A monthly column by Thotyssey’s favorite ex-pornstar and current sexpert.
We live in an age where too many are quick to abbreviate. Never fully understanding the ramifications of those abbreviations.
Case in point, in 2017, gay males are still referring to whether one is HIV- as being “clean”. They go on all of the hook-up apps, and meet p in bars asking the question “Are you clean?”
Abbreviating their real question which is, “What is your HIV status?”
This attempt to abbreviate a civilized 8 syllable question results in a crass and overcompensating 3 syllables.
Because saying “clean” to mean HIV- is saying someone who is HIV+ is “dirty”. This was a bad and hypocritical enough practice when condom use was strongly suggested. But with the advent of PrEP, and gay males saying it when planning to have unprotected sex, it’s downright despicable. For it’s one of too many ways we gay males are our own worst enemy.
What’s hypocritical, therefore despicable is how these guys are using PrEP to do the same, or even more extreme sexual behavior that got the people you are trying to call “dirty” to become HIV+ —the reason you are trying the call the other guy “dirty”. So you trying to call yourself “clean” is nothing more than you trying to make yourself appear to be sexually superior… At least for the time being.
I’ve heard of a number of cases of guys quick to say the word “clean”, willingly have bareback sex without PrEP, then becoming HIV+ themselves. So one must ask…
Why are you having unprotected sex with a stranger, and taking their said word of their HIV status as gospel truth? Never asking for any printout of recent medical confirmation whatsoever! Yet, when someone is honest enough to say they are HIV+, in 2017, you still insist on treating them like they’re toxic sewage, as if you’ll melt if they so much as touch you.
Well, correct me if I’m wrong. But growing up, weren’t we told by our parents to not talk to strangers? So now that you’re an adult and horny, not only do you talk to strangers, but you trust their word like one should trust those of their parents. Does that logic make sense to you?
With that said, if you’re going to give a stranger that much of your trust, if they lie, don’t try giving them 100% of the blame. You must take at least half of the blame yourself.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re using the word “clean” to talk about one’s HIV status, the crudeness of your abbreviated language doesn’t warrant you the truth you’re seeking. For I feel that if you ask someone “Are you clean?”, instead of asking them “What is your HIV status?”, they have every right to answer “Yes”. However, the meaning of that “yes” is to say that he did the 3 S’s (Shit, Showered & Shaved). Because that is what a guy does to be clean. Contracting HIV does not undo that cleanliness. For HIV does not define one’s cleanliness.
I already said that being HIV- and calling yourself “clean” is a means of trying to convince yourself that you’re some degree sexually superior. Well, isn’t it also you projecting self-guilt?
For how “clean” is your soul when your decision to join with another’s body is based solely on looks? With no exploration of their soul.
How “clean” is your soul when with so little info, you give this stranger your phone number and/or address?
How “clean” is your soul and body when your plan of action this entire time was to have this sex with someone you have so little knowledge of bareback? And if not bareback, I’m sure you plan on giving and/or receiving a blowjob without a condom.
How “clean” is your soul, body, mind, and heart when your intention was to treat that one-night stand like a disposable hole or disposable pole to flush down the toilet once you’ve done the deed?
And how “clean” is your soul, body, and mind after you actually go through with (some or all) of the aforementioned acts, and make plans to do that exact same course of action again?
I do believe my points prove the answer to my question about you projecting to be a loud echoing YES. And what you are projecting is how it is actually YOU who feels unclean. You feel that your soul, your body, and your mind are unclean for doing one or more of the aforementioned actions. To be honest, for some of those actions, yes, you are. The problem is that once you project that feeling onto someone you unjustly see as weaker, not only have you set it in stone that those parts of you actually are unclean, but you have then added your heart to that list of uncleanliness. You already added your heart to
the list with Point #4. Do you really want to make your guilt worst by adding your heart to every point?
Although I’m more old school, and meetplaymates at bars and sex parties, the guy who opened my eyes to not treating those with HIV like dirt was a guy I hooked up with after emails, then chats on Manhunt over a decade ago. So I have had enough one-night stands to have of course played one or more of the roles involved in one or more of those aforementioned acts. However, I have never been lazy enough to abbreviate my speech to ask someone their HIV status, by asking them “Are you clean?”
To be honest, I rarely ask the question someone about their STI status. Because if I’m using a condom, you don’t need to ask. You’re already taking the precaution. So in this day and age, asking someone their STI status if you’re playing safe is an outdated play among us gay males to be our own worst enemy. By trying to use ridiculous means to feel sexually superior to one another when our own sexual actions make us have no right to do so. For such people, they don’t realize the only reason they’re not HIV+ is out of sheer luck. But they need to wake up because luck does run out. Especially when you’re being
arrogant about it.
In that arrogance, the person saying “clean” is also doing overkill in trying to act like God. For saying “clean” is you rushing to judgement that the person got HIV because of bad judgement. That might be the case. But it might also be the case where the HIV+ person used good judgement, and the other person didn’t do their part in respecting that good judgement.
Such as a situation where a bottom asks for condom use, then he sees his top put the condom on, and their initial sex position is doggy-style, so the top uses that as a way to snatch the condom off the second before entering the bottom. Never telling the bottom he’s HIV+, or the top himself doesn’t even know. For you have no idea what that guy did the months, days, hours, or minutes between his last STI check-up and meeting you. Regardless of what he tells you, if you weren’t there, then you don’t know for sure.
It would not surprise me if we could trace this question of “Are you clean?” back to the start of the AIDS epidemic. With homophobic, hypocritical, on the down low conservatives using the term “clean” to overdo the cover-up of their own repressed gay urges or secret actions that had not resulted in them becoming HIV+. I believe this to be especially true of those in government making the laws. Laws that still put people in prison for not disclosing their HIV status.
Sadly, with all of the advancement that has been done with the treatment of HIV, too many of us gays still keep the stigma alive. So it comes down to what I have been repeatedly saying in my blogging over the years…
We can’t demand those outside our community to treat us better when we treat others badly within our community.
With that said, we can’t keep that negative stigma about HIV alive in anyway, and expect those who are HIV+ to always be honest. For the stigma attached to that term “clean” forces the HIV+ who would disclose their status to instead lie by way of omission, or keep it totally hidden by lying outright. Case in point, I once met a guy who was in a 2.5 years long relationship, and never told his boyfriend his HIV status. Some of you are saying, “How cruel!” But it makes us need to stop and ask ourselves, Why would he feel the need to live such a lie? What are we doing as a community to each other to make him feel uncomfortable in confiding in his own?
So it’s time for us to be mindful of what exactly we are saying to each other. Be mindful of the origins of these terminologies. That way we can see from a mile away what the intent was behind such terminologies coming to be. Thereby, not repeat the ugly history behind them.
In closing, the truth is every hook-up is a gamble. However, you don’t get in a relationship simply for the sake of avoiding the gamble. Also, there is nothing wrong with casual sex. As long as you acknowledge sex as a physical and spiritual connection, own your part in the road to the sex, and actual encounter of it, and the consequences that follow, be they good or bad. All the while, respecting those same components in a prospective playmate’s sex life equation, even if the consequences of their actions end up being different from yours.
The problem is the gay community as a whole is not doing that. Hence why with all of the advances that have been done with the treatment of HIV, therefore weakening the validity of negative stigmas, there is no excuse for saying the word “clean” in 2017.
LeNair Xavier can be found frequently at the Cock, and at various other exhibitionist-friendly venues. He has a blog called L’s X-Ray Vision, and can be followed on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. He guest blogs occasionally for Kiroo.com.
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