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I’ve always had an experimental approach to sex (to put it politely) but I feel like I’ve missed approaching fifteen years of sex life…

A change from history this time… I’m talking about today, but need to backtrack for a couple of paragraphs. When I first started on protease inhibitors, the side effect that many doctors denied existed was that 800mg of ritonavir was the equivalent of chemical castration. Jake Deckhard (sigh) could have walked into the room and I’d just enquire if he wanted sugar in his tea. I was just recovering from this when my partner got sick. I nursed him for four years until he died and then decided no life changing decisions and no men for two years or until I’d got my head round surviving him when we always thought I’d go first.

When I decided to put myself out there again I wasn’t in the best of locations: North Powys midway between Welshpool and Machynlleth, but every now and then I’d have a bit of a fumble with someone from Gaydar and never see them again, with one exception. Then dammit, one of my drugs bit me on the ass and by the time I moved to Neath, where I now live, I was sick and getting sicker –at one point I thought a litre of fruit juice and a small yogurt per day was an adequate diet. Naturally I lost all the weight I’d built up exercising and went from twelve stone to under nine. Obviously I recovered from that and have regained the weight, and although you can see the ghost of the shape I was in beforehand, I’m pretty out of shape.

These days I’m feeling horny as hell. I’ve always had an experimental approach to sex (to put it politely) but I feel like I’ve missed approaching fifteen years of sex life: John and I had a playroom in our council flat and had monthly play parties before the laws on public sex changed. Most of the “rules” of sex seem to have changed in my absence from the sling. And worse: most of the leather gear has either gone missing or has got mildewed in storage. I feel almost like I’m coming out all over again…

Suddenly I’m pretty much the age of the guys I used to chase after in the nineties and I’ve got guys half my age asking if I’ll be their “Daddy”. I had one of them visit the other day for a drink and chat about whether it could work sexually. He’d stalked me across two websites and finally caught me unawares on another site, so ten out of ten for persistence. His photos showed a certain level of kink which I think we could build on. If he doesn’t bottle it I think we could have some fun. Well, I could: it depends on how strict a Daddy he’s looking for and I admit that I can be a bastard.

Guys my age, or even within fifteen years of my age, seem to be harder to find – though if Band of Bears are reading this, guys, I’m yours – do what you want! All my online profiles mention, in one form or another, my HIV status: I think of it as a twit filter: those who can’t cope with HIV don’t make contact. I’m there looking to have some fun,  that said I’ve made some good friends online. Trouble is the guys with my sort of kink profile are always a fair distance away. Of course, I’ll compromise: after all, isn’t life a series of negotiated compromises (unless you’re stinking rich, of course)?

Then when I find someone right we run into the condom problem. (Heresy alert!) I don’t like them. There’s plenty of other things besides fucking but never say never. So I prefer to “serosort” and have sex with guys who’re also HIV+ and save the rubber trees. Hell, even before I finally decided I’d had it with condoms I preferred other positive guys simply because a condom failure didn’t mean such a panic. I’m fine about being a “Daddy” but I don’t want to be anyone’s “pozdaddy”. That’s why I’m so keen on test and treat and TasP (treatment as protection).

For thirty years safer sex has depended on a booklet published in 1983. That booklet has been used to say “thou shalt not” far too often. And the truth is that there’s a subculture of gay men, and you’ll have figured I’m one of them, who enjoy really pigging out. Gay sex has always been transgressive and HIV made it even more so. To be fair “How to Have Sex in an Epidemic” was ground-breaking and the right advice for the time. More recently THT’s advice was that if you were diagnosed positive you should stop work before you needed to, cash in your pension, and enjoy life before the inevitable decline and sickness. Again it was the right advice for the time.

We need to look at how we minimise the spread of HIV in 2013 not 1983. There are about 25,000 people out there in the UK with undiagnosed HIV. We need to get them at least tested so they know and can start treatment (where indicated and if they want it (very few don’t)). The longer they go undiagnosed the worse their prognosis. My last husband was diagnosed late: the memories of nursing him at home are still very raw and vivid even six years later. Yet I have the sense of him agreeing with me on this.

I found what looks to be a brilliant toy which the sellers are calling Hump Gear. Essentially it’s a hollow silicone buttplug. Because it’s silicone any lube’ll do, though they’re careful to say it isn’t a substitute for a condom you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll be used in place of one. I haven’t had the opportunity of testing it out but from what I’ve heard say about it, it fits nicely in the ass and is flexible enough to conform to the individual shape of your ass and when the top works his magic, it flexes and changes shape to give an extra feeling of fullness while giving the top the feeling that he’s right inside as the silicone is a good heat conductor. Basically, as far as I can see they’ve worked to imitate the bareback experience. It’s easily cleanable too. I want one (or more!), but credit card said only one.

Not perfect as a condom, then, but a substantial reduction of risk. If I were running a safer sex campaign I’d jump on this product.

Steve

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