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YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE FRANK (RE: BAREBACKING)
Mar 20, 2006

Hello Dr. Bob,

I greatly admire you and your work on this site; as a matter of fact, your advice has helped me many times to stay focused and sane.

But regarding the "Bareback"-Questioner, you should have been more frank.

I have gay friends (I am male, hetero) who tell me about barebacking-parties and darkrooms so often, I wonder if they have any other hobbies except (unprotected) sex & meth. (And I thought I was crazy, playing the piano for hours a day!)

Yes, it is true that it is one's personal decision to protect oneself, but decisions are based on facts, and the facts - from what I know - are obscured, put into unequal relations and - most importantly - euphemized (no it's not "riding without saddle" it's a clear and open invitation to the clap, syphillis, veneral warts and our two favorite incurables: genital herpes & HIV-transmission!)

You - being homosexual - surely have more insight into the sexual practices in the gay community. Yet regarding this pseudo-hedonistic approach to life ("Hm, if he does not cum in my ass, I should be safe, right?") should NOT be tolerated. If I may, the answer to his question should have been:

"Fuhget it: you bareback, you should be embarrassed about yourself and the other you're putting at risk. Put on a condom for chrissakes, and don't tell me about "but it's less intimate". The marginalizing stigma that unfortunately comes with AIDS is 'even less intimate' - especially if you're from a Red Square State, you might quickly be treated as a new-age leper!"

...

Sorry for getting into such a fit, but I am writing from a major-city, and I can see all around me how people choose to behave, due to their playing the health/bookkeeper -specialist while crunching statistics, and embellishing clear and inconturnable major health risks.

I guess, all I wanted, was to give future EvilKnevils a clear and crisp message to spread along their other barebacking aficionados.

I wonder what your thoughts are on this?!

Thanks again for this great site!

Luv ya,

Fred

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Fred,

I "luv ya" too (especially if you play the piano for hours a day), but I can't agree with your comments for several reasons:

1. My job here is to present scientifically sound and well reasoned advice about HIV transmission (among many other topics) and not to be judgmental. If folks want fire and brimstone condemnation, they can go to church.

2. Is "gay barebacking" really so different than all the hetero bare-fronting? Unprotected sex places the commando participants, be they boy, girl, gay or Mormon straight (sometimes that's not always straight, but you know what I mean), at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV.

3. I doubt a "holier than thou" response to the question would have been helpful or well received by the questioner, be he an Evil Knievel or just someone who has a lapse from safe-sex behavior from time to time. Remember Nancy Regan's brilliant solution to America's drug problem, "Just Say No." We all know how well that worked.

Yes, Fredo, I am gay and yes, I have considerable insight into the sexual practices of not only the gay community but also into the "HIV is not our problem" straight community as well. Education and enlightenment, not preachy condescension, is what is needed to effect change in behaviors.

Stay well, Freddy-Boy, and remember to practice not only the piano, but what you "preach" as well, OK?

Dr. Bob



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