Ushering in a Conversation About Herpes
A lot of people have been talking about Usher lately having herpes and potentially giving it to unexpected fans that hope to have one raunchy night with their favorite musician. Whether Usher has herpes or not, it has a lot of people talking and me thinking. For starters, I had no idea how easy it is to get herpes. The public (charter) school system has failed me and I hadn’t realized how much I don’t know about sexually transmitted diseases. Since I’m not sexually active (or romantically active), I don’t make a point to educate myself on this matter as much as I should. I had no idea that herpes can be contracted from a kiss! I started thinking about “random hook ups”, kissing strangers and celebrities swapping spit with on screen love interests. I knew that people could have it for their entire lifetime but, not that it could be had for years. I thought it was all or nothing. This realization of not knowing anything about herpes scared me much more than the thought of Usher having herpes.
This controversy also led me to do my evil laugh again because it seems that a lot of people would just die to get their hands into their favorite celebrity’s pants but, that doesn’t mean you should be careless in sleeping with them before making sure they are tested and tested negative. That could go for anything, not just herpes. Herpes is spread through skin to skin contact according to Planned Parenthood so, that means you could even contract the disease from the good night kiss on your first date! Herpes is most contagious when the sores are open and visible but, you can also get herpes when the person’s skin appears to be “normal”. Therefore, even your celebrity crush can just get a high five when you meet them. If someone has an STI, they should let you know before hooking up with you. It’s not fair to knowingly expose someone to a disease, especially an incurable one. Not everyone knows they have herpes though, according to experts, about 80% of people who get herpes don’t even know that they have it.
Like most things, people are using this controversy to fat shame a bigger woman. One of the women who came forward about having sex with Usher and him potentially giving her herpes is plus size. People like Snoop Dogg are saying that it’s no one’s business if Usher had herpes which is true. It’s no one’s business but, the people he is exposing it to (if he has the disease). However, he also used it as an opportunity to tell Usher to “stop smashing Pork”. People should be having a conversation about consent in sexual relationships and STIs but, instead would rather focus on the girl’s weight? As if she doesn’t already know her size from looking in the mirror everyday and it’s just fine for a man to potentially be spreading diseases to any woman who would sleep with him? You’re focusing on the wrong thing here.
If you are as clueless as me, get educated on STIs and how they are passed, have difficult conversations with your romantic partners about STIs or don’t sleep with them. It’s not that deep and it’s not worth risking your health. Also, please put into practice minding your business in concern to people’s weight. Especially if you’re not a doctor. That “fatass” could be healthier than you. As for Usher, I could really care less if he has herpes. However, if I ever bumped into Quincy on the street and he asked me out, I’m asking questions.