Question For the Gay Guys

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Imported, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. Imported

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    gwinea2000: Hey fellas

    I'm a straight guy living in SF. I was just reading the "How Many Partners" poll and my curiosity was piqued by a few of the responses of the gay guys, perhaps one in particular: DMW said he's never had an STD, though he's had many partners. So..... How do you guys avoid STDs? I would guess orally-transmittable diseases would be quite prevalent, given the increased level of promiscuity present in the the gay culture.

    What constitutes "safe" sex in the gay world? Wearing a rubber during intercourse or during oral as well? What precautions do you take? I'm curious (no, not curious in THAT way! ;-) Thanks for any info.
     
  2. lacsap1

    lacsap1 New Member

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    Probably (and hopefully) the same way you know; ;)

    Sexually Transmitted Diseases refer to many diseases and symptoms that are transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, such as: semen, vaginal fluid and blood. A few STD’s, such as Herpes and Human Papillomavirus (HPV), can be received by kissing and caressing, or direct contact with the infected areas.
    STD’s can be spread from man to woman, vise versa, from man to man, and woman to woman.

    So don't let some one come in your mouth if your in to blowjobs, Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are highly recommended for men who have sex with men. Vaccination can be obtained from a primary care provider. It may be helpful to keep condoms around if the chance exists for spontaneous or unplanned sex.
    Like AMEX, never leave home without them.

    Good luck
     
  3. Imported

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    gwinea2000:

    See, I would guess that the 'not coming in your mouth' thing would be about as effective as 'the pullout method' is as a form of birth control: helps your odds, but not recommended. Is oral not considered to be a very high-risk behavior? It's not considered to be overtly dangerous in the straight community, but the AIDS and STD rates are significantly lower. (Perhaps it should.)
     
  4. Imported

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    Javierdude22: Like somebody said somewhere before...find a cool person and be faithfull.
     
  5. Imported

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    getnbiggr: There is real debate among health care professionals and researchers as to the "dangers" of unprotected oral sex. It is generally considered "low-risk" for HIV transmission and certainly FAR, FAR lower than unprotected anal sex. (This is assuming a healthy mouth, of course, without any bleeding gums or little nicks or cuts or anything... And of course the suckER should never give head right after brushing or flossing his/her teeth...)

    Recently, various studies have suggested that the risk from unprotected oral sex may be as low as 1 in 2500 contacts with a partner who is HIV+ when there is ejaculation. Other (admittedly controversial) studies have suggested that there is no solid evidence of HIV transmission from unprotected oral sex at all, with or without ejaculation. Equally interesting, very recent studies have suggested that saliva itself has properties which actually kill HIV... (I'll include an article from the Village Voice about these recent studies below...)

    Most governmental agencies, however, take a more conservative view and say that unprotected oral sex still has a real-but-low risk of HIV transmission. And it certainly has the potential for transmitting other STDs, like chlamydia, gonohhrea, herpes, etc...

    I often try to use common-sense when I think about this stuff. Nobody I know, gay or straight, actually uses a condom when they give head. And so if HIV were easily passed on through unprotected oral sex, a LOT more people would be HIV-positive. So I tend to believe the studies that suggest that it's "difficult" or "extremely difficult" to pass HIV through oral sex.

    But really, we all have to make our own decisions about what risks we're willing to take, and how we want to conduct our own risk-management...

    Anyways, here's the Village Voice article I mentioned:

    -- James

    ***************

    http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0308/osborne.php

    A New Debate Over Safety in Sucking
    The State of Oral Sex
    by Duncan Osborne
    February 19 - 25, 2003

    How safe is oral sex? That question has been on the tip of many tongues ever since AIDS raised its deadly head. Now one expert says that fellatio may not be risky at all, at least when it comes to spreading HIV.

    Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, who heads the sexually transmitted disease prevention effort at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, bases his conclusion on a new study of 239 gay or bisexual men who reported no anal or vaginal sex and no injection-drug use in the prior six months. Ninety-eight percent said they had given head without condoms. Twenty-eight percent said they knew their partner was HIV-positive, and of those, 39 percent said they had swallowed semen. None of the men became infected.

    The risk of HIV transmission via oral sex, Klausner maintains, "is very, very, very, very, very low and may be zero."

    A 2002 Spanish study supports Klausner's view. Researchers there followed 110 women and 25 men, all HIV-negative, for 10 years. Each participant had an HIV-positive partner. The investigators estimated that over the course of the study, the couples engaged in 19,000 acts of unprotected fellatio or cunnilingus. None of the negative partners converted.

    A 1998 Emory University study analyzed 24 epidemiological investigations of HIV transmission via oral sex among heterosexuals or gay men. Generally, oral sex was not found to be a risk factor, though five of those studies concluded that among some gay men and crack users, sucking did transmit HIV.

    "Yes, it does occur," says Richard Rothenberg, a professor at Emory University's School of Medicine. "It's probably a relatively small contribution to the epidemiology of HIV transmission."

    Still, no piece of good news goes undebated.

    Klausner's comments set off Rex Wockner, a journalist whose syndicated news stories and commentaries have appeared in the gay press for 18 years. "I know four people who I believe when they tell me that they seroconverted from sucking," Wockner told the Voice. Of those four friends, Wockner notes, one is now dead.

    "It's great news that guys in San Francisco are out there sucking dick and they are all still negative," Wockner says. "The unfortunate thing about this study is that nobody asked them how many times they did that. Doing it only once and staying negative doesn't prove a thing." Kimberly Page-Shafer, the San Francisco study's lead author, did not return phone calls from the Voice.

    There is disagreement even within the San Francisco health department. "I certainly agree that the risk from oral sex is very low," says director Mitchell H. Katz. "The part of the message I don't think is beneficial is the part that says 'and may be zero.' I myself would not have oral sex with someone who was positive or of an unknown status." Katz says he tells people they have a 1-in-2500 chance of getting HIV from unprotected oral sex with ejaculation.

    A 2000 study from the University of California San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tends to support Katz. Investigators interviewed 102 HIV-positive men, and eight of them reported that unprotected oral sex was their only risky activity.

    The Emory University study included case reports, dating from 1984 to 1993, documenting HIV transmission within lesbian couples that practiced oral sex. But a 1994 study that followed 18 lesbian couples in which one partner was HIV-positive concluded that the risk of transmission was "nonexistent."

    Few studies have investigated heterosexual women and HIV transmission via oral sex. The issue is far from academic, since heterosexual transmission accounted for 15 percent of AIDS cases diagnosed in New York State in 1999, the latest year for which complete data is available. Of the more than 41,000 AIDS cases in the state to date, nearly 13,000 are attributed to heterosexual transmission and more than a third of these were diagnosed between 1996 and 1999. Women are twice as likely as men to make up these heterosexual cases. Yet neither the city nor the state have studied the method of sexual transmission among heterosexuals—or gay men.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Most AIDS groups agree that oral sex is a low-risk activity, but some, such as Gay Men's Health Crisis, betray a certain agnosticism. GMHC's 1996 pamphlet on oral sex is titled "To Suck or Not to Suck." It explores the pros and cons of fellatio and tells readers, "Only You Can Decide What You Put in Your Mouth." In the pamphlet, GMHC rates oral sex "low risk." In Canada, health officials describe the risk from fellatio as "negligible."

    That may be, but it is indisputable that oral sex can transmit syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, warts, and other diseases. (The city's health department recently noted a 50 percent increase in syphilis cases, mostly among gay men.) However, when it comes to HIV, researchers have two different missions. One is to document risky behavior for individuals; the other is to establish which practices could change the course of a deadly epidemic. Some researchers argue that if gay men adopted fellatio as their sole sexual behavior, the AIDS epidemic in that population would disappear.

    But here, too, there is disagreement. Jim Koopman, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan and a highly regarded AIDS researcher, takes the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex among gay men seriously. He thinks the statistics used to bolster the claim that sucking is safe are faulty. "A standard analysis will not show the effects of oral sex," Koopman says. That's because, if an infected person is having both anal and oral sex, most researchers assume that anal sex is the source of the infection. Therefore, the effect of fellatio is masked.

    "Oral sex plays a key role," Koopman argues. "My feeling is if we are going to control HIV, we're going to have to take some actions along the line of stopping transmission from oral sex."
     
  6. jonb

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    Actually, for the receptive partner, unprotected oral is safer than protected anal. For the insertive partner, though, protected anal is safer than unprotected oral. However, oral is always safer than anal and protected safer than unprotected for both partners.

    Being picky about partners is the best way to reduce your risk: Generally speaking, a partner you know is HIV-negative (There's still the chance he got it within the last 6 months.) is about 50 times safer than a partner whose status is unknown, which is in turn 10 times safer than a partner who is known to be HIV positive. Of course, for those negative and unknown-status partners, you can reduce your risk by not sleeping with IV drug users or sex workers. I don't mean to sound moralistic, but viruses don't spontaneously generate.

    I should add all this focuses on gay men. Lesbians generally don't have to worry about AIDS. I got all these data from the CDC.
     
  7. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    When I've engaged in anal sex, I have always used a condom. I have never experience the feel of penetrating my partner without the latex. People say, "You don't know what you're missing." Fine; I'll keep it that way. As far as oral sex goes, I firmly believe that it is a very low-risk activity. My gums are healthy, and there are no lesions in my mouth. And yeah ... I do swallow. As many cocks as I've sucked, I think chances would be that I would've caught something by now if the risk were great.
     
  8. madame_zora

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    Yeah, I'd hate to give up one of my favorite pastimes!
     
  9. BobLeeSwagger

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    As someone mentioned before, other STDs can certainly be transmitted via oral sex. The jury is still out on HIV, but like they said, the risk seems to be very low. It's apparently somewhat difficult to find a large control group for this, since most people who engage in oral also have intercourse of some kind, too.

    The only thing I would add to what the others have said is that, as a general rule, the receptive partner of any kind of sex has the greater risk of infection.
     
  10. Imported

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    gwinea2000: Thanks guys... Your responses are appreciated. I was curious b/c I live near a few gay bars and there seems to always be quite a crowd in there. It just crossed my mind that, if an STD were contracted by a "regular," it wouldn't take much time for it to spread pretty quickly to a lot of the other guys (depending on the degree of caution exerted and the actual risk of contraction.) I started wondering how careful you try/need to be if you're involved in a very sexually active scene such as the one mentioned.
     
  11. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    But remember ... the same can be said about the patrons of a straight singles bar. Unprotected sex and STD's are not gay issues, they are human issues.
     
  12. Imported

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    gwinea2000:

    I agree to an extent. There seems to be a much more casual and spontaneous nature to gay sex than there is to straight sex. Most (not all) gay men have MANY more sexual encounters over the course of their lives than us straight guys do. I was just curious about the way you guys handle the "protection" aspect, given that the gay community at large is obviously very cognizant of the risks involved (IMO to a much greater degree than the straight community.)

    BTW, I agree whole-heartedly that "Unprotected sex and STD's are not gay issues, they are human issues."
     
  13. ericbear

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    We handle the protection aspects the same as anyone else-- Those of us who care cary condoms and lube for use when fucking. Last week, I had a guy who wanted to be gangbanged "come on" to three of us by not saying a word, but instead handing us condoms. Oral sex tends to be largely unprotected, however. In my life (and thousands of BJs), I've only had two people want me to use a condom while they sucked me. And in the case of one of those, I think it was because he had a major rubber/latex fetish (he has rubber pajamas), not because of concern over safe sex.

    There are a number of factors involved in the transmission risk in the gay community. As you point out, some (but not all) gay men tend to be far more promiscuous than their straight counterparts. Anal sex itself may offer increased likelihood of transmission over, say, vaginal sex. Further, common use of certain drugs, such as ecstasy, can lead to unsafe party sex activities. (In fact, concern over party drugs is now becomming one of the most hotly debated gay health issues.) Sadly, despite the fact that gay sex may offer an increased risk of transmission of serious STDs like HIV, many gay men, in particular younger ones, are not "very cognizant" (as you put it) of the risks. In fact, many completely ignore the risks altogether, and are so unconcerned as to consider STD/HIV testing to be unnecessary. Such a person not only puts themselves at risk, but also increases the risk of infecting others, since protective measures are not completely effective. Hence, we have just gone through a syphilis epidemic in the gay communities in several large US cities, and are seeing an increase in HIV transmission rates.
     
  14. Imported

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    Javierdude22:
    Dude, not even when you were in a relationship? No problem there right?
     
  15. dancinfool

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    I agree with DMW-

    STDs and AIDS are not a "gay issue", they are human issues.


    Just because STD rates are higher in gay men doesnt mean that straight couples should use any less protection. Personally I have only engaged in heterosexual sex, but I would not be any more careful if I was gay because I consider myself exptremely safe. There are always risks, but as long as you stay safe and smart, you should be okay.

    It is common among straight people to assume that gay people have more spontenious and dangerous sex, but this is not necessarily true. It depends on who the people are and what types of clubs and bars they are hanging out in. Ive been to several straight clubs where there are people having oral sex in the middle of the dance floor. I see that a lot less in gay clubs (I often go with my cousin who happens to be gay).
     
  16. ericbear

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    This is indeed true. Many straight people seem to regard the gay and straight communities as isolated. In fact, from my own experiences, there is a lot more sexual contact between the groups than most straight people are willing to admit. In rare cases, this is open-- I've let men blow me while their wives watched. But most bisexual men are very closeted, and have a lot to loose, like their beloved children, if they come out. Consequently, it is very hard for a man to tell his wife, who is on the pill, that he needs to use a condom, becuse he's been taking it up the ass while away on business. Similarly, this man may be very reluctant to even get an HIV test, let his wife find out and ask why he is concerned about this. So, if he ever does get infected, chances are the wife will as well.

    As such, given enough time, the health issues in gay circles are very much relevant to those in straight mainstream. In a report written in 2000 (see http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/news/At-a-Glance.pdf ; you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader), the CDC found that 42% of new HIV infections were due to male-male transmission, while 33% were from heterosexual intercourse (the remainder came from IV drug use). However, the 42% from man-man sex includes bisexual men, who believe they contracted the disease from another man. When this is considered, it is seen that the disease if far from being a gay issue anymore, with about as many new sexually transmitted cases occuring in the straight community as they gay. (However, because there are far fewer gay people, the rate of incidence is still much higher in the gay community.)
     
  17. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    Dude, not even when you were in a relationship? No problem there right? [/b][/quote]
    Yes, Javier, even when I was involved in a serious relationship.
     
  18. jonb

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    Yeah, fellatio's fairly low-risk. Even lower-risk than coitus. (About ten times lower. That's for both partners.)

    Oh, and I agree: The idea that all gay men are promiscuous and no heterosexuals are is kinda offensive.

    Oh, and Jav? Even if your partner is HIV-negative, unless s/he hadn't had sex for 6 months before the test and you're the only partner after, you have to be careful. Isolation is still the best defense against AIDS, though.
     
  19. Imported

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    Javierdude22: Well, I asked because I have engaged in unprotected same sex intercourse during a relationship.

    So basically, hypothetically speaking, if you are in a strictly monogamous relationship with a guy, unprotected sex cannot result in STD's right?

    In that respect I know absolutely shite on this topic. I guess what basically gets me scratching my head is where the hell does it originate from? This is gonna make me look very stupid (no commenst plz <_< ) but can STD&#39;s simply &#39;spring up&#39; between gay couples who are totally uninfected before?

    I&#39;m learning so much -_-
     
  20. Imported

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    gwinea2000:
    If I somehow inferred this, I apologize. It&#39;s not my intent to suggest nor my belief that all gay men are promiscuous. (Shit, I&#39;m promiscuous and I&#39;m straight.) To each their own.
     
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