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Leveled with my wife...still a bit anxious
Jan 8, 2008

Hi Dr. Bob, The purpose of this question is two-fold: one, to ask your opinion; and two, to encourage the many other men reading this site to level with their wives about their sexual behavior.

So first, a brief snapshot of the only incidents since my last negative HIV test that are are causing me stress: two occassions of protected vaginal sex with CSW's, two occassions of unprotected insertive oral sex with a man (the same man). Realizing that insertive oral carries a very low risk and protected vaginal is indeed protected, I suspect there's no real reason for concern or HIV testing, correct?

Secondly, yesterday I leveled with my wife about my life-long struggles with sex addiction. I put faith in her that she would understand and support me to get the help I need. She did not disappoint me. I suspect that many men whose posts I read that sound remarkably like my circumstances would find the same level of understanding and support from their wives. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do but I believe it set me on the path toward a healthy marriage.

Now, my last point deals with my on-going anxiety about HIV. I can't help but think of all the what-if scenarios that could make "protected sex" actually unsafe.

I know you're not a counselor, but if there's anything you can offer that might put me at ease, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your wonderful work, Doc...you are a Godsend.

Recovering WW

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Recovering WW,

1. Your HIV-risk assessment is correct: Protected is protected (assuming the latex condom was used properly and did not fail) and insertive oral carries only a minimal risk for HIV acquisition.

2. BRAVO on leveling with your wife! Honesty is never a wrong decision.

3. Protected sex can be unsafe for a variety of reasons for instance, using the wrong kind of condom (lambskin or natural condoms do not protect against HIV) or using the condom improperly (you'd be amazed how many ways people have screwed up using such a simple device while screwing!). If you are at all worried, why not just get a rapid test three months after your last potential screw-up or screwing. That will put your unwarranted worries and what-iffing permanently to rest.

Good luck. Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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