Posts Tagged safe sex

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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The Best Commercial I’ve Ever Seen

Thought I’d share this with you since it’s amazing and has an amazing message. Share with everyone!

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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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Can I See Your Press Credentials?

That time of year finally arrived — The end of summer. It’s always both a sad time and a happy time for me. I am a sun worshiper. I love the beach, and I love a good tan. It means the days get shorter, and the nights get longer, which isn’t necessary a bad thing when you have someone to share those nights with. Of course if you’ve read this blog at all, you know I don’t have that someone. However, it is a happy time for me because it means the annual Martha’s Vineyard trip many of my friends and I take has arrived. We always have a blast, and it’s one of the best crews I’ve ever traveled with. Everyone is mature and responsible, yet they still know how to have fun.

Since things ended with N, I kinda went on a whoring rampage. My time in OCMD was nothing short of scandalous. But, I was having fun. And, why shouldn’t I? I’m a single 27 year-old who is still finding himself in this new gay world. While everyone was having sex in high school and college, I was a good boy. I had my share of awkward hookups with women, but nothing successful enough to blossom into a relationship and rarely something worth revisiting again. Plus, the only way I would get better at sex was practice. So practice away I shall.

We hopped on the ferry to the island, and I fired up Grindr. I was beginning this trip with five other straight friends and ending it with ten. I knew I would crave some stimulation from other like-minded gentleman. Many of my friends were in relationships, some of which were tagging along on the vacation. I didn’t want to always be the third wheel. I made an effort to find someone to maybe sneak off on my own with.

Of course I found a few attractive men right off the bat, but pickings were actually quite slim. Many of the attractive ones happened to be on the mainland. One guy in particular messaged me. He was on the Vineyard covering the President’s vacation and had stayed on longer to cover Hurricane Irene as a photojournalist for CNN. He was staying in Vineyard Haven, where we were pulling into port around 9:00am. He could see my ferry coming in to port from his hotel window. He suggested I come by. I was definitely intrigued since he appeared to be quite an attractive man — Fit and handsome. I was also intrigued because originally he told me he was a CNN journalist in the President’s press corp. I thought it would make for an interesting story for the blog (This thing can be such a bad influence on my decision-making process sometimes!). He was a bit older, but I was on vacation, so my standards could also take a vacation. I explained to him I was just arriving on the island and would need to get settled in. Coming over for a quickie was not a solid option. That didn’t deter him. He certainly was persistent. He was waiting for a ferry, but was unsure which one he would get on due to the cancellations from the hurricane.

We arrived at our house and began unloading the car. We settled in and unpacked. I was originally under the impression we’d be heading directly to the beach, but everyone seemed to be lounging about. I inquired if I would have time to go for a run before we went anywhere. Everyone agreed they weren’t heading anywhere fast. I wasn’t really all that into meeting this guy, but at this point, there was no reason why I couldn’t. Am I proud of this? HELL NO! I was stupid and saw it as a challenge. So, I told the guy I was on my way.

In my haste, I left for the run shirtless. I hate running in a soaking wet t-shirt, so I left it behind. I wasn’t thinking ahead to the part where I would be walking into a hotel without a shirt on soaking wet from a run.

I texted him the whole way, almost getting hit by a car twice. He told me his room number and planned to leave the door ajar. He would be waiting for me in the bed. I was not really comfortable with this. I really felt like a gigolo, only I wasn’t getting paid. I explained my need for a towel when I arrived to help with the sweat from the 1.5 mile run, so he left one hanging on the door knob for me.

When I arrived, I walked right past the front desk straight to the elevator. When I go to the door, I entered the room. He was waiting on the bed for me. I removed my shoes and began to take off my shorts. He pulled me in, and we started to make out. I didn’t realize from his pictures he was quite the redhead. His entire body was freckles. He was my first ginger. Without getting into the details, we had our fun. SAFE fun. When all was said and done, I picked up the towel again and cleaned up as best I could. He couldn’t stop telling me how sexy I was and how great my body was. I don’t embarrass easily, but he was certainly making me start to blush. He told me if he didn’t get on the ferry that night, he would be calling upon me to go on another morning run the following day. I knew this wasn’t going to happen, but I humored him anyway. We exchanged a kiss, and I was back off on my run home.

Of course, the second I left for my run, everyone back at the house began speculating on my reason for leaving. I knew this was going to happen, and I could tell the second I walked back into the yard they had been discussing this. One my friends, a very loyal reader, immediately grilled me on how my run was. I saw right through her intentions, and I wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction of being right — Until now. I lied. I denied any lewd behavior on my part. I simply told them I was stuck on the other side of the drawbridge and had to wait for it to be lowered again. They bought it, and with that, I went in the house to shower and get ready for the day.

Ironically, later that night we had dinner on the beach in Menemsha. We stayed to watch the sunset and had a blast. We had no cellphone service out there because it is a remote part of the island. When I arrived home, I notice a message from the ginger mentioning seeing me on the beach that night. It was a little creepy knowing he didn’t take a ferry that day and saw me that evening. I was very grateful he didn’t walk up to me and say anything. And, of course, the following morning I had a request for a repeat, but there was no need to revisit that again.

I wasn’t on the island an hour, and I had already gotten myself into trouble. This was certainly going to be an interesting vacation…

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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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