Savage Love: Clap Back – Blogtown
Bisexual woman in an open/monogamous relationship with a heterosexual man. My partner and I have friends in the swinger lifestyle who invite us to parties and group sex events. They recently caught gonorrhea while taking over a hotel and only found out after hosting 20 people on a sex party. So the group is now facing an epidemic of gonorrhea, mainly mouth infections, as we are all very diligent about using condoms for PIV. We’re being treated, but I’m pretty upset. What bothers me the most is how nonchalant they are about the situation! One person even called it an “inconvenience” and compared it to the “cold”. (WTF?) While some STIs are easy to treat, gonorrhea is treatment resistant and something like herpes, HPV or HIV would obviously be very serious and permanent. They don’t plan to retest after getting their shots and are already planning group sex events in the next few weeks, which I find concerning. I don’t think I’m comfortable engaging with their group if they don’t take things like an STI outbreak more seriously. So my questions are:
1. My test came back negative (my partner was positive) but shouldn’t ALL of them retest after treatment? Especially if it is an STI known to be resistant to antibiotics?
2. Am I overreacting or being unfair to our friends? Is this just part of the swing lifestyle territory we all have to accept?
3. If we decide not to engage with the group because of their attitude towards STIs, how do we reconnect with the way of life? We are afraid of losing access to events and people in the scene, because these friends introduced us to all the people we know in the scene and gave us access to all the events we attended before.
Completely lost about the panic
1. “Gonorrhea in the throat is the hardest to treat,” says Dr. Ina Park. “So people who have oral sex and end up with throat gonorrhea should be retested in two weeks and refrain from oral sex in the meantime. For rectal and genital infections, gonorrhea cure rates are still so high that routine retesting after treatment is not recommended.”
Dr. Park is a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, CLAP, and is also a medical consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of STD Prevention. And although she thinks your sex friends who don’t get a follow-up test after being treated for oral gonorrhea are making a mistake, she explained that you were wrong about gonorrhea.
“Gonorrhea can still be easily treated with a single injection of an antibiotic called ceftriaxone, and there is almost no resistance to this drug in North America,” Dr. Park said. Which isn’t to say that gonorrhea isn’t serious or that things couldn’t get worse. “Those of us who do research on STIs are worried about an outbreak of multidrug-resistant gonorrhea, but luckily that hasn’t happened yet,” Dr. Park said. “The bad news is that more than half of gonorrhea strains circulating in the United States are resistant to at least one class of antibiotics, and one in five are resistant to two or more classes of antibiotics. We currently have no Only one antibiotic in the US that can reliably treat gonorrhea But there is a new antibiotic in late-stage clinical trials, although nothing is immediately available if standard treatment fails.
What he doesn’t have, CLAP, at least not yet. So that means you, your partner, and all of your sex friends — if you get treated and tested again in two weeks — can come out of this experience gonorrhea-free.
2. Your friends are underreacting – gonorrhea shouldn’t be compared to the common cold – but you are overreacting. Although contracting an STI is no one’s goal at a sex party, any time you have sex outside the confines of a committed and sexually exclusive relationship, CLAP, you run the risk of contracting or spread an STI. And since people in monogamous relationships cheat, there’s no guarantee that you won’t get an STI either in a committed, sexually exclusive relationship in theory but not in practice. The only way to eliminate your risk of getting an STI is to never have sex with anyone again, CLAP, including your partner.
If the pleasures of attending sex parties aren’t worth the increased risk of contracting an STI, you shouldn’t attend sex parties. You could still have an open, CLAP relationship, but you’ll have to be a lot more selective and make the other people you fuck jump through a lot of hoops. You can ask all potential new partners to get tested for STIs, provide you with proof of their negative tests, and then refrain from fucking anyone else for a few weeks before meeting you. Not everyone will want to jump through those hoops, CLAP, which means you and your partner will have fewer opportunities to fuck other people.
I regret to inform you that the people you want to fuck might lie to you about abstaining from fucking other people after the test and before meeting up to fuck you a few weeks later, just like the people in a monogamous relationship sometimes lie. So to make sure your other partners don’t fuck other people during this CLAP time, you’ll need to lock them in your basement.
3. Changing hosts – going to sex parties and swinger events hosted by people who haven’t already given you gonorrhea – isn’t the magic amulet you seem to think. Anyone who regularly goes to sex parties to fuck 20 other people is going to be exposed to HPV on a regular basis and is basically volunteering to be exposed to herpes and most likely contracting herpes. (If you’re not already vaccinated against HPV, get vaccinated.) If you use condoms religiously and correctly, and there’s no man-to-man action at these parties ( and there are usually none at events organized by and for heterosexual couples), your risk of contracting HIV is very, very low. You can reduce your risk of contracting gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia by mouth by using condoms and latex barriers for cunnilingus and anilingus, but STIs that are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact are almost inevitable when 20 people crowd into a living room with a dozen mattresses spread out on the floor.
If you can’t live with these risks or are going to fall apart if or when you get another STI, CLAP, sex parties aren’t for you.
Follow Dr. Ina Park on Instagram @InaParkMD. And, hey, it’s STI Awareness Week! I can’t think of a better way to mark STI Awareness Week than reading Dr. Park’s memoir Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in Science, History, and the Surprising History of STDswhich is now available in paperback. The New York Times called Dr Park’s memoir “joyful and funny” and praised Park for using compassion and humor to “remove the stigma from these infections”. This is a wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone, but I would especially recommend it to you, CLAP!
I just moved to New York and moved in with a friend from college. He’s gay, I’m a straight woman, we’re both in our twenties. The apartment is small and I often hear him having sex. (I guess he hears me having sex, too.) And again and again, I’ve heard guys call my roommate a “faggot” during sex: “Do you like that dick, fagot?” Do gay people say that kind of thing to each other? I asked him about it and he shrugged and said, “I love it,” and immediately changed the subject. I take him at his word: he loves it. But why would he love her? I do not understand.
Worried about the insults that daily erode the necessary esteem of the roommate
Not for you to worry about, but I’ll try to explain…
When a gay man sticks his dick out of his boyfriend’s mouth or his husband’s mouth or his Grindr relationship and says, “You’re such a fag,” that’s not an insult. Like a vaccine containing a tiny (and inactive) trace of a deadly virus, the word fagot – in the context of two homosexuals having consensual sex – obviously contains traces of a deeply harmful insult. But instead of being terrified or diminished by the insult, these two homosexuals somehow strengthen their immunity to it. Because the word “faggot” not only can’t hurt us when we’re alone together, but it’s also up to us to use it, play with it and enjoy it. At this time, CONCERNED, the word “faggot” is not an insult. It is an affirmation.
That said, not all gay people appreciate degrading swear words, and the fact that some gay men have fun throwing the word “faggot” during sex does not give straight people the right to use it. But if you hear the F-word every time your roommate gets a guy, CONCERNED, you can be reassured: it doesn’t happen by chance. Men calling your roommate a fag when they fuck his face don’t suddenly drop that word. They say it at the request of your roommate.
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