Thursday, September 9, 2010

Peter, my boyfriend and I are serious. Can we ditch the condoms?

[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: My boyfriend and I have been serious for a while now.  We can lose the condoms, right?

Answer: Condomless sex is a perk that allows us to put up with our partners’ crazy families.  It’s only natural that many of us would rather have sex au naturel – it’s about sensation, pleasure, intimacy, and trust. 

However, to stay HIV- and STD-free while sexually active, condoms are still our best option.  So, we protect ourselves during random hookups, booty calls, and budding romances. 

But, is there need for safe sex once you get serious?

Researchers say: “Yes!”

Dr. Patrick Sullivan of Emory University, looked at HIV transmission among gay/bi men and found that 68% of men who became HIV-positive acquired it from “a main sex partner.”  This was due to “a higher number of sex acts, more frequent receptive roles in anal sex, and lower condom use during anal sex” with main partners.

Dr. Colleen Hoff, of San Francisco State University, found nearly half of studied gay couples were nonmonogamous and emphasizes the need for true consensus on “sexual agreements” between partners. Hoff explains, a broken (or unclear) sexual agreement “can make both partners vulnerable to HIV."

Here are some pointers:

- Use condoms for 3 months with new partners (because it takes time for HIV to be detectable in the body), then test and talk.

- Work with your partner to negotiate robust sexual agreements.

- Discuss how to disclose and deal with a break in an agreement.

- Continually revisit agreements.

Be Well,
Peter Pointers on LifeLube, E-mail Peter
Friend Peter on Facebook

Per this QA, you may be interested in the following: 

Join us for "What's Love Got To Do With It?" 
Is it okay to stop using condoms with my boyfriend?

LifeLube co-hosts a FREE community forum to discuss  the role of relationships in HIV infection. Join researchers Colleen Hoff (San Francisco State University) and Patrick Sullivan (Emory University). Llearn ways to have the sex you want and stay healthy. Moderated by Brian Mustanski of the University of Illinois – Chicago.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Center on Halsted - Hoover Leppen Theatre - Third Floor
Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for appetizers and socializing.
Program begins promptly at 7:00 p.m.

RSVP here, as space is limited for this free event.
More info here.
Listen to the Windy City QueerCast show on the subject with Jim Pickett.
Listen to the "Rubber Lover" podcast via Feast of Fun


  1. I hear what you are saying, but sex w/ condoms to me seems like sex you could have w/ anyone. One of (the many) perks to sexual intimacy with my partner is the trust and closeness that sex without condoms brings.

    I recognize this is a personal decision each couple makes. This is just my personal opinion.

  2. You both could get tested together and use that knowledge.

  3. Yes, we both get tested each year when we have our physical. Fortunately we go to a great clinic in the Boston area (Fenway Health Clinic) which specializes in care for the GLBT community.


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