I was talking to two female friends recently. One is 28-years-old and the other is 44. Both are single. I had asked them their opinion on a recent news story out of Oregon. The story involved a 49-year-old woman who met a 69-year-old retired dentist online. They went on three dates. On the fourth date they had sex. She asked him to wear a condom and he agreed. But once the sex started, she realized that he wasn’t wearing a condom and that it was “too late.” As they lay in bed afterwards, he told her that he had herpes. She kicked him out of her house. She contracted the disease from him and has had several painful outbreaks since then. The woman sued the dentist and a jury awarded her $900,000.
So I asked my two friends what they thought about dating in 2012 and stories such as the dentist one. Both women pretty much said the same thing. They said that if you’re sexually active today, you need to be worried about things like this. Both also told me that they are regularly getting tested for STD’s. They get tested not because they think they have anything. Of course the test will make sure, but they also do it in case they are questioned about it (if they have been tested) by a potential sexual partner. And in turn, they said they don’t hesitate to ask a potential boyfriend if he’s been tested.
Now, I’m 12 years out of the dating game, so maybe I’m ignorant about it, but the women’s matter-of-fact answers surprised me. So I decided that I’d get another opinion, but this time from a guy. So I asked a buddy of mine. He’s 29-years-old and single. He agreed with the ladies and said that as he gets older, he’s having more sexual partners. And he’s obviously meeting women who have had more partners too. Then he very matter-of-factly said that he has no problem asking anyone he’s dating if they’ve been tested for STD’s recently (or at all). And he thinks that conversation should be happening.
I suspect that whether you’re single, married, dating, have friends who are dating or are old enough to have kids who are dating, you’ll have an opinion on this. As I sit here thinking about it; I could probably write an entire post about today’s society and how sex is pretty much expected if you’re dating (no matter how old you are). Or one about the sexual irresponsibility displayed by both kids and adults today. But those are topics for a different day. Today I’m wondering about the people out there who are like the dentist and the woman. Should he have told her that he had herpes? Should she have asked beforehand if he had been recently tested for STD’s? Should those conversations be commonplace in today’s dating game? And lastly, should people be able to sue over situations like this?