The Bottom Whisperer: Keep It In The Family
Dear Bottom Whisperer,
I am a 25-year-old gay man born and raised in the Mid-West. My mother divorced my father when I was very young and just two years ago remarried her current husband. I had already moved out of the house and started living on my own so I am not very close with my mother’s husband. I do go home for holidays but I live about 4 hours away so I only go home 6 or 7 times a year. My stepfather has a son who is about my age and he came out about a year ago. I see him maybe twice a year during holidays as well and he lives about an hour away from me.
I’m friend on Facebook with my “stepbrother” (I use quotes because I don’t call him that, I just use his name). We started chatting on instant messenger a bit recently and the conversation got kind of flirtatious. Is it wrong for me to be interested romantically in this guy because our parents are married? It’s not like we grew up together and we’ve only even been in the same room a dozen or so times. My friends seem to think it would be like incest. Please share your thoughts.
Seriously Thinking Exact Problems-Brotherly Run Out
Wow, this is a doozy of a question. It’s not often that The Bottom Whisperer is left scratching his head from a question. So you’ve got the hots for your mother’s husband’s gay son. You guys didn’t grow up together so it’s not creepy in ‘that way’. I guess if you look at it that way then there should be no problem with going for it with this guy, right? Wrong! This is a person who you have to see a few times a year on holidays and special occasions. I’m hoping that your mother has found a great partner and will be with him for the duration. Is it gonna be awkward planning their 25-year anniversary with the guy you banged back in the day? You guys are family now whether you grew up together or not. If mom and dad go down in a plane crash you two are sitting there when the will is read and the last thing you want to do is complicate a relationship like that.
So my advice STEP-BRO is try and think of this guy as a member of your family, not someone you might want to pound out. Family relationships can already be torture so don’t let your attraction to him jeopardize the harmony of your new family. This is one time I would not recommend ‘keeping it in the family’. Good luck and happy humping.
Dear Bottom Whisperer,
I am a bisexual woman in my early 20s. On a recent annual exam my doctor asked me about screening for HPV and ran some tests. My results came back positive and I have been trying to educate myself on what kind of lifestyle changes I need to make or be aware of moving forward. I know that my doctor told me that some people can be carriers without showing symptoms (as in my case), but some people can be highly reactive. So my question for you is, should I only seek out relationships with men and women who also have HPV? Transmission isn’t that difficult and I want to know how to best protect future sexual partners. Thanks!
Help Please Valued
Thanks for the great question. I think HPV is talked about so little but is a growing problem among people, even those who are not sexually active. As you now probably know, there are numerous strains of HPV. There are vaccines that are effective against some of the most common types (the ones that can cause warts). The World Health Organization has some research supporting better access to these vaccines for young women, though these vaccines have little effect on individuals after transmission. Since the chances of cervix cancer increase drastically when a woman has transmitted HPV, doctors have become more proactive in testing women for HPV. Men, unless the exhibit symptoms such as warts, are less likely to be screened for HPV which means a man can be a carrier and pass the disease on unknowingly (wrap it up kids!).
The issue with HPV is that it is not difficult to transmit. It can be transmitted through mutual masturbation and oral sex, which a lot of folks do as a safer alternative to intercourse. Unless you plan to use a dental dam or condom for oral sex, you are exposing yourself to possible transmission. Even with condom use, the presence of “infected skin and mucosal surfaces” can lead to infection.
Real talk, HPV is a huge problem and is now being tied to a number of head, neck, rectal and vaginal cancers. So I think it is important to have a conversation with your sexual partners about your status, as uncomfortable as that might be, to make sure they have all the info they need to protect themselves. Do I think you have to only date people with HPV? Absolutely not, there are so many strains and I think that testing for it has to become more mainstream for people to even realize the gravity of the issue. Best of luck and happy (safe and educated) humping!