@PositiveLife tagged a Tweet with the Bareback Brotherhood’s hashtag (#BBBH), getting my attention today and sending me into a bit of a tizzy. The heartfelt piece, written by Charles Walton, a man in his 60s who became HIV-positive late in life, indeed tells a compelling story. (It’s something that should be read, but in April 2011, the site took it down so you can’t.)
But what I find despicable is the conclusions to which the author comes.
In summary, the author visits his doctor and gets Viagra, begins a three-year period of indulging in unsafe sex (in other words, barebacking) including visits to bathhouses that includes a gorgeous man named “Dave” who he singles out among all his dalliances to conclude, 18 months later when symptoms appear, caused him to seroconvert.
The implication in this story that “Dave” might be the culprit or Viagra causes HIV bothers me tremendously. Neither Dave nor Viagra did anything. The author’s justification that the temptation brought on by a turgid cock or a handsome man (who he’d seen numerous times at a fucking bathhouse, hint-hint) can be linked to seroconversion is circumstantial at best.
Every man — straight, gay and in between — finds himself tempted. And obviously, “Dave” was not the author’s “just this once.”
The author took a risk knowing the possible results but not willing to accept becoming HIV positive. Or thinking he might remain negative.
Furthermore, the author waits 18 months, failing to get regular blood tests with his physicals — if he had any. I am in my 40s. I visit the doctor at least four times a year and he’s always taking blood but not for HIV. It’s to check cholesterol, hints of prostate cancer and a dozen other indicators that come along with being older. If this man failed to follow basic protocols of visiting his doctor for regular visits, come on.
After all this, the author attempts to turn this into a safer sex morality tale. While heartfelt, this story isn’t about safer sex or condom use.
Condom use is not the end-all and be-all of safer sex. Using seroconversion as “wake-up call” for safer sex seems like closing the barn doors after the horses have already bolted. Now he’s going to become an activist and get involved in his community.
It reads like some religious conversion rather than seroconversion. He learned that condoms fucking suck. They lessen sensitivity and make for difficulty in maintaining an erection, especially as the plumbing starts to rust. So what do we need? More condom use? No.
The barebacking movement won’t back down. More effective safe sex messaging to resonate in the community won’t work. Believe me. I know. I’m in marketing. Nothing resonates with a cock other than the tingling sensation of another human’s skin. The intimate connection of that touch cannot be duplicated no matter what plastic flesh created in a lab.
The scientists need to figure out ways to kill HIV transmission in lubricant or absorption through inoculation. Our prophylaxis needs to be the “gay pill” to allow fucking the way it was meant to be.
As for the author, he has sampled the fruit of barebacking. As he adjusts to life as a poz man, the shock will wear off and, I will bet, barebacking will return to his menu. Oh, he will deny it as he has written this online article despite covering his face and likely obscuring his name. But fuck raw he will. He can’t deny that hard cock and how good it feels to touch another human without plastic between two bodies.
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