risk management

How Scared Must I Be After 10 Seconds of Unprotected Glory Hole ‘Fun’ in a Sex Club?

gloryholestand

I pull my dick out, put it in the hole, and this random goes to town on it. There is a hastily built partition between us so I can kind of see his head bobbing, but mostly look up at the ceiling like I’m at a urinal. He seamlessly transitions from blow job to hand job. Like a child on their first plane ride, my dick is never left unattended. Out of nowhere I feel the warm sensation of my dick in an ass. I do not have a condom on. I look down at the hole and see his ass pushed against it and when everything clicks in my head, I pull my dick out like it’s on fire.

My instinct is to wash my dick off immediately. Is that the “right” thing to do? I’m not sure. I just know I want him off of me. I feel duped. I had not signed up for anal sex. I thought there was an understanding: glory hole = blow job. And if there is going to be some anal going on, there’s usually a pause in between the blow job where they hand you a condom or ask if you wanna fuck them. This man did it all so gracefully. He must have been on roller skates.

I immediately began calling friends to seek reassurance. “You’re fine,” they all told me recounting stories of the many people they had topped without protection. Of course most of my friends have had syphilis two or three times. My concern was HIV. I knew that while it is possible to contract HIV as the inserting partner, it represents, as the Centers for Disease Control says, “substantially less per-act risk” than if I was the receptive partner. Also, the brief duration of the sex means less exposure time. I was in his ass for maybe ten seconds. But what if he had just taken ten loads in his butt right before me? Glen’s words from earlier in the evening rang in my head: I don’t want anyone getting sick on my watch.

I tried not to think about it over the next day and a half. The damage, if any, was done. Or was it? I remembered an HIV counselor telling me about PEP, Post-Exposure Prophylaxis also known as Post-Exposure Prevention. The Center for AIDS Prevention Studies explains on their website there may be a window of opportunity in the first few hours or days after exposure in which the use of Protease inhibitors paired with other HIV drugs may prevent HIV infection. The CDC even recommends PEP for some health care workers after needle-stick injuries and other occupational exposures. So why haven’t you heard of PEP? There is a great deal of controversy regarding their effectiveness and perhaps most compelling, whether the availability of these drugs will lead to an increase in high-risk sexual behavior. A study by the San Francisco PEP Project actually shows a decrease in high-risk sexual behavior after PEP.

PEP is effective up to 72 hours after possible exposure and I was at 48 hours. It was a Sunday and the gay health clinics were closed so I decided to go to the hospital to get the meds. I first explained the entire story, sex club and all, to the leery nurse who snidely responded, “Oh, so you had no idea you were going to have anal sex?”

God, grant me the serenity not to rip this woman’s face off. “That’s right,” I said. “I had no idea.”

After sitting in the waiting room for 90 minutes with a scarf over my mouth and nose (a homeless man had shit his pants), I was able to see the doctor. He told me that they usually reserve these drugs for high-risk exposure, which mine wasn’t. The chances of contracting HIV as an insertive partner were 1 in 1,000, according to his numbers, but he agreed to give me the drugs if I wanted them. How could I not take the medications if there was any chance of contracting HIV? A month of taking 5 pills a day with a few weeks of diarrhea and nausea is surely worth evading a lifetime of being positive.

My 28-day regimen ended a few days ago. I’m infinitely grateful these drugs were available to me. Like a teenage hoodlum going to visit prison for a day, I feel a sense of being scared straight. The first two weeks I was ill. I needed to line my underwear with a ShamWow just to be safe because even the most seemingly innocent fart could turn into a levee break.