Settle something for me. My friends don’t agree with my reaction to taking this guy home. We’re in bed, the clothes come off, and next thing you know he’s bobbing for apples. The road to ecstasy made a U-turn when he went down on me for a few minutes and then tells me he’s HIV positive! He asks me if that’s a problem and I sort of stutter because I couldn’t believe he decides to tell me AFTER he bl-ws me.
My friends think I’m over-reacting because they say receiving oral sex is low on the risk scale. But I say the guy was wrong for not telling me BEFORE we had ANY kind of sex. He named himself judge and jury, deciding for me what was acceptable risk. I think I should be the one to decide what’s acceptable risk for me, not him. By telling me after the fact, this guy got what he wanted—my big, beautiful d—k in his mouth, and still got to come off noble by disclosing his status. Woody, am I wrong for being upset?
— Hung Jury
You’re both wrong. I agree with you that he should have disclosed his status before any sexual activity. But you weren’t exactly an innocent bystander in the matter.
If you are HIV+ you have the obligation to disclose your status before you slip off your clothes. You do not have the right to decide for your partner what’s acceptable risk. What’s acceptable to you may not be acceptable to him.
A lot of poz guys feel their responsibility to disclose is absolved if their trick doesn’t ask. Wrong. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE A DECISION ABOUT RISK FOR ANOTHER PERSON.
I understand how tough it can be to volunteer disclosure. Sometimes the loneliness, the shame, the intense need to connect physically with another man prevents doing the right thing. The reluctance to tell is understandable, but the failure to do so is inexcusable.
Building dignity and self-respect is more important than getting off with a trick. What you may lose in the physical short-term by disclosing you will gain in the emotional long run. By not disclosing you’re perpetuating the idea that there’s something wrong with you, that you’re damaged goods. You are not damaged goods; you are worthy of great sex. The fact that you may get rejected is a statement of the rejecter’s worth, not yours.
So enough about your trick, let’s talk about you, you preening, self-absorbed fruitcake. Not once in your letter did you cop to being responsible for your own sexual safety.
Why didn’t you ask him about his status before he boarded your bed? I’ll tell you why. Because by not asking—i.e. not knowing—you got to have unsafe sex and feel protected from the consequences.
Wake up and smell the lube. You shouldn’t be doing anything with an HIV Unknown that you wouldn’t do with an HIV Positive. Your trick ruined your fantasy and made you come face to face with your own irresponsibility and you’re pissed off about it. Spare me your victim pose. If you had asked him in the first place you wouldn’t be moaning in the morning.