Wishful Thinking  

earthShiva 60M
270 posts
5/13/2006 6:45 am

Last Read:
12/10/2006 6:11 am

Wishful Thinking

(to the tune of that old Olivia Newton-John travesty. You know the one I'm talkin' about. Come on! Everyone sing along!)
... Let's get clinical, cynical. I want to get physical, cynical...

As a V-Safe man (and, for that matter, a dyed-in-the-wool optimist), I find there is a big, big temptation to go bareback in intimate encounters. Pre-AdultFriendFinder, this was less of an issue, as my occasional encounters were with persons of comparatively limited distribution. Playing with a population that is more driven, more successful and more mobile rather changes the equation, doesn't it?

I hate condoms. They can serve as a sex toys and an enhancement about 2% of the time, but that's it.(Especially since I haven't been able to find the novelty ones with the clown faces in years. I want one of those for an AdultFriendFinder Portrait!)

The right attitude is to see them as an enabler of fun, rather than a barrier to intimacy, but it takes work to keep this up.

All in all, though, I have to laugh at the endless listings that self-righteously state "DDF", "Disease Free. You must be the same." The harsh reality is that nobody can make this assertion with any degree of certainty at all. 80% of all HIV infections take place before the carrier is seropositive on the standard tests (Incubation to seropositive immune response can take 6 months to 3 years). Tests for herpes are notoriously inaccurate unless the disease is in an active state. Many carriers are lesion-free for life, and it can be contracted in utero. There IS no male test for HPV. This doesn't even begin to touch on the many diseases for which sexual contact is a likely secondary vector-Hepatitis fits this bill, but other diseases like Epstein-Barr and Lyme probably also hitchhike in on the same path. There's no momey in studying this, so we'll never even know what diseases go on thist list.

So offering oneself up as "DDF" is wishful thinking at best. Each of us is a veritable colony of living organisms, most of which co-exist benignly within us, but which may not work so well for others we touch. I personally have never had so much as a cold sore, and I use the same language as everyone else here, but the more accurate phrase would be "tested recently with negative results and apparently symptom free".

The World has such value judgment on STDs. We could all walk around with latex gloves and surgical masks and give up shaking hands. We would vastly reduce transmission of many diseases, many of them much greater health risks than most of the STDs. And its been suggested. But the reality is, we cannot live healthy live without human touch. Most people accept this and tolerate a yearly spate of sore throats, coughs, sniffles, pink eye, stomach flus, and feel sad when Jim Henson or some 9 year old kid dies of a virulent strain of strep, never once stopping to question the morality of using a handrail or doorknob in public, yet never once questioning the notion that unprotected sex is irresponsible behavior. It's a little like considering hand-to-hand combat less moral than carpet bombing simply because you get to see your victim, yet ignoring that fact that the carpet bombing causes much more collateral damage to non-combatants. I submit to you that sneezing without covering you mouth is less moral than consensual unprotected intercourse.

As an Energetic Healer, I have come to see and understand that disease very much reflects who we are. Our bodies take on the diseases that interact with our view of the world, that resonate with our defenses, or simply because we need a way of stepping out of something we otherwise cannot escape.

Having been raised Catholic, I fear STDs. While I rejected the church around puberty (coincidence? I think not!), I'm also not foolish enough to believe that all those consciously rejected notions of Original Sin and celibate ideals aren't kicking around in my psyche somewhere, providing an ideal entry point for guilt in the form of some infection, and leaving me wondering if I am somehow toxic to my lovers.

Other lucky souls can, I believe, ride bareback through the Garden of Eden with complete impunity. They will never get a disease, and they will never pass one along.

I can do so as well-- with my wife, and perhaps one or two regular partners with whom my sense of intimacy is sufficiently deep. It isn't even a matter of the mechanics so much as a belief that I am only allowed so much true intimacy. So suit up I shall for the rest, knowing that I am not allowing myself that last, most beautiful bit of intimacy, trust and vulnerability, along with the pleasure that goes with it. But I will always wish for it.

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