Dear Dategirl,Two years ago I had a very brief sexual encounter with a woman in my office. Let's call her Sue. Before we got to the fucking part, I informed Sue that I have herpes, as I've always made it a point to tell all my potential bed partners about having herpes and the need to use protection, etc.Sue was fine with my history and we proceeded to bump uglies. Sex with Sue was nice, but it was clear it wasn't going to be anything other than short-lived, and we parted as friends and have remained cordial at the office ever since.Recently I began a similar scenario with another woman in our office. We began e-flirting and eventually made plans for our first date. Then, a couple hours after we made plans, she e-mailed stating that she had to "disgracefully" cancel our date and demanded that all further communication stop.I told her I'd respect her request, but thought I deserved some kind of explanation. She replied, "I'm sorry, but I'm not interested, and not comfortable discussing this further."Then it dawned on me that Sue and the new potential date both sit on the same floor in our office building and attend the same church. My suspicion is that Sue informed her that I have herpes.Do I confront Sue or just let it go? Am I wrong in thinking that Sue had no right to divulge my personal info? Why would she do that? I know this much: I've vowed to stop approaching office co-workers for hanky-panky.—Fool on the Hill
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Maybe Sue told her about the herp, or perhaps just that the two of you had already made the beast with two backs. For all you know, that knowledge alone was enough to send Prospect #2 running. A good pal of mine is involved in an office flirtation at the moment, and the fact that she knows her potential paramour has already banged at least two other chicks in the same cubicle farm is giving her serious pause. A lady wants to feel special, y'know.Whatever it was, it seems clear that Sue probably said something. That's the thing about sexing up acquaintances—they're going to find out about each other. If I knew my pal was getting ready to date a model I'd already test-driven, you can bet I'd share my analysis. In fact, I had a very similar thing happen to me recently.Years ago, I dated a guy with herpes who refused to wear a condom. He was a selfish asshole about it—I wasn't willing to risk festering sores or pregnancy, and he wasn't willing to sacrifice his comfort. Done. Over. Gone.But wasn't I surprised when, years afterward, a friend called to tell me about a guy she'd met online. She was having some reservations about meeting him, and just happened to mention his name. We quickly figured out it was the same jerk, and she fired off a note similar to the one you received.Please note that I'm not calling you an asshole, I'm just illustrating how information gets disseminated. You were totally upfront about the herpes, as well you should be. It's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. But just as being a pothead or Republican will be a dealbreaker for some, so will herpes.My advice is to drop it. You have nothing to gain by confronting Sue, and there's also a chance it had nothing to do with her at all. Maybe an ex came back into the picture, or she found out she had some odd medical issue. Maybe she's just nutty—who knows? Meanwhile, follow your own good advice and don't shit where you firstname.lastname@example.org