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Savage Love: Positive Thinking 


Q: Gay guy here. Met a guy online. He came over. We had incredible sex and then a great conversation lasting several hours. But — and you knew there was one coming — he told me that he lied about his HIV status. (I asked him before meeting him, like I do with anyone.) He is undetectable, but he told me initially he was “HIV/STD negative.” I got very upset — more from the lie than his status. (I know that undetectable is practically the same as negative.) I really like him, but that was a big lie. He told me all about his life and any other secrets after that. Should I swear off him for lying about such a big topic? Or is the fact he did tell me and our connection enough to give him a second chance? I had not been that happy up till the reveal in, well, maybe ever. But I want to be wise. Did Ask, Didn’t Tell

Why would he lie? To avoid rejection. Obviously. Guys often refuse to hook up with guys who are honest about being HIV-positive even though a positive guy with an undetectable viral load is less of a risk — at least where HIV transmission is concerned — than a guy who believes himself to be negative because he was the last time he got tested or because he doesn’t think he could ever get infected and so has never been tested. Someone who was recently infected is highly infectious; someone who doesn’t think he could ever get infected — because he doesn’t sleep with older guys, because he only tops, because his ass is magic and he uses unicorn spit for lube — is a fucking idiot, and fucking idiots are higher risk for fucking everything.

Sometimes positive guys get sick of being punished for being honest, and so they lie — and it’s particularly tempting to lie to someone you don’t expect to see again, i.e., a quick hookup. HIV-positive people shouldn’t lie to their sex partners. Obviously. People should be honest, informed consent is consent, and lying about your HIV status can be risky for people with HIV. Thanks to stupid laws passed by ill-informed idiots, failing to inform a sex partner you’re HIV-positive is a crime in many areas. There are people in prison today—mostly men, mostly black — for failing to disclose. These disclosure laws incentivize not knowing your status — you can’t be punished for not disclosing what you don’t know—putting everyone at higher risk.

Why would he tell the truth? It’s possible he lied to you about his status — a lie he regarded as harmless thanks to his undetectable viral load — because he assumed this would be a hookup and nothing more. He wasn’t going to infect you and he wasn’t going to see you again. But after you two hit it off, DADT, he decided to tell you the truth right away instead of waiting weeks or months.

The connection you describe is hard to find — this could be the start of something great — but the lie he told was big, yes, but understandable. I think he deserves credit for coming clean right away — and a second chance.

Q: I’m a teenage girl and I’m really horny. I always think about sex, and I’d like to masturbate sometimes. I can’t live in this way, sometimes I feel physically and psychologically bad because of this terrible need to have sex or stuff. I’m single, and I don’t want to lose my virginity with a random guy. I really need some advice from you! How can I masturbate or quit this exaggerated libido? Don’t Reveal My Name

Your libido is your libido, DRMN. It isn’t exaggerated, it simply is. Some people have high libidos, some people have low libidos, some people have no libidos, and an individual’s libido can wax and wane and wax again over the years. You’re at the stage of life when people tend to be at their horniest and consequently think about sex a lot. Women and girls, too. (Don’t let anyone tell you that women aren’t as horny as men.) If you find yourself distracted by sexual thoughts, DRMN, masturbating can help — most people find they can concentrate on other things for at least an hour once they’ve rubbed one or two or three out. As for how you masturbate …

Masturbate on your own or with a partner, in private, and whenever you feel the desire or need to. Enjoy!

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