A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a visitor asking me for advice. I responded by email and I am hoping that what I wrote was useful. I figured that other guys may be in a similar situation, so I have published the question I received below, but I have removed the identifying information to protect the person who wrote the message.
I am now thinking about publishing a regular advice column here at my blog about all things related to barebacking, so if you have a question you would like to ask me, then follow this link to submit your question and I will do my best to respond to every question received and I’ll also provide my personal response via email as well.
I love your blog and was wondering your opinion about something.
I am 26, my partner is 42 and we’ve been together 5 years. He is HIV+ while I am still neg. We practice safe sex, but he is ready for me to take the plunge and bareback with him. I already bareback him when I top but make him play safe when he tops me and he’s tired of it.
I want a monogamous relationship and he has given me the option of letting him bareback me or letting him play outside the marriage with someone that will let him bareback. Now at this point I have no reason to ever wear a condom inside him again, and I sometimes think it would only be fair to give him the same respect.
His argument is that we will be together forever and bareback is a way to bring us even closer together (literally and figuratively) and if I happen to become poz, it would give me a better understanding of his life and make our bond stronger.
I go back and forth with the idea, thinking he’s right and if I do become poz, we will have each other and can take care of each other, then I think if he really loved me he wouldn’t pressure me for something like this.
What would you do in this situation if you were me.
Thanks for the advice.
Here is my response:
Thank you for contacting me seeking advice to your barebacking issue. I appreciate you trusting me with the issues you have written to me about and I hope I can provide you with a response which will help you reach a decision which is right for you. It’s important for you to make the decision which is comfortable for you, so there’s no need to rush into making a decision and you might find that seeking advice from several people will be helpful to you.
I don’t want to alarm you, but if you are HIV-negative and your partner his HIV-positive, then you having bareback sex with your partner when you top him is not actually safe. It has been found to be safer than being a bottom in a bareback situation, but there are still risks involved. I would recommend having an HIV test as soon as possible as a precaution to ensure that you are fully aware of your HIV status. Regular HIV testing is important for every barebacker.
I can appreciate you wanting your partner to also experience the pleasure of bareback sex. My boyfriend and I do not use condoms when we have sex, so I understand the need to enjoy skin on skin pleasure. You mentioned that your partner is ready for you to take the plunge to have bareback sex with him, however, in this particular situation, your decision is more important, because it is your health which could change as a result of entering a riskier barebacking situation, so are you ready to take the plunge and take that risk? You need to be fully aware of the consequences of being HIV-positive, from a health perspective, financial perspective and even a social perspective. I am not HIV-positive, so I cannot comment on this from experience, but I have considered the risks involved because I am a barebacker and I made myself aware of what I was getting myself into by having bareback sex.
Something you need to consider is that you are already having bareback sex with your partner, so you are at risk of contracting HIV and other STI’s if applicable. If you decide to give your partner permission to have bareback sex outside your relationship, he has the chance to contract other STI’s or strains of HIV and possibly pass them on to you if you continue to have unprotected sex with him. If you decide to remain monogamous and have full-on bareback sex with your partner, then you may become HIV-positive yourself.
This is a complex matter and it’s relevant for all barebackers. Bareback sex is such a wonderful experience, yet it also has the ability to be destructive. While I can only respond to your message based on the text you have written, you did use the words that your partner is pressuring you and this disturbs me, because he has nothing to lose in this situation and only something to gain. You have far more to lose, you have your HIV-negative status. I can also understand what your partner says about experiencing HIV together, however, it’s important to understand that each of us has different immune systems, so one person may struggle with HIV more than another. It’s not a simple issue and HIV itself is complex because of how it replicates in the body (it mutates).
I am not a doctor or health professional and I am not able to provide you with specific advice because that requires a better understanding of your situation, however, hopefully what I have written will be useful to you and perhaps a starting point for you to consider some things and maybe access further resources and opinions from others. Perhaps contacting a sexual health counselor or health care professional would be useful to help you work through some things in your mind to ensure that you have considered everything that is necessary in this situation. If there is anything else you wish to ask me, please let me know. I wish you the very best with this matter and please take care.