinging last weekend!" It just seems like there would be more. Are there ones I'm just missing?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Alex

VegasLee
05-12-2007, 06:44 PM
We have been swinging for close to 30 years and have never caught anything. We have many friends that have been swinging as long or longer then us and none of them have ever stated they have ever caught anything and once in a while it is discussed.

We have been around the clubs for about 12 years and in the time seen close to 500,000 people and have never had any of them say they have caught anything.

I do know a lady that is not in the lifestyle that has Herpes. She caught it from her X Husband. They where in a monograms relationship at the time. :confused:

Honestly, I don't think you are going to see many people state at a party/club or on a message board for swingers that they have ever caught anything. Just the way people are.

All you can do is use your best judgment and decide what works for you.

Alura
05-12-2007, 07:41 PM
Somewhere on this board is a poll asking this question. I'll try to find it and link it here. Anyone who wants to help, please join in.

Here it is: http://www.swingersboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8967&highlight=STDs+Condoms+Poll

Mr. Alura

TakeAPicture
05-12-2007, 07:42 PM
We have been swinging for close to 30 years and have never caught anything. We have many friends that have been swinging as long or longer then us and none of them have ever stated they have ever caught anything and once in a while it is discussed.

That seems to be the common story.


Honestly, I don't think you are going to see many people state at a party/club or on a message board for swingers that they have ever caught anything. Just the way people are.

At a party or club, I certainly wouldn't expect anybody to say anything, but on an anonymous message board like this, if this were common at all I would expect to see posts on the topic. For instance, I've been reading through the "New Swingers" forum, and there are lot of people describing the lead-up to and their apprehensions about their first swing, and then coming back with reports. Some say they had a great time, a few say it created some emotional problems between them and their SO. But none of them came back and said they caught anything.

I think if I were a swinger (I'm not yet but would like to be), new or experienced, if I were to catch something, I would come back here and issue a cautionary warning to others, either with this name or after creating a new, even more anonymous account. The fact that I can find no such posts leads to believe that, while there will always be a risk, it is a manageable risk.

I guess what I'm asking is, by swinging, would we simply be playing russian roulette, tempting fate each time until eventually, inevitably, our luck runs out? Or, by communicating with potential partners, examining our histories and practicing safer sex, can we manage our risk to be as successful as you have been?

I think the answer is the later, but I want to make sure I'm not missing something.

TakeAPicture
05-12-2007, 07:43 PM
Thank you, Alura :)

warkman
05-12-2007, 07:56 PM
But none of them came back and said they caught anything.

If I remember correctly, and if they were truthful, maybe one or two "caught" babies. I seem to remember a thread called "I'm Pregnant" or something like that, but couldn't find it in the archives.

intuition897
05-12-2007, 09:32 PM
I have seen posts occasionally on here from couples asking how to go about finding other couples who are similarly infected, because they realize that their STD status puts them out of the regular swinging loop...becuase it's unethical to deceive others into thinking that they are disease free. Otherwise, it's apparently not a common issue.

There are two possibilities:

1) Those who are infected are unethical because, despite the attestations of lifestylers to the contrary, they keep silent about their status. If this is the case, dishonesty and the resultant prevalence of STDs would be the same or much worse in the swinging community as/than it is in Vanilla-world.

2) The pool in Swingersville truly is as clean as people have been saying it is.

We haven't been at it as long as some, but in our experience, we've never contracted anything more serious than a yeast infection, which is just an overgrowth of one's own bacterial flora due to a change in pH. While annoying, it's something that nearly every woman will experience at least once in her lifetime.

Due to our own experience, I'm thinking it's the latter. Honesty is the standard, and deception is sniffed out pretty quickly. This supports an environment that is accepting and sensible, where there is no excuse nor need to lie about things. I've also seen that swingers (at least the ones we prefer as partners) tend to be intelligent, logical and deliberate in whatever they do. This means they take the risks seriously and they don't go about things lightly.

DBL D
05-13-2007, 09:06 AM
No STD's...but something called the mollusca virus. At our age it is said to be most likely passed through sexual contact...like 50/50. Not considered an STD though and not a hassle really.

Male D

eager4more
05-16-2007, 09:36 PM
Ok, I haven't checked this site in months. Frankly, we have pretty much withdrawn from the lifestyle except to go flirt at an off-premise club, and when we do go to the occasional on-premise party anymore we don't play with anyone new.

In hindsight, I realized I got hpv almost immediately after we started swinging. The herpes came along within the next 7 months. This was almost 2 years ago. I had a leep procedure to cut out pre-cancerous cervical cells last year, and next week will have a colposcopy to check out another abnormal pap. My husband and I no longer have spontaneous sex because I'm always wondering if I'm on the verge of an outbreak, and we don't want him to get herpes too.

The man I think I got herpes from (the condom slipped) looked completely stunned and denied having anything. The guy organizing the on-premise parties apparently allowed him back into them. But then again, one of the other couples we had played with shortly before my first outbreak, never responded to our email telling them about it. When we next ran into them, they said, "So sorry, we know how you feel." We never followed up on what they meant. They asked if we were interested in playing again (we said no). They seemed like a perfectly nice couple. We found out through a 3rd party that another person is married to someone with herpes. All he said in response to our email was "bummer," no other disclosure on his part. So much for honesty.

As we were recovering from the initial shock of it all, we told pretty much anyone who talked to us at whatever lifestyle gatherings we went to, and it was good to hear some of them were interested in playing with us anyway. But we weren't ready then emotionally, and since then, I don't have the energy to tell people anymore. So we haven't played with anyone new, and even with the old friends, it's been limited to very soft-swing. We're now seen as a "tease" by some people even though we make it clear from the beginning that we don't intend to do more than flirt.

Previously I felt invincible. Yes, it was irrational. We never explicitly asked people about their disease status. We weren't really worried about it when we found out the condom slipped. Even after being diagnosed, I was surprised that the hpv progressed to pre-cancerous lesions.

So, why is it so rare to read about a story like ours on a site like this? I can't speak for others who caught an std through swinging - I thought about writing something to this site about it all at the time, but felt too angry and betrayed (plus life got busier for other reasons). But I had to respond after seeing yet another several posts about how the lifestyle is mostly full of "clean" and "responsible" people. Granted, one of the couples we notified after being diagnosed had been in the lifestyle for years and had not caught anything (or so they believed) - maybe we just had supremely bad luck. Or maybe others are equally irrational as we had been, only one step further in that they refuse to acknowledge whatever symptoms they may already have is an std. Denial is a powerful thing. After all no one has ever asked us about our disease status either.

I no longer blindly trust that, if we were to actively full-swing again, we won't get something worse like hiv. Bottom line, it is a Russian roulette - it comes with fun and thrills, but you should go in with full knowledge of the risks, un-sugarcoated.

BorisNatasha
05-16-2007, 10:14 PM
We have HSV2, but we both got it from previous monogamous relationships. We personally know 2 couples who were infected through swinging and have traded emails with a 3rd, so it does happen. All 3 couples pretty much withdrew from the lifestyle until they found out that there ARE swingers with HSV2 out there.

Swingers who know they have HSV2 tend to keep a low profile because we fear other peoples' fear - in other words, we don't want to be ostracized or avoided simply because we have this issue. Since we are honest and open about our condition in our various site profiles and never play with someone without disclosing our condition, people do not have to worry about us deceiving them - but fear is sometimes irrational and some people will act strangely once they find out.

Intuition I have to add a 3rd option to your list up there. What about the 90% of carriers who don't know they have it? They are not being deceitful but they are still passing on the disease once in a while through asymptomatic shedding. When confronted by a play partner, of course they will deny it because they truly believe they are clean!

The fact is, HSV2 is not as easy to spread as you might think, especially from asymptomatic people. I am not trying to say everyone should play with people who have it even if they don't (we do not play with people who DON'T have it just because we never want to pass it on) but based on CDC statistics every swinger who has been with 5 different couples has played with someone who has it and doesn't know about it.

At any rate, it's not something to trifle with. My lovely bride and I do not 'suffer' from the disease at all (other than the relative lack of potential partners), nor do the couples we swing with, but I have seen firsthand from the person I got it from that some people can have very bad episodes that I wouldn't wish on anybody.

VegasLee
05-16-2007, 10:38 PM
After rereading my post I did not intend to make you think there is no std's in this lifestyle.

I was just trying to get across that most people either at a club/party or even on a message board will not announce it.

This Lifestyle does come with the risk of catching something. Yes, we have been very, very lucky over the years and most of our friends have also. We have had friends die from other things but nothing related to the Lifestyle.

As with anything only you can decide if the Lifestyle is worth the risk to you.

We have lived our life in the Lifestyle, not just as a hobby as many have stated they do. I am not sure I would assume the risk for a hobby as I have for my Lifestyle. Then again I used to race stock cars as a hobby and that did not kill me either.

MulderNScully
05-17-2007, 07:37 AM
Very interesting responses to this question. I think it is a question which has to run through everyone's mind at some point of living in this lifestyle. Scully and I tend to go out maybe every other week or even a month sometimes depending our schedules and money. When we do go out we have to trust the couple we are with and most times than not we stay with the same group we've been playing with all the time. Sounds boring, but you know we know these folks, they've been ethical to us, and they don't like any "surprises" in their playtime. Plus, Scully is such a good person to get the 411 from others about people we might talk and flirt with regarding what they are like in bed or if there's something we should shun. (It also helps that Scully is a nurse and knows more like a doctor than anyone else). I've been checked by my physician recently and found no probelms and will keep testing to make sure nothing pops up.

But sadly there are cases such as the one above whos stories never get the light of day. I can't even begin to say I understand the pain you two are going through and the betrayal you must feel regarding how folks in the lifestyle are suppose to treat each other only to find such deciet thrown in your face. When I hear stories like that it really pains me because it could be the two of us facing this and if this is the reaction owners, patrons, and the like are doing to couples and single folk we really need to check ourselves before and after we get into the door. "Do unto others, then split" just doesn't jive when we are being at our most vunerable moments with another person(s). The correct phrase, "do unto others as they do unto you" seems the best course.

My thoughts and prayers to the couple who posted above. We hope you will take the anger you have and use it to educate those in the lifestyle about how serious STDs are and that no lifestyle is immune to getting its share. To be silent only allows the problem to continue; getting it out in the open can really open minds and hearts to take action. Thank you.

Mulder
(MulderNScully)

intuition897
05-17-2007, 02:38 PM
My thoughts and prayers to the couple who posted above. We hope you will take the anger you have and use it to educate those in the lifestyle about how serious STDs are and that no lifestyle is immune to getting its share. To be silent only allows the problem to continue; getting it out in the open can really open minds and hearts to take action. Thank you.

Mulder
(MulderNScully)

Dito !!

E4M, thank you for posting your story. I truly don't want to live in denial...it's one of the reasons we like swinging in the first place. It has given honesty a whole new meaning. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same as is apparent from your story. We know what we experience. So far, we've been with couples who were either highly selective in their choice of play partners, or they were new to the lifestyle, were monogamous otherwise, and were clean and very paranoid about staying that way. I know that there would always be a risk, but I was unaware of what the scope of those risks would be.

I would much rather know what the reality is, good or bad, than live with my head tucked up my ass (although I wouldn't mind being that flexible). Stories like yours help others recognize the potential dishonesty that's going on out there, and help us to make wiser choices. Thank you.

StacyCat
05-18-2007, 12:56 PM
I would also like to point out that many people who think they do not have any STD's are not getting tested for "everything." There is no HPV test for men, and herpes is not included in most STD tests without specifically asking about it.

luvinit
05-30-2007, 07:40 AM
We have been swinging for 7 years, the first couple I was with was by myself FMF they had been married over 20 years they gave me herpes. They were stupid, people really don't know they have it she thought it was a yeast infection when she would have a break out.

Within a year my husband had it from me.

The second couple we played with has herpes too, we have been exclusive for 3 years. Before they hooked up with us they were seeing a single guy and gave him herpes, they didn't think they could pass it when they weren't having an active outbreak.

I think it is so much more common than people want to believe. After you have had herpes for a while you have fewer break-outs you could swing with someone and never see a sign. My girlfriend has never had an outbreak after the initial one.

I would be more concerned about HPV, herpes I have found is not that hard to deal with after the first year, HPV can give you cancer.

positivelyus
06-05-2007, 09:25 AM
I had to respond to this one as I came on here to look for other infected couples. YES I got HPV-2 from swinging. Just three months back into the lifestyle after a three year break from it. I am still recovering from my first outbreak. The first thing I did on the way home from the doctor is call everyone who had contact with me in the time period I caught it. It was the hardest thing I have ever did. None of them, and I mean none admitted to it. I had just been tested for everything 4 weeks prior and know that I was clean at that point. It has been the most life changing experience of my life.
The person I got it from, part of a couple. A very popular couple I might add. Since 1 in 4 women have it and 1 in 5 men. The chances are pretty good that it is in the lifestlye. I didn't know this before, but my fault for not being informed. I know most do not realize they have it.
Two out of the three people I had contact with have been tested and did not get infected, for that I am grateful. The other didn't seem too interested in finding out. HMM Wonder why? Yes, swinging is supposed to be about honesty and openness. Something to think about. We are all adults in this lifestyle and know we are taking a risk, but knowingly exposing someone is just not right. I couldn't do that and I won't do that. Still angry, but I am still alive and that which doesn't kill me will make me stronger and wiser. My life is not over, but it certainly has changed.
Maybe I am being overly optimistic, but with those stats I figure we can meet other infected couples for friendship.

Edison Carter
06-05-2007, 10:14 AM
Here's the statistical data on non-HIV STD's. If you have 10 infected people, two people infected the other eight. 50% of the time a person's partner knew they were placing someone at risk for infection. 50% of the time they didn't.

The data is slightly skewed to younger people of lower economic/education levels, but you get the idea. Neither Ed or I have contracted an STD, but we are smart about things, not perfect, but smart.

dragonblade
06-09-2007, 08:33 PM
I just want to make a couple of comments here. I worked for an OB/GYN for about 2 years and STD testing was a routine thing we did. When someone asked for testing, they were tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea and if it looked like they were possibly having an HSV outbreak then for herpes. Why? Because you cannot test for herpes without an active lesion to scrape to test. The other thing, is if you ever had sex with more than one person in the last 20+ years, you have no idea who you got it from.. I'm sorry and I swear I don't mean to sound harsh to anyone here but HSV can lay dormant for 20 years or more. Same goes for HPV.. that's why they're virii, any can lay dormant for a long, long time.If you've had more than one partner then you don't know who you got it from.

It sounds like sometimes HSV and HPV get mixed up and interchanged when they are not the same thing. HPV is Human Papilloma Virus. Most strains cause nothing. However there are several strains that cause a woman to get abnormal cells that if left can turn into cancerous cells. Even the cells that turn abnormal aren't guaranteed to turn into cancerous cells, doctors remove them to be safe (which I believe is the best course) There isn't easy and pain free testing for a man for HSV like you can with a pap smear for a woman, but there is a test that involves a really thin q-tip taking a swab of the inside of the penis through the opening. Not much fun, but it's there. Results however aren't always conclusive.

HSV (I and II) are Herpes Simplex Virus. Also known as cold sores (I) and genital warts (II). They do NOT cause abnormal cells on your pap smear, and if you have one and have relations with someone that doesn't have it you can pass it on.. in other words if you have a cold sore, and have oral sex with someone you can give them genital warts. HSV I can mutate into HSV II or vice versa depending on the breeding grounds. Sadly, a good friend of mine believed a fellow who said he had "sunburn" on his lip :nono: and allowed him to go down on her.. she how has HSV II and no longer swings as a single female. It's a shame. :sad:

Thankfully as far as my husband and I are aware, we don't have either disease, and I get tested every year along with my pap smear and STD tests in between.. but that's not to say that either haven't manifested yet, just like any other person out there that has had sex in their lives with more than one person...

I didn't mean to offend, demean or otherwise insult anyone here, but the mixing of herpes with HPV concerned me for people who may think they're the same thing.. they aren't. Best of wishes to everyone dealing with any of these issues, it's a very sensitive issue and I hope it all works out well for you. :kissface:

~Blade~

StacyCat
06-10-2007, 04:07 PM
Blade, a lot of things have happened in HSV research recently. So, clearing up a few things.

You can get a blood test that will confirm antibodies for HSV. I have several friends that test positive for HSV II that have never had an outbreak. You do not know if its oral or genital until you have an outbreak. Also, the forms do not mutate, you can have HSV II in the mouth region, and HSV I in the genitals.

Also, genital warts are not the same thing as herpes. Warts are within the HPV family, and the strains that cause warts are not the same strains that cause cancer (however, many people carry multiple strains).

dayhiker
06-13-2007, 11:27 AM
I want to thanks each person for sharing their story and knowledge. I feel the more people that share the easier it is for otehrs to share their experience.
I've often wondered about the gap between the numbers published and the seemingly few swingers that said they had anything.

After I played with several ladies, I went to get a STD test. I had no sypmtons. I was in a free Boston area clynic about an hour between having the test taken and being back for the results. During that time I saw one lady that I'd guess was there for testing. I tested clean. But I did wonder if STD's were so common how come more people weren't going thru this clinic to get tested.

Of course, the averages mean nothing in one sense. Either we get and STD and then have to deal with it. Or we doen't get anything and thank God or our lucky stars. The average does give us an idea of risk. But as commented, that can mean someone will go their whole life and not get anything while the next person can get something the 1st time.

My thoughts,
dayhiker

Merric
06-21-2007, 09:03 PM
BorisNatasha you sound like wonderful and caring people. I sincerely hope all swingers who read your post and who know they’re infected with something and prior remained silent will now follow your lead in all lifestyle practices. *Hugs you both.” Wish I could do more for you but you’re doing all you can on your own. I wish you the best.