Guy #199 – A quick history of AIDS…

Movies are almost instantly dated by the technology they feature. You could probably rank every James Bond film chronologically just by looking at 007’s phone.

Likewise, you can date gay culture quite accurately by looking at the role of one of its biggest villains: AIDS.

I was born in 1982, around the time AIDS began its massive killing spree. The first thing I ever heard someone say about homosexuality was that homosexuals were people who get AIDS, homosexuals and Magic Johnson.

That, in effect, was my introduction to the gay scene.

As time evolved, so did AIDS.

Most people diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s died.
People contracting HIV in the 1990s expected to die, but then a lot of them ended up not doing that.
At the turn of the century, being HIV positive mostly meant you could never have sex without a condom again. Not a great stigma to carry, but a definite step up from getting the Philadelphia treatment.

This day and age antiviral medication allows most people with HIV to attain an undetectable viral load, which in turn means they can’t transmit the disease.

In the 1980s, having unprotected sex with an HIV positive Guy was a game of Russian roulette. Today, having sex with an ‘undetectable’ is about the safest lay there is.

And then there’s Prep, or Pre-exposure prophylaxis. Virtually unheard of ten years ago, Prep has probably surpassed Beyoncé as our go-to daily dosage of empowerment. The dialogue below is very common among gay Guys these days:

– Do you want to use a condom?
– I’m on Prep, so…

“I’m on Prep, so…” essentially means “I hate STD’s as much as the next Guy, but I’m horny enough to run the risk of peeing in agony for a week and knowing the risk of HIV is pretty much negligible at this point and not discounting the fact I’m really very horny and that condoms for all their merit do reduce fun by a factor of some number I’d happily calculate if it wasn’t for me being so horny and all this talk of condoms is not doing wonders for my erection, so…”

Ten years ago, not using condoms was restricted to Guys in committed relationships and irresponsible daredevils. Today, we hate condoms more than we fear HIV.

The story of Guy #199 marks the first time I saw the effect of Prep on gay culture, and it made me realize just how much AIDS has evolved over the years.

I met Guy #199 a few years ago at this orgy. I had heard about Prep and how gays were going bareback because of it. At the time my attitude toward Prep was hesitant at best. Having lived through the 1980s, I was very much conditioned to view barebacking as reckless. For all its downgrades over the years, HIV and AIDS were still scary.

Not so much to Guy #199.

I was lying on a mattress, comfortably riding out my wave of XTC, GHB, ketamine, cocaine and weed, when Guy #199, clearly as high as I was, lay down next to me and started touching me up. I wasn’t that much in the mood for a Guy, but Guy #199 was good looking, not something I’d turn down easily.

Passive as a captured bird I granted Guy #199 an attempt to bring me to life. It worked, right up to the moment he wanted to sit on me.
I stopped him, a little taken aback by the fact he didn’t want me to put on a condom. That, to me, was a first.

It’s not that I never had any unprotected sex before, but it had always been a somewhat careful albeit misguided consideration. And without exception, I had always come to regret it.

Most gay Guys will know what it’s like to give in to temptation, only to frantically check for signs of acute HIV infection the weeks after. Every time I barebacked a Guy, the slightest hint of a fever, sore throat or malaise would send my thoughts into overdrive, and I would vow to never take risks like that again.

Only to end up taking the very same risk after my next HIV test came back negative.

I honestly can’t remember how many times I’ve checked Wikipedia’s signs and symptoms of acute HIV infection, desperately trying to find any that ruled out HIV as the reason for my runny nose, headache or mysterious itch.

So when Guy #199 wanted to ride me without having the obligatory chat about how clean we both were, it struck me as too impulsive. He didn’t even ask if, in terms of diseases, my johnson was magic or tragic.

“Don’t you want to use a condom?” I asked.
“I’m on Prep, so…” Guy #199 rebuffed.

Guy #199 could tell I wasn’t comfortable going bareback with a stranger, so he gave me a condom and we partied like it was 1999. No doubt the party would have been better without the rubber, but being unfamiliar with Prep I anticipated another Wikipedia session I wanted to avoid.

Having sex with Guy #199 wasn’t bad, but I couldn’t shake the thought of how blithely this Guy barebacked his way through life.
It’s a thought that prevented me from starting Prep for quite some time.

Until more and more Guys around me started doing it. In the last few years I came to realize Guy #199 was not an exception but rather a first Mohican in a generation of gays to whom barebacking is back on the menu.

From the early 80s to the mid 10s, a period I commonly refer to as all my life, condom use was the nigh undebatable standard.

Then Prep came, along with HIV positive Guys with an undetectable viral load, and with it HIV gradually stopped being scary.

In August of 2018, I caved: I started taking Prep, blessed to live in a country where the stuff is accessible and affordable.

A few weeks ago, I ran into Guy #328. He was gorgeous and he wanted to do me.

“Do you want to use a condom?” he asked.
To which I said: “I’m on Prep, so…”

I’ve been checking Wikipedia’s signs and symptoms of chlamydia ever since.


Guy #170 – Oprah on a bad day…

I don’t like fat.

It’s why I prefer walking over public transportation, why I have a gym membership I don’t use as often as I feel I should and why I have to digest guilt each time I eat ice cream.

So when I meet a Guy and find myself confronted with the decision whether or not to have sex with him, the amount of fat this Guy carries is a very determining factor in my decision making process.

Which doesn’t mean fat Guys don’t stand a chance. They simply need to put in a little extra effort.

Fatwise, Guy #170 was like Oprah on a bad day. Like Oprah, he didn’t make an effort to hide his lack of abs. Instead, he initiated a conversation about his body and freely acknowledged it wasn’t the best thing he had going for him. Like Oprah, he too talked about things he was doing to shape up, one of which included a diet that consisted of less than 1000 calories a day.

I don’t like fat, but that doesn’t make me heartless. Although I was well aware Guy #170 was playing on my empathy to find him attractive, I couldn’t deny his tactic was working. The more he spoke about his struggle to lose weight, the more I saw in him the Guy he could be if he stayed in Oprah-mode long enough.

Personally, I’m not very smooth when it comes to hitting on people. I more or less have my looks to offer. Beyond that, I lack the ability the steer a conversation in the direction of sex. I simply have no idea how to talk people into sexual contact. The art of seduction, reading people, playing into their weak spots, figuring out what makes them tick. I lack those skills. For me, hitting on a Guy is simply a matter of going in and hoping for the best, an on and off successful strategy I intend to keep using as long as I don’t have any fat forcing me to make a real effort.

Guy #170 however was smooth to the bone. He knew that if he wanted to have sex with me, he would have to work me. At some point in time he must have figured empathy was to be his weapon of choice. Instead of hiding his fat, he made it the center of his campaign.

In addition to infecting me with his highly contagious Oprah positivity, Guy #170 was also assertive. His intentions of wanting to have sex with me were clear well before he opened up about his diet, as he repeatedly touched me in places fat people usually don’t get to touch me.

Even though I remained hesitant throughout the sex, it was far from unpleasurable. Guy #170 knew what to do and was good at what he did, a combination that made up for most if not all of his fat.

Thank you,” I said after we were done.

You’re a dumbass,” Guy #170 laughed as he gently slapped my face. He implanted the idea that maybe I tend to be too much of a kiss ass toward people who give great blowjobs.

Seconds after I extended my gratitude Guy #170 walked off, though we would later meet up again and talk some more.
I still run into him occasionally and when I do it’s always nice to see each other again. Sex however will never again materialize between the two of us. Every time I see him I can’t help but feel I was tricked, even though I liked it enough to say thank you.




Guy #102 – In sickness and in health…

Throughout my sex with Guys #1 through #101 there was always a moment, however brief, in which I wondered what my mother would think of the Guy I chose to have sex with. I knew she would never judge me for my sometimes pedestrian tastes, but I often pondered the idea of bringing home someone who could be part of my family. I always assumed there would come a day I’d settle down and go on Grindr to find someone to join me on family weekends.

Then came the day my mother got diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the absolute cunt of cancers in terms of survivability.

Having sickness in your life affects your sex life.

Maybe it’s my inner Rain Man, but I couldn’t help but objectify the human body a little, even the ones I had sex with. Sex is the human body celebrating its existence. Sickness reminds us it’s just a carcass in the making.

Guy #102 was one of the most beautiful Guys I’ve ever been with. Both his body and face were human nature at its best. We met on two occasions. The first time we had a few drinks and strolled around the city, talking and getting to know each other. The second time we met at his place and had two rounds of sex in just under 45 minutes. When I hit him up online to invite myself over for a third date, he politely held it off, quickly ending our relationship with the words we’ll see.

The strange thing was I tried to score a third date out of politeness rather than desire. Despite his raging gorgeousness I didn’t really feel like seeing Guy #102 another time. It was a bit confusing to not be attracted by beauty, though it probably wasn’t beauty I had issues with. It was health.

I dated Guy #102 around the time my mother’s hair started falling out. Having never experienced sickness at close range it was difficult to shed my mind of it, even when I was celebrating life with Guy #102. Not counting a common mono infection, health had always been a given for me. Not once did a body I have sex with remind me of sickness and while Guy #102 was about as perfect as bodies come, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how the human body can turn against itself sometimes.

The fact our first date consisted of nothing but talking suggested Guy #102 was interested in me. I even told him about my mother’s recent diagnosis, to which he responded empathetically. On our second date it became apparent Guy #102 didn’t want total strangers in his house, our first date being his means to check if I was mentally stable enough for an actual sex date.

As I was putting my clothes back on toward the end of our second date, Guy #102 told me to hurry. He mentioned something about a landlord coming home any minute.
“Sorry for rushing you like this,” he said.
“That’s okay. I have to go home anyway because of my mother.”
While it was true I was expected for dinner that evening, I wasn’t exactly in a hurry. I merely mentioned my mother to gauge Guy #102’s reaction. By the look on his face he thought it was strange someone my age had to report to his mother somehow. He had clearly forgotten about her illness. I didn’t mind. Guy #102 wanted me horizontal. The fact he got me horizontal twice had probably been a compliment of sorts. He simply wasn’t interested in my back story. Besides, who wants to talk about sickness when you just celebrated the human body, twice?

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Perhaps me bringing up the topic of mothers while there were still condoms on the floor was the reason I didn’t get invited for a third date.

 


 

Relationship summary:

LENGTH: 3 weeks
FORMAT: Background check followed up by standard sex date
SEX SCORE (0 = Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch <–> 10 = The best sex ever): 8.5

Guy #49 – Knocking on heaven’s door…

 

 


 

In October of 2009 I landed a job that required me to spend a few months in Madison, Wisconsin. I was given a car, a hotel room, a laptop and a salary. In return I had to spend my days in a classroom getting a basic feel for the software my employer developed.

I did get a basic understanding of how computers work.

I also got gonorrhea.

If you give a predatory gay guy a hotel room, a laptop, a car and money, he will thrive like Donald Trump at a KKK rally. Getting dates in Wisconsin is easy when you have a car, money and a hotel room at your disposal.

www.gayromeo.com, www.adam4adam.com, www.manhunt.net, www.gaydar.com, www.craigslist.com, www.dudesnude.com and Facebook were but a few of the online places where one could get gonorrhea in 2009. Like I said, I had gotten a basic understanding of how computers work.

Guy #49 was as lovely as he was hot. Of all the Guys I had browsed in the Madison area he was by far the cutest, so I hooked up with him first. We had a great evening in my hotel room. He even spent the night with me. I love falling asleep in someone’s arms, even if they belong to a stranger.

When this stranger called me a week later I was thrilled, expecting an invitation for a second date. Why else would someone call me after spending the night with me?
“I’ve been having this weird painful feeling in my ass for a few days,” Guy #49 told me over the phone. It struck me as an odd choice of words to initiate a second date. He continued by saying he had seen a doctor and that he had been diagnosed with gonorrhea.

I had never disobeyed the rules of safe sex, but I guess I did bend them on a few occasions, such as that time with Guy #49. Gays often don’t use a condom when they knock on heaven’s door.

At the advice of Guy #49 I made a doctor’s appointment.
However, before I even made it to a doctor peeing became as frequent as it became hurtful and my penis started secreting slimy stuff as if it was auditioning for a role in Ghostbusters.

I’m all for gay pride, but I didn’t feel much of it when I pulled down my pants in front of my doctor and a nurse.
Two days after that glorious moment I called Guy #49.
“So I tested positive for gonorrhea too,” I said.
“Well, I’m glad we both know now.”
What followed was a conversation in which we both stated it didn’t matter who had given gonorrhea to whom, even though we both thought we had gotten it from each other.

Guy #49 made me realize how lucky I am not to have been born 20 years earlier, when AIDS consumed a generation, or 20 years later, when antibiotics may no longer be effective as they have been for me. 20 years earlier and I might not have lived past the 1980s. 20 years later and I would have spent a lifetime peeing in agony.

These days a lot of gay guys do more than just knocking on heaven’s door without a condom. Nearly everybody claims to practice nothing but safe sex, yet whenever you get down to it you’ll find that a shockingly large number of people are willing to make an ‘exception’ for you. I don’t think safe sex is the standard anymore.

Sometimes I wonder if there will be another generation of gay guys traumatized by a disease they alone appear to be vulnerable for. Knocking on heaven’s door might not be that much of a metaphor ten years from now.

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Guy #49 and I never had a second date. Gonorrhea is simply more disgusting than casual sex is pleasurable. Seriously, I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone to be grossed out by their own penis.

It took me one pill to shed the disease from me. Regardless, I felt shame being part of a statistic, a certain group of people that gets an STD. I even felt shame toward my employer. It’s not that I ever told my boss about my Ghostbusters audition, but I did feel bad getting gonorrhea at his expense.

Also, I had to refrain from having sex for a while. Suddenly the hotel room, the car, the laptop and the money had lost their value.

I did learn a lot more about how computers work though.

 


 

Relationship summary:

LENGTH: 8 hours, followed by two awkward phone conversations
FORMAT: Intimate sleepover
SEX SCORE (0 = Gonorrhea <–> 10 = The best sex ever): 8.7