My boyfriend and I have been serious for a while now. We can lose the condoms, right?
Condomless sex is a perk that allows us to put up with our partners' crazy families. It's only natural that many of us would rather have sex au naturel it's about sensation, pleasure, intimacy, and trust.
However, to stay HIV- and STD-free while sexually active, condoms are still our best option. So, we protect ourselves during random hookups, booty calls, and budding romances.
But, is there need for safe sex once you get serious?
Researchers say: "Yes!"
Dr. Patrick Sullivan of Emory University looked at HIV transmission among gay/bi men and found that 68% of men who became HIV-positive acquired it from "a main sex partner." This was due to "a higher number of sex acts, more frequent receptive roles in anal sex, and lower condom use during anal sex" with main partners.
Dr. Colleen Hoff, of San Francisco State University, found nearly half of studied gay couples were non-monogamous and emphasizes the need for true consensus on "sexual agreements" between partners. Hoff explains, a broken ( or unclear ) sexual agreement "can make both partners vulnerable to HIV."
Here are some pointers:
- Use condoms for three months with new partners ( because it takes time for HIV to be detectable in the body ) , then test and talk.
- Work with your partner to negotiate robust sexual agreements.
- Discuss how to disclose and deal with a break in an agreement.
- Continually revisit agreements.
Peter Pointers is an online, gay health educator and is assisted by a group of qualified health specialists who work as a team to answer your health questions. Check out Peter's Question/Answer forum at www.lifelube.org/experts.php for more pointers and to ask your own questions.