HIV Longevity Still Fighting…

25Aug/10Off

Sex, Drugs, and Rock-n-Roll

    WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!!!

This post is rated PG-13 ... It contains sexual inuendos, devious acts, and plain old dirty talk ... If you are easily offended, you may want to consider skipping this one. On the other hand, if you are like me, grab a glass of water, your glasses, and an old T-shirt and read on...

Consider yourself warned!

Remember, this part of my Blog (“the Secret”) pertains to HIV+ people. However, like most of the previous posts in this category, I think that this post is relevant to most of us (yes, I’m talking to you!)

This was a particularly hard subject for me to discuss. The funny thing is that I am a very sexually driven man. I think much of that stems from the fact that I have always had to have protected sex. And, I spent much time abstaining from it. I am not one to beat around the bush, and my friends know that I am usually the one to tackle the risqué subjects. Sex is my favorite! However, it felt weird sitting down and typing about it. Enough about that … Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite subject to whisper about … SEX!!!

There are plenty of things besides HIV and AIDS that are out there affecting us. Not the least of which is unplanned pregnancy! How about other STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases)? What about your poor liver and ear drums? I’m just throwing this out there, because I want people to realize (which I know that you guys already do), that these topics affect much more than the HIV+ community.

Par for the course ... My standard DISCLAIMER is in full effect for this post. Obviously I am not a medical professional, and I do not know much about any of the stuff I spew forth. I am simply utilizing this Blog as a means to share my life experiences with people around the world (all three of you who read my posts). The ideas presented here are merely guidelines to help you on your path to longevity. I strongly urge (and insist) you to seek the help of a professional doctor or sexual surrogate before attempting ... Well … Anything!!! If you follow any of my hair-brained schemes and ideas, you do so at your own risk! Sorry for that ridiculous pronouncement, however, it is there to protect what little butt I have left.

Condoms and Other Protection Ideas
This section is to tell you what I’ve learned over the years. So, here goes nothing.

I remember years ago there was a product called nonoxynol-9. When it first became popular, it was being dubbed as a cream (or gel, or whatever) that would prevent the spread of HIV. Now, I am not sure if it’s still out there, I bet it is as long as it is still making someone money. However, I bet that it no longer makes that high-and-mighty claim of being the HIV deterrent. I seem to recall that it was actually bad for condoms, and I think that is part of the reason we hear much less about it. Charlatan panaceas like this are all around us. So, you must be diligent in your investigation before trying anything to protect you or your partner from the spread of disease.

Before I tell you how important using a condom is, let me say that from my understanding a latex condom is the only safe way to prevent (99% of the time) the transmission of STD’s. There are products out there that aren’t made out of latex. The most popular one is made from lamb membrane, and is called Lamb Skins. These condoms have been shown to be more porous, and there is a contingent that believes that even though they can stop sperm and prevent pregnancy, they may not protect against STD’s including HIV. So, make sure you do the prudent thing, which is to use latex condoms!

This section of our fun read is titled, “Condoms and Other Protection Ideas.” This might lead you to believe that I am going to delve into all manner of birth control. I ain’t. Except to say that things like the pill, diaphragms, feminine condoms, and other tools of the trade WILL NOT protect you from the transmission of STD’s! So, don’t even think about only using one of them. Also, “pulling out” is the most (or at least one of the most) asinine things an HIV+ person can do! If you want to know the one tried and true way to protect your partner, it is to abstain from having sex. Plain and simple. That said, I think it is silly to expect everyone to stick with abstinence, so that is the last time you will hear me say it.

The bottom line of this section is that you MUST wear a condom (and wear it properly) to ensure the highest amount of safety for your partner. There are enough sites out there that can detail how to wear a condom, so I’m not gonna touch that one. However, just know that the condom needs to be worn entirely prior to penetration in order to be most effective. What does that mean? you ask. Do not insert your penis into the vagina without a condom on it. Even if you intend to put one on soon after (and way before you finish). It is simply not safe to do this, and you are putting someone at risk by doing so.

I have heard of people who wear two condoms and other things. I already HATE condoms with a passion, so I can’t imagine what wearing two must be like. I feel that a single condom, worn properly is ample protection. Do what you want to do, but remember that you are protecting someone else’s health and wellbeing. Always use caution and ALWAYS think with your bigger head!

Oral Sex
Once again, nothing is foolproof. It is possible to transmit diseases when performing oral sex. I have spoken with many doctors on this subject and have come to my own conclusions. Basically, I believe that oral sex is considerably safer than actual sexual intercourse. There are inherent dangers with actually finishing while getting oral sex. Also, things to think about, like cavities and mouth sores. But, I feel that oral sex is a safe route. I am not recommending it to anyone. And, I think that each case is different. For me, I dig it, and I do it. I never finish, or even get close to finishing while doing it though. I have been together with my wife for more than 24 years now, and we have done this countless times. She is not HIV+, and I attribute that to our safe sex and level-headed practices.

We go through stages where I wear a non-lubricated condom during oral sex. We even found some very nice flavored ones. This is probably the safest route to take, but we go without more often than with.

Kissing, Petting, and Otherwise Getting Down
Let’s cut to the chase. Masturbation is what this section is about. I mean honestly, I think that transmitting HIV through kissing was dispelled back in the 1990’s. So, let’s jump right on hand jobs. Obvious things come to mind again … Are there cuts or abrasions on the hand? If so, I think that the best policy is to skip the session and wait for healed wounds.

I think that hand jobs and fingering are safer than sex and even oral sex. Once again, it must be stated that you do not finish (ejaculate) during the procedure (God that sounds medical). The way that my wife and I do it is she does for me until I am close to coming to completion and then I take over. Was that graphic enough?? I think I blushed while typing this section.

Illegal Substances
Drugs. Smoking, snorting, shooting, swallowing, and so on and so forth. The intake of drugs is a risky business. I do not need to detail the risks associated with sharing needles! However, I wonder if you have ever considered the dangers involved with other drugs. There are many to think about:

-Driving while under the influence of any drug is inherently dangerous to you, your passenger, and anyone else on the road (and sometimes sidewalk) around you.
-Your judgment is impaired while under the influence. This means that you might perform some unsafe sexual acts (among other things) while drugging.
-It is illegal. This has many implications, not the least of which is you going to jail!
-Drugs can be very bad for health (take it from me). Your immune system can take a serious hit from most (if not all) illegal substances.
-Many drugs can be extremely addicting.
-Most drugs are expensive, and will raid your bank account at odd hours of the night.
-I’m sure there is a plethora of other things to list here, but I lack the concentration to include them … Besides, my ADD is kicking in … ew, look at that shiny thing.

Alcohol and Tobacco
Alcohol and smoking almost fall into the previous section. And, there are many similarities. However, one area that they differentiate is that this category is legal (as long as you are over 21), and the previous one isn’t. That said, many of the same truths about illegal drugs cover these too. I’m not going to say abstain from these, especially because that would make me a hypocrite. But I will tell you to use good judgment and even moderation when partaking of these sinful delights.

I smoke anywhere from one to six cigarettes each year. My reasoning behind this might shock many of you. I quit smoking more than 22 years ago. But, I quit in a different way. I saw the people around me quitting repeatedly. Falling on and off the wagon, if you will. I decided to attempt to quit in a different way. Instead of saying I quit cold turkey, I simply said, I will smoke less. And when I said, “less,” boy did I mean it. I decided that I would only smoke two cigarettes per year: One on Thanksgiving, and one on another occasion, which I could choose each year. For the most part, I have stuck with that plan, and I have never smoked more than six cigarettes in any one year. That has worked for me. Plus, it is actually kind of cool. You would be amazed at how amazing nicotine is, when you haven’t had any for a half year or more!

Alcohol on the other hand, is a bit more tempting to me. This temptress has a firm grasp on me. Most of the time I am a social drinker, but once or twice a year I will drink myself silly. I don’t condone this behavior, I simply live it.

I mostly wanted to point out that both alcohol and nicotine (like the previous drugs) are addicting, bad for your immune system, and potentially dangerous under some circumstances (think drinking and driving, or smoking and pumping gas as examples). I know that I am light-hearted often. And, I crack jokes fairly frequently. But, the truth is, alcohol impairs your decision making, kills brain cells, and can destroy your liver. We do not need to list the hundreds of things that cigarettes do to you, but suffice it to say that they are bad!

Music
I’m just kidding about including this one in here … But, I will say: Listen to Rush!

Moderation
“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”
—Oscar Wilde

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes … The funny thing is that it’s actually wrong. As much as I want to say that being extreme and hedonistic is the best policy, the truth is that modern medicine and science have proven time and again that moderation is the key to a healthy life.

Essentially, moderation is the opposite of overindulgence or excess. And, that may sound boring to many of you. However, before we jump to conclusions, let’s look at the deeper meaning of what I’m saying here.

I am talking about the keys to the kingdom (I do that often). You can have your cake and eat it too. You simply shouldn’t eat it on a daily basis. I am a huge fan of the diets that have you following a strict regiment for six days and then let you cheat for a day. I think that is a success driver. Think about it, which is easier to say, “I will NEVER eat pizza again.” Or, “I will not eat as much pizza.” The answer is simple … As is the premise. Following moderation can include a number of facets. Follow me here … How about eating less steak (red meat)? How about drinking less beer? How about taking fewer chances with your life (if, like me, you are an adrenaline junkie)? How about (you knew this was coming) having less sex and risky behavior? Any number of things in your life can be brought before the moderation thought process.

I hope I didn’t scare a bunch of folks away with this topic. It was a tough one for me to decide to write it. However, I feel that it is a necessary part of “the Secret” to HIV longevity; which includes the safety of your partner(s).

Until next time, practice safe sex, and enjoy yourself!

Your friend, and inspired Blogist,
V

p.s. This post is a chapter in my blog-book, The Secret to Longevity. Checkout my similar posts here: http://hivlongevity.com/the-secret. Or, follow the goodie trail:
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Posted by Vaughn Ripley