Thank you for your article, Kyle. I appreciate your honesty and writing about your struggle. It seems this is a great starting point for many of us — to recognize our humanity and weaknesses and say, “given these, how can I make better choices for my and other people’s health?” This could be in regards to drugs or alcohol and all types of sexual behaviors. My only suggestion is to change the question to “How can we talk about less risky sex?” — focus on the healthier behavior, not the riskier. Some things people may not be aware of:
- Testing, treatment and prevention are much more closely aligned than even 15 years ago. Persons who are poz but in treatment w/undetectable viral loads are much less likely to transmit HIV even if safer sex isn’t used http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/heterosexual_transmission_1667_23387.shtml - Many people posting noted that the insertive partner (top) loses little pleasure when wearing a condom. However many receptive people (bottoms) find anal sex more pleasurable — even less painful - w/out condoms. MUCH more lube is often needed with condoms. - Discussing helpful tips with friends, in groups or on-line can help,e.g.:
— lube INSIDE and outside the condom increases sensitivity,
— magnum-sized condoms even for those just above average may help with maintaining erections (yes make sure they are snug enough to not fall off)
— my opinion is that health departments that haven’t should stop hyping the risk of oral sex by handing out flavored condoms without lube. Focus on where the risk is in public campaigns. Let people have sloppy, hot, naked sex, just wrap it up for fucking. (If people ask, sure discuss oral, but I understand the risk to not be for HIV as much as other STIs). - Having these frank discussions can help people figure out how to make better choices. Asking “when DO I make good choices” may be more helpful than “when/why do I bareback?” i.e. focus on the affirmative. Thanks!