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Here’s How Tyler Helms And Michael Lucas Bridged The Serodiscordant Gap

TJH_ML

Helms, Lucas

“So you know, I am HIV positive.” 

It was the first thing I said to him on our first date. It’s just easier, a quick first date maneuver to get what I had found to be a dating deal breaker, out of the way. Why waste their time, and more importantly why waste mine. Even in 2014, HIV status was still a deal breaker, I suspect because of lingering fear, lack of education, and the stigma we can’t seem to shake.

I get it. It’s why when I was diagnosed in 2007 I felt that a part of me died. It was life changing, not because of the physical, but the emotional. The reality that my future intimate relationships would be influenced by something I, for right or wrong, felt so ashamed of. As much as I have worked over the past seven years to shift my thinking and leave that baggage at the proverbial door, sex has been redefined. An act too often accompanied by caution, remorse and shame.  I say too often, because sex is supposed to be fun, enjoyable and while not carefree, definitely not burdened. 

But this date would signal a personal shift in this experience.  It was with Michael Lucas, the controversial porn entrepreneur and more importantly public advocate of PrEP, the now FDA approved and World Health Organization endorsed preventative for HIV infection. His response to my HIV disclosure was “Ok, I’m on PrEP, now tell me about you.” And just like that, HIV was not a determining issue, it was just a piece of the dating puzzle that was quickly placed into the bigger, better picture. 

Unknown-1But I wasn’t so quick to adjust. For the first time, I was entering into a relationship with someone who was HIV-negative and being proactive to remain that way. Not because he felt burdened to, but because like most men, including me, he enjoys sex and all that comes with it. From kissing, to foreplay, to intercourse and even the exchange of fluids. The latter being something we often don’t discuss, despite the fact many of us like it. And to be in a committed relationship and avoid it, is both difficult not always enjoyable and ultimately the crux of our fear of HIV.

As an HIV-positive man, I had grown accustomed to three options when it came to sex: dating someone who was HIV-positive, using a condom, or mutually agreeing to “be careful” and take a risk. Overtime I found each of these approaches disproportionally impacted a budding relationship and ultimately took away a bit of joy from a joyful act. 

Why?

The reality is, I don’t like all men who are positive.  I have never been comfortable with agreeing to take a risk of that scale. And I don’t like condoms. Sure, we say we don’t mind them and we might attest to always using them, but if given the option, most men would opt out, and far too often do. A decision that should not be confused with the desire to be protected. It’s just the reality of what is a complicated decision making process. 

With PrEP and our new understanding of HIV transmission, that decision making process has more options. For Michael and I, we do not consider the sex we have as un-safe. I would argue it’s more safe than most and far more healthy. But we don’t use condoms, a decision we made understanding that my viral load is undetectable and he would be on PrEP.  Two factors proven to make the risk of transmission virtually non-existent. He and I both see a doctor every 3 months, me for HIV treatment and he because that comes with PrEP prescriptions. It’s a healthy regiment that is frankly a welcomed new normal. 

I guess I got lucky, the decision Michael made to be on PrEP, happened before me, not because of me. That would be another layer, another burden perhaps. But he was also educated enough to understand the importance of an undetectable viral load and open minded enough to know HIV is what someone has, not who someone is. This takes effort; it takes investment, and a desire to be healthy about your sex life. It takes more than just asking “have you been tested?” and it requires you to do more than just “know your status”; you must be willing to act on that knowledge. 

To me, PrEP is not a debate, it’s a decision. Viral load impact on transmission rates is not a myth; it’s a reason to get tested and seek treatment early. And before everyone freaks out, condoms still have their place. But its time we grow up and remember that HIV is still very real, and very present. Its time to take responsibility for our sexual health, knowing that sex is something to enjoy, not fear. Understanding that by holding on to only old methods, and shaming new ones, we are missing an opportunity to mitigate the stigma HIV has held on our sex lives and community for far too long. 

I should acknowledge that I have learned the mere mention of Michael’s name welcomes a slew of colorful commentary. (Cue the unfounded opinions on porn, his politics and his lips — lips that I love mind you). But to be clear, this is not a piece about a porn star and it’s not even a piece about me. Rather its one part of a larger conversation around how we navigate a world with HIV. A conversation I have for the past seven years, relentlessly joined. 

My relationship with Michael is not unique, there are others facing these same decisions. Whats right for us, does not have to work for you. But as you make these choices, be real about who you are, what you stand for and honest about why you stand for it. And be open minded enough to know the ground we are standing on, is shifting in a direction where two people — one positive, the other negative, can navigate their sexual relationship with protective options that are more powerful than ever before. 

Powerful because while I have no doubt that PrEP is one of the most critical advances in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the last 32 years, I also know first hand that this along with other advances, is allowing serodiscordant couples like us, to have sex without shame, without fear and yes, even without condoms. And perhaps best of all, empowering us to disclose our status on a first date with renewed hope it just might not be a deal-breaker.

 

Tyler Helms is a Senior Vice President at Deutsch Advertising and is an HIV/AIDS advocate serving on the board of directors for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City. 

By:           TYLER HELMS
On:           Aug 17, 2014
Tagged: , ,

  • 93 Comments
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      Yes we all like sex and the exchange of fluids that comes with it…and that exchange should be reserved for intimate partners, not some hookup you want to breed your ass…which seems quite common on guys online stating they’re on PReP

      Aug 17, 2014 at 8:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael mellor
      michael mellor

      HIV is not fatal in the way it used to be. Many people are living for many years after being diagnosed. Look at Magic Johnson.

      HIV is a beat-up that is often promoted by promiscuous men who wish to moralize from their position of promiscuity.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 8:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • acutepbos
      acutepbos

      Jeez guys, judge much? How he got HIV in this instance is irrelevant, since he’s talking directly to couples who are going through the challenges of being serodiscordant. I may have my own ideas about that, but again, irrelevant. It’s obvious you’ve never made a decision or acted in a way that produced disappointment or regret. But that’s irrelevant too.

      My only beef with this article is that the author overlooks, or just ignores, the position of privilege and opportunity he occupies. Not everyone can afford PrEP or the doctor visits that go with it. Hey! Not even everyone who is HIV-positive can afford the treatment to keep themselves healthy… AND AS A RESULT SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE TRANSMISSION in their own right. It still has to be disproved that a HIV-positive person, actively cared for, on medication to reduce the virus to undetectable levels has infected another person.

      But as long as there are people like you three sitting on thrones judging and condemning others for their behaviour, how will HIV and all the challenges that go with it ever get fully addressed?

      Aug 17, 2014 at 9:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @acutepbos: “It still has to be disproved that a HIV-positive person, actively cared for, on medication to reduce the virus to undetectable levels has infected another person.”

      I think you inadvertently said the opposite of what you intended to say. you slipped in one negative too many… :)

      Aug 17, 2014 at 10:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • petensfo
      petensfo

      I’m glad for a thoughtful perspective & hope the comments don’t become a rant-fest. As a HIV- person, single, active sexually… I’m definitely aware of the conversation & wondering if one day I’ll decide Prep is a right choice for me.

      I don’t know if I could ever left go of condoms… that seems really scary at this moment and I’m reluctant to incorporate any medication that I can avoid, so…

      Curious what others will have to say.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 11:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joey
      joey

      i dont get what the big idea is with a small thin piece or rubber wraped on your dick is, the physical barrier that it provides, the low cost and easy access for one, the barrier it provides for a list of other sti’s and not having to be concerned with your dic getting um “soiled”. why is exchanging fluids necessary to prove intimacy, so much so that +/- couples are willing to chance transmission just so we can feel more intimate? its not like we are trying to get pregnant here. if or when you chose to have sex you can see the condom, you cant see if he took his pill today.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      This IS a decision; and I, for one, respect them for discussing it and making it. From where I am, having seen HIV/AIDS play the grim reaper that it did, I am happy to see this sort of progress.

      I hope that sometime in my life, there are a slew of decisions that people can make; and hopefully, they will be accessible to all, regardless of social stigmas and class differences.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 11:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • acutepbos
      acutepbos

      @vive: you’re right, that what I get for un-caffeinated commenting.

      @joey: I don’t get the big idea either, thanks for presenting your thoughts clearly and without judgment

      Aug 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bromancer7
      Bromancer7

      @joey: Put a pair of tight latex gloves on your hands in the AM and go about your normal daily routine. I don’t think it’ll take very long for you to realize you can’t feel anything, the tightness quickly makes your hands ache, and simple tasks are now significantly more difficult (if not impossible). Then get back to us about how “it’s just a thin piece of rubber”.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Godabed
      Godabed

      I am so tired of these prep support articles we get it queerty, you are for PREP.

      However, I do love the spin they are trying to give it, as one of a sort of monogamous loving relationship… when after Michael Lucas got married he immediately changed to doing just bareback porn. That bareback 4some he had really showed his commitment with his partner and the I am sure all parties participating were using PREP… *eyeroll* Yeah it’s very personal between people who love each other… it’s such bull.

      More and more it just sounds like an excuse to be irresponsible, and although PREP will protect people if they do as prescribed with the treatment the actual trials showed that gay men were not adhering to the program. So in theory it would work, as far as the use for sex work, it does not protect against all STi’s or std’s so protection should still be used. You can still get warts, herpes, hepatitis. Wrap it up gentlemen, you still aren’t safe.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joey
      joey

      @Bromancer7: when ive had sex ive used condoms that were tight enough to stay on but certainly not tight enough to make my dic go blue. while i am sure it feels different, i cant imagine it feeling better than the feeling you get when youve tested negative and not just neg for hiv, but neg for anal warts,syphilis, gonorrhea,hepatitis …etc

      Aug 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pressuredrop
      pressuredrop

      I agree with a lot of what the article said about HIV stigma. (I wish the comma splices had been resolved.)

      Even in this comment section, there is probably going to be a lot of HIV-shaming, as there usually is.

      I also agree with some posters who said that using condoms is a small price to pay for all of the things that may go with bareback sex which PrEP can’t prevent. I would like to point out, just for the sake of argument, that condoms are not necessarily 100% effective and can be broken or used irresponsibly.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      Do I take it that Michael Lucas and his husband Richard Winger are divorced or separated?

      Aug 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      You guys do know you can (and should!) get vaccinated against genital warts and Hep A&B, I hope. It’s really irresponsible not to get vaccinated in this day and age.

      By the way, condoms don’t protect against warts or herpes, so just be aware of this.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      I am unfortunately one of those people who doesn’t have enough sensitivity when wearing a condom, even the superthin ones. It’s impossible for me to get off that way and I eventually just give up trying and end up completely bummed out about it. I think there are a lot of guys in this position.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Saint Law
      Saint Law

      @michael mellor: Could you make any less sense?

      Aug 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Saint Law
      Saint Law

      Well, in once sense the author isn’t ‘discordant’ with his beaky beau. They’re clearly both douchebags.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WPalmer
      WPalmer

      @Saint Law: Not to mentions that Lucas advocates the obliteration of Palestinians.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101
      tjr101

      I’m terrified of the thought of not using a condom and popping a pill everyday that costs up to $1000 a month is not appealing to me. Who knows what damage popping this pill everyday for the rest of your life does to your body anyway. To each their own, but I’ll stick with the condoms (no pun).

      Aug 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe38
      Scribe38

      @tjr101: I agree with you. I started using condoms every time after a scare when I was 23. I am 40 now and can’t enjoy sex without wearing a piece of latex on my member. @vive: I like being negative and the thought of “breeding” has never meant much to me. I am not against positive guys, just guys who don’t know their status or demand sex without a rubber. Every time some dude says they can’t feel anything with a rubber, I hear their nut is worth more than my life. I’ve learn to just jerk it when I run into those people.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @Scribe38, that’s fine and I agree with you, you should not put yourself in danger. Believe me, I’m a big hypochondriac. But just keep in mind that since I am negative and on PrEP, I am not putting anyone’s life in danger. Most guys go bare in relationships after a while and are not putting anybody’s life in danger.

      @tjr101, nobody said it’s for the rest of your life. I’ve been on it for almost a year but I may very well get off PrEP if the guy I’m currently dating works out. And I pay $10 a month for it and most insurance covers it, so the cost should not be an issue for most guys with insurance.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101
      tjr101

      @vive: Isn’t PreP suppose to be used every day for it to be effective at preventing HIV infection? Even if you go off of it while in a relationship and then the relationship does not work out, would it still be as effective if you go back on the next time around? Just curious.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • curan
      curan

      http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/cognitive_decline_2042_23877.shtml

      Another important part of the serodiscordant conversation is accelerated cognitive decline. If the relationship is long-lasting, dementia is a real possibility.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gskorich
      gskorich

      this story is nothing more than an argument for PReP. this person finds out the yard positive in 2007 and instead of feeling bad for themselves that the have done this too themselves they are more concerned that sex won’t be fun anymore? first off getting hiv positive in 2007 is just careless but like he states he doesn’t like condoms and enjoys the exchange of fluids. fair enough but did you bother to check the status of the people you were exchanging fluids with? PReP in these cases where the top in negative and the bottom is positive are not accurate. condomless tops have a minimum risk of getting the virus when the hiv positive bottom is undetectable. lets hear stories from hiv negative bottoms and positive tops on PReP. as for this couple, the positive guy is a joke. he was worried what he would have to tell future sex partners, hmmm doesn’t sound like there was much conversation before he went on this date.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bromancer7
      Bromancer7

      @joey: You do realize that half of the diseases you cited you can get even while wearing a condom, right? But go on, tell me again how good it feels having that false sense of protection on top of not being able to feel a damned thing.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 4:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Franco C.
      Franco C.

      Let’s us consider a radical view: A person’s health is no one’s business but their own. In the case of HIV, and any other STI, sexual partners should receive a full health disclosure. Listen, I know that HIV is no longer the death sentence it once was, but it is not a walk in the park:

      http://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2011/02/27/when_hiv_moves_into_nursing_homes.html

      As much as I support sexual freedom, I throughly encourage responsibility for everyone involved. I guess I’m stating the obvious. Anyway, this man’s life isn’t mine, so all the power to him. I just can’t stand Michael Lucas, he’s such a pompous ass. Good luck.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • onthemark
      onthemark

      I’m surprised that Michael Lucas ever has sex without the cameras running.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieru
      Kieru

      If you find a condoms fit to be too restrictive treat it like an article of clothing; buy something that fits. Condoms don’t come in just one size… but yes if you’re buying just general condoms you may find your length or girth or both make the fit uncomfortable.

      Now as far as serodiscordant relationships go … the solution is simple but the application is difficult. As the HIV- partner you have to accept that an accident could happen and you could become positive. You need to accept that that is not your partners fault; you’re in the relationship together. As the HIV+ partner you have to accept that maintaining your partners HIV- status is not solely your responsibility.

      Solutions are varied and have their pros and cons. You could stay exclusively using condoms … they aren’t 100% effective and yes you’re being asked to sacrifice the intimacy of bareback sex. The HIV- partner could go on PrEP but again… not 100% effective and your partner is subjecting himself to liver and kidney damage over long-term use (just as the HIV+ partner is by taking your ART)

      In the end it’s just a ‘thing’ to navigate… like any other relationship hiccup. If you see HIV as this impassable mountain then yes you should probably avoid a serodiscordant relationship. If you’re able to see beyond the disease to the person who has to live with it well… maybe you can find something long-term with them.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 5:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      Michael Lucas sure places a lot of faith in PrEP.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 5:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gskorich
      gskorich

      @DarkZephyr: when the HIV positive guy is undetectable in his blood there is a 93% chance he will be undetectable in his sperm. this reduces the risk but there is still that 7% chance. that’s where the truvada comes in

      Aug 17, 2014 at 5:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mykle
      Mykle

      @Bromancer7: That’s one of the most stupid analogies ever. You wear a condom for a relatively short period of time. You don’t wear it the entire day like you pointed out on your example.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 5:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael mellor
      michael mellor

      Michael Lucas needs to start having sex with women so that he can STFU and stop being a reference point for the gay media.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @tjr101, “Isn’t PreP suppose to be used every day for it to be effective at preventing HIV infection?”

      That’s correct, yes. You need to take it every day and if you stop using it, you pretty quickly lose the protection as the medication is eliminated from the body.

      “Even if you go off of it while in a relationship and then the relationship does not work out, would it still be as effective if you go back on the next time around? Just curious.”

      Yes, assuming you are still HIV-, it would be just as effective the second time around. However, you need to be on it again for a certain number of days for it to build up to maximally protective levels in your body. I don’t know offhand how many days.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tickerage
      Tickerage

      What’s wrong with a condom? Aside from HIV prevention, I like them because if I’m gonna stick my thing where you poop, I want some sanitary boundary, also, they make lube easier.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @Kieru, I believe the facts you state are correct except that I don’t believe any liver issues have been observed during Truvada monotherapy for PrEP. For this reason I don’t think liver function tests are even part of the protocol, though a kidney function test every 3 months is indeed part of it. While kidneys are a concern, any kidney issues that have been observed have been mild and reversible upon discontinuation.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @Tickerage, interesting that you say that condoms make lube easier. It is not my experience. I find condoms much more abrasive when I bottom; especially an uncircumcised dick is much easier on the tissues down there bare than with a condom (for obvious mechanical reasons), even with less lube.

      Many guys rinse out until they are pretty much clean as a whistle, so that’s normally not something I worry about. If I’m going to lick it (which I love as long as it is clean) I’m not going to worry about sticking my thing in there LOL.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache99
      Stache99

      @Bromancer7: joey is a guy who caught hepatitis from having unsafe sex or so he says. Now he’s sworn off sex completely. Of coarse you can always get hepatitis from other sources too like food or just get the shots and don’t worry. At any rate, most everything he lists can easily be caught whether or not you where a condom.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stanhope
      stanhope

      @joey: single and gonna stay that way.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wbtm4u
      wbtm4u

      I had the chance – not by choice – to have dinner with ML and his “then” husband RW at their home on Fire Island several years ago. I asked ML if he enjoyed the nightlife on the Pines. He told me he didn’t go out to the bars on the Pines because – and I quote – “those men HAVE THE AIDS and I won’t go there.” Yup…!

      Aug 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache99
      Stache99

      @wbtm4u: Yikes. Thanks for that little back story. It kind of fits what people already know of Michael Lucus ie being a known hypocrite.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bromancer7
      Bromancer7

      @Mykle: I bet after wearing gloves for even an hour (not an uncommon length of time for sex) you’d already be quite uncomfortable wearing them.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • skcord
      skcord

      I thought Michael Lucas was married to an older businessman…

      Aug 17, 2014 at 7:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @vive: Your “thing”? OMG that is too adorable. I just want to give you a great big tight hug for saying something so damned cute.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 9:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      @QJ201: totally agree

      Aug 17, 2014 at 10:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joey
      joey

      @Stache99: yes you are correct but it helps a lot more to wear one, you can even buy treated ones …a condom is a pretty safe and effective approach when you condier the easy availability and low cost too.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 10:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joey
      joey

      @stanhope: ha ha ! it sure seems to be lookin’ that way !

      Aug 17, 2014 at 10:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mokuhulu
      mokuhulu

      Yes, latex condoms are cheap; but I am allergic to latex and the alternatives haven’t been tested. In theory, they should be better than latex but I would feel better if my partner was on prep. BTW Truvada is not a mono-therapy, it is a combination of two drugs.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 11:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DeeJayMiles
      DeeJayMiles

      @tjr101: prep only lasts 8-10 years, in that time everything mutates and prep may no longer work. science.

      Aug 17, 2014 at 11:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lykeitiz
      lykeitiz

      Michael Lucas….Hmmm…..See, there’s this thing about whores. They’ll do anything for a buck. It’s just that this time the client is a pharmaceutical company. And apparently Queerty is interested in being their pimp.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 4:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seaguy
      seaguy

      Great post. It’s time for the slut shamers to realize they are going to be on the wrong side if they continue to chastise others for being on PrEP. And this acting like they are perfect and use condoms every time, what a bunch of hypocritical BS.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 4:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seaguy
      seaguy

      @DeeJayMiles: Where did you get that misinformation from?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 4:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seaguy
      seaguy

      @Tickerage: It’s called cleaning out, and some of us are not so afraid anal sex because it is also where we poop. Condoms take away allot of the feeling that makes sex enjoyable, and for some it even makes it harder to maintain and erection.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 4:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • buffnightwing
      buffnightwing

      I pretty much only do oral sex from now on. My partner back is bad and the fucking motion hurts him. O middle age, how I love thee!

      Anyway, oral sex without a condom. The nurse at the clinic once said to use condoms for oral sex. I said, have YOU tried it? That shut her up real fast.

      Try sucking a dick with a big fat piece of plastic over it. GROSS!

      Aug 18, 2014 at 5:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mykaels
      Mykaels

      It seems by 2015 we will move from slut shaming preppers to prude shaming condom wearers, claiming that people who wear condoms somehow HIV shame

      Aug 18, 2014 at 8:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @joey: For one thing, bareback sex just feels better for the top. It just does, there is absolutely no doubt about that. Condoms kill a great deal of the sensation. I don’t normally get into topping anyways (and when I bottom you better bet the guy is using a condom unless its my partner of 4 years), and when I have to use a condom I might as well just not even bother.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @Godabed: You can still get warts, hepatitis and herpes with condom use. Hell, you can get herpes from a non-affected partner that is giving you a blow job and has a cold sore. Hepatitis can be contracted through saliva (kissing). Warts is a skin on skin contact and I can guarantee you that more than just your penis touches parts that are contaminated. Condoms help, but there is no such thing as safe sex.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @joey: Except for HIV and Hepatitis which you can get even with condom usage (unless you are using dental dams and condoms for oral sex… which the vast majority do not do) the rest either have no real risk to men or are treated easily with antibiotics (assuming early detection). HPV (genital warts) will actually go away on its own in 2-3 years and will never reoccur afterwards (there is also no proven link between HPV and prostrate cancer). Plus, there is a vaccine for HPV if you are younger than 25.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @wbtm4u: So, he isn’t allowed to change his mind as he gets educated? Does that go for the rest of the world as well? Education kind of goes a long way to changing minds… thanks for pointing that out.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @DeeJayMiles: Please source this. Also, this could be related to the actual treatment aspect (since it is a HIV treatment and those meds are changed regularly) instead of the “immunity” aspect.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @buffnightwing: My partner ciatica (pain in the leg due to the back). We find that the on the right side position is the only one that works for him. I am sure you have tried everything though, so sorry to hear about this if you feel you are missing out.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • buffnightwing
      buffnightwing

      @tdx3fan: Me doing all the chores while his back is out for three weeks is not worth it. We still have hot oral sex. He even got a kinky new nipple ring the other day. Thanks for the suggestion though. :)

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Wasn’t Lucas married to some older wealthy guy who funded his Porn company? Guess he must be doing well financially if he dumped the rich guy for somebody younger.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • crtjsf
      crtjsf

      I finally was able to understand & not pass any judgement. Thank you for the courage to explain.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 11:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @tdx3fan, you can get the HPV vaccine at any age, but over 25 you will probably have to pay out of pocket.

      I paid for it out of pocket at 45 because I think it is totally worth it.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QNetter
      QNetter

      @QJ201: Who exactly are you that gives you the authority to say what should and shouldn’t be?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QNetter
      QNetter

      @joey: The lack of sensation? The inhibition of erection? (And don’t pull out the “you’re doing it wrong” trope.) The fact that fluid-sharing is the essence of intimate exchange at a primal level?

      Aug 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QNetter
      QNetter

      @joey: Your lack of imagination should not gate my behavior.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QNetter
      QNetter

      @Scribe38: PrEP helps you protect your own life no matter what your partner does or doesn’t want.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QNetter
      QNetter

      @DeeJayMiles: PrEP is an approach, not a particular drug. First of all, nobody expects the drug of choice to be Truvada in ten years, or even that a pill will be the delivery mechanism. Second, the resistance mutations observed with both components of Truvada also make the virus significantly less infectious, so while the level of two-drug resistance is incredibly low, the consequences are not severe to the uninfected, either.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QNetter
      QNetter

      @DarkZephyr: You sure place a lot of faith in condoms.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DeeJayMiles
      DeeJayMiles

      @QNetter: thank you for that info. i’m not sure i understand all of that, just that David Ho said that meds, truvada, others, last about 8-10 years. I don’t have the exact reference, i just remember that Ho made the statement, and it was his research.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 7:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joey
      joey

      @QNetter: my intention is not to gate anyone. in forums like this its an exchange of opinions and ideas. ive never bb ever in my life >> not even once. i could never imagine taking a chance on becoming poz because, well, it might “feel better”. i dont understand this “primal exchange of fluids” im just not “wired” that way, that that kind of thing has to happen with me to feel intimacy with anyone. from MY perspective i just weigh the “primal” urge to exchange fluids, the comments from others here that it “just feels” so much better, and i cant get myself to the point that getting a life long serious disease is worth something that “feels better” or that i wont be able to ever have 100% intimacy because i didnt exchange my fluids..i have yet to hear from ANY of my poz friends that the “feeling” of bb or the exchange of fluids was worth their poz diagnosis

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joey
      joey

      @DeeJayMiles: as was mentioned above by stache99 i have hepatitis b. i am on tenofovir which is one of the ingredients in truvada. studies (see the CDC site; the thailand study and another from gilead sciences) have now confirmed that tenofovir alone provides the same protection that truvada can. my doctor has informed that the risks of this drug are very low for long term use, the warnings about renal issues and acid lactosis are there because in some …fewer than 2% ..because any issues no matter how small must be listed. this drug (brand name viread) has been on market since early 2000 and prescribed for hepatitis b since 2008. my doctor told me he has had many patients on this med since then and he never once had any problem. so my point is here that this is a pretty good drug and he told me there has been ..to date..NO resistence to this drug. these are pretty good drugs with very few if any issuses for the vast majority of people. you can research this tenofovir , theres a lot of info out there

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joey
      joey

      @Stache99: i dont know how i got it, but the type i have says its an exchange of body fluids, mostly sex, i am assumimg i did something wrong. i had the vaccine but either it didnt take or i took it after i became infected. i never had unsafe sex. yes you can catch many things other ways too but my point is condoms help, but i thought we were talking about catching things though unprotected sex. ive not given up sex what i said to you a while ago is that this has changed my life and has made me gun shy sex wise. chances are ill have sex again my life, i dont know when or where, or maybe i wont, i dont know. becoming infected with a life long chronic disease can seriously affect a person, everyone reacts differently and works withit the best they know how, thats what im trying to do and this is where my opinions and comments come from. i cant imagine any kind of sex feeling better than me not getting this disease

      Aug 18, 2014 at 9:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mykle
      Mykle

      @Bromancer7: Again, not the same at all, your analogy fails. Hands are not anatomically or purposely like a penis in the least bit.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queerT
      queerT

      “It’s a healthy regiment that is frankly a welcomed new normal.”
      You welcome otherwise healthy young men to live at the doctor’s office like the elderly with multiple ailments? Not me! I guess you don’t mind poaching limited resources and driving up health care costs so you can swap cum. Yeah, because your god-given right to take loads is way more important than treating birth defects, genetic diseases, keeping amputees in new and comfortable prosthetics, etc.

      Aug 18, 2014 at 10:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • poochie
      poochie

      Is this the first (tacit) admission that Michael Lucas has bottomed?

      Aug 19, 2014 at 2:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • buffnightwing
      buffnightwing

      It’s really really time to stop giving attention to Michael Lucas and anyone in his life. He has no integrity, and his boyfriend seems very sweet. This won’t last. Lucas is not the only member of our community. Same goes for Davey Wavey. Enough of him also.

      Pornstars are not role models. It’s an awful life, and then all of a sudden you are too old. Then they usually commit suicide or die from AIDS because they were hustlers like Lucas. I find it odd that he’s negative.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 6:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @DeeJayMiles, that estimate of 10 years was in the context of viral resistance developing in people WHO ALREADY HAVE HIV. People on PrEP don’t have HIV, so they have no virus to become resistant in the first place.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 9:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @queerT, yeah, look at all those women on birth control, poaching limited resources away from cancer and amputees to exercise their God-given right to take loads. [sarcasm]

      Aug 19, 2014 at 9:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joey
      joey

      @vive: i get your point but its not a good comparison, birth control is so inexpensive and been around for so long it costs next to nothing most plans offer it free, walmart sells the pills here in my town for about 4$ a month…

      Aug 19, 2014 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @Joey, The pills used for PrEP are manufactured for cents, so if anybody is taking resources away from anybody it is not those of us who TAKE the pills.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queerT
      queerT

      @vive: Are health insurance companies paying out the $1300 a month without some coming in and getting an Rx? Of course not. And its not just the drug itself. Its tests and doctors visits every 3 months. Of course the poaching is by the PrEP users. The gouging however is all Gilead but the people on PrEP enabled it.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @queerT, so the victims of gougers are now called poachers?

      Also, you don’t seem to understand the concept of “Insurance.”

      Aug 19, 2014 at 5:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queerT
      queerT

      @vive: you’re not the victim. Its an unnecessary drug that you are choosing to take by higher insurance costs for everyone not just those that are bbing.I understand insurance very well. Do you? Unless you pay over $1300 a month, you’re poaching. Maybe you don’t know what poaching is.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @QueerT, health insurers could import generics that cost cents on the international market, as is done in various countries where public health concern trumps profit. But apparently your representatives in Congress have decided they care too little about HIV to make this possible.

      You can blame U.S. Health consumers for many things, but cannot blame the people on HIV drugs that they have to pay $50 for a single pill that goes for 50 cents in other countries. Sorry, but the blame is all at the door of Predatory Capitalism.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 5:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @queerT, so birth control being covered (some of the methods rather expensive) is poaching? How about all those expensive diabetes meds, cholesterol meds, heart meds, etc., prescribed so that people can do the equivalent of barebacking with other lifestyle choices – after all, most of them could just exercise instead and eat less. All poachers?

      Aug 19, 2014 at 6:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queerT
      queerT

      @vive: It’s Capitalism THAT YOU ARE VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING IN! Here’s how capitalism works. “I have this drug that lets you bb without getting HIV” “Great how much?” “$1300 a month” “no thank you that’s too high” “Oh wait! What about ___ a month….” and so on. You’ve just written a blank check on all health insurance and tax payers account.
      You write a blank check to someone and say “charge me what you want” YOU’RE THE ONE AT FAULT!
      And yes people who need drugs due to bad lifestyle choices absolutely are poachers. Women on birth control aren’t but you’re conveniently leaving out that women getting their birth control covered is harder than getting PrEP. Because birth control doesn’t have the lobbying $ the HIV drug companies like Gilead have. I would call you a sucker for getting it but really we’re all suckers because the money for it is pooled from all of us.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache99
      Stache99

      @queerT: It’s not his fault that the drug is ridiculously expensive. I’m sure birth control wasn’t cheap in it’s day either.

      Eventually, more people will be going on it and you’ll be able to get generic brands and the cost will of coarse come way down.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 6:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @queerT, willingly, LOL, I was forced to pay taxes for the exercise in murder and and profiteering called the Iraq war, against my will. What i have had to throw down the toilet in taxes to feed the corruption on which this country runs is orders of magnitude more than the cost of PrEP for me, despite its inflated price. So no way, I don’t feel any compunction about getting something useful back for a change. Maybe I’m lucky and some of the resources I “poach” this way will in fact be unavailable to the military or political elite.

      And I know the insurance companies are private – I am forced to participate in that against my will, since I was for a public system.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 8:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @queerT, oh, and PrEP so far has cost a small fraction of what I have PAID IN to health insurance in more than 20 years of working, so if I am mooching off anyone, I wouuld be mocching on myself.

      Aug 19, 2014 at 9:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joey
      joey

      @vive: as ive mentioned im on tenofovir…the one half of truvada, it can also serve as prep…anyway im not exactly sure of the retail cost with out insurance but i only pay 10$ a month..maybe they are already begining to reduce the prices of this stuff??

      Aug 19, 2014 at 10:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vive
      vive

      @joey, yes, I also only pay $10 a month for the Truvada combo. My insurer obligates me to get it from their own “specialty” ph&rmacy, which strongly suggests to me they are paying reduced prices for it.

      Aug 20, 2014 at 11:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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