The best time to talk about sex is before engaging in it. People should be more open now because of the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you're going to have sex, it's important to know your partner's STD status. Unfortunately, men can't be tested for human papillomavirus (HPV), so as a heterosexual woman, you'll never know if your partner is 100% clean.
And as a man, you'll never know your 100% STD status. Condoms don't prevent the spread of HPV very well, and there are people who have used condoms every time and still have HPV. Sometimes, you can test negative for HPV, then contract a strain of HPV and your body fights it before the next HPV test. Then there are the strains that need to be watched so they don't develop into cervical cancer. Most strains of HPV are harmless, and more than half of sexually active adults have some type of STD. You can see it as alarming, or you can look at it logically and say that not all venereal diseases are something to be afraid of.
Some people have herpes outbreaks without even knowing it because they were mild. Someone would easily rule it out as, for example, a bicycle accident. If you're not going to date someone because of an STD, you should define it better. There's a big difference between “I won't date someone with HIV or chlamydia” and “I don't date someone if they've ever had ANY sexually transmitted diseases”, in which case you'd be ruling out most people who've ever had sex. Life is too short to voluntarily run the risk of contracting an STD. You may be dating someone with a sexually transmitted disease and not know it.
I dated a girl with herpes for a couple of months. If treated and the parties take precautions, the possibilities of transmission are remote. We never had unprotected sex (I wasn't trying to have unprotected sex with anyone back then), she was always taking her medications and I never took her down. Things didn't work out with her for other reasons, but I wish her the best. Are you trying to have unprotected sex now? Crazy jokes about those clowns who say no.
Genital herpes is very common and often asymptomatic. Before doing research on STDs, I was in the camp of 'Oh, hell no'. Once you've discussed your status with your partner, both of you can feel ready to introduce sex into your relationship. Having an STI adds another reason to use protection, but that shouldn't stop you from having safe and enjoyable sex with your partner. A person with a sexually transmitted disease may or may not have symptoms. When people feel perfectly well, they don't know they have an infection that can spread.
That's why doctors recommend that people who have sex (or who have had sex in the past) get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.