X Rayed Sex: “STIs…Don’t Do Blame, Don’t Do Shame”

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By LeNair Xavier

Thotyssey presents a monthly column by LeNair Xavier, a writer/poet who has worked in many levels of the sex industry, and has a lot to say about the social politics of sex, porn and sexual etiquette.


My first STI was me catching syphilis within one year of my becoming
sexually active. While I was single that entire time, and not having sex every
other day, or every other week, who I got it from was very easy to figure out.
For at the time, I was a total bottom. Yet one of the first places I realized
something was wrong was by seeing chancre sores on my penis, making it obvious
that I got the syphilis from a blowjob. And since only one guy gave me a
blowjob within that time frame, it was easy to narrow down who gave it to me. 

However, I never blamed him. Maybe this is another result of my coming
out at 30
instead of as a teen or 20-something. Because thinking about sex and
the “what if’s” that accompany it, and how to respond were already
getting planned in my head before I came out. And because of that, I just
sucked it up. I owned contracting a STI as a possible part of what happens with
sex. Especially sex with someone you’re not committed to, or monogamous with.
Looking at it that way made my contracting an STI not deter me from sex. I
wasn’t screaming it from the rooftops, but I was not ashamed of it happening
either. So after my penicillin shot, I took the recommended time off of the
sexual playing field. Beating my meat to porn and/or fantasies of strangers
each of those days. Then once that time passed, I was back in the game. So my
day-to-day routine for a great deal never changed.

I felt no shame about catching syphilis or any other STI since because,
plain and simply,…I FUCKED.

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And as much as some religious and pretentious upbringings might try to
make us feel ashamed for having gay sex, or sex outside the realms of monogamy,
we should not feel shame about fucking. For it’s what we as humans do when we
have a sexual attraction to someone. We crave to join with that person’s body
and spirit in the most intimate way possible – SEX. 

Sometimes the attraction, lust, and passion take over, and due to the
natural spontaneity of sex, we don’t use the best judgement. Like using a
condom when we usually do. Or we don’t ask the right questions. At the same
time however, overthinking it can make you kill the mood and ask unneeded
questions. For instance, if you plan on using a condom, there is no reason to
ask someone about their HIV or STI status. And even if you do ask, be they a
stranger or not, how do you know they are telling you the truth? Heck! Unless
they just came from getting results from a rapid test, if they had sex between
their last test and the moment they meet you, they can’t even be 100% sure they
are telling you the truth.

Despite the heated exchange I once wound up in on Facebook over my
position on condom use, the stubborn Aries that I am still maintains that
position and feels even more certain of it today. I said: 

It is unnatural to have a barrier between you
and your sex partner. However, due to HIV and other STI’s, we must consider
condoms as the barrier to ward those STI’s off.

What makes me firmer in my position today is 1) most STIs are, if not
curable, definitely treatable; 2) HIV is no longer a virus leading to
unavoidable death, unless left untreated, and; 3) the advent of PrEP lessens
the fear of one contracting HIV. 

All of these factors should lessen the shame that can hold us back from
enjoying sex as the pleasurable physical and spiritual experience that it is.
Yet this shame still exist. But why?

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I feel it’s most likely because many of us do come from homophobic
households. Be that homophobia based in religion or uber-masculine cultures,
many of us are still harboring that shame imposed upon us for being gay. Sure,
many of us talk a good game about being “out & proud”. However,
actions speak louder than words. And some actions (e.g.: shaming a fellow gay
male for contracting an STI) not only says otherwise. It actually screams
otherwise. For such shame is one trying to distract attention to their own
behavior. 

Now, we can’t talk about not feeling shame about catching a STI without
ridding ourselves of the shame about where we can catch a STI. With that
being the case, you should not feel ashamed about where you fuck. As long as it
is permitted by the host of the event or space, and/or you’re not trespassing
on someone’s property, there is no need for shame. 

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One occurrence that makes this a needed reaffirmation is my seeing many
a time in a backroom where I will see 2 or more cackling gay hens talking smack
about those playing. The reason you need to disregard this shaming is because 9
times out of 10, they’re wallflowers burdened by the aforementioned
pretentiousness who want to be sexually liberated enough to be doing what
you’re doing. Maybe even more. In short, they envy how they have allowed
themselves to live vicariously through you, instead of living it themselves,
and their cackling is simply them acting out. 

As I strive to keep this truthful, as with every rule, there are exceptions
to my “Don’t Do Blame, Don’t Do Shame” rule for catching a STI. With
that said, you should shame someone for getting an STI when they caught it by
being a cheater in a monogamous relationship, a rapist, a pedophile, or any
other creature that violates someone’s body, personal space, and/or trust. The
victim(s) of these creatures however should not feel shame. None whatsoever.
But they have every right to be the exception to the rule and blame who they
contracted the STI from. 

When the idea for this article was brought to me, I immediately
understood the need for it. For we as gay males must endure enough shame from
outside communities just for us naturally being. We don’t need to feel more
shame from one another for possible results of that being we all share, just
because some of us are still harboring narrow-minded ignorance taught by those
outside communities. So if this article can help remedy that, then I’m glad to
do my part.


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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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