Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Un-sexy Post

I think it may have been the very next day, when I was still luxuriating in the afterglow of the ten man orgy, when I got a text from a man I’d seen earlier in the month:  “Sorry, but I think I may have exposed you to syphilis.  You should get it checked out.”

I got in the car the next morning and went to run the entire battery of tests.  I thought again about a comment that a reader had written on the Jan 8, 2017 post:  “So can you post something about how you avoid health risks with all the unprotected sex you have? Do you ever worry about it?”  I had put off answering.  And while you could read that “…do you ever worry about it?” as if I didn’t have a brain in my head, I have decided to take it in a more neutral manner.  So let’s talk a little about why and how I play bare.  This is what I decided.  It won’t work for everyone.

·         Knowledge is power.

When I was still a ‘condom every time’ kind of guy, I read everything I could find on HIV and other sexual transmitted diseases.  I talked to men who I knew were playing bare.  I was so close to doing it, but I did not take the Magnum off until two things happened.  The first was the death of my partner (which had nothing to do with HIV.)  The opening of our relationship had included the caveat that I would not play bare so I wouldn’t be bringing stuff home to him.  I played with many, many men when he was too sick to have sex anymore—I could have removed the condom with them and he’d never have known.  But I didn’t.  I waited until it was just me—for that’s what I’d promised. 

The second thing that really decided me was the 2007 AIDS conference where they asserted that the safest bare sex you could have was a circumcised negative top fucking an undetectable bottom. I still wasn’t sure I could remove the latex.  And I didn’t, until I had a three way with a known undetectable bottom bud and a top friend of mine.  The top fucked him bare—and that top was a nurse.

·         If you play bare often enough, you’ll get something.

When I started playing bare, I knew this and accepted it.  The things I felt I was most likely to pick up are curable or manageable. I came of age playing bare.  A trip to the public health clinic was a given.  After all, back in my condom only days, I still got gonorrhea from a blow job .

·         Know the symptoms.

Know what to look for and how long after sex the symptoms might appear.  And know that many times there are no symptoms.  Which leads right to the next point…

·         Test regularly.

For me, with the guidance of the county nurse, as a man who takes nothing but a tongue up his ass, she thought once a year for HIV and every three months for everything else would be good.  It’s worked very well for me.  Many of my ‘busiest’ undetectable partners have the whole battery of tests each time they are doing their regular check-ups.

·         Set your limits.

Only you know what you are comfortable to do.  If I still had my foreskin (Damn, I would love to know the amount of skin it would take to cover me…) would I bareback?  I don’t know.  I likely wouldn't have until the advent of PrEP.  I do know that if I bottomed, I would be on PrEP in a heartbeat.  I have also stopped sex in it’s tracks when I have seen suspect things—like the man oozing sores around his anus who I had just hunkered down to rim.

·         Contact your partners.

It’s not easy, but I believe that if you end up with something, you must tell the men you’ve played with that they might have been exposed.  Text, call, email, take them to coffee.  I don’t care how, but let them know.  We’re supposed to be a band of brothers taking care and watching out for each other.  I didn’t want the news of the text in one sense—but I sure did want it and needed to figure out who I’d seen since the man who exposed me.

·         Your county health department is your friend.

I occasionally get a raised eyebrow that I’m back again.  Well, fuck them.  In the long run, they know that I am behaving responsibly and are glad of it.  If you can’t face that, get a gay doctor.  But tell whoever it is the truth about what you do sexually.  If they don’t check your ass for you only admit to cocksucking, you aren’t helping anyone.


Back to me.  I gave up my blood before lunch.   I pissed in a cup.  And it didn’t feel hot—it’s amazing how ‘unclean’ you feel once you know there if a possibility you’ve been exposed. Since my partner had tested positive for syphilis, they gave me treatment on the spot. 

I went home and started to do rough drafts of the email I would send to my fuck buds.  I did want to wait to make sure I tested positive syphilis, too, before I sent them out.

A week later we got the tests back.  Just as I was finishing up the pills.  The nurse told me the news by phone.  I never had it.  I tested negative for everything.

The emails were sent only to the trash.


  1. Thanks for sharing that. I wondered about how you handled that. Was very helpful. I enjoy your blog and appreciate the time you take to publish and entertain us. Thanks.

    1. You're welcome.

      And thanks for being a loyal reader.

  2. Okay, I'm impressed. This isn't what you expect on your blog. I was beginning to wonder if you were going to respond to the comment from one of your readers last January. But I can appreciate you taking your time and coming up with an intelligent discussion on a serious topic.
    I whole heartily agree that it all comes down to being informed and responsible. Everyone needs to make the decision for themselves. For the record, I'm in complete agreement with you.
    Having said all that, this is why I enjoy your blog so much. Your complete honesty when it comes to your posts. There are times when the sexual encounter doesn't live up to your expectations, and you share that. Times when things get messy and you share that too. I find that so refreshing and real. No matter how thoroughly you try to clean sometimes your ass just doesn't cooperate. Why pretend it doesn't happen?
    All of this. and so much more .is why I anxiously await each and every installment of your amazing adventures.

    1. Thanks. I had started a response in a reply to his comment...and after typing a little, I realized it would take up too much room, and I had to organize my thoughts a little more.

      I always think of the 'safer sex' message on Dick Wadd videos (and I'm paraphrasing now): Know the risks for each sexual act, weigh it against how much enjoyment you get from it and choose accordingly.

  3. I was just talking about this to other people. A lot of people ask and I've always found that their question is never really coming from an honest/innocent place. There's some ulterior motive, whether it is to confirm one's judgements or to justify behavior with anecdotal information. But I totally agree with you. Get tested regularly and find out what works for you. I've been turned down before when I tell people I test every six months. But hell, I'd rather have that than a person that doesn't get tested at all and claim they're neg. Never understood how the logic was that people that test regularly are not trustworthy. Shouldn't it be the opposite?

  4. I agree. Wasn't it in 'Tales of the City' where a point was made by the protaganist to cruise the guys at the clinic--for you knew they were doing something about it?

  5. Great post, FP! I've been on PrEP since it became available where I live and get the full battery of tests every 3 months. Well worth it for me and the guys I play with. When something did come up that needed treatment once, it also got a playmate of mine to get to the doc...after maybe 10 years of not going. With blood tests they also discovered he had treatable prostate cancer--which he wouldn't have found out otherwise. STI testing really does save lives...even if not always the way you'd think!

    1. That is a great example. Thank you for sharing that!

  6. Thanks for your honesty, as always.

    1. You're welcome. I hope that it gets a couple of guys who have been putting it off to go get tested. And not just for HIV...

  7. Great post! Thanks for your honesty and openness about this topic!

    1. This post is striking a cord with so many readers--and that's good for all of us!