Today, Saturday, October 6, 2018, I was reading a popular adult website that features commentaty by John Q. Hobbyist, when I came across the information that a well known provider of adult entertainment services posted her complete and real name along with evidence of a negative HIV test result on a different site. I was like, wow, that is bold.
Of course we all know that there is absolutely no way to verify the identity of the poster. Anyone can claim any identity and I believe the biggest advance the Internet can make is somehow verifying identity. Anyway, assuming the woman in question is the actual poster I thought that was very brave of her. Over the past two weeks I have dealt with state vocational authorities and they knew about a conviction that is over a decade old. Just knowing this made even my supporters palpably contemptuous. They had to vote about whether or not to allow me to participate in the acceptable world of work and the eventual decision in my favor was not unanimous. Even one of the people who supported me gave me the sage advice to “avoid doing anything you can get arrested for.” Either I am the village idiot and/or so hopelessly corrupt I must be reminded how to conduct myself. I imagine this provider does not deal with too many people in the straight laced world because people happily cast the first stone at hookers. Another thing that interested me was the vigorous discussion about which providers insist on a condom and which ones don’t. It was noted that the “clean” provider might be a good choice for those who preferred “bare.” I was a child when AIDS first entered the public discourse. In New York I had a first hand outsider’s view of the epidemic. Emaciated white men who died weeks after diagnosis. Scorned dark skinned drug addicts who barely rated a mention. AIDS was universally regarded as something that afflicts the undesireable “others” and people shrugged it off with a shake of the head. Then we were introduced to the “innocent” victims who had had blood transfusions and did not deserve to be classified as bad. As time went on we discovered that homosexual activity does not occur in some far away closet but that people do this, and that, and go back to this again. AIDS wasn’t staying away from the good people. It was everyone’s problem. The idea that maybe we could not easily categorize people into good and bad groups was floated but I know people judge mercilessly. Now the huge hysteria that eased into real fear has softened into mild concern–If that. AIDS is not that common in Hawaii, not like in New York or California. Never would I have imagined that a provider would have to insist on a condom but after many interviews, it is my (unverifiable) understanding that most guys don’t like condoms and will not use condoms. Any provider who has an inflexible policy and demands 100% condom use will not be able to make a living. Simple as that. Providers do not insist on condoms. Condoms are optional and almost ever guy opts out. People need to make a living so providers say to the guys who ask that only the special guys can “go bare” but in reality people do what they have to do. I am not saying providers are happy about the reality but that is the reality. If we can’t tell The truth on this site where can we tell it?
The most common concession to health is when, after the fact; guys get all worried and ask “you’re clean, right?” The irony was so obvious to me that I used to joke that this question was like closing the barn door after the horse got out. No one thought I was funny so I just started vehemently saying “of course!” A negative HIV test today cannot tell if a person got infected in the previous six months. I also stopped pointing out that fact around the time I stopped making the barn door joke.
We were taught that to be safe all sex acts must have a barrier of latex between contact points. I never imagined backing off this standard but I did and seemingly with no ill effects. Now people aren’t scared because of the pervasive belief that HIV is almost impossible to catch unless you’re in wild all male orgies during which you share each other’s needles. And maybe not even then.
Today’s advocates know the reality and teach about “safer” sex because “safe” is an illusion. One organization that works with providers says “condoms are not the only way to be safer. Lube is your friend. You are much less likely to get microscopic tears in those delicate membranes. Intact membranes keep out microscopic bad guys.” These groups distribute lubricant freely. A worker, a mahu (man dressed like and identified as a woman) once asked me how many men had I been with who I believe had been with other men? I said, “I recently learned that as long as no one knows, lots of men are not particular about orifices. Especially if there are no women around. I think most men would never call themselves gay but most men have secretly been with other men” She looked at me with wonder. “You are a wise woman,” she said and I remember that well because no one ever called me wise before or since!
Back in my day, yes I can now use that phrase, no one would publicly admit to needing an HIV test though everyone should regularly get tested. Am I a hater trying to ruin people’s livelihoods.? No, because I do not think anyone will start insisting on condoms just because it is said people aren’t using them. And for all the guys who think “she only goes bare with me”, well I bet they do their share of lying about their whereabouts or whatever in order to engage in this hobby. It is no news flash that people lie. I hope this writing satisfies the spiritual requirement that what is done in the dark must come to the light. I hope we do not have a recurrence of the disaster we once faced. I admit, when it comes to health I want to be one of the good ones.