Health4Men’s Ukwazana project held a sports day with a difference in Khayelitsha last Saturday. In an effort to eradicate stigma and discrimination against homosexuals, Health4Men hosted sports matches where gay, straight and bisexual people teamed up to play netball, soccer and volleyball.
There is this gay sex on demand app. For now, let’s just call it G-Findr. Maybe you’ve heard of it?
I used to go on it from time to time when I was feeling horny, bored or in need of some affirmation to feed my flaccid ego.
Down the rabbit hole of facepics, peeping pectorals and blank squares I’d go, usually ending up with a picture of a sad and lonely cock…
As I would take a scroll down the garden path of torso’s and nom de plumes, I would sometimes treat myself to a bio or two: The memoirs of a lonely penis – A hard sell!
I would chat to all these guys:
The anti fats and fems.
The self-fellating egos.
The dudes and prudes
The ‘clean’ pigs.
The ones fluent in advanced emoji.
And the ‘just got back from gym’ bro’s. Deemed magnificent enough to lick their beauteous bicep, it’s much like licking a deodorant flavored candy wrapper.
Which leaves you wondering…where have all the good men gone?
I’d feast here, at the ‘top’ of the G-Findr food chain, but totally ignore the ‘bottom’ ranking sluts on PrEP, the ones stating their HIV status and the blank squares.
Surely, I would have nothing in common with someone who is HIV-positive?
I could excuse myself from my stupidity; by claiming I didn’t know any better…
But it is inexcusable in this day and age, where sex is more available than KFC that we don’t educate ourselves about the ‘monsters’ trying to claw their way into our beds, or wherever you choose to fuck…
So where have the cool, well informed, educated men gone?
Turns out they where there all along, out and open, but fallen in-between the cracks in my judgment. The real men.
The guys that have enough foresight to know that being on PrEP is a great idea –
It takes immense human insight and maturity to know that we all screw up sometimes, that our judgment is often flawed and that we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves…
In fact, studies have shown that most gays, whether they like to admit it or not, don’t have sex with a condom consistently…
As for the real men stating their HIV status: This isn’t like some weird jungle creature, flashing its bright colors at you to warn you of its poisonous nature; it is in fact telling you that the person has taken ownership of their status. Their status no longer defines them. The fact that they so fearlessly state it, should calm your anxieties, because it means you can take the necessary precautions, let loose, and have the safest, most enjoyable sex of your life, once you can get over the messed-up notion that HIV is ‘unclean’.
I’d sleep with men I knew practically nothing about, but the ones that where open and honest about their status, I just ignored?
How did I become such an expert on real men? I fell in love with one.
I didn’t know he was HIV+ when I stalked him on Facebook. I didn’t know his status when I mustered up the courage to send him a message. I didn’t know when I went on a date with this beautiful, radiant, interesting man. I didn’t know when we first kissed… and when he told me it didn’t matter…Suddenly HIV had a face – a kind, loving, beautiful face.
I would find a way to make it work. I’d give up a normal sex life. I’d wear 2 condoms if I had to. I’d give up sex completely! I felt like Mother Theresa navigating my way through the dangers of his apartment, fearing toothbrushes, towels and bath soap.
I’d face these weapons of mass destruction for the man I loved.
It is within this uncertainty and danger that the hero (me) turned somewhere he turned for all his sexual questions and delights… the Internet.
Soon the ‘hero’ learnt that he was no hero at all, but just a deeply confused individual in need of a wake-up call. I wasn’t doing anyone any favors. I was no hero.
Now allow me to rock your bed a little bit. Did you know that it is safer to have unprotected sex with a person who is HIV + and adherent to their ARV’s to the point of being undetectable than it is to have unprotected sex with a stranger?
Having sex with a person who is HIV+ does not equal a funeral with 2 people in attendance, because the rest of the world has disowned you. They’re cum is not some lethal cocktail of sperm and arsenic, actually given some pineapple it can be quite delicious and, some say, even great for your skin.
It all comes down to whether your partner is open, honest and adherent to their meds. That’s it! Simple. I didn’t have to sacrifice a normal sex life. The sex is as raunchy, intense and loving as we want it to be, without any major compromises. I don’t have to exit the room when my partner shoots his load. I don’t have to shield my eyes in case it gets in my eyes (It burns like crazy, just like ‘normal’ cum). I don’t have to scrub myself in the shower if my partner blows his load on my bum cheek…
If your partner happens to be detectable, there are other precautions that put you at no risk whatsoever. Just visit the Health4Men website and educate yourself about seropositioning, combination prevention, treatment as prevention, PrEP, serosorting and condoms. Combining any one of these can give you maximum protection.
Respect those that are open about their status and choices and rather be weary of those who don’t know their status and don’t take responsibility for their health.
The ones that are open and that take responsibility are the true heroes. These people live regular, healthy lives. The only difference is they have to pop a pill every day. These are the real men. I salute you.
Eric Vetter is a contributing writer for Anova Health Institute. These are his views, which may or may not reflect those of Anova and its affiliates.