Sex Ed in Bed
Denial is the deadliest infection of all
By Jallen Rix, Ed.D. (c).
We are sexual beings. One of the most tricky things to deal with when coming out is denial about what we do in bed, mainly because there’s so much pressure to conform to the “straight agenda,” and because denial by definition means you don’t know you’re functioning in it you’re in denial about it. I realize how annoyingly redundant that sounds, and I wish getting rid of it was as easy as throwing a switch, but it’s not. In fact, denial is downright infectious. If you can fool yourself into thinking your sexuality is something other than it is, it opens the door to lie to yourself about anything. Furthermore, even though you might come out of the closet about your sexual attractions, denial still can have its roots undermining other aspects of your sexual behavior. It’s hard to tell when denial hides things so well.
Denial is why people who are just becoming sexually active in queer culture are so vulnerable to contracting HIV. They’re just learning the ropes and bound to make a mistake or two because they probably have a higher degree of denial when it comes to sexual matters. I counseled a late bloomer who’s been out of the closet and loving it for a year or so. Wouldn’t you know that it just took one mistake, one second of denial on his part and -- damn it all -- he contracted HIV. The rest of his life will be radically more challenging. The virus isn’t going to let him off the hook just this one time. The virus is not capable of showing mercy. It has no conscience. But we do! Those of us who are more experienced can prevent the disease from flowing in and out of our bodies by severely reducing the risk of its transmission with... (say it with me) condoms. “But what about abstinence, teacher?” I find that just saying “no” has a much higher failure rate than condoms.
But even for the sexually experienced, many of us have had to live such secret sex lives for so many years that denial is more a part of our sexuality than a condom. I can tell you story after story of the ridiculous ways people have been in denial regarding their sexual behavior. A good friend, after dating a guy for a couple of months, decided they would go without condoms and it was only then that this guy started talking about how he believed HIV did not exist and that AIDS was just a conspiracy by the government to stop gays from having sex. Come to find out, he was HIV positive and he was drowning in denial river. Luckily my friend did not contract the virus.
Some have convinced themselves that condom sex will always be bad sex and therefore they set themselves up for disappointment. I think that is a kind of denial as well. From a macro perspective, denial is the thing that has allowed diseases to flourish in the bedroom. If STD’s were taken more seriously, and cures sought more quickly we might have been rid of them already. But instead, our government and ultimately we ourselves are in denial about how important sex is to all of us, procreation or not. Tragically, it usually takes the loss of life to rid ourselves of denial, and for some, not even their own mortality is enough to wake them up.
Condoms just have to be part of sex -- across the board. Maybe there was a time that we could fuck with abandon without risk or consequences, and I pray to God that time will come again soon. But it ain’t now. Wake up and get with the system and all of us will benefit from it.
There have been times I’ve used condoms to decide if I’m going to hook-up with a guy or not. If he has no problem with them, I know he’s got my best interests in mind as well as his, and therefore we’re set for good times. After all, do you really think sex will be fun with a person who complains about a little piece of rubber ruining his good time? I have two descriptive syllables for him: Bor-ing!
Don’t let denial be a part of your sex. Instead, replace denial with condoms. In that second when denial slips in like a cock slips up an ass, change your old routine. Instead of wrapping that cock in denial (as well as a lot of fear) wrap it in a condom and fuck your lights out, baby!
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