Safety first

What are the safest ways to have sex with an HIV-positive partner?

I'm a young heteroflexible guy who has been a "sugar baby" for a handful of wealthy older guys. I love it! I get money, I have fun being with them, and the guys seem to like having me around. The problem is that I just got with a new guy who is really great except for one thing: He is HIV positive. He says that his doctors predict he won't have a shortened life span and may not even have any symptoms that would make his life uncomfortable. I like the fact that he told me, and I am open to being with him sexually even though I am HIV negative and want to stay that way.

He is VERY submissive — he wants to be used and abused sexually, physically and mentally. My question is, what kinds of sex acts are okay to do with this guy? I read on one site that him rimming me is fine, and on another that him giving me a blowjob with a condom is safe, too. But I can't find a site that specifically explains which sex acts are safe and which ones aren't when one person is positive and one person is negative.

Help In Virginia

It's pretty simple, HIV: Sex acts that expose you to his semen and/or blood are definitely unsafe, and sex acts that expose him to your semen and/or blood are mostly safe. Rimming you, blowing you (even without a condom), getting fucked by you (with a condom) — all very low risk for HIV transmission. If he's on a drug regimen and his viral load is undetectable, HIV, your already-low risks of being exposed while, say, accepting a blowjob (and a check) are even lower. The risks aren't nonexistent — all sex acts carry some degree of risk — but if the risks were any closer to nonexistent, they'd be sitting on nonexistent's lap.

And bear this in mind: Odds are good that some of the other guys you've babied for — some of your previous daddies — were HIV positive and either didn't know or didn't have the decency to disclose. This guy's willingness to disclose is evidence not just of his honesty and decency, HIV, but of his respect for you and his commitment to keeping you safe. This guy is less likely to ask you to engage in sex acts that are higher risk or unsafe than a guy who isn't aware that he's positive or is actively hiding the fact that he's positive. And his interest in being "used and abused" creates lots of hot safe-sex-play options — letting him beat off while he licks your boots or jerking him off while he's tied to the bed with your jock in his mouth are no-risk sexual activities that he's likely to enjoy immensely.

I'm a young lesbian. I recently met a girl who's cute, and I think we're on the likely-to-have-sex-soon track. The thing is, she confided in me that she's participated in needle play in dungeon-party situations. I'm not someone who is turned off by kinkiness just 'cause it's kinky, but it seems like even "safe" needle play is a recipe for STI transmission unless you're playing with trained medical professionals. She says she gets tested regularly, but still, would it be really risky for me to sleep with her?

Enthusiastic Reader

Every time I've watched needle play in a dungeon-party situation — watched with my hands clamped over my eyes, peeking through the small spaces between my fingers — no one was being stuck with rusty needles by dirty-handed brutes. All the public needle-play scenes I've witnessed were ostentatiously sterile affairs: These kinksters, some of whom were trained medical professionals, made a big show of using alcohol wipes, cotton swabs, latex gloves, and clean sharps. I think it's fair to ask this girl for more information about her blood and needle experiences, about the safety precautions that her partners took, and about how recently she was tested. But rest assured, ER, that the most effective STI transmission routes involve sticking dicks in people in completely vanilla situations, not clean needles in dungeon-party situations.

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.

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