Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bareback the Fuck Up!

bagged to the bone

Fresh off the digital pages of Will Clark's blog comes the story of IML President Chuck Renslow's refusal to continue including bareback vendors, videos and other bareback paraphernalia during next year's 2010 event:

Dear Vendors:

On behalf of International Mr. Leather, Inc., I would like to thank you for your past support and in particular for your participation as a vendor in our annual Leather Market. We are writing you today to inform you of a policy change affecting next year (2010) and all future markets.

Though we are now three decades into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, no cure has been found. The CDC and local health officials inform us that new infections are on the rise. And, while we have had some success developing medications that might make infection more manageable, that accomplishment comes at a price. Not having experienced the deaths - the loss of loved ones -- which preceded these medications, we have an entire generation who may not fully appreciate or comprehend the severity of the situation.

Too many in our community believe HIV/AIDS is curable or manageable. Too few understand that HIV/AIDS infections dominate life. We believe that it is our duty to inform and educate. Several years ago when “Meth” was the scourge of our community, IMLdrew a line in the sand and raised awareness and used all our influence to try and stop this addictive madness. As is the case with HIV/AIDS, we believe it is our further obligation to do everything in our power to prevent future infections.

To that end, after considerable discussion, the Executive Committee of International Mr. Leather has decided that it will no longer allow participation in the IMLLeather Market by any entity which promotes barebacking or distributes/sells any merchandise tending to promote or advocate barebacking. This restriction will also apply to distribution of gifts, post cards or any other information via our facilities. This policy takes effect immediately.

Sincerely,

Chuck Renslow, President
International Mr. Leather
I encourage you to go over to Will Clark and read his input on the matter. I really enjoyed reading what he had to say.

Here's my two cents: I know this won't immediately curb or ever put an end to unsafe bareback sex. I know that. The further I throw myself into this topic the more I understand this is a never ending uphill battle. Unsafe sex Bareback never went away, anyway. It's just that at one time striving to have safe sex and the idea of protecting oneself and their partners, mattered.

I know men have the ability, and right, to watch unsafe bareback sex videos without ever practicing it in their real lives and I know that sex is between the two people having it. But this is more than that. This is more than just sex.

This has always been about more than just sex.

This is taking a stand. Slowing down, knowing your risks, communicating, wearing a condom - all of that is taking a stand! This is yet another person putting their foot down, swimming upstream in his own fetish-based event declaring he will no longer participate or facilitate in the growing complacency toward unsafe sex in the gay community and HIV/AIDS. This is yet another person who actually cares how their actions impact a younger generation.

Hat's off, truly.

Now, Mr. Renslow could have participated and facilitated in the distribution of unsafe bareback sex over the last couple of years as the niche's popularity climbed to a 3-to-1 selling ratio, but not any longer. Hell, maybe he was never comfortable with it? Maybe he was? But not anymore and I'm not going to get caught up in any bullshit tit-for-tat argument (if there is one) about what he did and didn't do since the existence of IML. That's the same worthless conversation the community always gets in and we wind up completely ignoring the matter at hand. For those of you who want to call this censorship, go ahead, call it censorship. I choose to look at it like this: I don't eat McDonalds because McDonalds is obviously an unhealthy money making waste-hole that's no good for you. Therefore, if I were throwing a house party I wouldn't serve McDonalds to my guests. This is all Renslow is doing and to do this at event like IML sends a big bold message to our current pop-porn culture while simultaneously spreading the consciousness that unsafe bareback sex does not exist at this venue because unsafe bareback sex is an unhealthy choice. Still some men will choose to forgo safe sex during that weekend and that will always happen, no matter what, but we know now where the President stands. In the face of what I'm sure will be a monetary setback and rejection from members of the IML community, I'm glad that Chuck Renslow, President of International Mr. Leather, has the balls to stand up and start doing what he can to help his community.

--

Recently I got a promotional coupon from Manhunt.net offering me several free hours of profiling and online cruising. I hadn't been on since last summer when I deleted my account after we all caught wind of Old Man Crutchley (owner of the site) donating the civilian max of $2300 to the McCain campaign! Anyway, I signed up, created a name, put up my pics and stated my case.

The third email I got, that's right, the third email, was from a "neg top" who only prefers unsafe bareback sex. He wasn't interested in anything else and if I were game, he had a group of "buddies" he was willing to introduce me to. Naturally, the rage inside me sparked like a napalm fueled blowtorch and ricocheted throughout my body like a red hot pinball, but I took a deep breath and responded kindly by saying, "nothing elicits more rage within me than stupid complacent motherfuckers like you." And I meant it. Because what's "hot" to this "neg top" is putting me, and the rest of this community, at risk. He is as "negative" as much as I know the next card you're going to pull is the Ace of Spades. Whether truly negative or not the idea that he didn't even seem to care blows my mind.

As I've asked before: How this community could go from screaming "Silence = Death" to the casual, shrug-of-the-shoulders response of, "aww, come on..barebacking is hot" in what, 12,13,14 years? is something that will always bewilder me.

No, Mr. Neg Top, I don't want to meet you or any of your "buddies." I don't care how hot a time you think we could have by not using condoms and putting ourselves at risk. You don't give a shit about me and that turns me off much more than the unsafe sex you want to have with me. I don't think you're hot. I don't think you're sexy, edgy or some lusty rebellious sexual outlaw. Listen very closely: I am worth more than that. I am entitled to and worth healthier decisions in my life.

I am interested in men who understand that there is a younger, less exposed generation out there who could use some care and actual healthy guidance. I am interested in men who care. This is me putting my foot down.

This policy takes effect immediately.

(PS: Read my post here if you're wondering about all the crossed out unsafes)

49 comments:

tomatoangel said...

Hell YEAH. I was just discussing this with one of my friends the other day. It feels like we are mass deluding ourselves into believing that we're invincible. As if by just calling it something different, it's automatically not going to happen. It only takes one time and all the myths out there are not going to save these kids.

It doesn't inspire rage in me so much as it terrifies me to think of these people running around believing that they can do this.

the zak said...

.
.
A thought experiment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_experiment

Two uninfected men are having bareback sex - one or both could get infected, true or false?...
True   [   ]
False  [   ]

TheOccasionalFag said...

Having known all the men in my life who have lied, for a diversity of reasons, about their "uninfected" status, I just don't get the point of your (lack of) though experiment there Zak. Shouldn't it read more along the lines of, "two men who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are uninfected and have enough shared history with each other to trust one another are having unprotected sex...".

Now, like gaydar, some of us have developed stat-dar (which in 98% of the time I still never trust enough to discard the condom), but I got thrown for a loop several years back not by HIV, but rather Hep A (which I didn't get through sex and I was vaccinated against, so it put a big old scare through my system which is still being processed - shit happens!)

Also, Eric, I love that you believe and perpetuate that it was the entire community shouting, "Silence=Death," but it really wasn't. It was a segment of the community, and to those of us who were shouting it the most, it felt as if the community's agreement with us was so lack luster - I mean, doesn't Larry Kramer to this day still publicly wonder why our community hasn't gotten more angry - as to be antipathy.

Larry Ohio said...

Your McDonalds analogy is brilliant.

the zak said...

          >"Shouldn't it read more along the lines
          > of, "two men who know beyond a
          > shadow of a doubt that they are
          > uninfected and have enough shared history with
          > each other to trust one another are having
          > unprotected sex..."."

There's no test for mutual fidelity. Trust nature's powerful biological force. Sexual opportunities with others appear for trusting partners. POTENTIAL sex partners can ask "Let's get tested 2GETHER B4 we have sex, for A VARIETY of STDs." Sexual health checkups reduce ambiguity and can be like anything else POTENTIAL sex partners do together http://notb4weknow.blogspot.com

riot said...

I judged IML in 2005 and have deep respect for Mr. Renslow, the high ideals of the organization, and the care of the leather community, in general. I also think that it's incredibly stupid for a neg person to choose to bareback, and even more stupid to be influenced by fantasy material into that decision.

However, I will be more inclined to call Mr. Renslow a revolutionary, swimming upstream to protect the younger generations, when IML is not making huge buckets of money from the sale of alcohol. I will listen more carefully to those activists who feel that censorship is an okay method of training our community when the vodka and beer companies are also censored from our leather and Pride events.

We expect personal responsibility from our community when it comes to a large number of influences that can impair good judgment and safer sex decisions. Porn is no different from these, it is simply the easiest and most fashionable target for the PC brigade.

More than anything, this is an admission of defeat: the public won't make the healthy choice, despite decades of throwing money at education, and so the choice is now taken from us. It may be the healthiest public policy, but it is not a laudable or progressive stand--it is a sad resort to conservatism. I cannot be pleased at further limits on our freedom of expression.

Jeve (aka John and Steve) said...

Wow! Truly impressive. It's amazing to see how culture is changing and we're making our health a priority.

the zak said...

Whoops, I diverted from the premise too. The premise is that they're uninfected. Period. I think the thought experiment demonstrates that we can't conduct rational discourse on the topic without most of us being overwhelmed by received knowledge about so called protocols like those about so called safer sex practices and condoms that people don't use diligently anyway.

Repeating the conventional wisdom of the day, which is the common fault running through most conversations and thinking about HIV, is likely what prevents, or at least impedes, finding a solution. Think about changing or accepting other views as progress in the direction of a solution. It is likely that nothing being said or done today will end up as the final wisdom and protocols that bring an end to this holocaust moved along by one of our most human/life desires.

andy22 said...

How you doin' way up there on that pedestal? See anything but your self-righteousness? ;-)

Boomer said...

Well said...I am impressed with your analogy and impressed with Chuck, whom I have known for years...good for him...good for us!

Jason D said...

zak, I think you're missing a point here. If they are both 100% disease free -- then no, nobody's going to get infected no matter how many times they pound each other. And if they stay together and stay disease free, it will continue to be true.

As Dan Savage once said "AIDS isn't fire, and gay men aren't twigs, you can't just make it by rubbing them together".


However, there is a difference between someone who *claims* to be uninfected and someone who actually is uninfected. The person claiming to be uninfected may be lying or ignorant to their own status. Until it can be verified, anyone who *claims* to be uninfected may not be truly uninfected.

Speaking of verification, the testing theory doesn't quite work out. If a gay couple went in on Monday and got tested for HIV and both tests came out negative today -- that doesn't mean they both are truly negative as of today, July 17th. That means that they both were negative roughly January 17th -- 6 months ago. It's rare, but it may only really mean they were both negative Oct 17th of last year -- 9 months ago. There is a 6-9 month window in which someone could be infected and have it not show up on a test. So today's results are not actually today's status, not unless you've been celibate, or completely monogamous with a completely monogamous and verified negative partner in the time between.

Donald Baxter said...

Note that Manhunt asks their users to reveal their status--this leads to serosorting where ostensibly HIV negative guys can get together and perhaps have unprotected sex; problem is, they're often enough wrong about their serostatus and they've been infected recently which usually means they're highly infectious (one is most infectious immediately after infection and in advanced stages of HIV disease). Serosorting shuts down the conversation, at best, and at worst facilitates bareback sex. Manhunt (and gay.com) is irresponsibly encouraging serosorting.

Scott said...

I spent many years of my life working for a national HIV advocacy group, running around the country, attempting people to change their behavior, and Erik I have to applaud you for your sustained effort. It sucked too much life out of me, but every now and again I can engage in the fight.

That being said, Zak, I haven't read your link but I like a different kind of math when debating the question of does someone have HIV.

Ask yourself, what are the chances that your date/hook-up/eff bud are HIV positive?

There are four possible answers to this

1) No and it's the truth
2) No and it's a blatant lie (a Yes)
3) No and he has no idea (probably a Yes)
4) Yes and it's the honest truth

So 3 of 4 options are really yes, or in other words, there's a 75 percent chance that the guy you want to fuck has HIV.

Personally, I'll put my risk with the condom and not the 25 percent

Joe said...

Unless you have been completely celibate for a long period prior to your most recent negative HIV test, there are only two possible answers to the question "Are you HIV+?"

1. Yes
2. I don't know.

Y | O | Y said...

I've met men who have tested positive, have subsequently achieved an undetectable viral load with the use of meds, and then consider themselves to be HIV- and that's what they tell potential partners. Perhaps a better question than, "Are you negative?" would be "Have you ever tested positive?"

To those who say no one can use a condom every time, I'm here to say differently. I may be the only one, but it can be done. I was in a 4-year relationship with someone poz so the opportunity to "slip" was certainly there but we never did. Up front communication of expectations at the beginning of our relationship set the stage.

Knucklecrack said...

Thanks for the great discussion everyone.

@Andy22

-I'm really quite cozy up here on my pedestal and if crudely speaking out on issues like safe sex and healthy decision is "self righteousness" than the view from up here is absolutely gorgeous. ;)

James said...

this has bothered me for a long time... that there is an entire generation of men who lived through the first AIDS wave and strut a smug sense of invincibility when it comes to condom use.

you also have the new, young, unknowing generation which are taken in by the glamor of hot guys having hot sex. sometimes there is a mixture and you have the exact scenario mentioned in the post: 'hey, come on over, a few of my buddies and i would like to use you as nothing more as a cum bucket.'

i can't really tell you what bothers me more - that there are men out there who readily want to treat other human beings as rags or that if you say no, the guys will find a replacement rag in under 10 minutes.

is the solution to stop those who should know better or to instill self worth to those who do not?

the zak said...

The whole purpose of the argument is to ferret out people who don't understand the thought experiment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_experiment Because in real life there are people who believe in all kinds of oddities, that you can get HIV from getting tested for HIV, people who believe you can get HIV from a blood donation. It's a thought experiment to ferret out people who can't think logically. You can find people who believe the sun revolves around the earth, that thunder causes lightening. We live in an age where you can be absolutely ignorant and survive where in the past it would be deadly. All you have to do is listen to jay leno interviews on the sidewalk.

The thought experiment has to do with a single incident. Living together, being faithful isn't the thought experiment. They don't even have to know each other's names. They don't have to see each other clearly. The thought experiment isn't about anybody making any claims.

edward2nd said...

I find it rather funny that Chuck has now said something about it. Let’s not forget that an infamous BB movie that’s been out since 2003 IML called “Cum Sloppy Buttholes” that was filmed in the hotel IML took place. Sure Chuck cannot be responsible for this type of thing, but just now saying something about it?! I live in Chicago and I’ve heard good & bad things about Chuck and enjoyed a couple of IML’s, but for someone who’s old enough to know better, why wait so long to bring this up? Then again, better late than never I guess.

Though Andy22 not to nit-pick, but instead of looking at it as “self-righteousness”, maybe you could look at it from the stand point of showing respect to one’s trick or partner. I think it goes beyond the whole “sex police” & “consenting adults” bullshit.

JawnBC said...

Thank you for this!

Donald Baxter said...

If you 'slip' and your partner is HIV+ and undetectable do you run off to a physician or an emergency room for $1200 worth prophylactic exposure? Considering the odds, I just can't imagine doing this (but I'm positive and undetectable--honestly, while I always have safer sex (meaning I don't bareback) I don't really think that much about my HIV status anymore.

ken j said...

well, damn... there goes my fantasy of sharing a big mac with you after we make love!

Jim said...

If more people would climb that pedestal and “self-righteously” speak out not only on gay issues like safe sex and equal rights but on all issues that would advance the betterment for a more humane society as a whole, then the view from up there would be absolutely mind-blowing for everyone.

And may I add that you look quite cute on that pedestal :)

David said...

Eric,

This was an excellent post and you continually awe me with your commitment to the LGBT community. I also agree that this step at IML is an important and vital one.

However, I also think that riot has a very valid point. It is somewhat sad that the gay community has, like a bunch of three-year-old children, not been able to play nice with the dump truck in the sandbox and therefore has had to have the dump truck taken away from them.

Are we so out of control that by simply watching unsafe-sex videos we behave irresponsibly? Apparently so. Do we also put on red capes and jump off roofs after watching Superman movies? I hope not.

Riot's point about alcohol is also extremely valid. We take away the bareback porn, but how many IML attendees, or attendees at any gay event, will get so shit-faced drunk that they forget to use a condom later in the evening? You don't need to watch a video to make THAT mistake. Yet we lavish praise on the liquor companies that sponsor our parties and who are probably responsible for just as many sero-conversions as Treasure Island Video.

Something to consider.

RJP3 said...

the zak --- and his true and false question just made me sick to my stomach ....

if two people are in a relationship that is monogamous and both are tested negative and do not have sex with anyone else for 6 months ... then go bang bareback all they want

to even raise that points is the height of immaturity

barebacking videos promote unsafe sex as a norm - which it should not be during a period of history with a DEADLY illness such as HIV that is spread by unprotected anal sex (and other unprotected sex)

the IML should be applauded for rising about the gay masses ... and the HIV poz men who want to promote barebacking to make themself feel better.... I take that back no HIV male promoting barebacking is a MAN ...

A 27 year old just died of "Swine Flu" in CT because he was HIV poz --- the next wave of death could come from this --- or the next illness to come from semen to blood transmission. To continue to promote bareback anal sex is childish.

Go ahead do what you want in private ... but as a COMMUNITY we have to rise above the HIV POZ scum that want to promote barebacking because they get off on it. Many of them made bad unsafe sex choices that led to their infection ... they did not care enough about themselves ... so we can not expect them to care about anyone else.... so the rest of us have to.

RJP3 said...

Donald Baxter ... you really can not be so silly to think people are HONEST about their HIV status with strangers or in relationships ... are you?

The reason to promote SAFE SEX 100% of the time is needed to keep the good people safe .... because many bad bad bad gay men exist.... and they lie to bareback (saying they are negative)and cheat in their "monogamous" gay relationships.

I can not be the only person who knows too many men who let someone who said they were negative bareback them and then were poz afterward because the person lied.

SO SAFE AND SANE SEX is the responsible thing to promote. Period. HIV POZ men promoting BAREBACKING are demons within the gay community.

RJP3 said...

BTW ...they guy who died from Swine Flu was "undectable" ... grow up, stop the bullshit and promote safe sex ... or dont and be an asshole ... one more gay asshole wont make much of difference

e jerry said...

Eric, you don't even have to bring up that old, tired "censorship" thing. This is not a situation where the First Amendment applies in any way. It's a business thing, run by a private businessman, who is not obliged to allow any vendors booth space at all, under any circumstances. Censorship? Yes, and clearly so, but he doesn't owe anyone the right to do business at his event. It's not a violation of first amendment rights, because he's not stopping anyone from expressing themselves altogether, just within his event. I'm all for what Renslow has done, totally from the perspective of his taking a stand, putting his money where his mouth is.

IN THE LV ON AIR said...

Whether one agrees with him or not, it's a good thing to see someone turning down what has to be a lot of vendor money on principle.

That's very rare these days.

BigAssBelle said...

And this bears repeating: Listen very closely: I am worth more than that. I am entitled to and worth healthier decisions in my life.

Excellent.

Citizen X said...

Rock the fuck on Eleven.

lxvxjxnkie said...

1) Don't bother arguing with the_zak, he has a daily Google search on HIV and uses blog comments and forum posts to spread his own special sauce version of test-backed serosorting. If challenged he will accuse you of being a poz man who has deliberately/unknowingly infected others.

2) I'll post at greater length about this elsewhere, but I'm not impressed by the violence implicit in rewriting the language of barebacking straight back into the binary it sought to escape. Given that most barebackers say they are looking for partners of the same status, there's a desire to avoid infection that can be salvaged there, if you don't start by insulting the fuck out of them.

I'm an HIV-negative, 28yo HIV prevention and positive health worker who promotes condoms for a living and has no problem using them. But the concept of "safe" sex is killing me. What about desirous, electric, limit-pushing, sublime, transcendental, dangerous sex that doesn't transmit HIV? I know that's why some poz men chose to bareback with other poz men -- are you saying they shouldn't have done that, "for the sake of the younger generation"? Now, I share your concern about 'barebacking' replacing 'fucking' on Xtube as the label of choice for penetrative sex. But the challenge posed by barebacking comes not from the younger men - the kids are alright - it's from men around your age and mine, who are starting to wonder if this is as good as it gets.

E said...

First of all,

anyone who thinks that the absence of bareback media at IML (or any event) will in any way decrease the amount of barebacking or change the way people think about unsafe sex is an idiot. There's simply no other word for it.

It's not difficult to see that the reason that an event like IML is going to such measures is pressure from their precious sponsors.

Secondly, Chuck Renslow is apparently a liar. Or the CDC is. Renslow says: "The CDC and local health officials inform us that new infections are on
the rise." And yet, according to the CDC themselves, HIV transmission is the lowest it has been in 12 YEARS. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/factsheets/transmission.htm

Regardless, who wants to be part of a community where free choice isn't a factor?

I certainly don't. And those who get all self-righteous about the presence of bareback media are no better than the Christian conservatives who think they're better than us 'mos because they have God on their side.

TheOccasionalFag said...

The Zak - I am a a man of a somewhat literate and intelligent nature and I have no idea what you are trying to say. It's all some strange code that you must be getting, but I'm not and don't have the time or inclination to decipher.

And I just have to say to "E" about that last post. I find it is those who get self-righteous about those who get self righteous about bareback porn who are more like the Christian Right. Those who just get self-righteous about bareback porn are more like the authoritarian liberal left... to me...

chimaxx said...

It will be interesting to see how they implement this.

Sure, it's easy to exclude Treasure Island Media and Dick Wadd videos from the floor. The question will become what to do in the less-clear cases. Several of his largest vendors sell gear, for the most part, but also sell videos--some of which are bareback. Will he exclude these large vendors or just tell them they can't sell those videos on the vendor floor (even though they're still simultaneously available on their websites). What will he do with a magazine like Instigator magazine--which no reasonable person could claim promoted barebacking, but which occasionally writes about it in terms that are less then 100% PC condemnation? What about those sellers of gear who include oil-based lubes in their product lines?

Everyone is reacting like IML and Chuck are being all noble, whereas it's far more likely that the big safe-only porn producers, who hold their "Grabby Awards" in Chicago the same weekend, got together and gave Chuck some incentive that made it worth his while to give the heave-ho to TIM, Dick Wadd, Slut Machine and a couple of other video producers--and nothing will be said about the more marginal cases.

Call me cynical, but IML is the only major leather event that has been 100%-for-profit since inception, there's been no announcement about discontinuing the showing of bareback porn at Renslow's bathhouse, so assuming that Renslow and IML are doing this out of some altruistic community spirit is pretty naive.

More likely: With attendance numbers flagging, this is a first and (to the big porn producers) necessary step toward a merger of IML and the Grabbys into a single event.

x said...

Sounds like an overreaction on his part. I predict it won't stand for long.

Marc said...

It's guys like you and Chuck who make me want to find a way to come up with the money for this years IML.

People who are willing to take responsibility for others. What's next? The repeal of DADT and DOMA?

Marc

Jason D said...

"What about desirous, electric, limit-pushing, sublime, transcendental, dangerous sex that doesn't transmit HIV?"

Try being in a relationship, there's plenty of electricity, desire, sublime, and transcendental sex -- all without it being the least bit medically dangerous. You want danger, try intimacy -- it's terrifying.

Intimacy and excitement don't come from any one specific act, it's a state of mind.

I've had mindblowing sex with my partner of 3 years, and it didn't involve any danger to my health. Love's weird like that.

the zak said...

          >"Speaking of verification, the testing
          > theory doesn't quite work out. If a gay
          > couple went in on Monday and got
          > tested for HIV and both tests came out negative
          > today -- that doesn't mean they both are truly
          > negative as of today, July 17th."

Are they more likely to become infected in the last week or in the last 30 years?

the zak said...

          >"If challenged he will accuse you of
          > being a poz man who has
          > deliberately/unknowingly infected
          > others."

send me an example of you accusing someone of being positive and deliberately/unknowingly infected others.

the zak said...

i am sure that every gay man ever infected knew his partner was positive and he wanted to acquire the same state of infection. i don't think there is any evidence of positive people ever infecting another person.

don said...

Great post. Nice to see such integrity when so many would be worried about being politically correct.

jackmsw said...

Thank you thank you THANK you, Eric.

lxvxjxnkie said...

@Jason D -- You missed the point of my comment.

And The Zak was booted from the GMHS Ning for doing what I described.

the zak said...

It would seem that hurting someone's feelings, even making them feel guilty for deadly behavior, is more important than the disease and the misery and death it causes.

the zak said...

          >"I'll post at greater length about this elsewhere, but I'm not impressed by the violence implicit in rewriting the language of barebacking straight back into the binary it sought to escape. Given that most barebackers say they are looking for partners of the same status, there's a desire to avoid infection that can be salvaged there, if you don't start by insulting the fuck out of them.

Somehow "...insulting the fuck out of them." sounds like an insult directed at someone, perhaps me. But more specifically, just how did I insult them? Or did they have guilty feelings because it is gay men who are infecting, and, literally, killing gay men. Because until that becomes an important part of the self-consciousness of people, gay or straight, drug user, or non-drug user, this disease goes, generally, from one infected person to an uninfected person. Even HIV+ people who are determined to have sex only with those who are positive, can pass other infections along to others. HIV is not the only STD that can kill--although it is the only one that can still kill so many, again, regardless of orientation.


          > I'm an HIV-negative, 28yo HIV prevention and positive health worker who promotes condoms for a living and has no problem using them. But the concept of "safe" sex is killing me.

"Safe sex" has killed, literally, a lot of people.


          > What about desirous, electric, limit-pushing, sublime, transcendental, dangerous sex that doesn't transmit HIV?

That is a problem, because, by definition, with the above, all rationality would be thrown aside. And that means people end up doing dangerous things. This is why the disease continues to have such a strong foothold in our species.


          > I know that's why some poz men chose to bareback with other poz men -- are you saying they shouldn't have done that, "for the sake of the younger generation"? Now, I share your concern about 'barebacking' replacing 'fucking' on Xtube as the label of choice for penetrative sex. But the challenge posed by barebacking comes not from the younger men - the kids are alright - it's from men around your age and mine, who are starting to wonder if this is as good as it gets."


That phrase "as good as it gets" is overcome by the act of finding a new and unfamiliar partner. That means you increase the chances of crossing paths with someone who is infected, and they infect your, or you are infected and end up infecting someone who isn't infected. Only the rich, very famous, very libertine, or very handsome/beautiful are guaranteed a steady stream of new partners. The rest of us are resigned to no partner at all or only a long familiar one.

JonRoycePhotog said...

I think safe sex should be the standard. It took a lot of guts to make this decision.

Jon Royce

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