Just*in Time: December 2015

by Justin B. Terry Smith

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ello Justin—

My name is Alex and I’m a twenty-six-year-old gay, HIV-positive man. I live in Oklahoma and I have always known I was gay since I was a boy. Well, growing up in Oklahoma was hard so I moved to the big city this summer. I was like a kid in a candy store dating and having sex with men.

Then I found out I was HIV-positive a month ago and my world came crumbling down on me.

Then I met a beautiful man who became the light in my life. He swept me off my feet, we took things very slow at first and I loved every moment of it. When I say I loved every moment of it, I mean that getting to know him before sex was great.

When I felt comfortable I told him I was HIV-positive and he didn’t seem to mind, except for when we tried to be intimate. He says it’s not me but I think he isn’t telling me the whole truth. He isn’t able to get hard when I want him to perform anal sex on me; we have done everything and anything to try to get him ready to have sex with me anally, but it still doesn’t work. The only thing that seems to work is giving him a blow job and he usually “finishes” that way, too. Please help me; I think that I might have found the one but I want to be able to satisfy him and vice versa. Please tell me what to do.

Hey, Alex the Great. Thank you so much for writing in.

Photo by Don Harris © Don Harris Photographics, LLC. All rights reserved.
Photo by Don Harris © Don Harris Photographics, LLC. All rights reserved.

This is something that I’ve heard before from others who have e-mailed me. I say, do not worry or panic. First, let me just say trust is a big issue for a lot of couples. Sometimes men get scared and do not want to admit it to their partners. I would ask him, “Have you ever been intimate with anyone before me that was HIV-positive?” His response might give you more insight about whether or not it might be because you are HIV-positive or because he might need a little assistance getting hard.

Oral and anal sex have very different sensations and feels and the tip of the penis is very sensitive and much more sensitive with lubrication. But all in all you see where I’m going with this…at least I hope you do. It could be that he enjoys oral sex more than anal sex because of the way it makes him feel physically.

I would suggest that you both might want to sit down and talk about how it makes him feel physically and find out why he might like it better than anal sex. I’m not a sex therapist but would love to be. If you can’t talk about it alone with each other I suggest seeking the help of a sex therapist.

My next suggestion would be to go to a doctor and find out if he or she would recommend or prescribe some “assistance” for your partner. In my opinion this situation is reversible in a good way. I had an ex who needed the little blue pills for ED, but after we were together he didn’t need them. It turns out that being HIV-positive had nothing to do with it.

Even though being HIV-positive can affect not only us, but our loved ones, as well, to better fight stigma we need to have an open dialogue. We need to be able to open up about our fears and concerns. You need to stay strong because either way there is going to be work that needs to be done on both of your ends. Hmmmmm I think I did mean to say that…lol…hopefully you’re both versatile. Signing off, with love and lube.


Justin B. Terry-Smith, MPH, has been fighting the good fight since 1999. He’s garnered recognition and awards for his work, but he’s more concerned about looking for new ways to transform society for the better than resting on his laurels. He started up in gay rights and HIV activism in 2005, published an HIV-themed children’s book, I Have A Secret (Creative House Press) in 2011, and created his own award-winning video blog called, “Justin’s HIV Journal”: justinshivjournal.blogspot.com. Presently, he is working toward his doctorate in public health. Visit his main Web site at www.justinbsmith.com. He welcomes your questions at [email protected].