Does Not Being On PrEP Make A Guy Less Desirable?


To PrEP Or Not To PrEP? That is the question plaguing Brian Moylan at Vice.

“Last summer, I picked up a gentleman on Fire Island,” he writes in a new op-ed titled Not Being on PrEP Is Making It Harder for Me to Get Laid. “We retired back to his place for a makeout sesh and found ourselves naked, with him straddling me, when out of the blue he sat right down on my dick without a condom.”


When Moylan said he wasn’t OK with that, the man assured him it was fine because he was on PrEP. Moylan, however, felt otherwise.

“I told my summer lover that I don’t have anal sex without condoms,” he writes. “If it wasn’t going to be bare, he wasn’t interested.”

Related: Five Sexy Gay Men On HIV PrEP Explain Why They Are Taking The Pill

An estimated 80,000 people currently take PrEP, with the number steadily growing since the drug first became available back in 2012. At the same time, Moylan says, condom use among HIV-negative young gay men appears to be on the decline. He points to a July 2016 study published by the Centers for Disease Control, which found 28.7 of men reporting having bareback sex in 2005, compared to 40.5 percent in 2014.

Moylan says what happened on Fire Island wasn’t the first (and likely won’t be the last) time this issue has come up for him.

“I’ve had several similar experiences over the past couple years when talking to guys on hookup apps like Grindr or Scruff: I’ll be on the verge of an invite to someone’s house until they ask me my HIV status. ‘Neg and only play safe,’ I always reply. It’s sometimes met with either stony silence or the abyss of being blocked by them on the app forever.”

Related: If You Favor HIV Filters On Dating Apps, You’re Living In Ignorance, Blogger Says

While PrEP may protect a person against HIV, Moylan says his concern has to do with all the other STDs being passed around out there.

A 2015 study released by the DCDC found the total combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis had reached their highest level in history, and that gay and bisexual men made up the majority of new gonorrhea and syphilis cases.

“The bottom line is that there are more ways to define ‘safe’ than ever before,” he concludes, “but with some tolerance, respect, and a bit of communication that involves something other than well-placed grunts, we should all be able to get laid while staying both happy and healthy.”

What do you think? Does not being on PrEP make a man less desirable? Share your thoughts in the comments below…


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  • dean089

    “While PrEP may protect a person against HIV, Moylan says his concern has to do with all the other STDs being passed around out there.” Exactly.

  • ohiogreg

    Whether a guy is on PrEP or not, I still want to use condoms. One there are the STDs to be aware of plus PrEP has not been on the market long enough to really know its strengths and weaknesses.

  • Hillers

    Delightful. As always. And while PrEP may intend to prevent HIV infection, all that bouncing around of strains of the virus against the medicine will eventually lead to something not only resistant to it, but far worse.

  • buzzedandbearded

    Anal sex is not the focus of every gay man’s sex life. I am far from a prude, but when it comes to sex with strangers, I generally stick to other options. Why would I want to take pills everyday for something I engage in only occasionally? A condom is just fine for those times. That said, if I were to start dating someone seriously and have anal sex more often with that person, I would definitely consider starting on PrEP. It is recommended that PrEP be used in conjunction with condoms. This makes total sense to avoid other STDs. But I suspect the reality is that PrEP has become synonymous with condom-less sex.

  • Godabed

    I know several people on PREP and they All bareback… Pass, i would not date anyone on PREP. And i surely wouldn’t have sex with anyone on PREP, i only use condoms, and have not had a problem with those, but my friends on PREP have had STD’s so my experience with it has not been positive.

  • bebop beep

    I’ve also noticed this rise in expectations of bare sex. Not everyone can afford PrEP, it costs $1,300.00 a month, and many insurance companies aren’t actually covering enough to bring it down to an accessible price. It’s great that PrEP exists and is an option, but it shouldn’t be seen as an excuse to expect bare sex, which many guys on hookup apps are expressing.

  • Heywood Jablowme

    @buzzedandbearded: Exactly!

    PrEP was intended for sane people with YOUR attitude, but unfortunately it’s being misused by a lot of brain-dead losers.

  • Granny Spoth

    @Heywood Jablowme: No, Prep was always intended for “brain-dead losers”. It’s about offering options to people who did not use the condom.
    It’s about reducing the 44,000+ contaminations a year from people who aren’t condom-abiding.
    STDs are not a new problem in the barebacking community.

  • Marky

    No. Not using condoms makes a guy less desirable.

  • Marky

    Here’s the thing. If you’re priorities are so locked up in your sex life that you elect to pay a grand and a half a month for F-me-raw meds, you’re probably not that much of a catch.

  • Heywood Jablowme

    @Granny Spoth: Wow, there’s a “barebacking community” now?

    Okay – if “STDs are not a new problem” in the brain-dead loser community, I mean the barebacking community, maybe they should reconsider what they’re doing. How many times do they need to catch gonorrhea before they figure that out? Seriously, what’s the number… 6?

    Yeah, having the options is better than not having the options. Still, they ARE misusing PrEP if they use it without a condom with total strangers. The directions say to use a condom in that situation. PrEP without a condom is arguably appropriate in the situation “buzzedandbearded” describes.

  • Black Pegasus

    When I see guys announcing to the world how they’re on PrEP I immediately block or ignore their profiles on Grindr, Jackd or any dating platform. If you use it fine, but don’t wear it as a badge of honor. It makes you look like a lowclass bareback slut who is HIV positive or looking to become positive.

  • Eye of the Beholder

    Does NOT being on prep make a guy less desirable? So the question is: Do gay men make ourselves more attractive thru acknowledgement of risky sex? Maybe not, but we try it anyway.

    Btw, more attractive to HIV+ gay men? Yes or no? We now have gay marriage. We can be more than just roommates to each other so rethink these PrEP/whoring strategies. I might want sex but I’d keep the ring and never pop the question.

  • MarionPaige

    the bigger issue, in my opinion,

    is that

    The article appeared in Vice


    What is Gay Media’s Place in the World when gay blogs are relegated to linking to gay topics in “mainstream” media?

  • theszak

    The Strategy. BEFORE sex get tested TOGETHER for A VARIETY OF STIs Sexually Transmitted Infections including HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus then make an INFORMED decision, google… tested together before sex

  • Daniel-Reader

    The creepy thing about PrEP is that whenever it is presented in the media – not Queerty alone – it is as though writers pretend other STIs don’t exist. It’s as though adults are not aware or willing to talk about STIs that still require condom usage because they haven’t gone away, such as HPV which is common and which can cause anal cancer so you have to protect yourself from it no matter what your PrEP stance is. If you know about HIV but not other things like HPV then your ignorance can kill you and your partners in horrific ways that can be prevented.

  • Daniel-Reader

    It’s also not just a gay community problem because heteros are extremely bad at educating themselves about STIs and it shows, for example, in their numbers of herpes cases each year.

  • Prax07

    Been saying it for a while now, when I’m on Scruff, Grindr, or A4A, I see that the guys that have “On prep” on their profiles are almost always the PnP crowd, the bareback crowd, or the “casual sex only” crowd, so I steer clear. They get blocked or ignored immediately.

  • Jack Meoff

    Since the introduction of Prep so many guys claim to be on it despite the inhibitive price that you have to wonder how honest all of these guys are being. Add that to the fact that there are now a couple of cases of seroconversion while on Prep it makes taking the risk that much riskier.

    Barebacking was already a serious problem but since Prep it seems to have soared even more now that guys have an excuse to justify it and I fear that guys are using that excuse whether they are on Prep or not.

  • Heywood Jablowme

    @Daniel-Reader: Fortunately there’s now a HPV vaccine. But you’re right, probably most people don’t know about it (or even know what HPV is).

  • Alistair Wiseman

    I didn’t get to age 52, alive, vital and HIV negative by taking chances.

    Queerty is asking the wrong question. It should be, “Does someone only taking PrEP make someone less desirable if they are using it in hook-up situations?”. Yes, it does.

  • Chris

    What makes a guy less desirable is how judgmental he is, whatever side of this or any argument he takes. And what makes a guy most desirable is whatever makes him interesting.

    We all make our choices and we all live with their consequences. If someone dates people on PrEP, exclusively, his choice, his consequences. And just as PrEP isn’t 100% effective, neither are condoms.

  • rmarin776

    I think just about everyone on PREP is using it as license to have unlimited condom-less sex. My friends on PREP are willing to put up with the frequent STI infections, as long as they are HIV. But will these STIs continue to be treatable with antibiotics, or will this behavior lead to more treatment resistant strains of STIs – and could PREP possibly lead to treatment resistant strains of HIV. I know we should perhaps defer to experts who seem certain that this won’t be the case. But I’m not convinced…

    That said, the idea of having an extra layer of protection is appealing. I haven’t started the medication myself, but I have discussed it with my doctor. And I’m aware that, even in a “monogamous” or open but “safe” relationship, there’s always the possibility of mistakes or deception. Plenty of people have contracted HIV from sex with long term boyfriends. And I don’t really want to use condoms in a long term relationship. So, I struggle with what the best choices are and when to make them.

    For those who are complaining about the price, you should be aware that the drug manufacturer offers a coupon that will cover the majority of the difference between what your insurance will pay and what is left over. So, the medication should be affordable to anyone who wants it, for now anyway. Nobody is actually paying the 1,000+ sticker price. So don’t let cost be a factor dissuading you from pursuing this option.

  • brandon

    Not everyone is sexually compatible with everyone else. Is that intolerance? Would you want to have sex with someone you’d be tolerating?

  • rhino79

    Geez, hasn’t anyone heard of gonorrhea? Chlamydia? You stick your dick raw in some dude’s butthole and your gonna get a whole lot of bacteria shoved up your piss slit. Sure, the clap can get cleared up with a round or two of antibiotics, but walking around with a burning urethra and crusty pus in your underwear isn’t a fun time.

  • bebop beep

    @rmarin776: STI’s that are bacterial in nature are treated with antibiotics, so that covers gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Every time you get re-infected with those and need to take antibiotics again, you are increasing the risk of developing resistant strains which can then be passed on through unprotected sex. I have seen ads in subway stations warning that drug-resistant chlamydia is on the rise in NYC, so it’s definitely a growing problem.

    HIV, HPV, herpes, and hepatitis are viral, so resistance works a bit differently, and it will basically boil down to if people are lying or not taking the medication consistently.

  • bebop beep

    @brandon: The “intolerance” that is being discussed is regarding safety. We as a society tolerate safety measures because no one is isolated and we all affect each others lives. Just because you don’t care about your own safety doesn’t mean you have the right to put others at risk.

  • fitnessperks

    It’s no wonder the community is breaking down and divided, with comments like this around such an important issue. The topic needs more understanding and less vilification.

  • fitnessperks

    It’s no wonder the community is breaking down and divided, with comments like this around such an important issue. The topic needs more understanding and less vilification, from either side.

  • DavidIntl

    Just to bring balance to what has been a largely one-sided comments section, I will point out PrEP is a valuable tool in the fight against HIV transmission. And although it is currently not relevant to me, since I am now in a committed, exclusive relationship, I grow wary of people villainising bareback sex. For some of us, sex with a condom is pointless, even dysfunctional. So one is celibate, or one takes whatever reasonable other precautions are available. To each his own.

  • jag4313

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about getting on PrEP but until I do, I’ll keep using condoms. If that’s not something someone is interested in, that’s fine, go home.

  • BigJohnSF

    So all you people saying “ew, other STDs” – all these are transmitted orally as well. I’m so sure you use condoms for oral sex.

  • Bromancer7

    @fitnessperks: You must be new to the Queerty comment section. It’s all about judgment and vilification.

  • Bromancer7

    @DavidIntl: How DARE you come into the Queerty comment section with common-sense talk that doesn’t including slut-shaming??? Who do you think you are???

  • Heywood Jablowme

    @DavidIntl: Queerty didn’t help with its inflammatory headline: “Does Not Being On PrEP Make A Guy Less Desirable?” So Queerty thinks “desirable” = “fuckable by random barebacking guys on Grindr (who may or may not be on PrEP when they claim to be).” The slut-shaming comments are reacting at least somewhat to the slut-promoting in the headline.

  • Heywood Jablowme

    @DavidIntl: “For some of us, sex with a condom is pointless, even dysfunctional.”

    Well, you know, maybe that’s just too fucking bad. We didn’t hear all this whining from the condom-haters just a few years ago. Now pretty suddenly, barebacking has become the new norm. This puts tremendous pressure on guys who bottom, to agree to barebacking when they don’t really want to do it. (And now if they object they’re not even “desirable,” says Queerty.)

  • ChrisK

    @Heywood Jablowme:Yeah, I miss the old days before PrEP. I’m sick of the guys making that a requirement now.

  • viveutvivas

    I am surprised at all the negative comments here.

    Where I live almost everyone I meet is on PrEP and we are having glorious natural sex. I am really not interested in getting chafed by a rubber anymore, or in topping with half the sensation gone due to a rubber. Latex in holes make for a bad anal sex experience – I didn’t even know what enjoyable bottoming was until I started having it bare.

    And no, I don’t party. So quit your judgmental attitude.

  • viveutvivas

    @Jack Meoff, “Since the introduction of Prep so many guys claim to be on it despite the inhibitive price that you have to wonder how honest all of these guys are being.”

    No. Most health insurances cover it almost completely, with the slack taken up by manufacturer coupons and free access programs in large cities. So mst guys pay little to nothing for it. I pay nothing.

    “Add that to the fact that there are now a couple of cases of seroconversion while on Prep it makes taking the risk that much riskier.”

    Again no. Two possible cases out of tens of thousands on PrEP. Do you realize that means PrEP provides more protection than condoms?

    “Barebacking was already a serious problem but since Prep it seems to have soared”

    Barebacking is the most natural thing to do, straight people do it all the time without shame, and shaming gay people for it is awful. It is not a problem at all if done safely, which PrEP allows.

  • viveutvivas

    @Marky, insurance, manufacturer assistance, and free access programs bring most people’s costs down to little or nothing, so no, it is not like people pay grands and grands for sex. And PrEP sex IS in fact safe sex, with higher HIV protection than condoms. The other non-vaccinable stuff condoms don’t prevent anyway unless you use them for oral and frottage too.

  • bebop beep

    @viveutvivas: “Barebacking is the most natural thing to do, straight people do it all the time without shame, and shaming gay people for it is awful. It is not a problem at all if done safely, which PrEP allows.”

    Many women I’ve spoken to mention that they feel pressured into being on birth control because it’s become the new normal, and that they were basically shamed into being on it by their partners so they could have unprotected sex. Why is it the women’s responsibility to take pills/get an IUD but not the men’s responsibility to wear a condom? It shouldn’t be that way, but there is so much pressure by society that women are coerced into accepting it as fact.

    The same thing is happening/being discussed here. The author talks about not wanting to risk his own health safety in a community where there are increasing pressures to accept bareback sex as the standard.

  • bebop beep

    @viveutvivas: By the way I fully support the use of PrEP. However, it is starting to cause a rise in the EXPECTATION for bareback sex, so the author is pointing out how this change in mentality needs to be addressed.

  • ErikO

    @Godabed: I feel the same way. ALL the people I know on PREP do not use condoms or practice safer sex, and just use it as an excuse to bareback. I personally would not date or sleep with any woman or man that’s on PREP and is delusional and believes that they can bareback all they want and stay “NEG” for HIV and other STDs. Condoms are easier to use, are not toxic if you are allergic to them you can use ones that are not latex like polyurethane ones, and less expensive and do not have negative side effects like PREP Does. The use of PREP and unprotected anal/vaginal sex is just going to lead to an increase in HIV and other StD infections, and it will create strains of HIV that are immune to PREP as have already happened.

  • studfucker

    A man is desirable to me whether he’s on PREP or not. I’m willing
    to take the risk without condom. I do think PREP is a good idea.
    I am considering it.

  • ErikO

    @studfucker: handle/post. Top/active men can and do get infected with HIV too.

  • dwes09

    @Chris: “his choice, his consequences”

    Sorry, but that is false. Public health issues ALWAYS involve society/community as a whole. This is especially true as we approach the end of the antibiotic era. Yes you read that correctly. More and more bacterial pathogens have evolved resistance to the existing arsenal of antibiotics and fewer and fewer new ones are being found. Those that are are less easily tolerated by humans.

    When one is sexually active and does not use condoms they participate actively in the evolution of more resistant strains of disease. Epidemiological studies show this, and it is not opinion but empirical conclusion. It is not in any way “his choice, his consequences”. It is HIS CHOICE, EVERYBODY’S CONSEQUENCES, and to any reasonable person that is unacceptable.

  • dwes09

    @Chris: “And just as PrEP isn’t 100% effective, neither are condoms.”

    PrEP appears, through ongoing research, to be even more effective at reducing HIV transmission than condoms. And with PrEP, condoms and a partner with undetectable viral load the chance of transmission approaches 0%. BUT the issue, as mentioned before, is those other pathogens whose spread we are aiding and encouraging. And where individuals cannot reliably take PrEP daily, and who may seroconvert without knowing it we are encouraging the development of resistance to yet another antiretroviral drug.

  • dwes09

    @viveutvivas: “Barebacking is the most natural thing to do, straight people do it all the time without shame, and shaming gay people for it is awful. It is not a problem at all if done safely, which PrEP allows.”

    Straight people do it because women are pretty much required to bear the brunt of birth control through the use of the pill or IUD’s. Thus the epidemic of HPV and other diseases. You might not be old enough to realize that the original use of condoms was to prevent pregnancy as much as to prevent STD’s. Very little of what we do as humans is “natural” (in the way that uncontrolled instinct is), and there is nothing wrong with actions being moderated by prudence or concern for public health.

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