Confused Again

So I came up with the poll this week after my friend Matthew said he was a bit upset over being turned down by poz guys. He said two different guys he was interested in dating wouldn’t go out w/him because he was negative. I had to ask again as I was sure I misheard what he said. Nope, I heard him correctly. A poz guy wouldn’t go out with him because he was negative. Ironic wouldn’t you say? Being completely flummoxed, I asked one of my long time (20+ years) poz friends and his response, “well, it is just easier to play with someone who is also poz.” Wait, wait….wait just a damn minute. So now the poz community is using the same flawed logic as the negative community? WTF? After all, isn’t that the same excuse an ignorant negative person would use. After he thought about it, “yeah I guess it is.” I just don’t get people sometimes. Someone would have unprotected sex w/a complete stranger because he says he is negative but they won’t have safe sex w/an honest poz guy. Oh yeah, that makes perfect logic to me. NOT!

Frankly, I’d have safe sex with a serodiscordant person before I’d have any kind of sex w/a meth or drug addict. At least w/a serodiscordant person I know where I stand and what I’m protecting myself against. The latter not so much. I could go on and on about the damage meth does to your brain. Simply put, the most apparent symptom is often extreme paranoia. Paranoia that can and often leads to violence. No thank you.

Sadly, even today there is still a lot of ignorance surrounding HIV and how it is spread. Unless you are into some freaky shit, it really just takes a condom and condom-safe lube. Yep, that is all it takes. And, in an age where a plethora of medical knowledge is only a click away, you have no excuse not to know at least the basics.

11 thoughts on “Confused Again”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Serosorting creates false illusions that lead to bad choices. The only reason I’m HIV+ is because I serosorted and took a dumb chance with a “neg” person. Safer sex is still the best protection.

    *Handing you back the soapbox*

  2. Though I would date and ‘have relations’ with someone who was neg or poz (depending on my status), I do understand the perspective of each.

    I do believe it is one thing to knowingly have sex with a poz person knowing the risks – even if the sex is safe.

    I think that being the poz person and potentially exposing someone to something so deadly can give one pause to having sex (even if it’s safe) with someone who is negative.

    It is possible the two poz folks who rejected the negative guy only prefer to play sans condom – and if that is the case, at least they are aware enough to not expose anyone else.

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree with the rationale – but why does anyone reject anyone else? Because they have preferences and types – be it race, religion, body or HIV status.

  3. I don’t know if I really have a policy on poz/neg other than insisting on safe sex. I guess if I meet someone I like and he’s poz (I’m not) then I’ll deal with that. And, while I don’t know as I would seek out poz guys, I can’t see insulting anyone over their serostatus, either.

  4. I think atari_age is more accurate in his assesment. As a positive man myself, I’d need a helluva lot more fingers and toes to count the negative (and sometimes insulting) responses from guys who run away in fear from ever dating or even getting to know a postive guy. I’m not interested in having unprotected sex, I know how HIV can and cannot be transmitted, but as with atari_age, a lot of younger guys apparently don’t know this information anymore and figure if each person is negative than they must be “okay” to have unsafe sex.

    Yeah, I serosort, because of the reactions from some of the negative people I’ve been interested in seeing. But I still have safe sex, even with the poz guys. At least they don’t freak out over the minutest little details of life with a poz guy.

    As for the illness part, I’ve got to be thankful that I’ve not been ill yet, nor have had the need for meds at this point. I am in a sero-discordant relationship at the moment, and things are going well. We have safe sex always, and he continues to test negative (regularly). As for what happens when I do have my first illness (goddess forbid) that remains to be seen.

    But to put it in simplest terms, I personally don’t think a great majority of negative people have a proper education in HIV. How it IS transmitted, and how it is NOT transmitted and the easy ways to enjoy sex together and still be safe.

  5. Usually, the incredibly negative response (no pun) that negative guys give positive guys is enough to turn positive guys off of even attempting anything with negative guys. That’s probably why it’s “easier”. It’s crappy but there is a logic to it.

    It’s worse now, I think. From a public health perspective, I’m astonished at how there are so many younger gay guys who have zero – and I mean zeeeeero – clue about even the simplest concepts of safety with sex. I used to think we (gays) were the best educated since the 80s, but so many guys younger than me (38) seem to have no idea.

    So, basically, I’m thinking it’s simply “easier” because many negative guys don’t bother learning about what is “safe” and “not safe” and so many positive guys don’t want to bother with the hassle of others running from them in abject fear from even a kiss. Hence, serosorting.

    But with all that, I agree – the reasoning for both sides of that crappy setup is completely flawed. And that is due to ignorance and terror. (again, my opinion)

  6. My partner got sick about 10 years ago and that’s when we discovered that he was poz. (I still test neg, thankfully.)

    I don’t know if I can ever have a LTR with someone who is poz again after my experiences with my current partner. Not only is there the “I’m sicker than you” business that Gavin talks about above, but at some point, my partner became so sick and needy that he isn’t really aware of my needs anymore. It’s all about him now. Add to this the anger that he has (understandably) and the “tyranny of the ill” that he sometimes exhibits and, no…I think 10 years of this is enough.

    Would I casually date someone who is poz? Yes, if I really like the person. Would I always have at least some fear of getting it? Yes. Always, always, always…after what I have seen. Would that fear get in the way? You bet.

    Would I have hope for a future together, probably not. Man of my dreams or not…I’m already losing one man of my dreams. Sad, but that is how I feel because I can’t go through this all again…I just don’t have it in me (sic) to bury another lover.

    I just don’t get the poz guys who want to have unprotected sex with other poz guys, like my partner does. My partner says, “We all have the plague, so who cares what we do?” And so he has “unsafe” sex with his poz friends. Maybe that’s why his virus is resistant to every med out there and he is now (slowly) dying. His only hope is in the new meds that will be coming out this Fall.

    Rubber ’em up boys! Show that you love yourself and who(m)ever you play with.

  7. I think eliminating a potential date because it’s easier to fool around with someone Poz is ridiculous and sad.

    I have to wonder about these two guys who refused your friend. Is it that they prefer unprotected sex? In that case your friend should consider himself lucky.

    just my two cents..

  8. I knew my ex was Poz when we started dating. We were together 4 years. I would have safe sex with someone who was Poz but I don’t think I’d get into another LTR.

    One thing that I discovered, at least with him, was that being sick became a competition that the negative person can never win. When he was sick, I would faithfully tend to his needs. When I was sick, like a couple of bouts with excrutiating kidney stones, I got no sympathy. “If you think you’re sick, try being me.”

    I want a partner who will lovingly care for me when I’m sick. I’ve since heard similar stories from others that have been in my situation. Of course not all Poz guys are like this, but I do think it is a dynamic that arises in poz/neg relationships more often than we think.

    I guess if I met the man of my dreams and he was Poz I’d consider an LTR, but I have a different perspective on which character traits are more important.

  9. I have had sex with many positive men (some who have since passed) and I’m still negative. You absolutely right: “That’s why they make condoms!” I never took in a person’s status when I considered serious dating. In fact, only after we got really serious and moved in together, did my lover and I get tested again together.

    I do have a friend (hence me posting FAKE NAME – you know him) who refuses to date negative men. He blames himself for his lover’s death from A.I.D.S. I don’t think he’s responsible because you can never tell, but he refuses to take the chance.

    As far as unprotected sex among POZ people, I believe there are at least nine different HIV strains. The strain you have might not kill you, but catching a different strain may. I’m sure some “health expert” will refute my comment; I just say if you have a question, investigate the issue for yourself.

  10. Many of the people I know, living with HIV, have had bad experiences dating negative people. From the negative person freaking out if a condom should break; or the negative person bailing when the positive person gets sick. As far as sex, I assume everyone is positive, even if they tell me otherwise. Not because I think they’re lying, but because they really may not know.

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