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    Feb 12, 2007 1:04 PM GMT
    How do you guys feel about barebacking. Sorry for the typo from the earlier post.
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    Feb 12, 2007 1:11 PM GMT
    aint it just instant gratification, with the result of a lifetime (shortend) of regret!
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    Feb 12, 2007 1:31 PM GMT
    I will bareback, but only for long-term partners in a manogamous relationship (e.g.: like me & my ex husband) & only after we've both had blood tests to ensure we're both 'clean'; as I don't wanna risk either mine or my partners health.

    It generally takes trust & seciruty on obth side's, but I am more than willing to explore it with the right person(s) - & I will even admit I miss that 'flesh on flesh' feeling (especially @ climx/cumming! *lol*) - if the conditions, etc are right.
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    Feb 12, 2007 2:11 PM GMT
    I think to bareback or not is a personal choice except in the case of rape. If your about to bareback with your date, trick, BF or whatever and you don't let the other guy know that your not comfortable with the situation by not making a choice you are in fact making the choice not to say anything. Barebacking feels good, we all have done it. Right now I'm in a relationship, where both of us have been tested and we no longer use condoms and we both trust eachother. I don't judge anyone for what they do in bed, it's none of my concern unless I'm the one in bed with you.
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    Feb 12, 2007 2:55 PM GMT

    What a great subject, here’s my ten pence worth.

    I work for a film company that makes and distributes Gay porn movies and some of the movies we make are barebacking films. I have mixed feelings about it. As there is obviously a big market for these movies - so barebacking is popular with a lot of people.

    However I don’t feel happy that so many people (especially young people) are barebacking regularly with casual partners and putting themselves at risk. The message that HIV and AIDS are still out there - and killing people doesn’t seem to be getting through.

    And although I feel that pornography is all fantasy, I can’t help thinking that freely available Barebacking films help to make the idea that barebacking is cool more acceptable.

    Overall I’m with you guys. I think barebacking within a monogamous relationship is fine and can be seen as part of being more committed I suppose. I think if you do it outside a relationship then you have to be prepared for the consequences.
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    Feb 12, 2007 5:54 PM GMT
    I think you have to be aware of what you're doing and the risk you're taking at all times... There is risk in everything in life...

    With that said, the people who are at no risk of catching an STD are people who don't have sex. I would rather have sex with someone who wants to enjoy thmesleves rather than worry about how safe they are being.

    Some guys won't even suck dick unless there is a condom on it... That's like saying "I only drive to work if I'm in a tank"...

    Be safe, not paranoid.

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    Feb 12, 2007 10:45 PM GMT
    BB is really pretty dumb unless you're in a monogamous and tested relationship. Even leaving aside HIV, you massively increase your chances of getting lots of other nasty sexually transmitted diseases, like hepatitis, herpes, syphyllis and so on. Some of these are as incurable and dangerous as HIV.

    If you're HIV , it's also pretty unhealthy as it increases your chances of contracting another strain of the virus that your body won't be able to cope with, not to mention other diseases.

    The main reason people do it, in particular passive partners, is because of the feeling of emotional intimacy it brings. But the problem is that passes once you've cum and doesn't really make you feel any better, in fact it just makes you feel worse 'cos then you're worried you might have caught something.

    Save the intimacy of BB sex for someone special, someone it will really mean something with.
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    Feb 13, 2007 12:35 AM GMT
    I agree with a lot of posters here. My partner and I have been together for three years now. For us, not using condoms reflects the trust we have for each other. That trust affords us a greater level of spontaneity in our sex life and is something we really value. At the same time, forgoing condoms with a casual partner is something we would never do. Forgoing condoms heightens the intimacy of the act, and feels incredible, but I see it as an intimate expression of the depth of your feelings towards another person.

    I do have to disagree with the idea that it is none of my business what other people choose to do with their lives. I do agree, that people can assess what level of risk is acceptable to them. However, treating HIV infections is an enormously expensive endeavor, with the cost primarily born by everyone else in the country. So, people choosing to take stupid risks and getting HIV does hurt everyone else around them.

    Also, while the concept of HIV superinfection in HIV individuals remains controversial, what isn't controversial is that most HIV people, even with near normat CD4 counts, remain more succeptible to infection. Barebacking places them at an even greater risk for all sorts of STDs, which are inevitably more difficult and more expensive to treat due to their immunosuppression.

    So, I won't go so far as to say is it wrong for people to choose to bareback with casual partners. I don't think it is right to judge people's decisions, especially ones that are made in the context of misinformation, denial, depression, drugs, carelessness, ignorance, etc. However, I do think it is wrong to just accept that people make bad decisions, and not try to help them make better ones.
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    Feb 13, 2007 1:25 AM GMT
    Are you fucking kidding me.......

    I agree adults should be entitled to do what ever they want. If whatever you want enfringe on the rights of others then it is a problem.

    Putting someone else at risk is never cool. If people makes conscious choices to take a risk, that is their problem.

    I have had this discussion with my best friend numerous times. He is positive but serosorts (so he only does pos guys) He doesn't feel a need to use protection. He says "he has all ready received the worst STD possible.

    MY TWO CENTS.....if you are immunocompromised and you are putting yourself at risk of obtaining an STD, that is stupid. When something like a cold can kill or hospitalize you what do you think syphillis can do. And the recovery times are much longer for the immunocompromised.

    Sense I live in the breeding ground for STD's (San Francisco) I really feel strongly about this the STD rates are rediculous. I work for the State of California Division of Communicable Disease Control. I avoid STD's and TB because they are behavioral. When people are giving a choice they generally will make the wrong one.

    Example: So your in a monogamous relationship. You have unprotected sex with your partner. HOw many gay men are in open relationships? How many have partners that are open and don't even know about it? (Men are shameless and most can't keep it in their pants.) It would be stupid to put yourself at risk for someone who obviously doesn't give a shit about you in the first place. Because if he was a decent person he would tell you.

    Bareback PORN--Well the models know what they are getting themselves into when they sign the contracts. Even though the PORN community is frequently tested many escort/massage outside of PORN so who knows what the fuck they could be bringing back into the circle.
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    Feb 13, 2007 4:21 AM GMT
    Guys, lets please separate attitude about "freedom" to do what you want, and being non-judgmental, with public and personal safety. This is directed to those guys in the posts above who seem to be saying that no one should be dictating how one expresses himself to a partner sexually.

    But this is a public health issue. Two HIV guys having unprotected anal sex CAN pass along new strains of HIV, which then can work their way into the general population.

    I agree that if you are on a desert island, you can be totally sure of your partner, so not using condoms for anal sex is fine. And, if you are partnered, and can be absolutely certain that your partner is not trolling on CraigsList, fine too.

    However, look at the number of guys on realjock who are in open relationships or claim to be monogamous, yet are looking for sex. Isn't that an eye-opener for spread of HIV and AIDs?

    I know that there has to be a medical professional on realjock who can step in and say something here. I am only a scientist, but not in the area of medicine.

    This is not the area to be claming personal freedom when we are dealing with a disease that is like smoke and mirrors.

    That's independent of any silly/stupid concern (for example, the gOy group) that anal sex is immoral. It's not.

    But we have an awful disease here. We need to deal with it thoughtfully.
  • dfrourke

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    Feb 13, 2007 9:37 PM GMT

    Well, as someone who obviously didn't use protection all the time [and now is HIV ] I have regrets?

    When I seroconverted at age 30 I think I had the "surely you don't mean me" syndrome which of course is pervassive in younger people in general...I just didn't think I would get HIV...and I did...

    as an HIV person I now need to use condoms to make certain I don't catch anything stupid [event treatable infections] which could drastically knock down my immune I am forced to use condoms to protect myself anyway...

    I look back and wonder "how difficult would it have been REALLY to just use condoms in the first place?"

    My only advice to those who do do you know WHAT you know in keeping yourself safe? Someone may not even know they are HIV to infect you [my case]...

    - David
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    Feb 13, 2007 11:58 PM GMT
    Wow David, thanks for your post. I think you hit the nail on the head with young people gay or straight thinking they are indestructable is a given. For me coming of age right at the onset of AIDS, scared the shit out of me. I didn't have sex til my freshman year of college, with protection I might add. I think if the guys now in their 20's and 30' grew up in the time that guys in their 40's such as myself grew up in, they would think twice before they barebacked.
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    Feb 17, 2007 6:46 PM GMT
    Wow Thanks guys for sharing such responses. As a young guy who is less than a year into exploring his sexuality I have been extreemly strict on how safe I am with casual partners (although I do not use condoms for oral). I have always interviewed guys regarding how often they get themselves tested, how often they have casual sex and how often they use protection and as of date it has helped me to avoid syphilis.

    As for Barebacking I have been feeling peer pressure to join in it, like "it is the normal thing to do". I was about to give in until I read this thread. It has helped me to keep my resolve and my decision that I will not bareback outside of a committed and trustworthy relationship.

    The attitude that barebacking is the norm is a serious problem among guys my age who enjoy man on man sex. Guys my age need to learn that they are not invincible.

    Thank you all for this thread.
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    Feb 19, 2007 4:25 PM GMT
    If you use a condom for anal and don't use one for oral and think you're safe, think again. First of all, people who have herpes and don't have an outbreak can give it to their partner. Second, HIV can be transmitted in precum. Gentlemen, be considerate of other guys, and be cautious, because with some STD's, once you get it, you'll never get rid of it. I have herpes -- I know. Herpes is very painful, and can make life miserable, and be disfiguring.
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    Feb 19, 2007 5:22 PM GMT
    Regarding oral sex:

    Many things are transmissible by oral sex, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis B. However, HIV transmission by oral sex has only been documented in a handful of case reports, where people got HIV despite absolutely no other risk factor except unprotected oral sex (i.e. no other sexual contact, no needles, no blood transfusions). This means that it is not impossible, however the current medical opinion seems to be that if there is a risk, it is very small (much much much much much smaller than barebacking).

    It is obviously heightened by things like poor gum hygine (floss regularly, but not within 2-3 hours of oral sex), sores in the mouth (herpes outbreak, for instance) and other oral infections (strep throat, laryngitis, sinus infections) which might bring more immune cells into the area. However, saliva seems to be relatively good at inactivating HIV virus particles, and the virus is readily destroyed by stomach acids (an effect that might be reduced if you take a proton pump inhibitor, like Prilosec OTC or Nexium).

    I am not saying oral sex with casual partners is necessarily safe, given the potential to transmit numerous other STDs. However, I think it is safe to say that the risk of transmitting HIV is far lower than the risks of getting other things.

    Some things that everyone should keep in mind:
    1) Vaccinate! Hepatitis B is a horrible, and completely preventable disease. Get the vaccine! While you are at it, get the Hepatitis A vaccine, too.
    2) Use common sense. If there is a sore, or any kind of discharge coming from a guys dick, tell him to go to a clinic.
    3) Learn to recognize STD symptoms. There are a number of websites that can help you get educated.
    4) People with STDs don't all look sick. Classic examples are Hepatitis B and HIV. Both can kill you. Both are easily transmitted (HepB much more so than HIV). Both produce few if any symptoms for years. Also keep in mind that syphillis ulcers are painless, and people can get them in places where they go unnoticed (inside the anus, for example). Likewise, a significant minority of men have no symptoms when they get gonorrhea or chlamydia.
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    Feb 19, 2007 5:54 PM GMT
    When you bareback with random partners, there are two factors that affect whether you get HIV.

    The first factor is the transmission rate from serodischordant bareback sex (sex where one partner has it and the other doesn't).

    - The risk of contracting HIV by being a bareback bottom ranges from 8/1000 to 3/100. This latter figure means that it takes an average of only 33 fucks with an HIV top for you to get the virus.

    - For tops, the risk is slightly lower, about 1/1000. Still, if you fucked 100 times with an HIV bottom, you would on average have a 1/10 chance of having gotten HIV.

    For more info, I recommend

    The second factor is the prevalence of HIV among the people you fuck. Now, it is fairly intuitive that since people who regularly bareback are at higher risk for HIV and other STDs, they likely have a higher than average HIV infection rate. Even if you and all your partners check regularly, this affords only a small measure of protection--a negative test only means that you didn't have HIV 3 months ago, since there is an average of a 3 month delay between getting infected and having a positive test.

    For some hard data, I turned to the CDC. In a study conducted in 2004-2005 in 5 cities, they randomly screened gay men for HIV (the sites of recruitment were bars, nightclubs, gay community organizations, and street locations in gay districts)

    By City:
    Baltimore 40% infected, 62% didn't know
    LA 19% infected, 42% didn't know
    Miami 18% infected, 46% didn't know
    NYC 18% infected, 52% didn't know
    SF 24% infected, 23% didn't know

    By age:
    18-24 14% infected, 79% didn't know
    25-29 17% infected, 70% didn't know
    30-39 29% infected, 49% didn't know
    40-49 37% infected, 30% didn't know
    ? 50 31% infected, 34% didn't know

    By Race:
    White 21% infected, 18% didn't know
    Black 46% infected, 67% didn't know
    Hispanic 17% infected, 48% didn't know
    Multiracial 19% infected, 50% didn't know
    Other 13% infected, 50% didn't know

    Average: 25% infected, 48% didn't know

    Of note, 92% of the men had previously been tested, 64% in the preceding year.

    Lessons: a negative test doesn't mean you know you don't have it if you continue to practice risky sex

    Putting the whole picture together, 1 in 4 gay men have HIV, and 50% don't know. This means that if you only have sex with people who think they are negative, or don't know, and assuming no one lies, you have a 1 in 7 chance of having sex with someone with HIV when you meet casual partners.

    What these statistics don't emphasize is that HIV infections are concentrated in the most promiscuous gay men, so the infection rate amongst people who bareback regularly are probably much higher. However, by recruiting study participants in cruisier areas, they probably overestimated the true prevalence of HIV among gay men. Ultimately, the true risk BB bottom who gets fucks by randomly selected, self-reported HIV- casual partners probably lies somewhere between the 3/100 I showed above, and the 3/700 you would expect from the prevalence data above. Suffice it to say, even 3/700 (1/233) is a very high risk (you would seroconvert within 4 years if you hooked up once a week).

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    Feb 19, 2007 6:10 PM GMT
    Sorry for the serial posting. One other quick note.

    While the initial outbreak of Herpes is very painful, the fact of the matter is that it is incredibly common, almost unavoidable infection. 90% of american adults have Herpes 1, most of the time acquired as children from our parents. If you have had a cold sore on your lip, you have HSV-1. It can also be transmitted genitally, but classically causes facial lesions.

    HSV-2 infects roughly 40% of americans. It tends to be sexually transmitted.

    Both are permanent infections. The first outbreak is always the worst (unless you have HIV, or undergo chemo for cancer, or have an organ transplant and need immune suppression). After each outbreak, the lesions heal WITHOUT SCARRING, and recur after a variable period of time.

    Infected individuals can transmit between outbreaks. Condoms do not fully protect you--the virus can be transmitted by skin to skin contact, including the skin around your asshole, inside your ass, your scrotum, your dick--anywhere you have ever had a sore is potentially infectious to touch. In addition, many people have had HSV-1 infections in their mouths, and if they blow someone who has never had HSV-1 (1 in 10 people) that person can get genital herpes.

    Ultimately, herpes is more of an annoyance for most people. Just remember, while you can transmit anytime, during a flareup, your succeptibility to infections, like HIV and other STDs is greatly enhanced (you have broken skin). So, if you get a flareup, it would be a good idea not to have any sex until the sores are completely healed.

    If you are bothered by very frequent or painful flareups, I would recommend seeing your doctor about getting a prescription for one of the drugs for treating herpes. They don't cure it, but they can shorten flareups, help them heal faster, and some oral medicines can even reduce the frequency of flares.
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    Feb 20, 2007 4:49 AM GMT
    Thanks for the info cisco! Guys my advice to all, treat every potential BF, trick, date etc as if they are poz until you find out otherwise. Then make your own choice.
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    Feb 22, 2007 3:37 AM GMT
    Well, I'm one of the few guys who's not into anal sex, just not my does nothing for does not feel good to me...sorry it doesn't....and I have no interest in being the top.
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    Feb 22, 2007 4:07 AM GMT
    Big thanks to theciscokid for laying out what is currently known about sexually transmitted diseases. It is important information.

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    Feb 23, 2007 6:40 PM GMT
    i will feel naked whithout my condom ;)
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    Feb 24, 2007 2:09 PM GMT
    My first partner died of HIV infection, as did most of my friends back in the '80s. Unprotected sex long ago stopped appealing to me even as a fantasy.

    I was in a "monogamous" relationship with a man who turned out to be cheating on me. He'd also seroconverted, as we found out after he 'fessed up to his behavior. In other words: He exposed me to HIV without telling me. I'm very lucky I did not seroconvert.

    That was 15 years ago. I have been strictly safe since then, inside and outside my relationship. I refuse to hold my health and "trust" hostage to unprotected sex.

    As a therapist, I've seen quite a few people seroconvert because of partners who turned out to be cheating and didn't want to admit it. Of course, it's anybody's right to practice "negotiated safety," but I do not see the big deal about using condoms.
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    Feb 25, 2007 4:05 AM GMT
    What's barebacking?
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    Feb 25, 2007 4:40 AM GMT
    Wow, thanks for all the stats Ciscokid. And thanks for pointing out Hep A & B.

    In all of the times I've been checked for HIV, no one has EVER mentioned getting checked or imunized for Hep A or B, so it's important that you ASK about it.

    And you forgot Hep C. While it's more common to contract Hep C via intravenous drug use, Hep C IS CONTAGIOUS via sexual activity. A lot of people forget that.

    As someone who had Hep B and recovered completely, it's important to get checked... luckily for me I had a horrible allergic reaction to an antibiotic that brought out the symptoms of Hep B... had I not had that reaction I would have never known, and would not have taken the proper steps/treatment to fully recover.

    I think a very interesting note in your stats is how many of those under 40 did not know they were infected vs. those over 40. I think this shows that having not lived in the middle of the AIDS outbreak, the younger generation isn't as aware or afraid of HIV.

    And... here's something else to think about... what about the NEXT virus that comes along? HIV hit the world like a brick wall.. no one knew what was going on. There could be another virus that comes along, something unexpected... then what? Bottom line - is it worth the risk?

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    Feb 25, 2007 5:21 AM GMT
    Skotjockmi --- need I say more! Gentlemen please read his post again and again!