Kinky Compromise

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Brave New World
by Corey Saucier

Kinky Compromise
Sometimes taking two steps forward requires one step back

Photo by Yuska Lutfi Tuanakotta
Photo by Yuska Lutfi Tuanakotta

So the techno music is playing in the background… The curtains are drawn; my boyfriend is dressed in an assortment of leather artifacts (that sort of make him look more like a European post-punk Goth teenager than a sexy leather daddy); there are a couple of cans of whipped cream on the bedside table (just in case); I’m wearing my favorite “porn star” outfit of Converse high-tops, red soccer socks, a backwards baseball cap, and a red stretched out jockstrap (which I probably should have stopped wearing six dress sizes and fifty pounds ago), and there are toys, towels, and Tupperware everywhere! “Close your eyes and clutch your pearls, because we are about to get kinky up in here!”

This is our compromise.

In the last few months visibility has gone from 0 to 150! You can’t open a magazine or Web page without seeing something about the whole PrEP debate! It seems that marriage, monogamy, and the right to love who we choose, has fallen into the background, and now all the homos can talk about is PrEP, PEP, and undetectable viral loads. Every two days there is another study with something to say on the matter—and with prominent public figures (like the San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors’ Scott Wiener) sharing that they personally take Truvada daily to protect their status, as well as even more public healthcare officials (like AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s president Michael Weinstein) criticizing those personal choices, the conversations are getting louder but not necessarily clearer. In one article it sounds like PrEP is the new messiah and far more effective than barriers for reducing the transmission of HIV, and in another article it sounds like if the HIV-positive partner is “undetectable” then both PrEP and condoms are redundant because seroconversion “approaches zero” with so few copies of the virus in the system, and then fifteen minutes later a reputable source will say the same thing as the other two articles, but then ADD that condoms should still be used “every time!” Wait, what? Why? Why would you wear a raincoat if there is only a 0.999 percent chance of rain? And suddenly we are all confused again.

Some people are positively sure that we are living in a Brave New World where the drugs work, the science is true, and HIV isn’t as scary as we once thought it was, and some people think it only kind of works: That it’s too new to tell and that condoms are still our only savior! I am no longer the latter, but my boyfriend still sort of is. We are on opposite sides of this ongoing debate.

But kink is our compromise.

My legs are in the air, my back is arched (there is a cramp in my side), and our bodies are half-covered in whipped cream and leather! We are grunting and talking dirty and making ridiculous scrunched-up faces that we somehow think are sexy, and the last hour of role-playing and dress up has been utter pornographic nonsense, but our penises are hard and we are having a ball! And in the end that’s all that matters.

Relationships are about mutual respect, acceptance, and patience. It’s about meeting each other where we are and making the most of whatever the universe offers us. So until we are both on the same page; and until the information is more uniform (Did you know that the CDC still recommends the use of condoms for the reduction of transmission during oral sex?) we’ve decided to go old school: No intercourse, no PrEP, and no condoms. For the next few months we are going back to the basic facts. Six fluids transmit HIV: blood, breast milk, vaginal secretions, pre-cum, semen and rectal fluids. Of this we are sure! There is no arguing that as long as we keep certain fluids to ourselves we are completely safe! We obviously don’t have to worry about breast milk and vaginal secretions, because well, we don’t have any. And we completely ignore the pre-cum thing, because well, it’s delicious! But barring blood, rectal fluids, and semen, we can let our imaginations run wild! And if today is any testament to what this compromise can look like, it’s going to be lots and lots of fun!

“Ouch! Cramp!!”

Corey Saucier is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and Non-Fiction and is currently penning his first novel. His musings and wanderings on Love, Life, and Non-sense can be found at www.justwords.tumblr.com.