Ok, this started out as just an intro to a Facebook post about a really interesting article on PsychologyToday, and somehow turned into an opinion piece. Feel free to ignore my blather, but the article itself is definitely worth a read.
There is an aspect to the discussion of safe sex, HIV prevention, and, now, PreP that never seems to be addressed, but is a huge factor in all of it: desire and pleasure.
We are, generally speaking, still a very uptight society. We’re obsessed with sex, but uncomfortable admitting it, or discussing the dirty details, especially regarding gay sex.
For example, I hate condoms. Condoms suck. They can kill the mood and they’re inconvenient. They reduce sensation for the top, and can be painful for the bottom because lube never sticks to them very well. Other than disease prevention, about all you can say for them is that they can keep your dick clean if the bottom isn’t. Also, for myself and many people I know, cumming into a guy, or vice versa, forms an intimacy and a connection in that moment that’s hard to describe if you haven’t experienced it. Condoms can kill that, too.
If reading that made you squirm a little, writing it made me squirm a little, yet all of it is true.
We’re also uncomfortable around those who aren’t uncomfortable with it, and the words “slut” and “whore” get thrown around a lot.
I’ve stayed strictly out of the PreP conversations because I haven’t formed an opinion on it, informed or otherwise, but I have made an observation: women have been and, in some cases still are, labelled as “sluts” or “whores” for openly stating a desire for birth control. For stating, even indirectly, that they have and want sex, possibly without a condom, possibly outside of a monogamous relationship (the horror!), because condoms suck. The fallout from Sandra Fluke’s testimony is a prime and recent example of this.
Now we have Truvada. I’ve heard and read conflicting information and opinions about its effectiveness, but basically there is now for men an analog to the birth control pill for women: a daily medication to help prevent one of the risks of unprotected sex.
As expected, there are a lot of men who want this, who are stating openly that they have and want sex, possibly without a condom, possibly outside of a monogamous relationship (the horror!), because condoms suck.
And what are many people calling them? “Truvada whores”.
The parallels are pretty clear.
Obviously there’s a difference between HIV and an unwanted pregnancy: one is still a potential death sentence, the other just feels like one.
The point, however, is the Puritanical attitude, squeamishness, and probably jealousy, that leads to the labeling of those who are unafraid to admit they want sex and want it a lot.
As another example, there is a person I know who bluntly and proudly posts about his sexual exploits on social media, and there are a lot of them. To be honest, I initially held him in some contempt for it. I considered him a slut. I considered him a health risk to himself and others, even though he said he refused to bareback. But when I started to analyze that, I realized the problem was me. I was uptight, I was a little squeamish, mostly I was envious, and I was projecting that on him. Fortunately, I also kept my mouth shut about it, because it wasn’t my place to judge.
So, whatever your opinion on Truvada and those who choose to use it, stop with the name calling. Stop trying to shame others for being sexual. We’re all sexual. It’s in our very nature, though some try to deny it. Nothing is preventing you from continuing to use condoms, so stop throwing stones.