Monday, May 30, 2016

Email from a reader about sexually transmitted diseases

A few days ago, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I've accidentally found your blog and really like the way your mind works. Thank you for the effort you put to blogging and the juicy stories you shared. It becomes my habit to read several posts of your blog every morning :)

Recently I bumped into a problem and would be great if you can give me some advice.

I had a cruising life like you used to, but unfortunately one month ago I got some genital warts in anal. During the treatment, I've been thinking how to avoid this in the future. Perhaps no more top btm thing in sex, but only kissing, hand-job? (Even BJ is risky)

In one of the posts you said you only do anal with "boyfriends", which indicates that you probably avoid this with a random cruising partner.

Can you suggest what kind activities you usually do with the guys met on apps or internet?

Thanks for the help and looking forward to your reply

Have a lovely day,
Your loyal reader

Reading the email made me wonder about anal warts and how they're passed on. In particular, I was wondering whether condoms provide any protection from the infection. Searching the internet, I found a page on the UK's Family Planning Association web site which says that although the virus that causes the warts will not pass through a condom, it can be passed on by skin to skin contact. That means that it is possible get the infection even if a condom is worn, because condoms only cover the shaft of a guy's penis so there's still a lot of other skin that will come into contact with his sex partner.

But of course, the problem isn't just anal warts. There are a large number of sexually transmitted diseases, and ideally one wants to avoid all of them. Unfortunately the only way to do that is to stick with a partner who's clean and who you trust not to shag around!

The reader is right that I almost always avoided anal sex with random guys that I'd only met recently. In my opinion, that reduces the risk of catching anything serious like HIV, although it certainly doesn't eliminate the risk entirely. Regarding anal sex, it's interesting to note that although a lot of people think that gay sex means anal sex, studies such as this paper in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggest otherwise. According to that article which collected data from over 24000 men who have sex with men, only 37% of the guys surveyed participated in anal sex.

Apart from the activities that the reader mentions, there's also frottage. But whatever one does, for me the most important thing is to establish some kind of intimate connection with the other guy. Establishing a connection is to do with the chemistry between the two guys rather than what the activities are. If one doesn't connect with the other guy in some meaningful way, then one may as well just stay at home and have a wank!

Do any other readers have any thoughts on this subject?