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First Homosexual Experience
Sep 27, 2000

Hey Mr. Kull. I'm a nineteen year old male who has finally accepted his homosexuality, and I've met this really nice guy that I'd like to pursue something deeper with. I met him on the internet, and have spoken with him on the phone several times. Hopefully, I will see him later this week in person. His views on sex and mine differ dramatically. I almost have two different views in my own mind... On one hand, I want to wait and have sex with someone who I can call my boyfriend, someone who I think I could have a chance at falling in love with... someone who could fall in love with me. On the other hand, I really want to engage in intercourse... I want to have sex with him. He has had oral sex with a handful of other individuals. These guys were his really good friends... nothing more. He didn't use protection during any of those times, though he says that he is not HIV positive. I asked him how he knew, and he said that "he knew the people", just implying that he trusted them enough not to do that to him. He sees me as a really good friend, as I already see him. I actually want him to be my boyfriend, though he is doubtful about how successful that would be since we live a good distance from each other. He wants to have sex with me. I want to have sex with him. Already, though, I am feeling guilty. What if he really is HIV positive? Am I going against my morals by having sex with someone who I'm attracted to and really enjoy being around? Will I feel horribly guilty after my first sexual experience? Also, I get the feeling that he's a little hesitant to use protection during sex... I think I can answer my next question though... if he really liked me, then he would use protection when he had sex with me, right? I'm really embarrassed to ask this, but what is the likelihood of contracting HIV through rimming, oral sex, and anal sex? I'm just curious... and a little frightened, though I am so sick and tired of denying myself this form of pleasure... Thanks for your time.

Response from Mr. Kull

You ask some very important questions, some of which I will not be able to deal with adequately in this forum, but I'll do my best. This sounds like both an exciting and confusing time for you -- which is completely normal -- and my best advice for you would be to seek out a support system to help you through difficult emotional issues.

It sounds like a central issue is whether or not you should have sex. This is a decision you need to come to on your own. Absolutely no one can make this decision for you. Trusting your instincts, your gut feeling, sounds like such cliché advice, but it is the best suggestion I can offer. Having sex with someone when you are not comfortable with your decision can lead to feelings of guilt and remorse. Having sex with someone you like and trust can be an incredible experience.

Another issue: what is his HIV status? How will you ever know? I think this is a complicated scenario that almost everyone goes through. As a gay man in the U.S., you are more likely to have sex with someone who is HIV positive than most heterosexual people. For that very reason, it is important to understand HIV transmission, develop boundaries for yourself, and do your best to adhere to them. Some gay men decide that they will have oral sex with others -- because it is low-risk -- but they will not let them ejaculate in their mouth. We sometimes refer to this as a person's "acceptable risk." Having unprotected anal sex is high risk activity and it is widely accepted that condoms should be used each and every time for anal sex. If you go into sexual activity with specific, informed boundaries in your mind, then you will not feel like you are putting your health into someone else's hands.

People who really like/love each other sometimes use condoms, and sometimes do not use condoms (I actually believe that it is MORE difficult for many people to use condoms in this situation). People who are HIV positive sometimes have sex without condoms. Some HIV positive people do not know they are infected. You don't have to be a malicious, cruel person to not use a condom. It's human to slip up, whether or not you are HIV infected. That's another argument for you to develop your own boundaries and try to stick to them. Don't rely on him to make the decisions for you.

This is not meant to scare you. I think it's great that you are asking yourself and your internet boyfriend these questions. Keep doing so. You have so much control over whether or not you get HIV infected. I'd like to suggest that you read through as many of the questions, responses, and articles on this website to learn more about transmission and prevention facts.

Best wishes --

RMK



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