Martijn used to enjoy sex, but soon felt restricted by his fear for HIV, and started using drugs during sex so that he could feel free to enjoy sex like before. However, this meant that he regularly risked getting HIV.
Lust, not love
“I have been single for nearly 8 years now. No big deal, but it does mean that I have had lots of sex with multiple partners. When I was younger, it was pretty innocent: I would take a guy home who I really liked after going out together. Later on, it became more about the sex. I also discovered datingapps, darkrooms and the gay sauna. That was really exciting and adventurous, but ‘lust’ became increasingly more important than ‘love’. I used to have to really like a guy before I wanted to have sex with him. At a certain point all I did was think with my dick.”
“I especially liked going to darkrooms where you hardly see anything. I got aroused by the darkness and the anonymity. I had no idea who I was kissing or whose hands were unzipping my pants - add some poppers, and it was party time.”
Anxiously waiting for the results
“I usually stuck to kissing, jerking off and blow jobs. If I fucked I almost always used a condom. I didn’t really run much risk of getting HIV. But I slowly started getting more afraid of it. It is hard to avoid all the warnings around you. In magazines, in clubs and on TV: a lot of attention is paid to HIV. I get tested twice a year and always wait anxiously for the results if I had recently let a dick slip in without a condom when I was in a horny mood.”
Sex and drugs
My fear of getting HIV made me enjoy sex less and less. Eventually, I nearly stopped having sex. Until a date introduced me to drugs, which took away all my anxiety and inhibitions. It made sex wonderful and intense again because I just didn’t think about HIV and STIs anymore. I was often at risk and fucked without a condom or someone fucked me. Not very sensible at all.”
Appointment with the family doctor
“I don’t take PrEP yet, but I am planning to. Now PrEP is easier to get and cheaper than it was, so it’s pretty stupid of me that I still haven’t gotten it. I am nervous about going to the doctor for this. As soon as the word sex is mentioned, I get uncomfortable. But I am lucky my family doctor is very nice. I’m sure everything will be fine. I hope that I will enjoy sex more with PrEP, also when I am sober. We’ll see. Now all I have to do is to make that doctor’s appointment.”
Man to Man interviewed men with a wide variety of experiences and reasons to use PrEP. Their personal stories about sex and health do not necessarily reflect Man to Man’s recommendations. PrEP is a very effective way to protect yourself against HIV. For other STIs, condoms are the best available protection.
Do you want to tell which choices you make to protect yourself from HIV and/or STIs? Mail your story to Man tot Man!
Tekst: Tommie Luyben
* Because Martijn wished to remain anonymous, we used a stock photo for this interview.
Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_danr13'>danr13 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>