The Bottom Whisperer: Love You To Life
I had some really great questions this week so let’s cut the foreplay and get down and dirty…
Dear Bottom Whisperer,
I am a 24-year-old gay man living in San Francisco. I met a great guy about 3 months ago and we began seeing each other. We had the chat recently and decided to be exclusive. We have used condoms during sex every time we have been together so far. I am wondering at what point is it cool to start having unprotected sex? Should we wait a bit longer or is this something that we should start doing now that we are exclusive?
Boggled About Reasonable Expectations
Thanks for the great question. For me personally, there is never an appropriate time for condom-less sex. But this is a personal decision and one that is based on my experience with friends and acquaintances who have contracted STIs while in “committed”, “monogamous” relationships. All it takes is one slip up for something like this to happen.
I am not trying to scare you here or discourage you from ever taking that step with someone you commit to and are in a strong relationship. I am simply stating that your health and well-being is your own responsibility. Not your partner’s, not the guy you are dating, not your hairdresser, not the postman. Yours and yours alone.
Now that I have all of that off my chest and am done shaking my finger, I will tell you that if you have a serious chat about taking your relationship to this level, you must go get a full screening for STIs together. There are a lot of things that can be hanging around which can become problematic with unprotected sex. I would advise you to get tested together then continue to use protection for another four to six months, at which point you are tested again and are 100% certain you are free of STI infection. Your doctor can talk to you more about what that timetable looks like.
Personally, I think safe sex is hot sex. I don’t understand the unhealthy fascination with unprotected sex in the gay community. Condom use has its perks. In addition to saving lives and protecting people from sexually transmitted infections, it can also help people who tend to come to orgasm quicker than they like. It also can prevent bacterial infections as a result of everything in the rectum not being totally spic and span.
My aversion to unprotected sex has resulted in some heated discussions with other people. I have been accosted and told that this is indicative of trust issues. In reality, I am close personally with 3 guys who have contracted HIV from partners while they were supposedly monogamous, all of whom are now single. I bet they would tell you that if they had it to do over again they would have taken more accountability for their personal health.
Thanks for the great question and best of luck coming to a decision on this very complex issue. Hopefully my advice has at least challenged you to give this more thought before making a decision.
Oh Mighty Bottom Whisperer,
Please help a girl out with some serious dating issues. I have been seeing a girl off and on for about 4 years now. We were each other’s first serious girlfriends in college. To say that we were crazy in love is an understatement. Unfortunately the crazy was around a little too much. When we fought my girlfriend would flip out and go nuts. She would take my keys or cellphone sometimes. There were a couple times she came home drunk and wanted to fight, I usually didn’t humor her or would lock myself in my bedroom and tell her to go home and sober up.
We broke up probably half a dozen times now. She and I just can’t seem to stay apart. She would go out and get hammered and then let herself into my place with the spare key and I’d wake up to her on the couch in the morning. I care about her very much but I feel like we both need to move on with our lives. How do I explain this to her without sending her off the deep end? I’d appreciate some advice as most of my friends have had it with the situation and don’t even want hear me talk about it. Thanks!
Making Our Very Ending Over Now
Hey there MOVE ON,
You know, about 50% of the questions I field are from people who know that they are in a situation and recognize that it needs to change. This sometimes makes my job seem like it is very easy, but in reality, people sometimes need help finding the clear path and figuring out how to take that first step.
It sounds like you realize you and your ex have a fractured, dare I say, codependent relationship. Yes you were very in love and I am sure you mean a lot to one another, and always will. However, you both need to do some work on your own, away from each other and those same old bad relationship habits. It sounds like you are wise enough to see this, so you need to let her know as well. It is a hard pill to swallow but if things are as cray-cray as you mentioned, I don’t see how she couldn’t see the need for change as well.
So have a heart-to-heart with your ex. This doesn’t have to be in person if you think it will cause too much drama. And then the next best thing you can do is create space and set boundaries. You have to hold her and yourself accountable. Only once you do this, can you start the healing process.
Realize that by doing this, you are admitting that you want more from a relationship. What/who that looks like is up to you. But you are doing a good thing here, realizing that you want more for yourself and that it didn’t work out between you and your ex. This doesn’t mean that either of you are bad people, though it may seem harder to understand and accept how two nice, loving people couldn’t make a relationship work.
Don’t spend weeks trying to wrap your mind around this or you might drive yourself crazy. Best of luck!