Raw Sex: Anything Goes, Part 1 by Kyle Phoenix
The challenge of dating in the 21st century or even working in/with groups tht involve particularly men who have sex with men is the shadow of STI---Sexually Transmitted Infections (HIV, HIV-2, HPV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Mano, HCV, Syphilis, Herpes, etc.) because the population one is dealing with is ground zero. The deeper, social challenge is not simply the risk but the what can feel like sheer insanity around non-protection. Unfortunately, as statistics suggest, from Black and Latino men, Somehow, some way along the road of sexual liberation there has come the mentality that unsafe sex---exchange of bodily fluids---is cool and the gang.
Can we look at race, men of color, sexually involved with other men of color, and say---the weight of homophobia coupled with racism drives, otherwise, seemingly sensible men to actively, consciously try and infect or get infected? Has oppression and disdain, violence and prejudice, driven us so insane that I'm talking about the "need for love and healing in the Black community" in one breath and infecting with the next? Is it such lack of value for men of color, men of color who may be homosexual or bi-sexual (or even heterosexual---don't think your straightness excuses you from unsafe sex) by other men of color that we have to lynch each other with bodily fluids?
Or, if we expand the scope, are men (and women---gender does not excuse you from exposure) of any race so self-hating, other-hating, homo-hating that infecting another is plausible? That "breeding" parties is normal? That wanting to be bred (HIV infected on purpose) is acceptable? Not just acceptable to the individual seeking but more importantly to those of us who watch them.
In this work I do, education, identity, sexuality, I frequent a lot of dating sites, for all genders and sexualities, and what I see is terrifying. Too many men of color without a regard to being infected or infecting. I'm often eschewing two out of three out of hand just for their risky profiles. But now a trend I've started to notice---White men, particularly over 30 seeking Black and Latino men for raw sex---pointedly as the Caucasian, HIV+, insertive partner. So it's a minefield---Blacks and Latinos (45% under 30) infecting one another and now White men seeking out particularly minorities to infect. Now I could lash into a rant about racism and entitlement and the capacity of someone in dominant culture feeling oblivious to moral conventions around infecting people of color but when I see/am offered infection by people of color, I must ask: whose holding the rope and who's doing the lynching? Has racial liberation lead us to sociopathic hatred of ourselves rather than racial love?
But I don't want to wholesale judge or condemn, in fact I write this to educate so next time I'll run down the 5 factors of why men report they bareback and more importantly, I'll search myself for where I'm at in this debate, hitting myself with some of the above questions as I hope you will too.
Coming Next: Barebacking: Top 5 Reasons Men Do It To Each Other