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Thursday, June 27, 2013

THE “BAREBACK BROTHERHOOD” & THE DISTURBING TREND OF UNPROTECTED GAY SEX

Here’s a secret: gay men enjoy sex. Speaking from experience, it’s all right. We get it. But going back to time immemorial, dudes have enjoyed getting it on with other dudes. There’s artliteraturemovies, songs, jokes, limericks and several Golden Girls episodes dedicated to it.  That’s not going to change — but sexual practices have. It’s not 2,000 years ago, so why have sex like it is, right? If the 90s taught us anything, it’s that R&B peaked as an art form and safe sex is the smart and responsible thing to do. There’s at least one great R&B song about it:


And a Golden Girls gif:


Yet in the past five years, HIV infection rates have increased, and barebacking has becoming somewhat “mainstream” among gay men. For evidence, gaycentric underwear brand Andrew Christian prominently featured bareback porn star Antonio Briaggi in a recent promotion. Perhaps exacerbating the trend is the increased popularity of hookup apps like Grindr and sites like Adam4Adam — a recent study found that nearly 50% of men who used hookup apps engaged in barebacking. Then, earlier this year we reported on a Facebook group that glorified unprotected sex — it had over 20,000 followers but the Facebook powers-that-be subsequently shut ‘er down.

The Bareback Brotherhood, however, is still carrying on that group’s proud tradition. The Brotherhood [read more here] is an online social community that claims to have over 6,000 members worldwide, and nearly as many Twitter followers, dedicated to raw sex. According to its mission statement:

The Bareback Brotherhood…stands a beacon [sic]. The Bareback Brotherhood is as [sic] a social group of men around the globe from all walks of life. We agree on one thing — sex between men without barriers is natural and a legitimate choice. As consenting adults, skin-to-skin intimacy should be a choice that is not demonized or marginalized. The Bareback Brotherhood advocates on behalf of raw sex, knowing that many men engage but hide. The Bareback Brotherhood is a group without judgment and with mutual respect for all, no matter sero-status — positive, negative or unknown. Fuck more. Fear less. Regret nothing.

While that last bit makes for a good rallying call, there’s nothing noble about bareback sex. It’s not some revolution or revelation. Rather, in advocating raw sex, they are in fact advocating wanton irresponsibility. We don’t purport to be the moral compass of the LGBT community, but we’re big believers in condoms because your health is just generally something you don’t want to fuck with. Sure, contracting HIV is no longer a death sentence — not to say that death isn’t a factor — nor should having HIV be a stigma. But whether you’re positive or not, it’s still important to take steps to protect yourself and your health. Just think of the wonderful array of sexually transmitted diseases available free with purchase of this ideology. For a taste, Google images of syphilis and then try not to scratch the corneas out of your eyes.

Still, more and more gay men are eschewing safer sex and as a result rates of HIV infections are on the rise. According to the Center for Disease Control:

MSM [men who have sex with men] remain the population most heavily affected by HIV infection. Comparing 2008 to 2010, the number of new HIV infections among MSM increased 12% from 26,700 in 2008 to 29,800 in 2010, with a 22% increase among MSM aged 13–24 from 7,200 in 2008 to 8,800 in 2010. Although MSM represent about 7% of the male population in the United States, in 2010MSM accounted for 78% of the new HIV infections among males.

Groups like the Bareback Brotherhood are partly to blame for advocating unsafe sexual practices, but there’s also a lack of awareness as to the risks involved, particularly among young people. Research has shown that a lot of kids today just don’t care about getting infected with HIV and this lack of awareness can translate into not taking measures to protect their health. On a related note, abstinence-only education is thedumbest thing in the entire world.

So what we have here is not only a lack of education, but also a complacency over the threat of HIV/AIDS. That same hookup app study found that 47% of respondents who engaged in unprotected sex were knowledgeable about HIV and were afraid of getting infected. Their reasons for not using condoms then? Nearly 85% claimed “with condoms it does not feel the same” and nearly 74% did it just for kicks.


At the end of the day, consenting adults will do what consenting adults want to do, but if you insist on engaging in unprotected sex, at least get regularly screened for STIs and make sure your partners do too. Like, have actual documentation on you at all times. Sex shouldn’t require due diligence, but with all that’s at stake you should at least have some protection.

SOURCE: QUEERTY

16 comments:

  1. Like they say, "consenting adults will do what consenting adults do". Even with so much information out there warning us of the potential consequences, the decision is ultimately ours and ours alone.

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  2. The key issue is education. We've made advances in HIV prevention education but much more still needs to be done. I'm in no position to judge barebacking practices. However, we all know that it is an unsafe behavior. With one in five Americans who have HIV unaware of their infection, the math and probability speak for themselves.

    Accident or coincidence that you published this on National HIV Testing Day (NHTD)?

    Much love and naked hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. this entry was PURPOSELY set for today :-) my NHTD is coming up after this one

      Delete
  3. its a consensual choice. I'm not one to judge also. can't deny I never did it. I was in a monogamous relationship at the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup; maybe not ALL, but a significant number. Make an INFORMED choice and then be willing to accept the consequences.

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    2. you are right about that, I often wonder how/why SO many of do this to ourselves.

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  4. It's also about being a good global citizen. Our actions, be they between consenting adults or not, affect everyone. With health care dollars scare and little old men and small kids not having access to the most basic care, we can ill afford, as a society, to spend the HUNDREDS of thousands a dollars a year to treat a consenting adult whose disease was almost totally preventable.

    The same folks who scream loudest for ones right to bareback would bust a gut if their neighbor dumped his motor oil I'm a common stream. Same thing here. We all gotta live on this planet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad to see that we share the sentiment that what one person does it has some sort of effect on us

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  5. There is an increase among young men in Australia becoming HIV+ because they don't use condoms. But they say that it doesn't matter because there is medication these days to control it. But this is very dangerous.

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    Replies
    1. that is VERY dangerous, medication prolong life but this disease always seem to get what it wants

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  6. Well, I got to be honesty and say I do judge. Fucking stupid! I judge people who drive drunk too. Knowingly putting your own and others' lives at risk, promoting this behavior to youth, no, I am sorry, I judge. My biggest turn off has always been men who want to bareback. It shows a lack of respect for yourself and the people you fuck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand where you coming from, this fight is a frustrating one

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  7. I've been educated, about using protection, but to he honest, there have been times that I'm bent over, and I don't know if he is wrapped or not. by that time, I don't care. I just need him in me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well you have to decide if having him in you for a few minutes is worth the lifetime of taking meds

      Delete

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