Posts Tagged HIV

Results Are In

It’d been a few days since CK and I got tested for STDs at the clinic. We had to wait for our results to come in. I am from the school of thought that believes there’s no use worrying. Worrying won’t change the results. So, from the moment I walked out the door of the clinic, I stopped thinking about it. I’d set a reminder in my phone to call when my results would be ready.

I had a busy day at work, so I had to put off calling until my workday calmed down. I found a private place to make the call and waited for the results with bated breath. I wasn’t particularly worried. Perhaps I should have been more worried. When we left the office, we both put reminders in our phones to call. Why hadn’t I heard from CK? Did he forget to call? Did he call and was afraid to share the news with me? The receptionist picked up the phone asking, “Please hold?” Apparently, we were going to drag this out as long as possible. When she finally came back to the phone, she asked for my name and what insurance provider I use. After giving her the information, I was put on hold once again. They really know how to up the drama — They should work for TNT.

Finally, she gave me my results. I was clean on all counts except one. I came back positive for Herpes Simplex Type I, aka cold sores. I’d had this since a child and “inherited” it like many Americans from my mother. This was not news to me. I was quite happy. I came back negative on all the heavy hitters — Chlamydia, Syphilis, Herpes Simplex Type II, Gonorrhea, HIV. Since CK and I had unprotected sex (yes I know how stupid we are), I assumed he would have good news to share as well. I texted him to ask him if he called yet.

I wasn’t expecting his response. He informed me that he did indeed call and received his results, but he wanted to talk in person. What could he need to talk to me in person about?! If I came back negative for all but cold sores, what could he need to discuss with me? Now, I was scared.

After work, we had plans to stay in the city. I left my office and walked to his apartment when he finished work. When he answered the door, he was in his underwear. He was about to hop in the shower just as I arrived. I gave him a big kiss and made myself comfortable while he freshened up. When he came out of the shower, we laid in bed together for a while – He in his towel and me fully dressed from work. I brought up the testing results, but he asked if we could talk about it later. I complied. After laying with each other, we got ready to go to dinner. It was getting to be about that time. We settled on a Greek place, Ethos, not far from his apartment we’d been to before. The food was good, so I wanted to go back.

We held hands while we walked there noticing dogs along the way. CK was still going on about how he wanted me to get a dog. I explained once again how I couldn’t handle one, nor did my lease allow for one. I told him, “When we live together, I will get a dog.” His eyes lit up as a smile spread across his face.

We shared a lovely and romantic dinner for two before heading back to his apartment for the night. I was impressed with myself for not bringing up the testing results sooner, but at this point, I had to ask. He was obviously holding something back. As we walked he told me a story about how he contracted oral herpes. In the middle of the story, I cut him off. I told him I was already positive for simplex I, and he had nothing to worry about. He was very confused. He didn’t understand how I was making light of this. He was actually quite miffed I wasn’t forthcoming with that portion of my results.

The way I saw it, I would bring it up when I had an outbreak. If he’d never been exposed to the virus or oral cold sores, we would prevent him from coming in contact with me, i.e. we would stop kissing until it went away. I really didn’t see it as a big deal. Lots of people get cold sores. In fact, 80% of adult Americans are infected with the virus. I’ve been fortunate not to have experienced them very often, but they do happen when I get too much sun or when my lips split in the winter. I could see the relief on his face and in his posture. For the first time all night, he relaxed.

It was at that moment we both celebrated our results. We stopped in the middle of the street to hug and exchange a giant kiss. At this point, he couldn’t wait to go home and have sex.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. That night, we had the best sex we’d had to date. It was incredibly passionate and incredibly raw. We had no worries and no cares. In the end, I finished inside him, and he finished inside me. It felt amazing. I’d never felt that before. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about it at first. I’d only ever finished inside one other guy before without a condom. I’d never allowed anyone to ejaculate inside me.

It didn’t feel like I thought it would. I imagined a lot more sensation than the actual moment, however, the act made me feel so much more. The emotions tied to the action added so much more to it. I truly felt loved by him, and I truly felt my love for him when I exploded my seed deep within him. I feel the need to say, this is not the deal that works for every couple. CK and I have spoken at length about this topic. We will continue to be tested on a regular basis, regardless of either of us feeling a “need” for it. We have made it part of our routine. We know there are risks any time you have unprotected sex, however, we have come to mutually trust each other and find comfort in that. I am in no way endorsing unprotected sex!

It’s incredible how much that simple act brought us closer together, but I think that night kind of sealed the deal for us (Pun not intended). We’d had passionate sex before, but I think that night was the first of many night we stopped having sex and started making love.

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Knowing is Love

After a night apart from CK, there was nothing I wanted more than to be with him. Days apart from him drug on incredibly slow. Work was what I did between spending time with my man.

We were really finding our relationship groove, spending nearly six nights a week together. I was a little worried I was losing touch with friends because I was spending so much time with CK, but I put in extra effort to make sure I found time to spend with them, especially if the opportunity arose for me to integrate CK with my friends. We didn’t live together, but we might as well have. After work, he’d come to my place, or I’d go to his. We watched TV together in the evenings and even turned some special TV events into romantic date nights, such as the season finale of Revenge or catching up on our new favorite cable series, Game of Thrones.

Couples that play together, stay together. We went for runs and worked out together. I was also taking the time to teach him some of the knowledge I collected over the years in the kitchen while we cooked dinner in tandem. We were a bona-fide happy couple. Rarely a moment passed we didn’t tell each other how much we loved each other. I’m sure everyone was jealous of our love or disgusted by our cuteness.

I started taking a passive interest in his hobbies. I went with him to the comic book store and watched him with great pleasure looking like a kid in a candy store. He too took an interest in my hobbies as well. One Thursday, he came to my weekly recreation league volleyball matches. He sat in the bleachers cheering me on taking pictures. I knew he was going to be bored out of his mind, but it meant the world to me having him there. What made it even more special was that I didn’t even ask him to come. He asked me if he could come some time. It really proved to me he loved me. It was also quite an ego boost having him there as well because he was turned on by my “jockness.”

On of our shared hobbies, we shared something else incredible — Our sex life. It was very healthy, and while we didn’t have sex every time we saw each other, we came close. We had sex sometimes before bed and sometimes sex when we woke up in the morning. At times, I even ended up going to work late because I couldn’t keep my hands off him, in the bed or in the shower. I’d also found the ideal sexual partner. Between us, there was no top, and there was no bottom. We both experienced sex with each other to the fullest. Our sex was passionate and fun. We never took things too seriously. We had fun in bed, taking pictures and tickling and wrestling. At times, sex got messy. This isn’t the most pleasant thing to write about, but it’s a fact of life when you’re having homosexual intercourse. We learned to deal with this without the embarrassment. We took care of things and moved on. I tell you this because I think you should be prepared for it to happen. Know you’re not the only one, but it is a very important step in a relationship when you can be so comfortable together.

We’d been together only a month, but I felt like I’d known him for years. Never before had I felt so comfortable with someone or loved them with all my heart. Never before had I felt so loved. I even went so far as to give CK a key to my apartment, and I cleared out a small space in one of my drawers to store clothes at my place.

On our days off, we’d lay around most of the morning before getting in gear to head out into the world, sometimes not leaving my bed until 1:00. If the weather didn’t cooperate, we’d stay on the couch watching movies all day snuggled in each other’s arms.

Since we first started having sex, we talked about getting tested. It was the responsible thing to do. I trusted him, but you can never be sure. I’m sure he felt the same way about me. Before we met each other, we had sex with multiple partners, so getting tested wasn’t a question. We’d also had unprotected sex, so that made it even more imperative we get tested.

One Friday, we had the day off and had plans to head into the city to see an off-Broadway show, The Accidental Pervert with my friend P. I had the idea to call the clinic and see if the had any appointments later in the day that we could be go in and get tested. I did this without consulting CK, but I didn’t think it was a big deal considering I made the call in front of him. If he was opposed, I would simply change the appointment, but I was certainly not going to cancel it. I needed the peace of mind knowing we were both clean and HIV negative. We had a discussion about the testing and agreed to keep the appointment I made. We both got tested and made our way to the show. We’d have to wait a few days for the results, but at least we were making big progress. Knowing is love. After the show, the three of us all went out for a lovely dinner at Boquiera in the Flatiron District.

I had never been so happy before in my life. I had a great man. We were being responsible. He was becoming a greater part of my life. Things were finally looking up for me. I have dated a lot of guys int he past and had sex with even more. Looking back, I’m not proud of a lot of what I did, however, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I was better for the experience, and if all that lead to meeting CK, it was all worth it. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I’d finally found the man of my dreams, and we were in love.

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House Call with the Good Doctor

In a strike of luck, in terms of my desire to turn my dating/sex life around, the timing of a family trip could not have been better planned. My parents, my sister and I were heading to Virginia to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. The purpose of the trip was to see the cherry blossoms in Washington DC.

It was a fun trip. I got to see my cousins’ girlfriends and their children, many of which for the first time. Even though the cherry blossoms had already fallen due to an early bloom, it was still nice to get away and relax.

While driving back to New Jersey with my sister, I began attempting to line up dates with all the guys I’d been talking to before I left. As far as going on dates, the trip came at a bad time because it put a roadblock in the momentum. I kept up with the texts from the southern boy I’d gone on one date with so far. We were trying to line up a second date, as well as a few first dates with some other men I’d chatted with.

I got back to town on a Monday afternoon and tried to dive right into the dating. One of the guys I’d been chatting with was a doctor I met on Grindr. We exchanged pictures. He was very good-looking, very well-spoken and very charming. His response to my picture was, “Matthew McConaughey party of one?!” I was incredibly flattered, and suggested he consult with an optometrist friend. Although he had some promise, I wasn’t all that excited to meet him. I was going in with an open mind, but the fact that he was a doctor was somewhat of a turnoff. He would have no time for me, and I have come to realize I need someone who will be around and spend time with me.

We texted back and forth to nail down plans. As the workday was ending, I asked him what he wanted to do. He responded, telling me, “I honestly feel like I need a quiet night in. A bit drained here but would definitely like to have you over for drinks and conversation if you are up for that?” It was a bit unconventional, but I told him I was game. He gave me his address, and we set a time at 9:00pm.

I made my way into the city, bottle of red wine in hand, and walked to his apartment. I called Boston, and he shocked me by picking up. I wanted to hear how his birthday went and catch up. He further shocked me with a story involving an on-duty officer and himself that made me so proud. It was nice to hear Boston letting loose.

As I walked up to his apartment, I hung up with Boston. He lived in a very nice building. He answered the door, and we exchanged hugs. He had a gorgeous place. I came in and made myself comfortable on the couch while he opened the bottle. I felt quite overdressed when I noticed him in sweatpants and a t-shirt. I was jealous. I removed my shoes and sat Indian-style on the couch.

He was far more attractive than his pictures. His tight t-shirt showed off his chiseled body, and his face and smile looked very similar to Taye Diggs. I was slightly mesmerized.

It wasn’t long after we began talking that he let his guard down. The flamboyance came bubbling up, and it was really turning me off. I immediately lost my attraction for him. I could see us being friends, but I could never date someone like that.

We sat on opposite ends the couch talking the whole time. I learned about his job and what he does in his free time (which wasn’t much since he didn’t have much of it). He told me his specialty, and that dominated a majority of the conversation from then on out. Ironically, his specialty was relevant to me, and we got on the topic of safe sex and HIV for over and hour. It was incredibly educational on two levels. I learned a few things about HIV transmission and the disease itself, and I learned how little I know about the stuff I was so cavalier about days prior. I thoroughly enjoyed our talk, but I wasn’t attracted to him as a potential man to date. I would, however, love to keep him around as a friend.

It was late, and I needed to go home. He needed to go to bed. He walked me to the door, and I said goodbye with a kiss. He pulled back and made a comment on how he wished he’d only done that sooner. He really liked it and came back in for more. He was a good kisser too. I walked to the PATH and then walked home, and it took me a while to get there.

The next morning I noticed a text from the doc. “Off to sleep here, but just wanted to say thanks for an awesome date! I really had a great time meeting you.” I apologized for my lack of response and told him I was at the allergist to getting poked with various things to find my allergies. We exchanged small talk on the subject, and the conversation fizzled out. That was the last I’ve heard from the good doctor…

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Something We Should Discuss

Things with Middle Eastern certainly weren’t leaving us holding hands skipping down the beach. I really liked him, but I never really saw the potential for a strong relationship with him. I would like to think I wasn’t leading him on. I would like to think he was well aware we were casual and enjoying each other’s company. But, who could be sure what’s going through someone else’s head?

I invited him to come over for dinner Tuesday night after work. A part of me was horny, and he is really great in bed. Another part of me wanted his companionship — Just someone to watch TV with and cuddle. He was in class and would come by a little later. This worked out because it would allow me time to make us food.

When he arrived, we immediately went into my bedroom and fooled around. We didn’t have sex, but there was a lot of kissing and groping and cuddling. He told me about his day, and I got him caught up on what was going on in my life since I’d last seen him. When we had our fill, I tossed him a pair of my shorts to put on, and we made our way back out to the living room to eat and watch TV. I learned he’d already eaten, and I made a plate for myself, and we sat on the couch watching TV.

When my roommates made their way to bed, and it was getting later, I turned off the TV and led M.E. to my bedroom. We hopped into bed and watched some more TV before we were no longer watching because other desires took over. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. The kissing and heavy petting led to stronger desires. I grabbed a condom and lube, and we went at it. It was extra passionate this time, We were thoroughly enjoying each other. We went through many permutations of positions. Every one was better than the last. His body felt amazing, and he seemed to really be enjoying it.

I was disappointed he never finished with me, but I fully understood. I’m not quite sure he did. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like I have a full-body experience, but I never cum,” he expressed. I told him I knew exactly what he meant. I never brought it up myself, because I knew that was the exact opposite of a solution. In all the times I’d been with him, he never finished. He told me it was nearly impossible for him to accomplish after I penetrated him. We both went to bed that night without finishing. The sex was so great I didn’t feel the need to finish myself off. I was also hoping for some morning nookie, so I knew I would be hornier if I left it til the morning.

In the middle of the night, he did something that woke me up. I glanced at the clock and saw it was nearly four am. He began grinding against me and grabbing hold of my member. He was massaging his backside with it. When I woke, I began to engage in this activity as well. I was grinding on him until all of a sudden I found myself inside him. It was pure bliss. We both enjoyed this in the spooning position for some time before finally withdrawing and going back to sleep.

In the morning, we woke to the sound of my alarm. I had to go to work. He didn’t have any obligations that morning. As I predicted, I woke up hornier than ever. The middle of the night sex had my engine revving extra hard. We engaged in a lot of foreplay. I started orally pleasuring his backside before climbing on top of him and penetrating him once again.

This time, I did not reach for the condom. I know this isn’t the smartest. I let passion get the better of me. In the back of my mind, I trusted him. I didn’t think he was having sex with anyone else. I also know I’d done a lot to make sure I was protected with all the sex I’d recently engaged in. I had no signs of an STD and no reason to believe I contracted HIV.

We let out synchronic moans of pleasure. It felt amazing. We had lots of sex before he needed to take a break. He caught his breath as we exchanged how much we enjoyed sex together. When he was good again. He laid on his back while I lifted his legs up on my shoulders. I enjoyed looking into his eyes and kissing him while we had sex. He was pretty amazing in bed, and I loved his passion. We stopped when he needed a break again.

I didn’t want to be late, but I still wanted to continue the fun. We hopped in the shower and bathed every inch of each other’s bodies. I was still incredibly horny, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to concentrate at work if I didn’t finish. I tossed him down on my bed and pulled his towel off. We got right back into it for a bit before I withdrew and finished myself off. He was thrilled. He really enjoyed all of it, but I could see there was something else going on there. I knew we didn’t discuss the lack of protection, and it needed to be brought up. I was in a rush to get to the PATH to go to work, so I made a mental note to call him later to discuss.

He gave me a ride to the PATH, and I kissed him goodbye. When I got to the other side of the river, I’d received a text from him expressing his concern. He wasn’t worried, but he just wanted to discuss it. I explained to him I too had been meaning to bring it up, and I’m glad he did. I told him I’d always used protection with anyone else I’d been with, and he needn’t worry. I told him I trusted him, and after it happened in the middle of the night, I let my guard down about it in the morning. I told him I was going to get tested in the next few days so both of us could be certain he had nothing to worry about, and he told me he planned to go as well. He told me the last time he had been tested, and I told him mine. I had a strong feeling I had nothing to worry about with him, so scheduling a test felt more routine than anything. He’s a bit younger, so I’m sure he was worrying a bit more. I wanted to be sure to get results as soon as possible so I could give him peace of mind.

He was a good kid, and I really enjoyed being with him. I never wanted to do anything to hurt him. After we chatted over text, he told me he felt a lot better and wasn’t so worried. I apologized for putting him in that situation, and I told him we should discuss things after we both got our results back. I found it to be a very healthy conversation we probably should have had earlier, but I was happy we had it.

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Leavin’ On a Jetplane

Another Monday. Another day at work. My staycation was officially over. Another day periodically checking Grindr.

I spent my vacation getting myself back. The only problem was I only repaired the physical me, not the mental and emotional me. I wasn’t on Grindr all day long, but I would periodically check it to see if anyone had messaged me. I was simply a Grindr fish. No longer would I be a fisherman.

I had a dermatologist appointment in the middle of the day. While walking to my appointment, I fired up Grindr. I was curious to see if anyone was scoping me out. I was also in a new neighborhood. I was hoping to find something new and unexpected. In the short window it took me to walk about twenty blocks, I’d managed to strike up a conversation with three different guys. All seemed to be quite level-headed. I told them all I was looking for dates, and all of them seemed excited at the prospect. It was difficult trying to keep three conversations going at the same time. I told them I was walking into my appointment and asked each of them for their phone numbers. I managed to pick up a lawyer, an actor and someone who worked for a magazine rating cruise ships. I asked each of them for their pictures to add to my roster and went to see my doctor about lightening up a scar.

When my appointment was over, I thought I’d make my walk seem shorter by checking messages on Grindr once again. A guy near my office was on and started messaging me. He seemed pretty hot and well fit. He was staying at a hotel near me and was anxious to give head. I told myself not to even continue the conversation, but once again, I found myself thinking with the wrong head. I entertained the idea and asked him what he was proposing specifically. He told me he had to catch a flight in a short while, but wanted some fun before leaving New York. I immediately knew which hotel he was staying at and his occupation. “You’re a flight attendant staying at the Radisson, aren’t you?” I asked. “Yea. How did you know?” he replied. “Not the first one I’ve talked to at that hotel. You guys love that hotel, and you guys love Grindr. So what exactly are you looking for?” I texted.

He asked me to come to his room. He would leave the door ajar. I would walk in, he would tear off my pants and just begin orally pleasuring me. I wouldn’t have to touch him or do anything to him. He just really wanted to blow someone. I knew better, but I still bit anyway. I figured, “What’s the harm?” Work had no idea how long my appointment would last, and it was a slow day at the office. I decided to take a detour, but I basically had to run to his apartment. Thank God I have long legs to get me there. He was anxious because his checkout was very soon.

He was very worried about STDs and HIV. I assured him I was clean. I also asked if I would be allowed to play with his manhood if I chose to. He enthusiastically said yes.

I arrived at his hotel in time for an afternoon tryst. I hopped in the elevator and made my way to his room. I’d been here before. This wasn’t my first b.j. from a flight attendant at the Radisson. I really needed to stop making that a habit, but at the time, I was excited to get off in the middle of the afternoon. I arrived at his room, and the door was left ajar.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. I walked in and said hi. He immediately began lifting my shirt and sucking on my nipples. I lifted my shirt off, and he undid my pants. Just then, he turned to me and asked, “You’re really clean right?” I assured him I was. “You can never been too sure,” he added.

He began pleasuring me. After a few minutes, I made my way to the bed and laid back. I wanted to fully enjoy him. It wasn’t too long before he worked his magic, and I was able to conjure up exciting mental images. I shot in his mouth and all over his face and chest. He spit on my chest and began working on himself. Seconds later, he shot all over my leg. “Let me grab you a towel,” he said immediately. I wasn’t moving. I was quite anxious to get both of “us” off me.

I cleaned up and began to exchange small-talk with him. He was Austrian and was headed home that evening shortly after I would be departing his room. I needed to get back to the office, and he needed to finish getting ready for work. He told me how much he enjoyed himself, and with that, I made my way out the door.

Shamelessly, I had a smile from ear to ear. I was still high from the endorphins. It felt amazing. I was ashamed and proud in the same moment. I still knew I was broken inside and needed to stop having these trysts with strangers, but I was also enjoying my sexual liberation. Somewhere, there had to be a happy medium. It was up to me to find it…

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HIV Testing Hassle

After I had unprotected sex with San Francisco, I came home and marched myself straight to the local clinic for the free OraSure HIV test. I couldn’t believe how quick, easy and painless the process was. And, I had the results in twenty minutes — There was no waiting around worrying.

After that, I made a promise to myself to get tested on a regular basis. It didn’t matter if I was having unprotected sex or not, I wanted to get into a routine. I entered a new world when I came out, and that new world comes with different risks. I needed to do everything I could to protect not only myself, but also others I come in contact with.

I marked my calendar back then for six months later. That day arrived, and I went back to the same clinic. When they called my name, I went into the back room and sat with the woman who administered my first test. I didn’t have any reason to be worried, but I was still nervous and anxious. She asked me what brought me in to the clinic that day for the test. I explained to her I had unprotected sex six months ago, and I came in to get tested to make sure I was still negative. I told her I wanted to make it a regular habit to get tested, so I was back again six months later.

That’s when she started to scold me. She said, “That’s not what this test is meant for. Part of the reason we give this test is also educational. If you are having unprotected sex, then the test is warranted, but you shouldn’t be having unprotected sex, especially with people you are unsure of their status. You may be having unprotected oral sex, but again, part of this program is we educate you about the consequences of that. Unless you have an open cut in your mouth, you don’t need the test.” She went on and on almost berating me for coming in to know my status. I explained to her while “I’m having protected sex, you can never be 100% sure of anyone else’s status at any given time, even if you are in a committed relationship. I wanted to start a routine of testing for my own peace-of-mind.”

She replied, “That’s not what this test is for. We’ll give it to you today, but that’s not what the test is meant for.”

I was flabbergasted. She was harassing me for being overly cautious. I was having protected penetration sex, but no one has protected oral sex these days. What’s the point. Let’s be realistic here. And, who monitors open cuts in their mouth on a daily basis. Maybe I brushed my tongue a little too rough that day. That’s not going to be top of mind when I’m getting physical with a man.

I couldn’t believe she was giving me a hard time for going above and beyond the norm. If I told her I had unprotected sex a year ago and just decided to come in, she had every right to educate me on my shortcomings, but I felt very insulted she was telling me I was wrong for being sure of my status.

Twenty minutes later, she came out to the waiting room and brought me back into the testing room. She told me my status was negative and asked if I would like a copy of the paperwork. I graciously accepted and went on with my day.

When I told friends what happened, they were shocked. I arrived at work and told coworkers about what happened, and they couldn’t believe it. My coworkers and I had actually been working on trying to win business from the company who administers the test, so we are all very versed in the product and its benefits. Many of my straight coworkers were interested in getting tested following the pitch just because it was so easy and convenient. Everyone should know his or her status — After all, knowing is love.

I could understand if the woman gave me a hard time on a financial basis. If she told me the free test was meant for those less fortunate who couldn’t afford it or felt strongly they needed the test due to exposure to and HIV positive individual, I would have understood. That wasn’t the case. She wasn’t telling me I didn’t need a free test. She was telling me I didn’t need the test at all. I felt she was doing people a disservice if this is her policy with all those who came in for routine testing. Peace-of-mind is a wonderful thing, and no one should be denied that. I had mine for the next six months, but I would certainly have to find a new location to have the test administered six months from now.

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Collection of Men

After all the drama of the week and the mindless hookup, I was ready for change. I wanted to be more present. I accumulated over 60 phone numbers of men in my phone, but had only met 9 of them at that point. I needed to fix this ratio. I needed to go on more dates and have less hookups. I also needed to find myself again.

My roommates and I decided to hit up our favorite bar. We were going to put their new connections with my favorite bartenders to good use. Once again, we had a blast, and on the way home we had a very interesting conversation.

I got into a debate with my male roommate about the perils of unprotected sex. He insisted the worry was greater for straight couples, as a baby could be the end result. I begged to differ. While bringing an unplanned child into the world can be very stressful, it certainly isn’t the end of the world. HIV can be just that if not detected and treated. It can be a life sentence just from a few minutes of pleasure. Regardless, we both agreed the perils of unprotected sex were not worth it, but we agreed to disagree about which was worse.

The conversation switched to Grindr. Both roommates couldn’t believe how easy it was for me to “meet” a guy and turn it into something more. My male roommate was jealous how easy it was to find sex, and my female roommate was jealous because of the sexy men I was talking to. I explained how both were a double-edged sword. While I had no problem finding a hot man to come over for sex, I had a very difficult time finding a man who was interested in a monogamous relationship. It is nearly impossible. I still have hope for upstanding men out there who are interested in other men, but they are becoming somewhat of a unicorn.

The next morning, while passing through the city on the way to the beach, I pulled up Grindr. Much to my surprise, my old college roommate popped up. I remembered him telling me he lived in that neighborhood, and I did know he was gay. But, I never thought about him popping up on my Grindr. When I first came out to friends, I contemplated coming out to him. He respected me enough in college to tell me early on about his homosexuality. Since I was comfortable with myself then, I thought it was only proper I told him. We talked about meeting up for drinks to catch up, but it never came to fruition.

I decided to have a little fun. I messaged him and told him I knew him. He started asking a lot of questions, and I answered them all truthfully. It was taking him a LONG time to figure out who I was. I even told him I lived with him in college. I got very specific, and he still wasn’t getting it. He started guessing names, but still wasn’t getting it. FINALLY, he figured out it was me.

We both had a good laugh. It took him from Midtown Manhattan all the way through Queens to Long Island before he figured it out. We talked about his suspicions and our interactions living together. Sophomore year we shared a room. I told him I even looked at porn with him sleeping in the bed a few feet away. He asked questions about the logistics of that, and I explained the bathroom was right next to our room, so he would have never caught me “in the act.” Also, he always slept facing the wall, which turned out to be very convenient for me! “If I only slept on my right side!” he responded.

We chatted about it some more and he joked, “I’m not gonna lie. With those big hands and your huge feet, I definitely snuck a peek here and there when you were in your boxers back then.” He was embarrassed, but I thought it was hilarious. I was also very flattered. I referred him to my blog to catch up on my gay life so far. He said he was going to read it and then realized, “This conversation is going to end up on there, isn’t it?” I told him of course it would. He suggested I leave out some parts, such as him checking me out, but I explained those were the best ones.

I was happy to reconnect with him and we chatted a bit more. We joke about the gay resident director for our living quarters. He had a crush on my roommate, while I suspect his boyfriend had a crush on me. His boyfriend is a police officer in the local city and followed me home on more than one occasion just to say hi. We had some more good laughs and agreed we need to grab a drink together soon.

I was happy to be fostering better relationships on Grindr, as opposed to the unsubstantial ones I currently had. I needed to work harder at it, but I still had hope of finding the right guy. I will have to date half the city, but in time, Prince Charming will find me…

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Chlamydia

This is the hardest blog entry for me to write because it reveals the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me, so I’m going to keep it short. Many of my closest friends do no know this, so I am sure I will get many lectures and comments after posting this. But in the honesty of my blog, I owe it to my readers to be completely forthcoming.

When I went to San Francisco, I had unprotected sex. THAT IS THE SINGLE DUMBEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE. Regardless of consequences, I will never allow myself to get into that situation again! I felt so comfortable with the man I met there, but how could I be so stupid. I even had a condom in my valet bag.

The day I got back to New Jersey, I went to the local hospital clinic and had an HIV test. Luckily, it came back negative. I was sweating bullets while I waited for the result. At the time I thought I walked away unscathed, but would later realize the consequences of my actions. On a side note, these days, you can get a free HIV cheek swab test at countless locations. There is NO excuse not to get tested regularly.

I also want to use my mistake as a teaching experience for others. I was under the impression you could only contract things like chlamydia if you were “receiving.” I was wrong. Even if you are the one “giving,” you can still contract an array of diseases you never even want to think about.

The problem came about when I noticed a slight burning during urination that eventually evolved into a discharge. I apologize for the graphic description, but again, I hope others can learn from this. I went to the doctor and was prescribed three different drugs and a urine and blood analysis. He topped it off with numerous lectures simply stated, “Always use a condom!” All of which I deserved. After a few days, time away from work to see the doctor, money for the prescriptions and a lot of stress, everything cleared up.

I tracked the contraction back to San Francisco. He was the only man I had sex with since breaking up with the guy I was dating. Since we were in a long-term relationship, we had unprotected sex, but the timing was nearly impossible for it to be Broadway. We were both tested regularly and had built up enough trust to make that step. San Francisco assured me he was recently tested as HIV negative and disease-free, but apparently, he was mistaken. We never discussed the infection. I’m not sure if he had symptoms on his end and would blame me, but he was, without a doubt, the source of my problem.

Do yourself a favor. Do your homework about the consequences of bothunprotected and protected sex, and ALWAYS USE A CONDOM!

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