I’m Lindsey. I’m Disgusting…

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I share earbuds with total strangers at the gym. OK I really “borrow” them from the lost and found when I forget my own. But then I started to worry: Can I get herpes from this? Because I’m convinced I’m going to get an STD at my gym. Not because my gym is dirty. In fact, it’s super clean and almost spa-like. It’s more about karma and the fact that I can’t believe I avoided them in college (no matter what you might have heard, no kidding, there was quite the nasty rumor going around, and I know who started it, you know who you are).

On a particular day when my post-workout euphoria shifted into post-workout paranoia, I Googled “can you get herpes from sharing earbuds?” It showed up on not one, but several no-fly, fear-mongering listicles including:

According to BuzzFeed, my nasty habit can result in “infections, boils, or pustules.” Ew, ew, and/or ew. So no more shared headphones. If I forget my own, I’ll have to sing out loud to myself (sorry, elliptical neighbors). But onto the quite literally burning question: Can you get an STD at the gym? 

The first story that popped up in my research from the New York Times told of a potentially deadly staph infection you can possibly pick up on the mats. Of course, my eyes skipped over that at first and went straight to New HPV Warnings: You Can Get It at the Gym. Now, you can’t believe everything you read on the interwebs, but since I discovered this story on a lesser known site, I have read similar findings from what I consider trusted media outlets. It’s enough to give me yet another reason to avoid spin classes. And short shorts.

Also, when I started to type “Can I get an STD at …” into my search window, the following searches tried to automatically fill in my blank:

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So there goes all those foam parties I had on the books.

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