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Sexual orientation and how to be safe? watch

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    I'm 23 years old and think I might be bi-sexual. I've done 'gay things' in the past, but I haven't really done anything sexual in the last 8 years. Part of this is because I think I might have been repressing my sexuality and I don't tend to find many girls (or boys for that matter) attractive.

    I used to identify as gay when I was younger, from the age of about 15. When I turned 18 I told myself I was not gay and so I believed that. I honestly don't know my orientation any more. It's probably because I'm trying to stick a label on myself when actually sexual orientation is probably fluid for some people.

    Anyway, basically I want to experiment, but I'm also wary about STDs. I'm not into anal sex at all so I don't have to worry about that. What reasonable measures should I take to be safe? Before I did anything with someone I'd want to insist on another STD test or to see a really recent one. Is that overly pedantic?
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    Yep, sexual orientation is not fixed for many people and changes over time.

    It's oral rather than anal sex that is the almost universal act when men are sexual with each other: only about two thirds of gay-identified men have anal sex in any year. Some of those that do have it don't have it 'both ways'.

    Everyone has their own place on the scale of risk. If you want to minimise it, you can do things like mutual masturbation or use condoms for oral - just be aware that not many men do. If you're prepared for some risk, you can avoid getting other men's semen in your mouth, etc etc. But you won't catch HIV, for example, even if someone with HIV came in your mouth.

    If you're in a relationship with someone, it's reasonable to test (together) and then decide what to do given the results. For more casual encounters, you're being optimistic (and ignoring the fact that they could have caught something between then and now or was too close to the test to be detected...)


    (Oh, there's no hyphen in 'bisexual' )
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    (Original post by unprinted)
    Yep, sexual orientation is not fixed for many people and changes over time.

    It's oral rather than anal sex that is the almost universal act when men are sexual with each other: only about two thirds of gay-identified men have anal sex in any year. Some of those that do have it don't have it 'both ways'.

    Everyone has their own place on the scale of risk. If you want to minimise it, you can do things like mutual masturbation or use condoms for oral - just be aware that not many men do. If you're prepared for some risk, you can avoid getting other men's semen in your mouth, etc etc. But you won't catch HIV, for example, even if someone with HIV came in your mouth.

    If you're in a relationship with someone, it's reasonable to test (together) and then decide what to do given the results. For more casual encounters, you're being optimistic (and ignoring the fact that they could have caught something between then and now or was too close to the test to be detected...)


    (Oh, there's no hyphen in 'bisexual' )

    Oh so if someone came in my mouth there's no risk of HIV? What if I accidentally swallowed some?

    I am a risk averse person (I like to call it 'being sensible') when it comes to things like this. I guess I have to try and meet someone I like and get tested together or if I'm just casual with someone be careful...
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    Spit or swallow, the HIV risk is either nil or so low that you have more chance of being struck by lightning on the way to the encounter.

    (The exact risk is hard to pin down* but there are a pile of studies that can't find any risk and a few saying there might be a small one. If it was more than a very tiny risk, they'd be a lot more HIV+ men.**)

    * Thanks to oral being so popular.

    ** Ditto.
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    (Original post by unprinted)
    Spit or swallow, the HIV risk is either nil or so low that you have more chance of being struck by lightning on the way to the encounter.

    (The exact risk is hard to pin down* but there are a pile of studies that can't find any risk and a few saying there might be a small one. If it was more than a very tiny risk, they'd be a lot more HIV+ men.**)

    * Thanks to oral being so popular.

    ** Ditto.
    So is this risk much higher with anal sex?
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    Much.

    Get HIV+ semen in your bum from someone not on combination therapy, and you're looking at 'about' a 1% chance of becoming HIV+ yourself.

    Get HIV+ semen in your mouth from someone not on combination therapy and even the people who think the risk isn't nil reckon it's about 0.02%, a fiftieth of that. As I say, there are good reasons for thinking that's an overestimate, and the real risk is much lower / nil.

    Have oral but don't get HIV+ semen in your mouth, and the risk is nil.
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    (Original post by unprinted)
    Much.

    Get HIV+ semen in your bum from someone not on combination therapy, and you're looking at 'about' a 1% chance of becoming HIV+ yourself.

    Get HIV+ semen in your mouth from someone not on combination therapy and even the people who think the risk isn't nil reckon it's about 0.02%, a fiftieth of that. As I say, there are good reasons for thinking that's an overestimate, and the real risk is much lower / nil.

    Have oral but don't get HIV+ semen in your mouth, and the risk is nil.
    Thanks so much for this information
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    No problem!

    You should know that expecting casual partners to disclose that they're HIV+ is optimistic. Some won't know and for those that do, if what you're doing is regarded as safe - anal using a condom, or oral say - then they are likely to think that there's no upside to doing so (you might run away screaming, or tell other people, or get violent, or...) and no downside to keeping it quiet (because you're not going to get it or might have it already).

    In a relationship, you can expect more but in general the greater your expectations that people should/would disclose, the less likely they are to do so.
 
 
 
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