Thanks for writing.
The short answer is: No, you shouldn’t worry. From the encounter you describe it sounds unlikely you would have passed herpes to your partner.
The longer answer is: Genital herpes is not generally transmitted to hands. Herpes prefers the tissues around the mouth and genitals, and we do not see herpes on transferred to people’s hands.
If your partner touched their genitals to your genitals, or their mouth to you genitals, then herpes can be passed that way. We call that direct skin-to-skin contact. Herpes is not passed through in-direct contact (ie. hands, towels, etc.)
It’s very possible that the touching you received from your partner triggered the vesicles to appear. However, this doesn’t mean that you passed herpes to your partner.
Lastly, I wanted to acknowledge that it can be difficult for many people to navigate sexual consent. It’s great to hear you were communicating with your partner about your sexual needs, and not wanting to have sex. I’m sorry to hear that there was pressure on you to do more. You are entitled to your own body and your own boundaries. Sometimes pressure to have sex is called “coercive sex”. If you want any more information about these issues, check out these links:
- Will the Real Bad Sex Please Stand Up?
- Be Your Own Superhero: Learning How and When to Stand Up for Ourselves
Hope this helps. Please let us know if this answers your question, or if you need any more information.