Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Peter, this is my first time at IML and I'm planning on marathon sex sessions. Any pointers?

[Peter Pointers is here 4 YOU, as a service to LifeLube readers - whatever question you may have regarding sexual health, physical health, mental/emotional and spiritual health - ask him. He will find the answers you are looking 4. helped by a team of experts. Below is a recent Q&A you may be interested to read.]
Question:  Hi Peter -  This is my first time experiencing IML and I'm planning on having a couple of marathon sex sessions (12-24hrs) with friends and with people I don't know. Other than playing safe and not using drugs, what other pointers can you give me to reduce any type of harm to myself.

Answer: Thank you for checking out my service and for submitting a question. IML (International Mister Leather, May 28 - 31, Chicago)  can be a really great and fun experience. Make sure to visit the Howard Brown booth at the leather mart to stock up on all your safer sex supplies for free!

In regards to reducing harm to yourself during a marathon sex session - you hit it on the head... the best place to start is by playing safe and not using drugs. However, it sounds like to want something a little more.

One of the best pieces of advice that I can give is to develop a plan for keeping yourself safe (in whichever way that means for you) and communicating that plan to every partner. For example, if you want to avoid being topped bareback, then have that be a hard boundary line for yourself and tell your partners about that line. Having a set plan will increase the chances of you sticking to it when things get hot and heavy or if your mind is otherwise distracted.

Another thing to communicate with someone about is their HIV status and how that relates to your status. However, since many people do not know their true HIV status (research shows us that up to 50 percent of gay men who are positive don't know they are positive), make sure you ask more about their behaviors than their status. For example, if you are HIV-negative and want to have sex with someone else who is HIV-negative, asking "when were you last tested and what was the result?" may give you better information than "are you neg?" There is still no guarantee but it may help you to identify people who are of the same status as you.

Outside of that, make sure you drink lots of water to stay well hydrated. Eat well, to keep energy supplies high. And let a trusted friend know where you are and who you are with, for your general safety.

Also, getting tested for and treated for any STDs before IML will reduce the risk of HIV infection. Let me know if you need help finding a testing location!

Of course, if you choose to use condoms, change up condoms frequently and use LOTS of lube!

Be Well,
Peter Pointers on LifeLube, Friend Peter on Facebook

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  1. there are certain people who are so far gone that's really the best you can do. well now we know one of the sources of the continuing epidemic... events like that. the correct term is always... safer. never zero risk. it's such a small amount of safer that it won't make that much more difference in harm reduction. alienating may make more sense, if you so disturb the participant they may not be participating which may the thing that saves them. they may give up any idea of participating. they may put off participating in an event that infects them. if you do that with any number of people at risk you reduce the number of new cases. one person is responsible for a number of new infectious besides theirs.

  2. The event isn't the cause of new cases - it's personal behavior that results in new cases. For me, IML is like a family reunion. Sure, I play, but I choose to play in safer ways and also take in the rest that the weekend has to offer. [There's a lot more than marathon sex!]

    The great Mr. Pointers has suggested an array of possibilities for self care and harm reduction at the event. Not that it'll necessarily go there, but I'd also suggest that the first-time goer only choose to participate in BDSM scenes with someone he knows or someone he has vetted with known associates. The average gay dude on the street doesn't know enough technical knowledge to do well in most of these heavier scenes. Enjoy the weekend!

  3. My own experience with IML is limited but may be instructive -- I went once, and remained high on meth the entire weekend, with no shortage of like-minded, high-risk sexual partners. So my perspective is that of someone who was an active drug addict at the time. Everything I'd heard about the group sex and casual drug use -- in open rooms, hallways, bars -- was true, but again that's what I was after. Perhaps other men were playing privately, and safely, in their rooms and feeling sorry for pathetic tweakers like me. I can only conclude that the weekend is extremely high risk for people like me (in recovery now) and for whom this weekend event would spell disaster, through no one's fault but my own.

    Mark S. King

  4. IML is a place where you can pretty much find what you are looking for. To follow up on Mark's comment, for folks in recovery, there are meetings two or three times a day - check the schedule at for times and locations.

    I would say have a wingman. Get a buddy to check in with, grab a bite to eat, and shop a little bit. If you do want down time, you can use him as an excuse to take some space.

    If you're negative, and you think you might have had an exposure during the weekend, talk with a medical professional about getting access to PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) medications as soon as possible. This page has some info about it, along with clinics in different cities where you can get started. Sooner is better, but for sure try to get on the meds within 72 hrs of when you think you might have been exposed.

    Have a great time -
    Mr. Boston Leather 2006

  5. Oops - forgot the link to the page with PEP info!


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