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Subconscious Death-Wish of a Gifted, Young Black Man

By Terron J. Cook

August 9, 2010

Terron J. Cook, 31, is a recently published author and a resident of San Francisco, Calif. In his writing he strives to reach out to the world through his experiences -- putting forth both positivity and brutal honesty -- despite his tumultuous past.

Terron J. Cook, 31, is a recently published author and a resident of San Francisco, Calif. In his writing he strives to reach out to the world through his experiences -- putting forth both positivity and brutal honesty -- despite his tumultuous past.

On my very first day in San Francisco I find myself in a well-known theater on Nob Hill. Downstairs there are video booths, most containing glory holes. The walls between the glory holes are truly by design, allowing for an empty, anonymous sexual act to occur, while blocking any opportunity for true intimacy.

I enter a booth next to a man I've made eye contact with. I pull my cock out, place it through the glory hole, and the well-built, handsome man on the other side sucks me for a while. There's a pause, and he whispers for me to come to his booth. I enter, he strips, and I slowly turn him around. I place the head of my cock at the entrance to his ass, simply to see if he'll stop me.

In the heat of the moment, he allows me to have my way. I slowly penetrate this hunk of a man. In the back of my mind, I know what I'm doing is wrong, and this one isolated, unprotected sexual encounter could lead to my ultimate demise. However, I proceed without hesitation.

Risky behavior has always been so appealing to me! The rush that it provides makes me feel so alive! A new city, multitudes of opportunities, and here I am willing to ruin it all, just to "bust a nut."

"What the fuck is wrong with you?" I ask myself, but it's too late to think "safety" at this point. I clear my mind, wrap my arms around this man, and shove myself inside him as hard as I can and shoot my load. I pull out of him, wipe off, and realize I've entered a new stage of my life making wrong decisions, again.

"When will this behavior cease?" I ask myself, while trying to avoid the eyes of the stranger I've just fucked raw. Will it take me becoming HIV positive to learn this lesson? I dress, clean up, and feel a sense of darkness, realizing just how many years have passed. Yet I'm still partaking in the same ignorant behavior . . .

A restlessness comes over me, as I realize the covenant that I have made with myself, as well as GOD, is now in place. If this is the case, then why the hell am I continuing to behave in such a dangerous manner, and refusing to wear condoms? I have dodged the "bullet" many times. With my refusal to adhere to safe sex, I continually wonder if my game of Russian Roulette will soon come to a very unhappy and unfortunate conclusion.

Honestly, what does such behavior stem from? Being beat down mentally, physically, and spiritually during our formative years greatly contributes to it. For me, I think it all began while growing up in Columbus, Ohio. I was molested by my middle-school history teacher, who happened to be an older Caucasian man. For a while, I thought dealing with my sexual trauma was my biggest worry -- until my father was murdered 11 years ago.


I wrote my first book, Premonitions ... of a Young Man, Unscathed, to attempt to come to terms with all this. Writing it, I realized that one reason I enjoy anonymous sex as much as I do is my distrust for men, especially gay men. Writing this book also helped me to realize that there is NOTHING wrong with me. I am not "flawed." I am not perverted. I am a man, made in the image of GOD, knowing all too well that I will fall at times, but I must make the decision to pick myself up, and GOD will continually be there by my side. This type of unconditional love is what I feel that many gay men seek. Yet, most do not choose to behave accordingly to welcome unconditional love into their lives.

My distrust stems from various behaviors that I have been exposed to throughout the years, involving gay men. When you consider it, many gay men learned at a very young age to be dishonest and deceitful, all to conceal their true identity, as it was deemed devilish, ungodly, or plain perverted. This behavior simply perpetuates itself throughout one's life. Before long, a person begins to believe that how they are living is "acceptable," therefore projecting their lies and bullshit onto others, who are unsuspecting and being hurt in the process. Do you see the vicious cycle?

I began my sex life by frequenting outdoor parks, where men would meet in the back woods to have anonymous sex with other men who were not necessarily interested in immersing themselves into the gay scene. Most of my encounters were with married men who were not the least bit concerned with protecting themselves, as desire turned into a need which could be life threatening.

As a young man, I was aware of HIV/AIDS, yet I always took on the attitude that I could get away with "just one more" unprotected sex act. One turned into hundreds, maybe even thousands. While I have no qualms about my promiscuity, I tend to question if I truly love myself, especially being a young black man who is interested in men. It simply is not accepted in our culture, although plenty of men partake in homosexual acts.

Unfortunately, those who are a bit more vocal about it, or are not attempting to hide their life, are treated like strangers. As if it's not enough moving through society dealing with the setbacks and hassles of being an "extremely strong" black man, while at the same time being forced to deal with the ignorance that is perpetuated far too often by the black community. What gives?

Wearing condoms always has been extremely tough for me. First, I ask myself, "Why the fuck would I use a condom when I'm the top man?" But knowing that the majority of men who contract HIV play the bottom role is absolutely no excuse for my behavior. Second, I can't maintain an erection in a condom, or at least, that's what I've convinced myself of. I use this as an excuse to not use them.

When I partake in a sexual escapade with another man, I need it to be fulfilling in all aspects, and utilizing a condom simply does not afford me that pleasure. In my earnest opinion, safe sex is absolutely ridiculous, yet necessary. It creates rigidity, as well as a wall in the middle of what is designed to be so beautiful. There is something about barebacking that allows me to feel close to the man directly in front of me.

As I have watched myself mature physically, mentally, and spiritually, I want so desperately to connect on a "real" level with another man, yet I continue to struggle with having "physical" relationships with men, mainly due to the fact of how I was socialized as a young child. Somewhere deep down inside, there is a voice telling me that sleeping with men is wrong.


As I continue to grow in mind and spirit, and to love and accept myself for the person that I am, I long to have a mental, spiritual and physical connection with another man -- without the guise of a gay relationship. I despise the fact that most deem men who sleep with other men as "gay," as I know this singular term could never fully describe the man that I am. I truly have no desire to immerse myself into gay culture, or anything remotely close to it. Fitting into one type of culture, group, etc., has never been appealing to me. I feel too genuine/authentic to do so.

However, I am rather comfortable in my own skin at the age of 31. So why do I continue on this path? What I ultimately desire in my heart is an honest, monogamous, fulfilling relationship with another man. What I truly desire and the way that I am behaving do not coincide. I want to connect on a deeper level so bad, but fucking a man without a rubber sometimes feels like it's as connected as I will ever get.

I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I have an extremely long road ahead of me. However, this struggle within me to adhere to safe sex is something that seems beyond me. No matter how much education is available to us, nor how many individuals we see lose their lives to HIV/AIDS, the reality is that this behavior will continue to perpetuate itself. Sad, yet very true. Honestly, there is no explanation, other than the fact that men have a very strong desire/need to "fuck," make love, however you need to title it, without any "walls" involved. While many individuals ultimately struggle with emotion, the one thing you can count on is the fact that we are animals by nature, and will always lose inhibitions when it comes to physical contact.

So, do I possess some sort of subconscious death-wish, or am I simply being a real human? Are we simply being humans? The questions linger on, forever.

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