Safe Sex Poster Boy
Dear Patrick: I am a gay man in my 30s who is in between steady boyfriends. My policy til now has been to use condoms with everybody, whether they are tricks or a lover. A lot of men have gotten annoyed with me and some have even decided they would rather not have sex with me. But I just didn’t want to worry about whether I had an STD, and I didn’t want to go to my doctor and get treated for an infection I could have prevented. I felt vindicated every time one of my “monogamous” friends had to get treated for the clap or, worse, seroconverted to HIV because his boyfriend cheated on him.
I’m mostly a bottom, and I feel a little guilty about taking something away from the pleasure of my top, but we are living in a post-AIDS world, and I guess guys who are tops need to be able to get used to rubbers.
I got so lonely and horny after my last breakup that I started using a phone sex line. I found a hot daddy on one service who knew just how to tease me and hold me on the brink of cumming until I was literally begging for release. But his thing is to talk about barebacking. He liked to talk about ravishing me while I protested that I didn’t want to get fucked without a condom. Now I find that whenever I jack off, I think about the things he said to me. I am obsessed with fantasies about having this guy fuck me without any protection! He would say things like, “You are going to sleep next to me, and I’ve marked you. You belong to me now,” and my heart would just melt.
I’m worried about dating or visiting a club I like because I don’t want to wind up with an ass full of cum after years of being so careful. Do you think I have really lost the ability to protect myself?—Safe Sex Poster Boy
Dear Safe Sex Poster Boy: Sharing come is a very meaningful experience for many gay men. It represents bonding and mutual acceptance as well as erotic celebration and freedom, and an affirmation of being men together. It has been written off as all danger and no fun by AIDS service organizations (ASOs) who are trying to save lives by promoting the use of condoms. And for some gay men, like yourself, the credo to use a rubber every time worked just fine. Until it didn’t. You are experiencing a desire, not just for come, but for closeness and being possessed. You want a top who cares about you so much he will overcome your protests and take you anyway, claim you, mark you, and keep you forever. This is essentially a romantic fantasy, as well as a very powerful erotic scenario. I can see why you are worried about being able to continue the old routine.
One question I would ask is if you think you could be satisfied by the fantasy that this was taking place. There is nothing wrong with picking somebody up, telling him that you want him to use a condom, then asking him to talk you through a fantasy about barebacking. A lot of guys enjoy this trip. Just be very clear that you only want the fantasy, not the reality. If you have any steady fuck-buddies you trust, try it out with one of them and see if it fulfills you. If so, you have no reason to go for the real thing.
If you think that you do want to start sharing come with other men, one option is to explore going on a low dose of HIV meds to prevent infection. Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP won’t keep you from being infected with anything other than HIV, of course, but that is the STD (sexually-transmitted disease) people worry about the most.
The worst thing you could do is decide you are a terrible person, spiral down into shame and guilt and depression, and punish yourself by going out and getting fucked unsafely by every unsavory character from here to Nova Scotia. (Granted, that is further away for some of us than for others.) You are a gay man. You are attracted to other men. It makes absolute sense for you to be attracted to everything that symbolizes men, maleness, or masculinity, As a bottom, doing whatever it takes to make the top come is also hard-wired into you. Being curious about how it would feel to take cum could not be more natural.
I can tell you that the mythology of barebacking is much greater than the actual feeling. Being able to see an ejaculation is terrific, and safe. But most bottoms can’t tell if the cock in their ass has a condom on it or not, and you usually can’t tell whether the guy has come inside of you or not. He can even fake his orgasm. What matters is what he says to you, the emotional experience you have together, and the high of breaking a taboo.
I hope you find a man who understands the ins and outs of all of this psychology, a shrewd top who knows how to give you what you want so he can get what he wants as well, while keeping both of you healthy and happy for many many years to come.