I actually want to put my foot down on this shaming around hookups.
Shaming has never been an effective way of controlling gay men’s sexual behaviour, and did nothing to mitigate the AIDS crisis. Risk mitigation is key.
Many gay men are especially affected by social isolation. Many use sex as a coping mechanism for stress. These factors are going to get worse, and shaming them for looking for sex isn’t going to help. Telling someone to abstain for 12 weeks IS A LOT.
So here’s Buster’s sexual health in a crisis guide to risk mitigation:
1) Try to hook up with people you know. If you know each other, you’re more likely to be honest about symptoms with one another. You’re more likely to talk. You’re more likely to scratch the social itch for longer.
2) wash your hands when entering their home (or get them to wash their hands when entering yours). The journey is one of the biggest risks here.
On that note:
3) Avoid long journeys on public transport and contact with ‘shared surfaces’ when outside. Gloves aren’t an effective barrier, you’re still subconsciously touching your face and that isn’t changing.
4) Avoid group play. Sex parties, clubs and mass gatherings aren’t a great idea at this time. If you do want to go to Circuit Party, self isolate for 14 days after to make sure you don’t spread anything further.
5) Before you agree to a hookup, ask yourself why you want it. Are you just horny, and could a hand suffice? Or are you lonely / in need of touch?
It’s ok to be lonely, but maybe a heart to heart on facetime with a close friend might scratch that itch better?
This is a difficult time for the world, and LGBT+ people always suffer in such times. Be kind to one another folks, screaming and wagging fingers helps nobody and already mentally devastated one generation.
Let’s remove shame from our arsenal.