Does Taking PrEP Make Me A Whore?
Part 6 In A Series On PrEP By
Jake Sobo

Hooking up online is always a tricky game of disclosure. You’ve got to show enough of your best assets to turn your audience on without coming across as a desperate slut. Nevermind the fact that most of us online are a) somewhat desperate; and, b) by most standards, extremely promiscuous. It’s all about the fantasy.

I’ve always been terrible at pretend play. I hate Halloween. I loathe charades. And in reaction to the ridiculous obsession with being “straight acting” on websites like Adam4Adam and Manhunt, my online profiles cheekily (but accurately) inform readers that I’m “gay acting.” When it comes to chatting online, I favor honesty over fantasy – a fact that costs me sex on a regular basis.

Let’s take a look at a recent example. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was chatting with a 38 year-old guy with the most gorgeous nine-inch cock.  He was handsome, built, and wanted to breed me till the sun came up. I was game, but there was just one problem: my ass was still sore from the night before. I always hate making up lame excuses for not hooking up, so I told him point blank my problem:

Me:     I’d really love to fuck, but to be totally honest, I’m still sore from getting fucked last night.

Him:    Dude, that’s gross. I'm gonna pass. Being first to the party is great, but second... or third... no thanks.

Me:     And I say this with all sincerity: nobody on this site is first to any party. Ever.

Him:    Whatever. Nobody wants to fuck a whore.

I’ve been faced with encounters like this ever since I started hooking up with guys 15 years ago; generally they involve much harsher language. I’ve never been ashamed about my sex life or my desires. For many guys, that’s a deal breaker. Too many guys out there are deeply ashamed of their sex. It’s embarrassing for them. They’d rather pretend that we’re all boys next door who “never hook up” but make an exception or two (or 264) on their road to monogamy.

When I started taking Truvada for PrEP, I thought somehow that it would help me cut through some of the bullshit out there. I could finally have the sex I wanted, without shame or regret. I suppose I was naïve. Two weeks ago, you may have noticed a column over at The Huffington Post by David Duran bemoaning that only “whores” were lining up to take Truvada. “Having a ‘there's a pill for that’ attitude is absolutely disgusting,” Duran complained. Reading his woefully inaccurate piece, I found myself face-to-face with the same kind of shaming and pretend play nonsense that has plagued HIV prevention since the beginning.

Duran’s ostrich-in-the-sand approach to sex is just another version of the sexual shame that led my potential hookup to “pass” on having sex with me. They both want to be first to the party. It’s the very same stigma that leads many gay men to not get tested. To not discuss HIV with their partners. To pretend like only whores get HIV – which, by the way, does not include me, you, or the guy who came in my ass last night. In short, it’s what’s driving plenty of infections.

Truvada can help stem those infections, but dangerously misinformed haters out there like David Duran pop up at every turn to shame gay men into pretending like they don’t need it – that they’re just normal good boys who make exceptions every now and again. Taking Truvada didn’t make me a whore. I was a whore long before I started taking Truvada. Despite all the harmful work that the David Durans of the world do to make me feel dirty and ashamed of the sex that I have, I’m proud to be a whore. Truvada helps keep me negative. It can help keep others negative. Let’s quit the whore-baiting, and start the real work of prevention.

As always, please get in touch with your experiences on PrEP! I’d love to hear from you:


Jake Sobo is a pen name used for anonymity. Jake has worked in the world of HIV prevention for nearly a decade, and is eager to share his experiences taking PrEP. Having closely followed the development of PrEP from early trials to FDA approval, he was excited to give it a shot when it was approved for use among MSM for preventing HIV.He has spent the better part of his adult life having as much sex as possible while trying to avoid contracting HIV, and started taking PrEP as a way to help him stay negative. He is well aware that the drug is not 100% effective and that he could test positive; while he hopes that does not happen, he knows that he can rely on his numerous HIV-positive friends to deal with that situation should he seroconvert.

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  1. david posted on 11/30/2012 11:37 AM
    What about the other STIs too numerous to catalog? I understand your argument about shame and hypocrisy, and celebrate your pagan enthusiasm and rejection of the abiding puritanical impulse that is such a defining characteristic of american culture, but even in an online world, not everyone wants to have as much sex as possible. Some people are sincerely put off by the idea of sex with a "whore" (for momentary lack of a better word) not for any religious or moral reason. Even when we use hook up sites, some people are less casual about it than others because, even with a stranger, some people experience a deeper measure of personal intimacy and hopefulness in fucking than others. Being picky, choosy, whatever you want to call it, doesn't in every instance equate with shame. Your failure to understand that is just as annoying as the judgement of that guy referring to you as a whore.

    But back to my original question? While your focus is on HIV transmission. Aren't condoms an effective way to reduce likelihood of transmission of other STIs? For a lot of people who use condoms, HIV is the least of their concerns. I stopped sucking dick or getting sucked by total strangers way back in the day after one too many cases of throat clap. And I've got an intergenerational group of friends now in the big gay city I live in who have experienced the joys of pharyngeal gonorrhea and chlamydia from cock sucking.

    There is no free lunch.The simple truth is that sex is at the base of our desires, but desire is really complex. Satisfying desire is both healthful and dangerous (not just because of disease risk, maybe least of all because of disease risk, depending how you feel about Freud).

    And this is not just about gay people. Take a look at the statistics in some states on STI transmission among adolescents. In some communities its unfucking real, the numbers. Do we really want to be encouraging people to have lots of sex with multiple partners without condoms because now there is a pill that will keep you from getting one of the infectious diseases that is transmitted sexually?

    Keep it up (so to speak). Straightforward sex talk is the anecdote to ignorance and stupidity. Oh and by the way, if that magnum felt like a trashbag, you may consider either (1) they are meant for genuinely big digs and (2) there are condoms for big dicks that are quite thin,not trash baggy at all.

    Happy Holidays!
    1. Jake Sobo posted on 11/30/2012 12:55 PM
      @david Thanks for your comments, David!

      I appreciate your thoughts. But I think you miss the point -- most HIV-negative gay men I know are already fucking without condoms. They don't identify as "barebackers." Their profiles say "Safer only." But they almost never use a condom. Sure, some guys still fuck with condoms. But lots of us have already made the decision to fuck bare. As someone in that situation, PrEP was a good option for me. I talked about this in my first column. Do check it out.

  2. Adam posted on 12/26/2012 01:31 PM
    Totally, ridiculously irresponsible journalism here. These articles and others that I'm seeing published are on the exact path that everyone was afraid of when this stuff first came out. PrEP isn't "better than condoms" and gay men aren't regularly barebacking strangers. Not by a long shot, no matter how you try to spin it. Not even the drug companies are daring to insinuate this stuff. This entire article should be removed.
  3. Home Loan SA posted on 04/29/2013 05:12 PM
    I am preparing my assignment paper and gathering information on this topic. Your post is one of the better that I have read. Thank you for putting this information into one place.
    1. Electric Shaver Spares posted on 04/29/2013 11:45 PM
      @Home Loan SA Sometimes it is so hard to find good and useful posts out there when doing research. Now I will send it to my colleagues as well. Thank you for being one of them.
  4. Simon posted on 01/02/2014 05:48 PM
    Let he who is without guilt cast the first stone on this issue - yet of course plenty of the guilty (esp lapsers) do cast stones and try to censor and silence sensible discussion of such issues
  5. sonadesjackson posted on 09/24/2014 11:36 PM
    Extravagant merely shows that something costs a lot, but there is justified reason for the price. Overpriced means that something simply carries a cost that is vastly in excess of the materials cost + promoting costs + development bills + manufacturing cost + syndication costs + fair make money. Costly watches and overpriced watches are incredibly common. And unfortunately overpriced kinds are too common. At the same time frame, you need to consider, "if a brand asks some overpriced amount for a watch, but is still in the position to sell them fake cartier, can you still regard the watch to be overpriced? " The answer is actually yes, but you still wish the watch, don't you? I will now do not delay- list many (but is not all) of the complexities that watches are actually so expensive. These are both in defense of your industry, and expositive issues which are less glamorous regarding the luxury industry. The first thing that watch is really obvious, is the visual deep of carbon fiber that comprises the eye. As someone who has a great love for and also carbon fiber fake tag heuer, and who has items comprised wholly from using it, I can say it's the absolute best that Concerning seen on a watch and 'moves' considering the light, as good carbon fibers should. Second of all, the pushers of the actual chronograph feel unique of your average pushers. When ever first depressed, it gives the characteristic 'click' you expect when starting any function, however, each additional push on the same pusher does not even. The motion is smooth and silent so that the chronograph is stopped together with reset fake cartier watches, then watch clicks yet again.
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