Learning To Fuck With Poz Guys
Part 4 In A Series On PrEP By PositiveFrontiers.com
Jake Sobo
11/8/2012

A few months before I started taking Truvada for PrEP, I got hit up on Manhunt by a gorgeous HIV-positive guy who wanted to fuck me bare. He was frank about it, telling me that his viral load was undetectable and had been for years and that he wouldn’t cum inside me. In all honesty, I blanched at his frankness.

For years, I had been telling friends (and anyone else who would listen) that choosing to only have sex with guys who think they’re HIV-negative wasn’t really an effective prevention strategy for guys in areas of the country like mine. Where I live, there are plenty of guys who think they’re negative who are actually positive because they haven’t been tested in eons. Transmission is mostly likely going to occur with these guys – not with guys who know they’re HIV-positive.

That may seem confusing at first, but the science behind it is straightforward. When you’re diagnosed as HIV-positive today, most doctors immediately recommend you start taking medication to treat the virus. HIV treatment can fight the virus so effectively that it makes the virus “undetectable” in your system. If the virus is undetectable in your body (and you don't have any other STIs), it’s virtually impossible for you to transmit the virus. Guys who don’t yet know they’re infected aren’t taking these drugs. Without treatment, there could be tens of thousands or even millions of those tiny little critters in just one milliliter of blood. Having that much virus in your system dramatically increases the odds that the virus will be transmitted during sex.

This isn’t just my “opinion”: a recent study estimated that the majority of new HIV-infections in the US are the result of having sex with someone who didn’t yet know that they were poz. The CDC estimates 20% of HIV-positive people in the US don’t know they’re infected – yet it’s this 20% that researchers estimate account for between 54% and 71% of new infections.

The hard-to-swallow truth is that, for guys with a lot of partners (like me), fucking poz guys with undetectable viral loads is actually safer than fucking raw with guys who think they’re negative.

All right, so I’ve known these numbers for years – and yet I was still having trouble wrapping my head around the idea of condomless sex with an HIV-positive guy. I had been trained my entire life to think of that as anathema, akin to reckless self-endangerment. The kind of thing only a crazy person would do. I knew the science had totally debunked that kind of stigmatizing fear-mongering, and yet here I was, faced with an enticing proposition from an HIV-positive guy and feeling downright anxious. It was then and there I decided that it was time I put my money where my mouth was; it was time for the rubber to hit the road.

Unfortunately, the guy ended up being a creep, so I didn’t get to test my metal. It wasn’t until I started taking PrEP (about two months ago) that I started to seriously think about what it would mean to fuck with poz guys. Because I liked to fuck raw, I had pretty much organized my sex life around the rubric of “serosorting” (or, only fucking other guys with the same HIV-status) – but I knew that this system was flawed and bound to fail. With PrEP at my side, I started to incorporate poz guys into my sexual community. I started messaging them online. I joined BarebackRT, where the bulk of guys are poz. I began to open myself up to the possibility of sex across the sero-divide.

As it turns out, seeking out sex with poz guys raised a new set of issues that I didn’t anticipate. First, just as I had spent years telling myself that I wasn’t supposed to be fucking poz guys, many poz guys are simply not interested or willing to have sex with HIV-negative guys. Why concern themselves with my limits, when they can find sex with poz guys who don’t have to worry about transmission?

But more importantly for me, I had to learn exactly what my limits were. This is more of an ad hoc process than I anticipated. Do I let poz guys cum inside me? And what about poz guys whose viral loads aren’t detectable? I learned my answer to both of these questions recently, but not until my legs were already in the air. Before having sex with the first poz guy I let fuck me raw, I had a lengthy discussion about viral loads and safety. He reassured me that his partner of eight years was negative, and that “I know how to keep my bottoms safe.” It was, in fact, reassuring. As he was about to cum, though, I was faced with a dilemma. I love for guys to cum in my ass, but I could feel the nerves running through me that told me I wasn’t so sure I was up to it. He asked where I wanted him to cum, and I told him to cum on my back. You gotta take your harm reduction where you can find it, I suppose.

More recently, I was having sex with a poz guy and he started rubbing his dick against my hole. It felt fantastic, and I wanted him inside me. But we hadn’t discussed viral load and I knew that he had only been diagnosed two or three months before. I asked him, dick-pressing-against-my-hole, “So what’s your viral load?” He looked conflicted, shyly confessing that he couldn’t remember. I kissed him. “But I guess it was something, then, and not undetectable?” “I guess so,” he replied. I told him I would be down to fuck, but only with condoms.

I couldn’t believe the words were escaping my mouth. Condoms!? I was suggesting condoms? But as I came to realize later that day, our encounter may well have been his first time with a negative guy since he was diagnosed. We were both learning, it turned out.

I’ve heard from guys who’ve emailed me to say that PrEP has helped give them a certain peace of mind, but what has been remarkable is the variety of ways that guys report PrEP pushing their boundaries. Let’s face it: PrEP won’t magically turn a guy who’s deathly afraid of swallowing cum into a barebacking, cumguzzling trick-turner. Wherever your boundaries are now in regards to HIV, PrEP is likely to push at them – but how far, and to what end, is entirely dependent on where you begin your journey.

For me, PrEP allowed me to start incorporating poz guys into my sex life, when they had for so long been absent. I am deeply grateful for that. I have long believed that excluding them was wrong and more likely to be informed by stigma than science, but I didn’t have the guts to change my ways. PrEP changed that.

Of course, some guys out there may think PrEP and undetectable viral loads are redundant – that PrEP is really there to protect you with guys whose viral loads aren’t undetectable. Scientifically, that’s almost certainly a sound statement. But our sex lives aren’t a perfect science. They’re driven by gut, emotion, and pleasure – the kinds of things for which science can’t account.

Learning sex takes practice. There’s no manual. There’s no “right” way. We figure it out as we fuck.

So here’s to practicing! As always, send a note with your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you! mylifeonprep@gmail.com

 

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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  • 17
  1. Charlie posted on 11/09/2012 11:44 AM
    This article is brilliant. Not because of the excellent insights, or because it breaks the pattern of the patronising 'understanding' of the HIV poz person, but simply because it is one individual who is taking responsibility for himself. The continuing process of evaluating risk without prejudice, and modifying behaviour accordingly is one we should all aspire to.

    I am an HIV poz guy, and welcome the intelligence shown by this writer.
    1. Jack B posted on 11/09/2012 12:51 PM
      @Charlie Hear, hear.

      HIV positive as well, and the above poster says it perfectly.
    2. Mourad in Paris posted on 11/09/2012 05:16 PM
      @Charlie bonsoir from Paris , how are you doing?
      i am a HIV neg and would like to know someone poz, for friendship
  2. Jeremy Kwan posted on 11/09/2012 07:52 PM
    Hello there.. thanks for your sharing as this is really an interesting article in regards to taking PrEP as part of HIV prevention life style in USA. As in Malaysia, PrEP is not available to the general public as request and they are quite costly at private medical institution. Moreover, there is also the side effects that people is likely to succumb to take esp in a long period.. but this is quite an insight on HIV prevention among MSM negative guys like myself here in Malaysia as we can never be too sure about our sexual partners, where most of them will not talk about this or event falsely divulge their status to be negative. In Malaysia, the MSM community is pretty much under ground except for certain no of the population is out and about, but still discussion about their status is still out of the question.
  3. Anti-Intellect posted on 11/20/2012 01:34 PM
    I have been trying to tell people this for ages! The current problem with HIV isn't that the virus is being transmitted, but rather that some people being infected are not being tested/treated which could curb further transmission. I have long abandoned the condom-heavy, raw sex shaming, campaigns of many "outreach" organizations. I am not here to police or judge anyone's sexual activities. If you like raw sex? Get tested regularly, get treated, and carry on. If you like condom sex? Keep that up, and get tested regularly. I am often asked by guys on sites like Jack'd or A4A if I "into raw". I reply honestly by stating that it depends, and that depend usually depends on if they admit that they are poz (most are) and that they are on their medicine. I think this conversation is one that we are going to have to take in the years and decades to come. We have made great strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS and mentalities need to change. A HIV+ guy on his meds is safer than a guy who thinks he is HIV negative and isn't on his meds. I have no qualms about fucking a positive guy, and I would even fuck him raw. Great essay! Thanks for sharing.
  4. Steven posted on 11/30/2012 07:48 AM
    Is this guy serious? Testing his "metal"?? Why would anyone want to test it from someone who is already HIV+? Believing that one's sexual partner is negative while that person is positive without proof and that they "know how to take care of their bottoms" is just ludicrous. And what if this guy did become positive, would he blame it on the drug to be not affective or blame it on himself?
    1. Jake Sobo posted on 11/30/2012 12:48 PM
      @Steven Hey Steven

      Thanks for your comment. I wonder if you read the main point of the article, however, which was that serosorting and fucking only negative guys is actually more risky than fucking undetectable poz guys?

      If I became positive, I would take responsibility for that outcome. I've already talked about that elsewhere.

      Jake
  5. Rob posted on 11/30/2012 03:05 PM
    So the Swiss report has received alot of rebound remarks, including many that state it is misleading. It is also just one report/opinion AND it is clear in the report that it is for male/female couples who are 'stable (read: monogomous) with no risks for outside STIs. When gay men or 'nonstable' couples of any type extrapolate this to themselves (read:lots of sexual partners) it can lead to erroneous conclusions.

    I am well aware of the studies that show seminal levels of infectious HIV are related to serum levels of HIV so the assumption that an 'undetectable' blood result means no HIV in semen is probably ok - at the time of that test. But there are also studies that show break through serum viremia for no known reason (e.g. even when the patient is compliant with meds) and thus theoretically infectious levels of HIV in semen accompany that. Also, just when was that last 'undetetecable' test done? 6 months ago? 3 months ago?

    So, I agree that IF (and THAT is the question I feel I will never know unless I am feeding the meds to the guy I'm having sex with and doing regular viral load tests with him) all the information that a guy tells you is faithfully true and accurate and he is not motivated by his penis but by his integrity, them go for it... take that load in your hole if you think it meets your standards. But for me, HIV is just one of those things I still do not think of as a 'chronic treatable' disease since the treatments are far from Innocuous as well as costly, and the disease progresses over years and takes a toll on a person through resistance. Just my 2 cents and I am sure others will disagree as well as agree.
    1. Jake Sobo posted on 12/01/2012 10:12 AM
      @Rob Thanks for your comments, Rob!

      As you'll note above, I didn't take that poz load in my hole, actually. I made him cum on my back. So I'm aware of the risks you mention. I believe they are quite low. But I took precautions, mostly because that's what I felt comfortable doing.

      Jake
  6. Ryan posted on 05/30/2013 12:12 AM
    You are really playing with fire here and sadly for a simple preference. Just because someone is undetectable does NOT mean that they are not virulent and that is a serious problem. On top of this, you are not only having sex with men who contain a virus that have killed millions of people, but taking the risk of barebacking and considering him cumming inside of you!? Wow dude I have to admit I am impressed with your need to bust a nut! While you sound like you have it all figured out, HIV is super complex and there is still plenty about it we don't know. With that being said, I'm not comfortable with making the assumptions you do about the virus, especially when such complicated things were probably explained to you in layman's terms. Here are the facts. 1: The virus is lethal and even our best medications today only prolong your life, they do not inhibit the syndrome. 2. Sex with poz men is NOT necessary, and even with the uncontrollable desire, can be done with a condom. 3. Health is something once lost can never return. You must decide what's more important to you: a one night stand or your health. I really hope you are more wise and don't follow the stereotypes our community is bashed for.

    Just some things for you to think about.
    1. Hayden posted on 06/06/2013 10:48 AM
      @Ryan That was quite a lecture you wrote there. I would write something equally long-winded and ranty but as you seem to have entirely missed the whole purpose and points the article was making I shall simply say that the undertones of everything you wrote smack of "HIV positive people are radioactive and should not be touched".

      Fact remains. It IS safer to have sex with someone who is positive and is also medicated as opposed to pot luck with people who normally run on mere assumption or an outdated test. The basic is that your 'negative' status is only as useful as the last time you had sex. Once you fuck someone else (we're assuming without a condom here so you can't be pious) that their HIV status is unknown, no matter how they convince themselves otherwise.
  7. Steve Houldsworth posted on 05/30/2013 04:50 AM
    Thanks for a great article. This is truly the future of HIV Prevention. You are on PrEP, which reduces your risk of acquiring HIV by more than 90% (closer to 100% according to the most recent research presented at CROI this year) AND you understand the implications of undetectable viral load, but, the most important thing is, you are having discussions about these things with all of your sex partners.
  8. electronic cigarette posted on 07/04/2013 05:52 AM
    A few months before I started taking Truvada for PrEP, I got hit up on Manhunt by a gorgeous HIV-positive guy who wanted to fuck me bare.
  9. anon posted on 01/26/2014 07:31 AM
    I have been messing around with a few undetectable guys unprotected for a few years now and I get tested often and still I remain neg.
  10. Chris C posted on 02/11/2014 02:09 AM
    Great article, although it doesn't cover the fact guys will lie about being on meds or their vl whether a discussion is had or not, same as guys will lie about their status on both sides of the fence to engage in bb (please do t think am criticising though!) But it is interesting as I'm someone with a negligible vl, many guys won't have protected sex with me yet will bb with some random they know nothing about, which says something about what the eye doesn't see &!fear,stigma & rejection.
  11. john dickens posted on 02/11/2014 02:10 AM
    All very well, but as far as I'm concerned.... The idea of a guy cumming inside me is fine, but you only have to shit it out again, nothing sexy about that. I'd rather he used a condom and came in my mouth! Also transmission of other STIs is ignored, you would think that HIV is the only show in town. In fact there are problems with drug resistant gonorrhea not to mention syphilis etc, which HIV pos guys don't need. I'd take a slight chance with cum eating, but up my arse....no thanks.
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