I have been for the past year observing surreptitiously a particularly seamy segment of the homosexual population. This segment are classified under many names, the most common are ‘barebackers’, who just don’t care about risk and consequence to ‘bug catchers’ who actively seek out risk and consequence.
I’ve watched these people, and I continue to do so. It’s prurience is unwavering, these people are tired of the 1990′s and early 2000′s efforts to get the entire gay male population to stop having sex, or at least engage in safe sex with proper protection and have made bids to behave in a wholly retrograde fashion against best common sense. Driven into a madness by their libidos.
I began to ponder why this phenomena has grown up recently. I suspect people are growing weary of constantly having to be vigilant when it comes to sex, they no longer fear the most common consequences and for many people, this has become a manner of managed risk with a blasé attitude regarding the consequences for themselves. What alarms me the most is that this population exists and it’s members wander about carrying their bio-hazardous passengers into the lives of people who are hormonally addled to the point where they either don’t care or are not aware enough to take proper precautions. I’ve read many stories where firmly closeted homosexuals, pressurized with a buildup of hormonal chemicals raging in their bloodstream have willfully suppressed their authentic cognition and allowed these people to enter their lives and infect them. The mode for this infection is not as simple as plain exposure, there is a group within the barebacking community that engage in a practice they gloat about, called ‘Stealth’. When faced with the pressure of their sex drives they seek out partners to satisfy their urges, and if those partners are determined to ‘play it safe’ then these individuals will sabotage the protection rendering it merely an affectation and not a true form of consequence protection and then engage in the act of infection to someone who is not fully aware of their situation and the risk they face.
While stealthing is practiced and is an outrage unto itself, these people willfully seek out other infected partners to engage in unprotected sexual relations and many engage in acts of profound exposure, with multiple partners, random partners, and stranger-partners. What concerns me most of all isn’t so much cross-infection, but because these people are engaged in orgiastic sexual pursuits, hyperinfection. HIV is only a single player on the stage, a terminal player but not the most damaging or hazardous – what really concerns me is the hyperinfection of Hepatitis C, which is incurable, leaves you with 10 to 20 year life expectancy and full liver failure at the end. HIV is as hazardous, but it doesn’t cause organ damage like Hepatitis C can.
Through my personal experience and what I have seen in other gay men, there is a duality building in our culture that I call the Moulin Rouge problem. We are on the public surface a ‘polite society’ and this ‘polite society’ doesn’t accept the existence of sexual depravity and amoral conduct, but along side this ‘polite society’ is a darkness in many of our cohort group that sits just beyond and has no problem engaging in such activities and in many ways, revels in it. I see the strictness and moral uprightness deepening the darkness that balances it. You then have a new liminality, on the front of the Moulin Rouge, it’s all quite innocent fun, but behind the Moulin Rouge is failed risk, disease, and the ramifications of uncontrolled consequence. You have men who carry a public image of spotlessness and a private image of orgiastic incorrigibility.
Linked together with my previous post what concerns me the most are the men who exist so far and so deep into the closet that they end up in a perpetual state of sexual frenzy, they have a raw hunger to engage in explosive exercises of homosexual intercourse, they lay there and will agree to anything so that they can achieve satisfaction, and some of them spend not a single moment considering the consequences of their actions. They then take this failure with them, as a new dark passenger, to their wives or girlfriends, where they continue the cycle of ignored risk and unfortunate consequences. I find these men, trapped in the closet, driven mad with sexual frenzy to be almost as bad as the men who willfully spread their infections to others through indolence or malicious design.
The way to avoid this is sexual education and to relax our moral indignation over sex in general. I would argue that we’ve helped create this monster by leaving men too uneducated and too tightly trussed with morality, that if we as a culture relax in regards to morality perhaps we’ll be able to shoehorn some of these men out of the closet, get them educated about their bodies and their feelings and once we get to that point, they should be well armed enough to avoid making life-altering mistakes.
As always, I welcome all comments – I can only hope this gets to a healthy boy in the closet, gets him to come out, gets him to wake up, to think, to not make mistakes – to learn ahead of making these mistakes… to save themselves. Coming out is not only good for you, it’s good for us all.