Public Health can Learn Something from Porn
Recently, I had to change a deep seeded belief I had. See, my belief has always been we make choices based on our own moral compass, but I am starting to side with the thought that this is really about environmental conditions-- especially when it comes to safe sex.
So, this may or may not be a secret, but I hate condoms. I see your judgment from a mile away. I shouldn't feel the need to qualify this, but because of my own personal insecurities, I must. So, let me make myself feel better: I'm on PrEP, get tested regularly (full panel STD check-- it's a must to continue to stay on PrEP), reduced my number of partners and prior to having a consistent partner generally only did oral. Now that I have made myself feel better, let's get to the shit.
Most of us ain't using condoms. You may advocate for them in public, but nothing about these statistics say that the Black and Latino communities are using condoms-- especially in the South. And that's without judgment at all. We fuck raw; maybe not with everyone, maybe you have certain requirements like a relationship, big dick or trade, but most of us have tried it naked head. Let's be honest.
But I have been thinking: these agencies focused on HIV have been doing it wrong. Porn shows are what we model our behaviors after even though the leaders in our community advocate for sex with condoms. (Leaders advocating for sex they rarely partake in is a whole different conversation in itself.) Still, we as a community love to watch porn and hate to wear condoms and nobody has figured out why?
Yes, we like sex. Yes, we like to watch sex when we can't get what we want at the moment or just don't have the time. Yes, porn stars are people you see in everyday life that you may or may not want to fuck. But that's not why we hate condoms.
It's not because we don't know that there is a projection of 1 in 2 Black gay men or 1 in 4 Latino will become HIV Positive if transmission continues. It's not because we don't understand the importance of lowering our risks of either contracting or transmitting it.
It's because porn is the only fun sex we can see; all these people reducing gay men to HIV has made sex boring and stupid. You have to remember most of the millennial generation wasn't around during the worst of the epidemic. We didn't see people dying daily and multiple funerals on the weekend. We were born in a time where HIV started to become a chronic illness.
As far as porn, it's fun to see creampies, watersports, threesomes, voyeurism, exhibitionism and stuff. These are things that we would probably all try had it not been for seeing a testing van, team or condoms in every safe space we go into. From clubs and bars to church and sex parties, I have seen information-- or the test kits-- for testing. Does anyone else think that it's oversaturated?
It makes you want to stay away from testing until something bad happens or you see a bump in the wrong place. For a lot of us, it makes porn the only relief we get from the everyday conversation about HIV. The simple fact that they can make sex look fun, is enough for me.
So, public health, take note from Hotrod, Chino and the cute lil' dude that does all the jackoff videos outside in public on PornHub-- I think his screen name is PornboyPGH, make sex fun. We may like condoms a little more. You may even increase uptake on PrEP.