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The Bug Chaser's Tale: An Interview

March 3, 2014

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Dave: And you don't?

Jamie: Maybe, maybe but I've never felt that I don't understand why I do it, or rather did it. I've always felt that I understood it and never had problems with it. I had a happy childhood and have had a normal, almost boring, life. I'm not depressed or dysfunctional and I'm not running away from anything. I've never felt that there are deep-seated reasons why I bug-chased. For me it was the biggest thrill ever and just another sexual "kink" if you like, like most people have.

Dave: Would you call it a fetish?

Jamie: Like BDSM, or water sports? I don't know. I think fetishes are maybe choices: I don't feel I had a choice; I just had to do it you know? Is that a fetish? A rose by any other name eh!

Dave: I've read that many people feel a sense of sadness when they convert but also a sense of euphoria and elation. How did you feel when you got the results?


Jamie: I was pissed off. The game was over. So I guess, sadness was my main feeling; certainly not elation but I can imagine that some guys do see it as an incredible high when they achieve their goal.

Dave: That sounds logical. Is it logical do you think; bug chasing?

Jamie: There's nothing logical about sex. It's an animal thing. When you start linking human emotions and psychoanalysis to sexual behavior, you're forgetting that every life form on the planet needs to fuck -- you don't need any more reason than that.

Dave: Do you think that wanting to be part of a club has anything to do with it? After all, it's also an animal instinct to want to club together for survival.

Jamie: Stretching a point a bit don't you think? Gay men and women love being in clubs; it sets them apart from the crowd and also gives them a safety in numbers feeling. It's a tribal thing but the only reason I wanted to be in the bug-chasing club was to be able to get together with like-minded people.

Dave: Do you understand why health professionals and authorities get so irritated with people who actively want to increase their workload and add to health costs?

Jamie: Fuck 'em. It's my party and I'll die if I want to. I hear this argument all the time but it's mainly a moral objection. You don't hear them going after drinkers, smokers and over-eaters with so much disgust in their voices and they provide the biggest percentage of health costs by far.

Dave: I have a feeling we could go on for hours about this subject but for publication's sake, I'll have to stop here. I'd really like to thank you Jamie for your honesty and being prepared to tell your story. What does your future look like now?

Jamie: Well, strangely enough, my future's pretty rosy. I've got a new job lined up, have just moved into the city and have lots of friends and a good social life. As I said, the HIV seems to be under control and apart from the bloody neuropathy which drives me mad sometimes, life's pretty good. Sex is my only problem. I'm going to have to work out how I can have a healthy sex life but I'm working on it. I'm not looking for new extremes (before you ask) but I am going to have to find new ways to get turned on. There's a real emptiness in that respect, now that I can't bug chase anymore but I'm working on it and internet porn helps! I'm a work in progress!

As I said at the beginning of this article, I don't know if I'm any clearer about bug-chasing. Jamie's story is his own story and can't be applied to all bug-chasers. I am pretty certain that demonizing doesn't help. Jamie seems a pretty decent, well-balanced guy, who went into bug chasing with his eyes open and came out of it equally aware of what's happened to him. I'm certainly not prepared to judge. Who knows what particular trigger in our brains makes us do what we do, with whom and how? It may be politically incorrect but one man's kink is probably another man's normality.

I just hope that people are as honest and forthright as Jamie is and having said that, we all know that that's not always the case but the ultimate responsibility lies within ourselves. There's no excuse for not knowing what we're doing in 2014. You can't be responsible for other's actions but you can take the blame for your own.

Please feel free to comment at will.

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HIV, Neuropathy and More: Avoiding Becoming a Nervous Wreck

Dave R.

Dave R.

English but living since 1986 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. HIV+ since 2004 and a neuropathy patient since 2007. I've seen quite a bit, done quite a bit and bought quite a few t-shirts if you know what I mean; but all that baggage makes me what I am today: a better person I believe, despite it all.

Arriving on, originally, was the end result of getting neuropathy as a side effect of the medication, or the virus, or both. I found it such a vague disease and discovered very little information that wasn't commercially tinged, or scientifically impenetrable, so I decided to create a daily Blog and a website where practical information, hints, tips and experiences for patients could be gathered together in one place.

However, I was also given the chance to write about other aspects of living with HIV and have now contributed more articles about those than about neuropathy. That said, neuropathy remains my 'core subject' although one which unfortunately dominates both my life and that of many other HIV-positive people.

I'm not a doctor or qualified medical expert, just someone with neuropathy and HIV who has spent the last few years researching the illness and trying to create information sources for people who want to know more.

I also have my own personal website and write for

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