The Bottom Whisperer: I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You)
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Boy, what a week! Your old pal The Bottom Whisperer got to see the Scissor Sisters last night! They put on amazing show and I even got to get a little face time with the band afterwards. But I’ll be darned if Jake Shears would not stop undressing me with his eyes, sheesh! Now let’s get to this week’s column!
Dear Bottom Whisperer,
I’m a young, gay 20-year-old college kid who has recently entered a relationship with a 23-year-old guy. Simply put, we’re an awesome match and we make sure to tell the person who set us up that they did an awesome job and deserve a trophy. When I broke out the “L” word he hesitated. He wanted to tell me something, but at a different time in a better setting. Later that week he told me what it was. He’s HIV positive thanks to an ex who cheated on him habitually. He broke into tears, and without hesitation I comforted him and told him it was okay, it doesn’t change who he is in my eyes or the way that I feel about him.
Despite my boyfriend’s status, he is very healthy. According to his doctor, his immune system is stronger than normal people, his levels are great, he’s actually apparently immune to 5 different diseases according to doctors, and this is all without medication to which he thanks practicing Buddhism. There is only a 7% chance of infecting someone with unprotected sex, once more according to doctors.
I’m having a hard time researching safe sex practices with someone HIV positive besides wear a condom when the time comes (we haven’t gone all the way yet), be careful about open sores and cuts, and “spit or swallow, don’t let it wallow.” We’re pretty versatile in bed; is it safer for some activities if I’m more of the top though? While oral is low-risk, should I still be careful, and if so both ways or only if I go down on him? And got any other advice regarding safe sex with someone HIV positive?
I Need Lots Of Vital Education
Congrats on finding such a great match. Your ability to look beyond his HIV status says great things about your character. I find it disturbing the way that members of the gay community marginalize people who are HIV+.
So now that you have decided you want to stick with your man, I would highly encourage both of you to have a sit down conversation with his primary care doctor about what steps need to be taken to protect yourself from transmission. Yes, condoms should always be worn regardless of whether you top or bottom. But keep in mind that if you bottom, you are increasing your risk of exposure.
I have asked a number of friends of mine who are in poz/neg relationships what they do to make sure they are protecting themselves from transmission. It really comes down to communication and educating yourself. I also am slightly worried about your partner’s lack of drug therapy. Buddhism isn’t going to keep his viral loads down forever and when it comes to transmission, lower viral loads are really the name of the game. He needs to find a program of medication that is going to allow him to live the happiest, healthiest life possible while also minimizing any chance of you catching the disease. There also have been some medications approved by the FDA to prevent HIV transmission such as Truvada.
Without completely killing the mood and energy of your sexual relationship, you both have to realize that there is a certain level of safety that must not be compromised when you two have sex. Avoid exposure to bodily fluid from your partner. Medical professionals say it is difficult to transmit through oral sex but I also have spoken to people who contracted that exact way. As I suggested earlier in my response, this is a conversation that needs to happen with both of you and his doctor. Yes I can spout statistics to you about where the chance of transmission is lower but you also have to realize that the possibility is always there. Both of you need to be proactive about this and keep the liens of communication open. If you feel concerned or uncertain if certain sexual activities are going to put you at risk, avoid them until you have consulted a medical professional and have your questions answered. Best of luck and happy humping (after you both sit down with his doctor)!
Dear Bottom Whisperer,
I am a 40-year-old gay man in an open relationship with my partner of 12 years. Things have slowed down quite a bit between us sexually but we are very committed to one another and have a strong partnership.
My question for you comes from a recent hook up that I was a part of. It was my third time to see this particular gentleman for sex. He is currently dating a woman and when I showed up at his place, she was there as well. It was somewhat awkward and uncomfortable for me to walk into this guy’s house who I was coming over to sleep with and have his girlfriend be there. She knew what was up and, long story short, we all got it on. It has been years since I have been with a women (like high school) and the whole experience was pretty hot.
I was putting out feelers with my partner over breakfast recently and he made it very clear that sleeping with women is not a part of our agreement and that he would be very upset if something like that happened. Of course I didn’t disclose this and acted as if he was getting upset over nothing. But now I am in a bit of a spot because A) I don’t want to be dishonest with my partner and B) I want to go back for round 2. What is a guy to do?
Does Enjoying A Lady Break Rules Enjoying Another Kink
You pretty much answered your own question here (thank, I am on a total brain drain anyways), you closed by saying exactly what it is you want A) Not to be dishonest with you partner. The problem is you also want B) To go back for round 2. What you need to decide is which is more important to you. There is also a chance that by being honest and open, which you should be in the first place because you have a longstanding partnership and are involved in an open relationship, you might be able to have both.
I get a lot of questions from people in open relationships and while there isn’t one clear set of rules that works for everyone, we can all agree that communication and ground rules are essential for making an open relationship work. Your partner might be insecure about you being with women because he feels like she offers you something that he is not able to provide. This might tap into some deep seeded insecurity within your partner so you are going to have to bring this up in a way that is sensitive to that and be prepared for an emotional (read: not rational) response.
I think the worst thing you could possibly do in this situation is ignore the agreement that you and your partner have in place and pursue something with this couple knowing that your partner would be hurt if he found out. You really should be honest with your partner and not feel the need to hide this part of yourself. He might not give you the response that you want or even give you permission to go back and do this again, but then you are in the same place you are now and at least you opened up and gave your partner an opportunity to learn something else about you as opposed to being shady and concealing the truth. Best of luck!