The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol

Promiscuous Gay Nerd: What Makes Sex Good?

October 28, 2013

 < Prev  |  1  |  2 

The More Complicated Stuff: Sex and Intimacy

All this talk about socializing leads me to the more complicated stuff -- the comments section! Beyond just sheer numbers, how is good sex described? Experienced? What do I complain about after bad sex? The consistency truly shocked me. I describe bad sex as "mechanical" and "disconnected." My brief synopsis of my encounter with Matthew (#1), is a perfect example. "Very hot guy -- but not into kissing. Disconnected sex. Disappointing." Matthew was fucking gorgeous. I mean, this man could have been a model. Sculpted body. Cheekbones for days. But damned if he wasn't about as interesting as a chemistry lecture in bed.

Bad kissing is definitely a theme in the bad encounters. Take a look at Nolberto (#5): "Bad kisser ... Nice guy, but terrible in bed. I couldn't even get hard. He tried to fuck me, failed. He jerked off and came. I didn't cum." I've always known kissing is important to me for sex. I just about can't get off without making out. But that becomes beautifully (and amusingly) crystalized in these reviews.

But what does this tell me? Well, there's a big fat theme here for me. A lesson I wasn't prepared to learn. While bad sex for me is "disconnected," good sex is "intimate," "passionate," and oftentimes involves sleepovers and morning sex. Let's take a look at Jacob (#16), which was probably one of the most powerful sexual experiences I've ever had:

Jacob, oh Jacob. Hallowed be thy name. The best sex I've had in years -- and certainly the first sleepover in years. Probably since my ex. He is so cute, sexy, smart, and an AMAZING lover. Charming. Has a partner. Called an Uber car to take me to his place around 1:30 AM. We fucked for hours. Woke up, fucked again. He came twice inside me at night, then again the next morning. He had a pet tarantula lol. First poz guy to ever cum inside me. I knew immediately he was the one to break that threshold.

There is a lot going on here. Jacob was the first guy I knew was HIV positive to cum inside me. This gave the experience a particular meaning to me. I wrote about struggling with this decision last year, before this experience, when I was still asking undetectable poz guys to pull out. (I won't rehash the science here: The risk of transmission from an undetectable poz top and a neg bottom on PrEP is exceedingly low). As I was getting out of the shower before I left to meet Jacob, my heart was racing. I was nervous in part because Jacob was blazing hot, but also because in my gut I knew I wasn't going to ask him to pull out. In the moment, I felt somehow that I was more connected to him. That I was giving him my trust. I know that I do this any time I have sex, but the emotional experience was acutely heightened with Jacob. Beyond HIV, you can see me describing Jacob as a person here. He owns a tarantula. He's charming. I compare him to my ex-boyfriend.


When I read these and other notes from my best sex this year, the truth just punched me in the gut like a bag of oranges in a mob movie. I'm looking for intimacy. Connection. Guys I can trust and have a conversation with. I'm sure many readers are beyond unimpressed at this realization, but these are the kinds of things you're not allowed to say you're looking for when you're looking for sex on gay hookup websites. You're supposed to be looking for big dicks. To get your ass pounded. To get fucked in half, goddammit!

Masculinity is written all over these discourses of gay sex, and yet they completely fail to account for what makes sex great in my life. I imagine this might not be true for other guys, but for me, what I'm looking for is painfully clear. While a big dick is a treasure -- don't get me wrong -- it's that intimate connection that truly takes sex from sport to religious experience. It's almost impossible to describe when it happens, and when it does it can knock you completely off-kilter. I remember one of the first times it ever really happened for me, with a one-night fling a few years back. We had this crazy, intense, and immediate attraction and connection. Somewhere in the fury of the night, he stopped and slowly worked his way down my body, kissing every inch of skin he found. Seemingly out of nowhere, I started crying. It's not just the action, but the careful, attentive, and caring way he did it. While perhaps not in the sense that most people use the word, it was an act of love. In that moment, I felt loved.

If I've learned anything in this ongoing experiment, it's that I need to pay better attention to myself. To what I need and want. Because I thought I knew why I loved sex so much. It turns out that I was hiding something from myself -- keeping myself from acknowledging an uncomfortable truth. Sex can be instrumental, yes, and instrumental sex can be fulfilling in certain ways. But for me, great sex is more than just instrumental. It is a connection between two people that is emotionally charged, vulnerable, and potentially transformative.

What about you? What makes for great sex in your life? As always, leave a comment or send me an email at

Jake Sobo is a pen name used for anonymity. Jake has worked in the world of HIV prevention for nearly a decade. He previously published a 19-part series documenting his experiences on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), "My Life on PrEP," for Positive Frontiers magazine, which was picked up by Manhunt, translated into French, and widely read in the HIV prevention world. He has spent the better part of his adult life having as much sex as possible while trying to avoid contracting HIV.

 < Prev  |  1  |  2 

More From This Resource Center

Undetectable Viral Load and HIV Prevention: What Do Gay and Bi Men Need to Know?

Do HIV-Negative Gay Men Need Condoms if They're on PrEP? Here's What I Tell My Patients

Related Stories

HIV Prevention, Young Gay Men of Color and the Fourth Wave of HIV Activism
Knowing Your HIV Status Is Sexy, Says New NSFW Video
More on Sex, Dating & HIV for Gay Men

This article was provided by BETA. Visit their website at

Reader Comments:

Comment by: AnotherGayNerd (Manila) Sun., Dec. 1, 2013 at 11:16 am UTC
Hi, I'm a virgin, a horny virgin. This is my first encounter with an article written by you and damn I thought that was hot and heartwarming at the end. I don't know if you would read this but in case you and some of other readers do, I have some things to say about your erhm, research. :))))

I'm astounded by your analytical and statistical approach to your sexual pursuits. The way you interpreted your results was as if you were writing some form of dissertation. It's scientific despite being a reflection. I'd suggest you'd use decision trees and associative mining in machine learning software like rapid miner to make a thorough and really interesting analysis :))))
Reply to this comment
Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Jake Sobo (Online) Mon., Dec. 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm UTC
Thanks for your comment, AnotherGayNerd :) That is FAR beyond my technical expertise. But if you wanted to help me, by all means shoot me an email ;)

Comment by: Charles Martin (Alexandria VA) Fri., Nov. 22, 2013 at 9:42 am UTC
How sad. You should always practice safe sex.
Reply to this comment

Comment by: RayW (Australia) Thu., Oct. 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm UTC
The need for intimacy is innate to most humans. Most of us would know what Jake is talking about when he says his best sex was when he felt intimately connected with his partner. The kissing, the eye contact, the sensation of even the tiniest movements. Which makes the ice epidemic all the more tragic. The craving for the drug high is overwhelming the natural craving for intimacy. It twists and tortures it into a deceitful longing. It makes guys think they're getting intimacy, experiencing something powerful. But they're only getting up close and personal with the drug - not the person they're having *sex* with. Intimacy requires a connection, communication - verbal and non-verbal (especially the shared sensations of skin on skin). Ice puts a shutter down over most of the senses required for this communication. The connection is just not possible.
Reply to this comment

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our advertising policy.