My problem is real and I hope you will treat it that way. I am 28 years old, a Libra, and gay, and I have been living in West Hollywood for the last eight years.
Lately, when I am having relations with another man, I feel that I am being watched and judged. I worry that God or angels are with me in the room and that they disapprove. I’ve never worried about these things before, and I wonder what issues are causing these feelings. I have always been spiritual, but this “I have sinned” feeling is new. Up until this point, being gay was always something I was proud of. What is happening to me?
–A Struggling Soul
Here’s what’s happening to you: As the days fall away, bringing us closer to December 31, 1999, there’s a free-floating millennial anxiety in the air. Your subconscious picked up on that anxiety, it rattled around inside your skull with your pea brain for a while–a pea already prone to crapola like astrology–and ultimately that anxiety grew into a steaming pile of delusional horseshit.
Let me walk you through this: If there were such things as angels, which there are not, and if there were such a thing as God, which there is not, God and his heavenly host would have more important things to do than stand at the foot of your bed and watch you get fucked in the ass. Angels, despite the pop-culture moment they’re currently enjoying, DO NOT EXIST. They’re the latest fantasy cooked up to entertain pea brains who’ve become bored with past lives and well-off white women channeling Ice Age warriors. When we watch Touched by an Angel or sit in movie theaters watching City of Angels, we need to remind ourselves that it’s all make-believe. There are no angels in Los Angeles watching over you, and for that matter, no killer Texas-sized asteroids hurtling toward earth or big, derivative lizards stomping on New York City.
Don’t feel bad: You’re not the only person acting like a goon as the clock runs out on this millennium. The editors of Time magazine, for example, seem to think angels are peering over their shoulders. Time recently ran a cover story about angels, not titled “Angels: A Load of Crap,” but in the interest of humoring the pea brains, “Angels: Do They Exist?”
So if there aren’t angels watching over you, what’s up? You’re unhappy with your life, and something about the relations you’ve been having with men bothers you. Since you’re one of those people who grew into adulthood without developing the ability to process negative feelings, instead of looking inside yourself and taking responsibility for your life and whatever it is that’s making you unhappy, you imagine Della Reese hovering over your bed making yuck faces while you give blow jobs. Are you with me? It’s not that angels disapprove of what you’re doing, but that you disapprove of what you’re doing.
Since being straight is not an option–at least it’s not to any gay person who isn’t willing to become a Jesus freak–you need to find a new way of being gay, one that doesn’t make you miserable. If the men you’re having sex with make you unhappy, or the circumstances do, start having sex under different circumstances and with different men. Take responsibility for your life, and stop worrying about what Della Reese thinks. Trust me: Angels don’t exist, and pretty soon Della Reese won’t either.
My last partner liked it doggy-style. After many sessions humping like a bitch in heat, my lower back started bothering me. I think it was because of this position. Should your back be arched or relaxed? Could it hurt your back to sort of sit on your feet, resting your torso on your thighs, with your ass thrust in the air? My chiropractor is my father’s partner, so I can’t share intimate information about my sex life with him. But before I get on my knees again and crouch like a dog, I’d like to figure out what caused my discomfort. Do you have any idea? –Pained Poodle
I called a chiropractor in Toronto who would speak to me only if I promised not to use his name–so let’s just call him Quack the Chiroprack. According to Quack the Chiroprack, the position you describe involves a hyperextension of the lumbar spine. “And when there’s a lot of pressure on the spine, the excessive force can cause abnormal rubbing in the spine,” which is never good. So is doggy-style a no-no? “There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with doggy-style, but if she was in pain afterward, there was probably too much extension of the girl’s back–her back was overarched–and her ass was probably too high in the air.” So next time you’re doin’ it doggy-style, don’t arch too much, and try to keep yer butt at a reasonable angle.
I am a bi male. I met this guy, and we were messing around. He wanted to fuck me, but we didn’t have a rubber. I said, “No way,” and he was OK with that. Then he told me he was HIV positive! Needless to say, I was shocked that he would suggest we have unprotected anal sex. When I questioned him, he said that it was safe because he was on the new drugs and his viral count was undetectable.
Now I don’t buy for a second that unprotected sex with someone who is on a drug cocktail is safe, but it seems logical that these new drugs would reduce the risk of transmission. What are your thoughts? Is there scientific evidence one way or the other on this issue? –Keeping It Wrapped
Whether HIV-positive men taking drug cocktails are less infectious depends on the amount of virus in their semen, not their blood. Some studies indicate that HIV-positive men with undetectable viral loads also have lower levels of virus in their semen. But other studies have demonstrated that some men on the drugs who have undetectable viral loads in their blood nevertheless have high levels of HIV in their semen.
“Triple-drug cocktails probably do decrease the risk of someone transmitting HIV to another person, assuming the person taking them has an undetectable viral load in their blood,” says Dr. David Spach, coeditor of The HIV Manual and a professor at the University of Washington medical school. “But we really don’t know how much the risk is decreased. Based on all the information I’m aware of, I honestly believe someone taking the triple-drug cocktails…and who has an undetectable viral load in their blood could transmit HIV to another person.”
Even if the drugs lower the risk of an HIV-positive person successfully transmitting the virus to another person, they do not eliminate the risk. So unless you’re in a monogamous relationship with someone you trust, or you’re already HIV positive and don’t care about reinfection, or you don’t care about getting infected in the first place, you should still be using condoms–drugs or no drugs. As for that guy who wanted to fuck you without a condom, he’s either misinformed or he’s an asshole. Either way, he’s a danger to his sex partners, and I hope he never gets laid again in his long life.
Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.