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The “Bareback Brotherhood” And The Disturbing Trend Of Unprotected Gay Sex

It’s no secret: gay men enjoy sex. They have vibrant sex lives like nobody else. It’s, like, epic. Speaking from experience, it’s all right. We get it. Going back to time immemorial, dudes have enjoyed getting it on with other dudes. There’s art, literature, movies, songs, jokes, limericks and several Golden Girls episodes dedicated to it. That’s not going to change. Ever. Except that the number of people enjoying it and feeling good about themselves will increase as our social acceptance skyrockets.

The adoption of safe sex practices in the age of HIV is a key part of our liberation.

Yet in the past five years, HIV infection rates have increased, and barebacking has becoming somewhat “mainstream” among gay men. For evidence, gaycentric underwear brand Andrew Christian prominently featured bareback porn star Antonio Biaggi a recent promotion. Perhaps exacerbating the trend is the increased popularity of hookup apps like Grindr and sites like Adam4Adam — a recent study found that nearly 50% of men who used hookup apps engaged in barebacking. Then, earlier this year we reported on a Facebook group that glorified unprotected sex — it had over 20,000 followers but the Facebook powers-that-be subsequently (albeit temporarily) shut ‘er down.

That why we were disappointed to learn, thanks to a tip from an intrepid Queerty reader, about the so-called “Bareback Brotherhood,” operating openly on Twitter. The Brotherhood [read more here] is an online social community that claims to have over 6,000 members worldwide, and nearly as many Twitter followers, dedicated to the glorification of raw sex. According to its mission statement:

The Bareback Brotherhood…stands a beacon [sic]. The Bareback Brotherhood is as [sic] a social group of men around the globe from all walks of life. We agree on one thing — sex between men without barriers is natural and a legitimate choice. As consenting adults, skin-to-skin intimacy should be a choice that is not demonized or marginalized. The Bareback Brotherhood advocates on behalf of raw sex, knowing that many men engage but hide. The Bareback Brotherhood is a group without judgment and with mutual respect for all, no matter sero-status — positive, negative or unknown. Fuck more. Fear less. Regret nothing.

While that last bit makes for a good rallying call, there’s nothing particularly noble about bareback sex. It’s not some revolution or revelation. Rather, in advocating raw sex, they are in fact advocating unnecessary risk taking, which for some has become a turn on. We don’t purport to be the moral compass of the LGBT community, but we’re big believers in condoms because your health is just generally something you don’t want to f#@k with. Contracting HIV is no longer a death sentence, nor should having HIV be a stigma. And it is true that scientists are closing in on a cure.

Serosorting has become a legit way to reduce infections in some cases, and Poz guys indeed should have more latitude. But whether you’re positive or not, it’s still important to take steps to protect yourself and your health. Just think of the wonderful array of sexually transmitted diseases available free with purchase of this ideology. For a taste, Google images of syphilis and then try not to scratch the corneas out of your eyes.

If you don’t believe us, hear it from this Golden Girls gif:

condoms-rose

More and more gay men are eschewing safer sex and as a result rates of HIV infections are on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

MSM [men who have sex with men] remain the population most heavily affected by HIV infection. Comparing 2008 to 2010, the number of new HIV infections among MSM increased 12% from 26,700 in 2008 to 29,800 in 2010, with a 22% increase among MSM aged 13–24 from 7,200 in 2008 to 8,800 in 2010. Although MSM represent about 7% of the male population in the United States, in 2010 MSM accounted for 78% of the new HIV infections among males.

Groups like the Bareback Brotherhood are partly to blame for glamorizing unsafe sexual practices, but there’s also a lack of awareness as to the risks involved, particularly among young people. Research has shown that a lot of kids today just don’t care about getting infected with HIV. On a related note, abstinence-only education is the dumbest thing in the entire world.

So what we have here is not only a lack of education, but also a complacency over the threat of HIV/AIDS. That same hookup app study found that 47% of respondents who engaged in unprotected sex were knowledgeable about HIV and were afraid of getting infected. Their reasons for not using condoms then? Nearly 85% claimed “with condoms it does not feel the same” and nearly 74% did it just for kicks.

At the end of the day, consenting adults will do what consenting adults do, but if you insist on engaging in unprotected sex, at least get regularly screened for STIs and make sure your partners do, too. Sex shouldn’t require due diligence, but with all that’s at stake you should at least have some protection.

What do you think? Are we being too uptight or is a Twitter (and Facebook) bareback-sex page—and one that advocates unsafe liaisons—not a such a grand idea?

By:           Editors
On:           Jun 25, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 76 Comments
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      The Bareback Brotherhood or barebackers in general are like Mean Girls.

      If you don’t bareback they treat you like you are the freak, not them.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      I did an exposé on the BBBH in more detail for the last World AIDS Day. The full post can be found here:

      http://blog.guyn2gear.com/2012/12/the-underworld-of-non-consensual-unsafe.html

      Jun 25, 2013 at 10:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JockoRogan
      JockoRogan

      I’m guessing this is more of an issue with younger gay men. By younger, I mean younger than me. I’m near the tail end of the baby-boom. I spent my twenties with a lot of anxiety around sex and the possibility of becoming poz.

      I’ve seen people die of AIDS. Literally. I mean I’ve been with someone as they drew their last breath. Death came after a lot of suffering and their bodies wasted away to nothing. I am not tempted to bareback. The last thing I want is to become HIV poz after dodging the bullet for nearly thirty years.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 10:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Persa
      Persa

      Every human should be responsible for their OWN body. Regardless of whether or not someone else is having bareback sex, as long as you don’t you have nothing to worry about. You can’t bully, harass, shame, cajole or force anyone else to use condoms. Every “accidental” pregnancy is an occurrence of irresponsible bareback sex. Since the invention of condoms there have been people who refuse to use them and that is not going to change.
      But if men and women who have sex with men simply refused to have sex with a man who refuses to wear a condom, THAT would change things.
      You can’t control what other folks do or don’t do with their body (most of the time)
      Spread the word, educate other folks about the dangers of unprotected sex (not just HIV but HPV and a myriad of other STIs)
      But at the end of the day, the only thing you can do is worry about yourself.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 10:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • miagoodguy
      miagoodguy

      Only idiots have unprotected sex outside of a LONG TERM MONOGAMOUS relationship, but if guys will have bareback sex on camera for money, i’ll watch. I value my health too much to expose myself to any STDs. I tend to have little sympathy for those becoming HIV infected in this day and age because it means they are drug users or having unprotected sex with multiple partners (a few exceptions exist of course).

      Just laugh at those so called mean girls who think you are a freak for not barebacking.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jackhoffsky
      Jackhoffsky

      There are a lot of different factors when it comes to this. Where I’m at, the latino and black infection rate increase is insane. This has to deal with the fact so many of them are on the “DL” and cannot be found out. So in this case it’s the “closet” or DL aspect putting men at risk.

      You also have the PNP group. They are pretty much upfront and forward about everything. I do know though are many who are not (and not to sound ageist, but a lot of older who like to fuck the little white chicken boys). If everything goes okay (get tested, comes back negative), the kids go and do it again with someone else. that (to me personally) is disturbing.

      We are also a college town, so many students here do not have the information such has been presented in this article and are simply living the college life which involves… gay or straight… drinking excessively and condomless sex. it’s a partial mix of the mentality of the PNP group with the “i’m invincible” mentality of a typical teenager/early 20s person.

      You also have people with HIV who are EXTREMELY bitter, and will not tell anyone their status.

      Finally, you have a conundrum. While you’re negative HIV can lead to AIDS and we have all seen people die from AIDS (I have too, JockoRogan). But after getting HIV… it’s no big deal. Take a blood test, take your pills, you’re just fine. That is a confusing and inconsistent message to the younger group, especially since the number of people actually dying of AIDS has decreased over the recent years. It’s not really impressed on what the need to stay away from HIV really is.

      There BBBH cannot be blamed for all of this BUT they can be blamed for being opportunists in taking advantage of something that happens sociologically in our community whether they are in existence or not. They are glorifying what is already present: Closet cases do not cruise the parks with condoms, and crack orgies will never prefer the ‘ribbed’ over the ‘practically skinless’. In my opinion, that is the BBBH’s true danger… exploitation.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 11:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polaro
      Polaro

      Bareback sex is a bad idea. Yeah, condoms suck. So do seat belts. But there’s a reason for both. You can be lucky until you’re not. And then you pay. AIDS is still not trivial to quality of life. We just stop talking about the consequences.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 11:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Taliaferro
      Taliaferro

      Anyone who has lived with HIV for nearly 30 years – as I have – cannot understand how men can be so foolish as to engage in unprotected sex. There are many many things that one can do sexually that have little of no risk of spreading disease – including using a condom. The side effects of HIV medication and continued living with the disease are significant. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney failure, depression are among the diseases that HIV+ men must live with. How this disease is spread has been known for decades now. Any responsible person, any intelligent person, would want to make certain he does not spread it to another. Those who engage in unprotected sex endanger not only themselves but the rest of us.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      Didn’t Queerty just glorify bareback profiteers by using the pic of Maverick Men in a post about silver daddies the other day?

      Jun 25, 2013 at 11:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      Being reckless about getting HIV in this economy is an especially stupid thing to do.

      Online search:
      Economy Hurts Government Aid for H.I.V. Drugs
      AIDS and HIV Patients in Limbo as States Consider Funding Cuts
      Budget Crunch Hampers HIV Drugs Distribution
      Waiting lists still growing for AIDS drug assistance
      Greece, its Collapsing Economy and HIV

      Gay Glorifying Of Bareback Sex http://youtu.be/_VzaC5LgJEY

      Jun 25, 2013 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jackhoffsky
      Jackhoffsky

      @jeff4justice: I remember discussing that with you. good call.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      @Persa: “You can’t bully, harass, shame, cajole or force anyone else to use condoms.”

      But some people DO force sexual partners not to use condoms. See the parts about “stealthing” here:

      http://blog.guyn2gear.com/2012/12/the-underworld-of-non-consensual-unsafe.html

      This article misses a very big point about BBBH: they’re not just about glorifying bareback sex. They’re about recruiting new members, by force if need be.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      Hey, how come no one has chimed in to defend barebacking, the way they usually do? Looks like the “raw” sex crowd doesn’t get out of bed til after noon!

      @jeff4justice: I’ve long suspected that many guys look forward to getting infected because they’re under the (mistaken) impression that it guarantees getting SSDI.

      They’re in for a shock, after they’re HIV+ but still have to work, and it’s all a lot more unpleasant than they expected.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tardis
      tardis

      And that’s why I’m off sex.

      Seriously, I don’t understand why people engage in barebacking. HIV, or any STD for that matter, is nasty business. I agree with most of the comments here. Still, can’t say I understand why people would put themselves at risk.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @Todd: Thanks – just finished reading your horrifying link. I know someone who seroconverted in exactly the way described.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jackhoffsky
      Jackhoffsky

      @the other Greg: I have found those that are trying to get SSDI are a very small percentage, but they do exist. I think word has gotten out that HIV is not a free ride. Also because there has been a 12% increase in claims in the past year, the ability to get ANY SSDI benefits is about to become tougher.

      And I suspect there hasn’t been any BB enthusiasts because, well, barebacking doesn’t really need a justification… the appeal is in the name. Any gay or straight male can tell you that. LOL. But also, this article is about the Bareback Brotherhood and their effect on the community (leaving out porn sites like Sean Cody, Corbin Fisher, MaveickMen, Active Duty,etc. and the general sociology of our community I mentioned above).

      Jun 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mykey
      Mykey

      Maybe you should start advocating other ways that men should have sex, like frot and other non-penetrative forms. Yes, unprotected anal sex has the highest risk of getting HIV or other STIs, but it is also a very pleasurable experience for men! Wonder why they do it despite the risks? You can’t just vilify a group that does not agree with you and goes out to do their stuff. This is like straights trying to wish away gay! You guys never learn. Am not advocating bareback or anything, to each his own! And as a matter of fact, heteros also have unprotected vaginal sex all the time, whether in a relationship or not, so it kind of baffles me when someone condemns guys barebacking in a monogamous relationship, or how disgusting it is! Save yourself and keep of anal sex as a whole…

      Jun 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      Hey. This. Is. Insane.

      A HIV discussion but where is that guy who is HIV+ AND doesn’t even believe it is an actual illness, and follows these articles like a fly to a pile of very seductive manure. That guy is mental and his rants are far more hilarious for a slowly dying backwards thinking inbred than they have any right to be.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle
      Tackle

      @Jackoffsky: I’m curious as to what area you live in that Black & Latino infecton rates are insane? Considering Blacks and testing &HIV/AIDS rate’s, what the CDC has on their website has holes & contradictions. According to the above post. 50% of all men on Grindr & A4A ingage in bareback sex. But lets not forget bbrt & the hundreds if not thousands of online hook-up sites. And it says (above post) that MSM increased 12%, no race given. But age, 13-24. MSM account for 78% of all new HIV infections. Considering that Black gay men account for around 3% of the overall MSM, and are not the majority on hook-up sites. And most gay White men are having sex with other White men, I would question how gay Black men can have these increases, as you claim? Also the so-called DL. Nothing more then closeted bisexual behavior. Even the CDC is getting away from the DL theory.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CaptainFabulous
      CaptainFabulous

      You’re being way too uptight. You want to wear condoms, go right ahead. Stop trying to tell others what they should and shouldn’t do.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CaptainFabulous
      CaptainFabulous

      @Taliaferro: And maybe they just don’t care. Y’know what else fucks up a body? Drinking. Drug use. Tobacco. High fat and/or salty diets. Processed foods. Are you also advocating everyone give those things up too, y’know, for the good of society? I mean, they’re a danger to themselves and everyone around them, right?

      Jun 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polaro
      Polaro

      @CaptainFabulous: Why? Because they shouldn’t bareback. The message, like the science, is clear. You may choose to bareback. We can’t stop you. But we sure as hell can tell you it is childish and irresponsible. And, no, that isn’t uptight, its reality. It would be less of an issue if you didn’t then spread your disease once you catch it to others and cost us all a lot of money keeping you all alive. Sniveling, self-indulgent twit.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @CaptainFabulous: There you are, and just as c*nty as ever.

      Blah blah, everything but my choices blah blah how dare you judge me for not telling people my status and purposely infecting people like it’s a crime, how dare you treat me as a criminal etcetera.

      Give the record a break and slowly die in the corner all quiet like will you.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CaptainFabulous
      CaptainFabulous

      @2eo: I don’t know who the fuck you’re talking about but it sure as shit ain’t me. I’ve never said ANYTHING even remotely close to that.

      All I’ve said is that people have no business trying to tell others what they can and cannot do. Period. If you think it’s irresponsible and unhealthy to bareback then don’t do it. But don’t try and shame, belittle, or harass others that choose to. Their bodies, their choice.

      The hypocrisy is so deliciously ironic, yet not a single one of you even sees it. Which of course makes it even more delicious.

      But carry again. Keep telling me again what I’m allowed to do and not do. While you’re at it tell me who I can and cannot love or marry. Or even who I’m allowed to have sex with in the first place. And when you’re done with that you can then start to try and tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, cause y’know only sluts demand contraception and abortion rights.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DionysusBlack
      DionysusBlack

      This is just stupid, as much i read about american criticism the absurdest it becomes. It appears to me like you have the right to complain but never the right to be, here in Spain where we have a lot of bareback sex, people say openly: if they are o they are not POZ, if they like bareback sex.. and most important of all people asume the risk of fucking raw.

      So, I really believe you can’t say in this moment of history that young people dont’t know they can die from having unprotected sex. What people should be doing is taking responsability of their un actions and stop blaming “those who never alert”

      There is in my opinion more hypocrisy about unprotected sex between heterosexual, where they just “take the pill” but behave even more promiscuos than gay community, in my experience gay people are more aware of consequences and usually when they decide to have bareback sex most of the people know indeed the consequences of that and asume to live that way.

      Anywho, everyone must have the right to put whatever they want in their “‘holes” and if you are afraid to get sick you can do 2 thing (because i did) stop being promiscuos and use condom; either way, asume consequences and shut the f**** off and let de brotherhood be…

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @CaptainFabulous: I like your grasping at straws insignificance, and the glibness that follows is wonderful.

      Why didn’t you go all the way and directly compare to Hitler?, because I AM LITERALLY EXACTLY AS BAD AS HITLER, because calling you out on being a bit of a tit is LITERALLY THE SAME AS THE HOLOCAUST, LITERALLY.

      My polite indignation knows no bounds.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CaptainFabulous
      CaptainFabulous

      @2eo: Sorry, but my batshit crazy decoder ring is in the shop right now, so I honestly can’t make out a damned thing you’re trying to say.

      It’s ok tho, I’m sure even translated it’s all inane stupidity anyway.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @CaptainFabulous: “Drinking. Drug use. Tobacco. High fat and/or salty diets. Processed foods. Are you also advocating everyone give those things up too, y’know, for the good of society?”

      Uh… yeah, of course! To a great extent. Societies and governments do that all the time, without necessarily yearning for capital-P Prohibition.

      An analogy with alcohol would be the difference between the rare, well-mannered drunk who drinks quietly at home, and the much more common type who drinks & drives, gets violent at bars, etc. and is a danger to everyone. An analogy with tobacco would be second-hand smoke.

      Not buying your hard-core libertarian *reductio ad absurdum.*

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bocohomo
      bocohomo

      @Persa: It is something you should worry about. HIV is a public health risk. The more people that contract it, the further it spreads. While it may seem like a personal decision whether or not you use a condom, the wider phenomenon of glorifying bareback sex is posing a risk to society.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @DionysusBlack: The guy on the bottom is the only one in danger. And he’s at a disadvantage. The top might lie, or just take the condom off after putting it on (see comment #12).

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jackhoffsky
      Jackhoffsky

      @Tackle: I am in central Texas, and as per this past AIDS World Day, it was mentioned several times how our numbers were running contrary to the national average in many regards (there is no waiting list for meds, for example). Now, as a disclaimer, these are numbers of people who seek treatment or go to the doctor, not all projected (+) case.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CaptainFabulous
      CaptainFabulous

      @the other Greg: So you go out and actively petition companies that advertise alcohol and glorify its use? Do you go up to people in the supermarket and lecture them about all the crappy food that’s in their cart? Get in the face of someone is minding their own business while smoking a cigarette and start shouting statistics about lung cancer, the cost of treatment, and the burden it places upon society?

      Or do you just mind your own fucking business and let people live their own lives whatever way they see fit. Yeah, thought so. Hypocrite.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris-MI
      Chris-MI

      Yeah, it’s your own body and you are free to get HIV and screw over your friends, family, insurance company and possibly the local government. But nobody ever puts it that way. They make obtuse remarks like “nature intended for us to be skin on skin” when in fact nature never intended anything, and certainly not antiretrovirials, or for that matter, soap. No one taking these risks ever talks about the lifetime of struggle ahead of them. Instead they have faith that the rightness of the universe will somehow work it all out for them.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @the other Greg: Can I take “reductio ad absurdum”, I can’t believe I didn’t think of this applying in his posts. He’s a libertarian, that explains a lot actually.

      Guess I’ll renege on calling him a bit of a tit and replace it with an utter prick.

      It is funny how he thinks half presenting as personable means he’s relevant, and because he’s [sort of] for personal responsibility it means he can abdicate all responsibility, the fundamental flaw that invalidates libertarianism completely in every way.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stuckupwhitetrash
      stuckupwhitetrash

      I’m 33, and have been HIV+ for 9 years… a huge part of my adult life. I lived a life defined by the “bareback/poz/pnp” thing for the first few years after becoming infected. I can’t believe people are still beating this dead horse. I’m thankful for the #BBBH because as I saw it gain momentum on Twitter, it showed me exactly how fucking dorky these self identified bareback doofs were. I’ve completely disassociated myself from anything that defines itself in such a manner. The guy who created the group has to be one of the most miserable, ugly, uncool fuckheads I’ve ever seen in my life. There’s nothing edgy or cool about fucking being part of the #BBBH. Now that I’ve left my bareback/poz only bubble, some really amazing things have happened.. the quality of the guys I hang out with, and hook up with has increased incredibly. The majority of the poz community is a huge disappointment. Stop whining, start living, and stop being such cum obsessed dorks.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @CaptainFabulous: I hate cigarettes and excitedly get into arguments about them all the time, when stupid fucking people (especially gay people!) blow the smoke in my face, or beg for them, and so on. So by your curious standard, no hypocrisy there.

      Re: alcohol advertising, actually I used to live in the type of slummy neighborhood where a petition went around to get the billboards to cut down on it. Yeah, I signed it.

      You seem confused about the difference between real life and online commentary. Re: food, well okay, I limit my comments to online sarcasm.

      Last week, here on Queerty, there was a neo-Freudian “Gay Pope” type who kept telling us that raw anal sex was the BEST sex that gay men could have, AND that anyone who doesn’t agree is neurotic and repressed. I don’t know (a) who elected him the Gay Pope to judge other gay men’s sex lives, or (b) where he got his imaginary psychology degree – but I think the judging comes much more often from the barebacking side.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @the other Greg: It’s a very sad and deliberate cognitive bias. They deep down know that they are endangering others when deliberately witholding information and so retreat to their high ground and preempt people calling them on their irresponsible behaviour with cries of intolerance.

      It’s funny how these discussions always seem to be reasonable people asking for more awareness and better measure and treatments and there are those like Fabulous who think the world is against them, when in reality people are against people like him because he’s a c*nt.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SEM_DCBK
      SEM_DCBK

      http://www.poz.com/articles/sound_of_stigma_2776_23873.shtml

      This is a very good article on stigma of HIV poz people and how they treat themselves because of the way that we as homosexual men treat them.. its not an excuse for barebacking but who is really to blame. with the good comes the bad and until the stigma of the virus dies and we can look at each other as equals and not defective products of life non of us will be safe from the virus.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      And when the shouting doesn’t work. The omission of fact and the blaming begins. The mistreatment of many people with HIV is not a sledgehammer to use when the shouting about intolerance isn’t working. You don’t get to black bag an issue just because it makles you uncomfortable or because people have hamfistedly furrowed their brows at the problem before.

      Life doesn’t work that way, you can’t just post the absolute worst cases in history and present it as literal fact that all negative gay men hate and ostracize positive people, we are judging stupid people for acting stupidly. Not people just being people. There is a massive difference, both morally and intellectually.

      Don’t play the “you’re treating us as subhuman” card, you’re better than that and what is said in the article is extremism and nothing else.

      It’s sad you won’t even acknowledge there is room for discussion and just look to clamp it down immediately. Resorting to the same hackneyed lines of thinking that the religious right use against us all.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LeNair Xavier
      LeNair Xavier

      I am not a member of the BBBH, and from the cold-hearted pretentionous of some of the commenters here, if I was a member of the Condom Police, I would turn in my resignation.

      For some of you NOT with the BBBH get on your soapboxes to distract people from knowing how often you yourself have had bareback sex. But remember the saying, “…doth protest too much.”

      I have admitted to both safe sex, and bareback sex. But respect my readers as the adults that they are to make their own decisions, AND own up to the consequences of those decisions.

      http://www.tresx-rayvision.com/2012/11/hiv-stds-power-of-choice.html

      Jun 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark · Queerty Editor

      I know you have good intentions. But trying to stamp out the sites, groups, and “brotherhoods” that men use primarily as masturbatory is playing a losing game of whack-a-mole. You’re also being naive and judgmental, sorry.

      If I may: “Your Mother Liked It Bareback.” http://marksking.com/my-fabulous-disease/your-mother-liked-it-bareback/

      The linked posting counters most of your argument. Again, I appreciate your good intentions, but in the age of undetectable viral loads, PrEP, PEP, and serosorting, you’re about as relevant as Nancy Reagan.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      I’m not sure why I expected reasoned and articulate debate when people like Mark King and Fabulous posting here are unwilling to even acknowledge any points and are merely grandstanding.

      It’s a shame we’re making such progress and such simple minded people are quashing discussion on a very touchy issue, I expected a more adult approach to life, especially from those who are actually positive.

      But I have had my expectations dashed repeatedly, what’s one more time right.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      Your Mother Liked It Bareback if she liked it up the butt. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But it’s misleading or ignorant to equate “bareback” with vaginal sex. So is equating anal sex with “gay sex” in general. The HIV transmission risks vary greatly. I suspect Mark knows all this and is being deliberately disingenuous.

      @LeNair Xavier: Hmm, THAT’S a new one! I guess that’s convenient – simply accuse everyone who advocates condom use of being a liar and secretly barebacking? Got any proof of that? Personally I’d like to think that everyone who claims to run 5 miles a day is lying about it, and in reality just walks the dog around the block – hey it must be true!

      @2eo: wow, a compliment from 2eo! (#34), I’m stunned. I’ve been waiting two hours to see if Fabulous would confirm or deny it… but I’m guessing he looked up “libertarian” in the dictionary and is still puzzling over it.

      @stuckupwhitetrash: Verrrrrry interesting post, thanks! Best wishes.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alterego1980
      alterego1980

      @2eo: I think there is plenty of room for discussion, as most people do. It’s interesting how articles about the extreme outliers like BBBH are used to discuss common everyday problems. It leads to unnecessary irrational conversations like these here in the comments.
      Also, to your “we are judging stupid people for acting stupidly” comment. I think that a lot of times, it’s more about people, or even smart people acting stupidly. A stupid act can be a mistake by a smart person. A pattern of stupid acts is by a stupid person (and in some cases dangerous person). The fact that there is this difference creates a grey area that makes the universal browbeating unfair. Of course, a comment box and screen-name don’t lend themselves to nuance in an argument.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      @Jackhoffsky: Why thank you.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      @the other Greg: I think that’s a factor too. I think bigger factors are how gay porn is the only sex ed a lot of young gays get and they see all these barebackers getting praised on sites like Xtube. All those people praising them don’t give a f’k if the people they’re watching get HIV.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SEM_DCBK
      SEM_DCBK

      @stuckupwhitetrash: I completely agree with you and understand cause at 32 i have been poz for most of my adult life and like you i spent the beginning of my diagnoses the same. The purpose of the article that i posted above was just to shine light on how a lot of men who become poz view themselves and how others view them. i just wanted show that we have identified the problem. we just need to come together as a group and fix it or the number will just keep rising and as a now popular sub-culture of society we will lose our culture all together.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DonW
      DonW

      @Persa: “But at the end of the day, the only thing you can do is worry about yourself.”
      That’s a pathetic excuse for selfish behavior. At the end of the day, you can and should be a mature, compassionate, responsible adult who worries not just about himself but about the effects of his choices on other people and the larger community.

      There’s something ironic about gay men who take such a cavalier attitude toward the health of their partners. Sex, which can be an expression of tenderness, caring and love, becomes an act of contempt for our gay brothers. You have to wonder how much internalized homophobia and self-hatred play a role in the sociopathic behavior of some self-serving “barebackers.”

      Jun 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Persa
      Persa

      @DonW:
      You’re projecting. There is nothing selfish or pathetic about being responsible for your own sex practices. You can’t control other people. No matter how much you name call or try to shame them into conformity, YOU can’t control what other people do.
      We can only control what we do. And if WE are each taking care to be responsible in our own sexual practices then anyone that WE have sex with will not be put in danger BY US.
      That was my point.
      If you use condoms with all of your sex partners, that is the most you can do to stop the spread of STIs and take care of your own health.
      How exactly do you plan on controlling what other gay men do with their penises? How exactly to you plan on controlling what kind of sex other gay men are having and in what manner?
      You can’t. There is definitely no way to control how other people have sex.
      All we can do is educates folks and make sure WE (as individuals) are doing the right thing.
      That is OBVIOUSLY my point. I stand by it.
      30 years of HIV and STI education has proven that no amount of hang-wringing and name-calling will make people do something they don’t want to do.
      But refusing to have sex with someone who refuses to wear a condom and refusing to participate in unsafe sexual activities WILL keep you safe.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Persa
      Persa

      @bocohomo: Worry about it and pretending that you can control other people are two different things. Every time someone has sex without a condom they are putting themselves at risk for any number of unwanted eventualities. And yet STIs and accidental pregnancies still march on.
      They problem isn’t that folks don’t know they can catch a deadly virus. Before there was HIV there was Syphilis. Millions of men and women died from Syphilis and it wasn’t because they didn’t have or know about condoms.

      Worrying does nothing to prevent the spread of STIs.

      Each individual person taking responsibility for their own body, their own health is what will change the spread of STIs.

      Whether or not you know the status of your sex partner you should always, ALWAYS be using condoms and other protective methods during sex. Everyone. Male, female, gay, straight or lesbian.

      People lie about their status, some people don’t even know their status, even if they are tested, they could be wrong and HIV is not the only thing folks need to worry about.

      So worrying does diddly.

      Changing our own behavior, each of us, every time we have sex (long term partner or random trick) is what will change things.

      We can only ever know our own situation as an individual and if each of us took responsibility for our own sexual health (and didn’t put it in the hands of someone else) STIs would spread a hell of a lot less.

      That is just common sense.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SEM_DCBK
      SEM_DCBK

      @2eo: I am just acknowledging a problem that needs to be fixed… if there wasn’t HIV we wouldn’t be having this conversation.. everyone would be barebacking and with ease whatever std the got would be curable but that is not the question. Stigma exist whether you want to believe it or not.. also I agree with you that as a gay men the practice of bareback sex as a whole is a very stupid idea and we should know better. But helping those who put themselves in that category of the article i posted above is what will help people understand why barebacking is very dangerous even if the guy that you are sleeping with claims to be neg. I am not saying that all neg people treat poz people that way. Most of the men that i have dated are neg and have treated me very well. but the large majority of HIV- men do treat others like that.

      take for instance last night, i was sitting at a bar for karaoke and someone started singing a song from Rent. A patron in the bar screamed ‘Oh let’s all sing the AIDS song.’ followed by alibiing lyrics about how you take your stribuild and ‘hopefully everything will work out fine. that is just one example of the discrimination that happens not daily but more often than not to HIV+ men. and that is just one of many that i have witness or be affected by personally this week.

      i am not status-phobic by any means. your status poz or neg will not make it any simpler to sleep with you. its how the person i am with treats me and because regardless of status you can still end up dating an asshole. my honesty about my status does black list me from a lot of things and people, but having dealt with it for years i am okay now and luckily have never gotten to the point where i didn’t care enough about the person i was sleeping with not to pass on the virus.

      I guess at the end of the day all i really want is more tolerance and understanding between poz and neg people followed with fun ways of safe sex practices. cause what the point of saying ‘i have sex only’ if you still are not going to sleep with someone can at least admit they are poz.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SEM_DCBK
      SEM_DCBK

      @Persa: thank you for being sensible and understanding.. it like i just replied to some earlier: ’cause what the point of saying ‘i have sex only’ if you still are not going to sleep with someone who can at least admit they are poz.’

      Jun 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iMort
      iMort

      If people are stupid enough to have unprotected sex without documentation of their current status then I say let them thin the herd. Give those bit**es a Darwin Award and kiss them goodbye. Too bad that there are no diseases specific to straight white conservatives and religious zealots.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iMort
      iMort

      There are no innocents with regards to unprotected sex. It is a two way street unless you are raped.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      @Persa: Can anti-LGBT people change from being accepting to non-accepting. Of course.

      While obviously grown ass adults can do what they want people can use their influence to educate and inspire people to make healthy choices. Obviously we know if billboards glamorizing smoking are placed by schools it increases the odds are greater that many of those kids will smoke. If a neighborhood is overrun with fatty-fast-food billboards, it’s likely that community will have more health problems. When young gay men are not taught anything about safer sex in schools and then get their first sex ed from sites like Xtube they get a message that tells them they are validated and praised for having condomless sex. Obviously any nonprofit and health groups with any sense have already known for years shaming messages don’t work. But that does not mean we can’t raise the issue and try to educate young gays that validation for condomless sex by strangers online or condomless sex with someone who won’t remember your name a week later is not worth the risks of getting HIV – especially in these hard economic times when jobs are scarce and health care cuts are impacting HIV prevention and care services.

      Regarding shaming people, the LGBT media and companies that glorify the profiteers of barebackers however should be called out for promoting self-inflicted harm and for being 2-faced. Notice GLAAD never speaks out about those people yet if some anti-gay groups found out some anti-LGBT was deliberately behind a campaign to encouraging gays to have condomless sex I’m sure they’d go nuts about it.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 8:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganymede
      Ganymede

      I don’t know about the US, but in the UK you can be sentenced to life imprisonment for knowingly infecting someone with HIV, under a charge of grievous bodily harm. You don’t even have to have been tested, one man was convicted based on his GP’s testimony that he had been told he had a high chance of having HIV.

      Just a little something to think about for those that may try to trick others into bareback sex.

      Jun 25, 2013 at 9:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DonW
      DonW

      @Mark: Just curious, Mark: you seem to lump PEP in along with PrEP (which deserves another discussion) as a strategy in men’s decisions about safety. How is that supposed to work? Normally PEP is something you resort to if you’ve slipped up and had a risky encounter where you might potentially have been exposed, or been raped, or been exposed to infected blood in a lab, for example. How does this help someone who is already consciously having bareback sex? What would trigger a morning-after decision to go for PEP (which is a mighty unpleasant experience, by the way)? Someone coming in your ass and THEN telling you he’s HIV+?

      Jun 26, 2013 at 12:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DonW
      DonW

      @iMort:Agreed, but those stupid people are going to cheat Darwin by running to their doctor as soon as they are infected, and expect the full round of expensive treatments to keep their stupid ass alive, courtesy of you and me and our inflated health insurance premiums and tax dollars.

      Jun 26, 2013 at 12:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DonW
      DonW

      @Persa: I think we’re on the same page here. Where in my post did I say anything about controlling what other people do? My point is that by choosing to take proper precautions we are not just acting in our own interest but being responsible adults in a world where we are all interdependent. Some guys, unfortunately, really don’t care all that much about their own health, but few (with notable exceptions) are sociopathic enough to want to deliberately harm others.

      Jun 26, 2013 at 12:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seaguy
      seaguy

      @Todd: Todd if lying and using scare tactics to try and get your point across and to slander a group of gay men who have a like of bareback sex in common, then you have succeeded. Because your “exposes” are based on fiction! It seems that you have taken forum posts out of context and labeled fantasy reality and turned fiction into nonfiction. Your end goal seems to be to create this hysteria with the lies and scare tactics so that others will rush to judgement without getting all the facts and they will too call for extreme right wing ideas like outlawing bareback porn, and criminalizing sex between consenting adults, like we are in communist North Korea!

      But not all of us are that easily fooled by your “stealth” posts that seem to be exposing this seedy, twisted, reprehensible group of gay men who are poz and want to make you and any other guy they meet poz by force is necessary! Anyone who believes that is an idiot. Tbe Bareback Brotherhood is gay men who like to fuck bareback forming a brotherhood using the BBBH hashtag so easily identify one other on twitter. Sure some are into some kinky shit but then you find that across the gay community. I have seen fictional posts in forums about some of the claims you make but to say that is a reality occurring like you do is Weekly World News type blogging because like batboy it’s not real, and I think your also making a broad statement about a group of men that is rude at the least. Saying anyone who is part of the BBBH is a poz rapist, which is pretty much what your saying is a total lie. I know many twitter users who are members of the BBBH who are negative and only have sexz with consenting partners.

      Please cut the crap and stop lying!

      Jun 26, 2013 at 1:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Walker
      Walker

      I sure as hell can shame people who promote barebacking just as I can shame anyone else who is putting other people at risk through their selfishness. I am not referring just to their partners who are at least hopefully consenting, but everyone who is working for a cure or for the people out there already infected unintentionally. Just how long do you think the government and private dollars are going to keep flowing as more and more people become disgusted with people who are willfully taking advantage of them and their money? Why on earth should anyone give a damn about people who had every opportunity to protect themselves and didn’t due to pathological selfishness? And how dare you call it your “choice” when it is our money that will keep your ass alive when you’re infected? You sicken me.

      Jun 26, 2013 at 3:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @Ganymede: I have testified in one of these cases as a character witness, and the person DID go to jail partly because of my legitimate damning testimony. They deserved it too, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

      Plus he was guilty and deserved castration for it in my opinion.

      Jun 26, 2013 at 6:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle
      Tackle

      @ Jackhoffsky: thank you for that info. I’m going to look into whats going on there in central Texas…

      Jun 26, 2013 at 9:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      @seaguy: My blog post is well-researched and full of links to back up my conclusions. If you support BBBH, you are implicitly supporting the practice of stealthing.

      Yeah, putting out a rambling comment about “out of context” — considering that I linked to all my context — and making no attempt to back up your own claims is really going to make me take you seriously. (Not.)

      Jun 26, 2013 at 10:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kangol
      Kangol

      Barebacking/raw sex without adequate testing, communication, transparency between the people having sex, full admission of one’s serostatus, and understanding of the risks and costs of HIV/AIDS and STDs/STIs is tragic.

      Unfortunately these things far too often do not occur.

      Raw sex, enjoyable as it is, is not without risk, and the risks are not fully understood or grasped until it’s too late.

      Jun 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      The problem with a lot of gay men is that they think gay sex is anal sex. There are many healthy alternatives. Your butt ain’t for sex and we’ve known this now for thirty years. It’s the filthiest part of the human body and the easiest way to spread STD’s. Anal sex is just plain disgusting, condom or not. But don’t tell that to people who do it. They don’t want to hear it. They’re want a cure for HIV. Barebackers in porn or not are sick people. What’s to argue?

      Jun 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      @Kangol: A penis in a sewer pipe is enjoyable? See what I mean. People try to legitimize their anal sickness. You probably use hand sanitizers but think nothing of butt sex.

      Jun 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LeNair Xavier
      LeNair Xavier

      @the other Greg: There is a BIG difference between ADVOCATING condom use, and playing the CONDOM POLICE. So stop twisting my words around to suit your own purpose.

      Being the Condom Police is intrusive. Such as you asking me to be in your dare to find proof of these people’s actions. Your failure is that I refuse to stoop that low, while maybe you would, hence why you have taken such offense to my position on the matter. For again I say, “…doth protest too much.”

      History has shown that an overwhelming number of people (myself included) that are hardcore against something, if they’re not upfront about their own history (as I have been on this matter, and others), they either have something to hide from their past and/or their present.

      Jun 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Colorful
      Colorful

      For years, all we heard from the safe sex educators was be aware of the risks and decide your own limits. Barebackers have done just that. Stop trying to enforce your agenda on us.

      Jun 28, 2013 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark Bentson
      Mark Bentson

      As a co-founder of the Bareback Brotherhood, I respond to your piece. You may see it at http://bbak.me/queerty-response.

      Thanks to all the supporters of sexual freedom who posted prior to me.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 8:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Walker
      Walker

      Read your response. While it is full of righteous indignation and appropriated victim language, it’s rather short on actual logical arguments.
      Let’s take each in turn:
      1. Queerty’s support of “party culture.”: Not even sure what the point of this one is. If you’re setting up the strawman that it’s impossible to “party” and also use condoms, you really need to put it back in the barn Some of us have active social lives, party, and still manage to take enough responsibility for our health and others to use protection. Sorry if that task is too difficult for you. Not my problem.
      2. Queerty’s support of pornography, specifically bareback porn: I halfway agree with you here. I would personally like to see Queerty divest itself from advertising these people. But only halfway- bareback porn is regulated. The actors are regularly tested and serostatus is not protected by the actor’s “privacy” (or apparent constitutional right to commit manslaughter.) Are you regulating your members the same way? Didn’t think so.
      3. The “Marlboro reds and Big MAC” argument: This is quite frankly, nonsense. Yes, lots of people do unhealthy things. I’m, much to my shame (and regular commentary from friends and strangers) a smoker, myself. What’s the difference? Simple- if and when I get cancer, IT’S ON ME. There are no government programs or hundred-something non-profits that will pick up the tab for the rest of my life and keep me alive. The hospital bills will come from MY POCKET. There will also be no PC police or basic human sympathy or politeness that will force people to be supportive of me and tell me it wasn’t my fault. There will just be more finger wagging of the type I get every day. And, not for nothing, nobody is handing me free nicotine patches to help me quit- not like condoms, which can be found for free at every bar and public school. I am taxed for my cigarettes, and that money won’t even go to help me with the issues that will arise. What are you being taxed for? How are you contributing at all to the assistance you will certainly demand in the same self-centered way you demand that no one criticize you? My cigarette smoking is my responsibility, and it has been so regulated that nobody needs to fear getting sick from it but me- you on the other hand feel you have a “right” to spread disease.

      The bottom line is that you are free to do what you want and we are free to call you out on it. Sorry you feel “victimized” by “the condom police.” I am SURE you are just as careful to avoid criticizing the smokers and overweight people in your life. So very sure.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • siddartha999
      siddartha999

      It occurs to me that if this nation [US] had anything even LIKE 1) rational fact based sex & sexuality education at every level of state mandated academic pursuit, 2) cheap if not free mental and physiologic based treatment, care & well being clinics and 3) a massive & far reaching abandonment of the stratification, polarization, “Us and Them” mentality which is deliberately fomented by religious zealots of all stripes if we would even be having these discussions ?

      The freedom to call the BBBH and their ilk what they are – Sick & in need of a different treatment – would certainly not be met with tittering and fretting over their rights, capacity for self expression etc. AND the statements on venues like iBLASTinside [what COULD he mean, Myrtle?] would be recognized for what they are; sad, desperate cries for help and / or attention stemming from an inadequate, inappropriate and wholly ineffectual social response [on all sides of the sexual aisle] to HIV/AIDS which continues to this day.

      Am I the ONLY one among this, admittedly small, group that recalls the atrocious initial response to HIV/AIDS by our “Government” as fronted by RonBo, his skank wife Nancy and their various henchmen ? ask anyone who has been repressed, jailed or had their lives D-E-S-T-R-O-Y-E-D by the asinine drug policy STILL IN PLACE and you can garner a quick lesson in EXACTLY how far to trust the crew in DC… about as far as you can trust someone infected with a life altering / life shortening disease to lecture on how it’s a “gift” to someone else… yeah, like the plague. Like I said… cry for help.

      No. 35 · stuckupwhitetrash – “Stop whining, start living, and stop being such cum obsessed dorks.” I’m not sure that advice should be limited to the HIV positive / BBBH crowd; it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the whole of Queerdom thought about things like that for a while, maybe a ninety day trial period perhaps… and I’m a fan of the Reverend Boyd McDonald and the Manhattan Review of Unnatural Acts [look him/it up!].

      BTW: please don’t waste innocent pixels hammering out a response to my ignorance, short sightedness, elitism, poz-bashing, etc., etc., etc. – I don’t follow threads & never check the “notify me when whack jobs who’ve skipped meds get a keyboard” option

      regards,
      Rev. W. D. Wilkerson

      Jul 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seaguy
      seaguy

      @Todd: you seem to think you’re the moral authority and therefore everyone else and what they have to say is beneath you. So I will not argue with you. I have better things to do with my time.

      Jul 2, 2013 at 6:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • imperator
      imperator

      I’m going to add my two cents, because this hit *really* close to home recently.

      I’ve been in a relationship with my partner, “J,” for almost 10 years now. Over those 10 years we’ve fooled around (always together) with other guys a couple times– *always* with protection– and for the last year or so we’ve had an ‘other boyfriend,’ “A,” together who hasn’t had sex with anyone else. I usually top and, seriously, I use a condom ~95% of the time with “J” and every time with “A” (I *actually* find it more comfortable that way). “A” tops either of us sometimes, always with a condom. “J” tops once in a while… and for some reason– I suppose because I thought he wasn’t fucking around on me– neither “A” nor I have ever required him to wear one.

      See the weak link yet?

      A little over two weeks ago, “J” started acting profoundly depressed. He wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t talking to anybody, except for when I was at work he’d start these long txt exchanges where he’d tell me what a “failure” he is in his whole life and how he’s “held me back” and “isn’t good enough for me” and how I should cut the cord and move on. I was worried that he was suicidal. Finally, after 5 days of this, I got him talking.

      He said he’d hooked up with some random guy back in August. Couldn’t explain why it happened, or why he didn’t involve me– just that the guy was younger and hotter than he thought he could ever get– and that whatever they did, he hadn’t used protection. And his depression had started when the guy contacted him, now 2 months later, to inform him that he– the guy– had tested HIV+. He’d been struggling with telling me, expecting me to hate him and leave him and he was basically trying to ‘get that over with.’

      So there’s three of us, all freaking the fuck out. Me especially, because I had a head cold a couple weeks ago and had lingering sinus congestion, so of course I’m thinking he brought HIV home and gave it to me. And that I’d let it happen, because I’d trusted him not to fuck around outside our triad, but he’d gone and done it anyway. I was pissed at myself (I was a safe sex educator in university for years, I knew all it all inside ‘n out, so I knew better). I was pissed at him, though I found I had more compassion than anger, and that’s taken years of meditation and learning– there was a time when I’d have damned him utterly. I was scared for all three of us. I didn’t turn him out, incidentally, because idiot or not, I love him, and an act of infidelity has seriously damaged my trust in him but not my love for him.

      We all went to get tested and I’m the only one who’s heard back yet. HIV-. Oh, but I DO get to spend 2 weeks taking Doxycycline Hyclate to kill a fucking Syphilis infection. So that happened. Welcome to statistical population “ick.” At least we caught it before I went blind and insane. I’m getting re-tested in a couple months, to be certain, but for now breathing a sigh of relief that I’m HIV-. And since I did, it’s made “J” and “A” more hopeful that they’ll come back negative, too.

      Now my partner of 10 years says he isn’t sure he ever wants to have sex again. (He tends to overreact like that.) I’ve told him he is *never* fucking either of us without a condom again. Ever. Allowing him to was something I did because I was his first and I thought he wouldn’t stray.

      No matter how sincere your belief that your long-term, monogamous (or monogamish) relationship is… you can still get cheated on. You can still get some fucking disease from the person you trust. So if you don’t want to end up with HIV, or Syphilis, or any other godforsaken infection, if you’re going to fuck you’re a fucking idiot not to use protection. A fucking idiot. I don’t care if that sounds puritanical or judgmental or whatever. If you want to safeguard your health, you use protection or you’re a fucking idiot. Period. There’s no ‘glamour’ or allure to waiting for your doctor to call and tell you the results. There’s nothing ‘sexy’ about thinking you might waste away from fucking diarrhea. “I might have to tell my mother I’m HIV+” is in no way ‘hot.’

      I’m a great lover of freedom… but there’s no virtue in freedom without some acceptance of responsibility– to yourself and to the people you’re intimate with, at the *very* least. It’s an ignorant, selfish, destructive illusion of “freedom,” because if you take no responsibility then you’re a slave to your impulses. Knowing better means accepting that only you can be trusted to protect you, so you’d better do it. Otherwise, no matter what your partner(s) part in it, there will always be an inescapable portion of blame– the greater portion– with your name on it.

      Jul 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      @imperator: And therein lies the problem. BBBH members believe that it’s all about “freedom” — in the same sense that self-described hyper-”libertarians” refer to “freedom”. As in, the “freedom” to do whatever they want, damned be the consequences to anyone they may hurt.

      I stand by my assessment that anyone affiliating with BBBH is — implicitly or explicitly — supporting not only advocacy of unprotected sex (a societal danger unto itself), but also outright deception (e.g., stealthing).

      Do what you want with your own body, sure. Push (or force) others into unsafe sex, and you have plenty of bad karma coming your way.

      Jul 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dwndckd
      dwndckd

      @Matt, I look forward to reading more of your postings….

      Jul 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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