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Just because a product is built for women doesn’t make it feminist, and just because a product is built for people with STIs doesn’t mean it serves our causes.
What we need is better sex education and health care, access to therapy and more representation.
They reinforce the impulse of scared, raw people to hate themselves and hide from the rest of the world.
Not to mention these products are often cheap and tacky. Herpes dating apps rely on, profit from and contribute to the social stigma that I am absolutely against. Creating a dating app only for people with herpes feeds into the prejudice that people with STIs shouldn’t date people without STIs.
Let me be very clear: I will never endorse an STI dating site. STI dating services would make great hacking targets in an online landscape where vigilante justice is all the rage and people with STIs are unsympathetic victims (whaddup, Ashley Madison). But here’s the big, huge, important fucking reason I’ll never support a herpes dating service: these products contribute to herpes stigma.
A booming app industry in Silicon Valley means that new STI dating services pop up every few months, and a cursory Google search means that their marketing team, or their founder, or their intern, quickly discovers me. As time goes on and stigma lessens, there will be less of a demand for these services.
I would ignore these pop-ups as they inevitably fail, one after the other, except they .
This Silicon Valley opportunism is antithetical to real social change and progress. She wanted me to become a spokesperson, and when I refused, someone higher up in the food chain emailed me again. But then the same thing happened again with another STI dating site, and then another, and another. I don’t think any STI dating service is going to reinvent the wheel and be successful when so many have tried and failed in the past. One of the first emails I received when I went viral way back in April 2015 was from a woman claiming to work for Positive (I say claiming because she wasn’t using a Positive Singles email address). I don’t want to endorse a product I would never personally use. It’s time to talk about herpes dating websites and how much I hate them.These websites enable the self-segregation of the H community in a way that I believe contributes to our invisibility and inertia. Some of these websites claim to empower their customers.