MBG1217
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    • MBG1217

      It’s the opposite of honesty. Defining words to mean the OPPOSITE of what they actually mean (claiming, for instance, that engaging in unprotected sex with a drug-user you met that day is not self-destructive) is a kind of lying. The piece is a series of self-serving falsehoods, narcissistic attempts to justify one’s own stupid, short-sighted, cavalier sexual choices by attaching them implausibly to things like ACT-UP.  And how is writing a confession about choosing to engage in behavior IN THE FUTURE that risks not only your own, but other people’s health, deserving of cheers and respect? By this “logic,” someone who posted about driving drunk through the streets of his town with a blood alcohol level of .25, and said he’d “probably do it again,” is deserving of cheers and respect. He liked it, it’s too much trouble to get a designated driver, whatever, who are we to judge? He was so HONEST, man. I mean, that takes GUTS to say in public that you’re willing to risk your sexual health, the sexual health of your partner, and the sexual health of all your future partners and the future partners of your partner, because you like your orgasm a certain way.

    • MBG1217

      Condoms aren’t foolproof, therefore we are justified in not using them at all? Wow. This really is what passes for logic among some of us. According to magnificent demonstration of human reasoning ability, since we run some risk of dying when we skydive, we might as well jump out of the plane without a parachute. Or since every time we get in a car we run some risk of getting in an accident, we shouldn’t bother with a seatbelt. It’s sobering, and scary, to realize how many people there are out there, people like you, who believe that you are justified in being not just self-destructive but in risking the health of others because “eh, nobody’s perfect.” The fact that people make mistakes does not mean those choices are OK. By definition, if they are mistakes they are things that SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DONE. While we can’t change the past, we can strive to do better. That’s something that the author of this article is explicitly saying he won’t do. Because it’s about him. And, as you make clear in your post, it’s about you — you want to be able to do what you want and you don’t want anyone to criticize you for it.

    • MBG1217

      “I believe it’s a phrase people use to make you feel ashamed about very real desires and habits you have.” There is a breathtaking lapse of logic, a massive brain-fail, right here. Of course, there are plenty of those throughout this whole piece, which is beyond contemptible and which BuzzFeed should be ashamed for publishing.  But specifically looking at this one line: “very real desires and habits you have.” I don’t doubt that your desires and habits are “real.” So what? The desire of addicts to do drugs is real; that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Plenty of married people feel *desire* for, say, their sexually attractive co-workers, or other people they see, but that doesn’t mean they should act on those desires. People feel desires *constantly* to do or engage in various things, and that fact is COMPLETELY irrelevant when it comes to whether or not they should actually DO them. Your “habits and desires” are selfish, self-destructive, short-sighted, and All About You. You think that because you experience them (because they are “real”) that you ought to be able to act on them and we ought to affirm you for acting on them. It’s difficult to imagine anybody not completely blinded by selfishness who would apply this standard to human interaction as a whole. If you feel a desire to do something, and it’s a destructive desire, you have the choice not to do it. But you choose to, because it’s all about you. You don’t care about yourself, and you don’t care about other people. Own it.

    • MBG1217

      I just want to highlight Tom Allsup’s comment, because it really does say it all about this piece: “I have heard these all these self-serving pathetic excuses for unsafe, self-destructive sex for the past 30 years. (“The drugs made me do it!”)..Please! Just own it, Queen! You are not committed to staying HIV-. You are into risky, unsafe, drug-driven pigsex with strangers. Here’s the Tea, Mary! Gay Men who care about themselves and others, practice safe sex; the Self-Haters, they don’t.” That’s really all that needs to be said. You don’t care about yourself and you don’t care about other people. You dress it up in pseudointellectual word games, paired with bald-faced lies and words defined to mean the exact opposite of what they mean (Yes, you ARE self-destructive), but really, that’s all there is to all of this. You don’t care about yourself and you don’t care about other people. Great job, BuzzFeed. What a great message to send, what a noble attitude towards human beings to affirm.

    • MBG1217

      You’ve got the ACT-UP Silence = Death poster in the graphic at the top of this article. I agree that silence = death. Gay men as a group are too silent about the things that some among us do that hurt us, and even kill us. Because of our experiences growing up in often-hostile families, churches, etc., we pride ourselves on being open-minded. We want to be understanding rather than judgmental because we recognize that *unfair* and *undeserved* judgments really hurt. Well, HIV, hepatitis, untreatable gonorrhea, etc., really hurt too. Who knows what other STD epidemics might be out there, given the increasing resistance to antibiotics of some of the ones we already know about. Other things, such as meth use, drug use, etc., hurt gay men too — and so often the drugs are specifically used to facilitate or enhance unsafe sex acts. You’ve posted that you don’t use, but so what? You are glamorizing the drug use simply by describing this supposedly “hot” French guy doing it, and you thinking that the resulting sex was so great you’ll “probably do it again.”  Silence = death. We are too silent when people like you make sexual choices, and then attempt to justify them, that hurt gay people. Your choices have a ripple effect. The choices you make today to be unsafe affect not just you but your sexual partner, AND every sexual partner you have after him, AND every sexual partner he has after you. Like it or not. You are putting your ten-second orgasm ahead of an unquantifiable number of people’s health, and you want people to affirm that decision.  Silence = death. Yeah. We need to speak up more loudly and say that this kind of nasty, entitled narcissism does NOT represent all of us, and that wherever it is to be found, it is to be rejected. This kind of sexual behavior hurts gay men more than even the most homophobic conservative Christian preacher could even *dream*. Your attitudes towards sex, towards the health of not just yourself but of your sexual partners, is objectively *anti-gay,* if that word has any meaning at all. “We ought to keep open minds.” Well, you want us to open our minds so wide that our brains fall out — because you want affirmation for your selfish, small, narcissistic, “I ought to be able to do whatever I want” worldview and habits.

    • MBG1217

      Part of honesty is honestly calling unsafe and reckless behavior what it is. It’s not honest to pretend that ANY condomless sex with a “casual partner” is safe. It’s not. Period. 1 in 5 gay men in the U.S. have HIV, and 20% of that number do not know they are infected. So if you keep going at the rate you are, odds are you’ll reach that magic number, that one in 20 guy, probably within the decade. Sure, you might not be infected by him — not every sex act between someone who’s infected and someone who’s not results in a new infection — but you sure might be.  And of course, if you’re doing this, you might be someone who infects someone else. HIV tests do indeed miss recent infections, and you are relying on “casual partners” to tell you the truth. You say you know these casual partners, but if they’re willing to be casual sex partners with you, they might be willing to be casual sex partners with people who are not nearly as careful as you are. In fact, common sense says some of them probably are. Why should we allow you to re-draw the line about where “unsafe” is? Someone else might say they can re-draw it at 10-12 guys in the past 3 years. How about NOT having unsafe sex, period? You are, as you acknowledge, taking a “calculated” risk. Well, the person who gets behind the wheel of a car with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit might think, “I’m only going a mile down the road, it’s a “calculated” risk.” The proper response is not to congratulate him for his calculations. It’s to lock him up.  You are being honest about your willingness to risk your health and the health of other people. The honest response to you is that your conduct doesn’t deserve to be affirmed, either. Something that’s wrong doesn’t become right because you only do it a little bit. The goal should be to not do it at all. If you mess up, fine, you’re human, but you should be *trying*, not pretending that what you’re doing is OK. The common thread among all these “let’s open a dialogue, let’s be honest, let’s talk about what’s really going on” posts is a desire to have one’s unsafe sexual choices affirmed, to get them to be seen as just as valid as NOT risking one’s life and the life of one’s sexual partners. They are not just as valid.  How about, from this day forward, becoming a part of the solution — putting the collective health of all people ahead of your own orgasms? Saying, “The risk that comes with ANY amount of unsafe sex is not worth it, because I value my health and the health of my fellow human beings more than that?” THAT is a position worth affirming. And it certainly isn’t too much to ask of people. Why aren’t we asking it? Because it requires some amount of self-sacrifice, of giving up something that’s “hot” or “feels good”? Are we really that incapable of restraining our impulses and selfish wants? Well, if you are, you are, but obviously such an attitude is not deserving of affirmation. It’s not worthy of anything but contempt.

    • MBG1217

      As this conversation illustrates, being safer means belitted, called names, and told that people know better than me. You’re not being “safer.” Period. There’s nothing to debate. What this conversation illustrates is that you DO want to be affirmed for your choice to have unsafe sex and to announce that you’ll probably do it again. We should not respect your choices any more than we respect the choice of someone to get behind the wheel of a car with a .25 blood alcohol level. Sure, you might only hurt or kill yourself. Alternatively, you make take some people out with you. Who knows? Who cares? You just want your orgasm the way you like it, with whatever random drug user pushes the right buttons.  Every now HIV infection is the result of someone infecting someone else. It’s not just about you being a victim, it’s about you being someone willing to risk other people’s health and lives, too. You don’t deserve to be listened to. This piece should never have been published and your editors have contributed in one small, entitled, pathologically narcissistic way to a poisonous culture that hurts gay men.

    • MBG1217

      You know what was normal and common, among gay men, in my lifetime? Death from AIDS. But some people decided that, hey, let’s try to make that NOT normal and common among gay men. Let’s try to stop this from being so normal and common. And one of the ways they tried to stop it was by telling people to NOT have unsafe sex. If getting behind the wheel ofacar when your blood alcohol level is .25 was “common,” that wouldn’t make it OK. It doesn’t matter how many people are doing something — that doesn’t make it acceptable. Risking other people’s lives — which is what unsafe sex IS, by definition — is NEVER acceptable. Period. We don’t “ask” people why they “decided” to drive drunk. We lock them up.  The disaster that is HIV prevention — again,1in5gay men are HIV positive — does not suggest that we should glamorize unsafe sex and try to be EVEN MORE understanding of people who make bad choices. When you destigmatize something you get more of it. People like you, who want to bring back the communal-sewer sex culture of the 1970s and early 1980s and justify yourself with “I like it, it feels good,” why should the rest of us pay for your health care? Seriously — if you want to commit suicide, why shouldIbe on the hook, whichIam because of the Ryan White Care Act, for your HIV meds for the rest of your life? Ryan White got infected with HIV throughablood transfusion, but people like you make deliberate choices, apparently feeling entitled to do whatever you what, to risk this disease. This study that you’reapart of, it’s being paid for with tax dollars. Why is society obligated to save your life, if you yourself are willing to risk it?
      Idon’t giveaflip why you chose to have unsafe sex, or why any other people do, any more thanIcare about the reasonsadrunk driver got drunk before he got behind the wheel ofacar. Your self-serving, shortsighted, entitled desire to risk not just your own health but the health of other people you have sex with is contemptible and, again, the editors of BuzzFeed have blood on their hands for publishing this piece.

    • MBG1217

      “But for someone committed to staying HIV negative…. I’ll probably bareback again” These things are mutually irreconcilable. You are not committed to staying HIV negative. You are not willing to do even the least you could do to stay negative. This piece should never have been published.Icannot believe BuzzFeed editorial standards allow stuff like this to go up. HIV rates are rising, and HIV still does make some people very, very sick, and kills some people, even in the U.S. In its own small way, this piece just contributes to the normalization of barebacking and unsafe sex, the attitude that says “I don’t care about either my or your health enough to wearacondom or make you wear one,” the false “anythingIwant to do isalegitimate choice” garbage, that is behind the 20% rate of HIV infection among gay men.
      1in5gay men in the US have HIV according to the CDC, and yet BuzzFeed does its part to normalize barebacking. Unbelievable. It boggles the mind.