March 14, 2024

SEX ON THURSDAY | PreP and the Raw Play Epidemic

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I love rubbers, condoms or whatever you want to call them. As a bottom, they help smooth things over when you are trying to make it all fit and make the entire process way less painful. I don’t know the real sensory differences of playing without them — still haven’t tried topping yet — but it seems that no guy wants to put them to use anymore. 

All the Grindr profiles in a 20-mile radius seem to be exact copies of each other: ‘bb only,’ ‘raw’ or ‘neg on PreP’ overwhelm every other bio description. Most people are getting around with literally nothing between them. 

Turns out this pattern is no coincidence. There is a surge of men who have sex with men who just aren’t wearing condoms anymore. Condom usage among young gay men dropped from 63 percent to 53 percent between 2003 and 2019. PreP is the culprit that encouraged us to have our fun “worry-free.”

PreP, better known as Pre-exposure prophylaxis, reduces the risk of contracting HIV — once seen as a death sentence in the ’80s — by 99 percent, even while having sex without a condom. 

I will admit though, I have indulged in the pleasures of condomless fun, and it’s quite pleasant.  I also have my carnal needs and if raw is the only way to scratch that itch on my G-spot, so be it. And maybe I have grown to like getting ‘br*d’ more than I expected. But it’s nerve wracking to think that I am risking it all for “Anon Dom Top” — even if sometimes they make it really worth it. 

To be fair, taking a pill every day is very convenient. PreP is also accessible for those with health insurance plans because under the Affordable Care Act so you can be a sl*t for cheap. If you want to get started on it, know it takes PreP seven days of continuous use to reach maximum effectiveness. But also, as expected there are some mild drawbacks to the gay son equivalent of birth control: Side effects include diarrhea, nausea, headache, fatigue and stomach pain.

I get it, I have seen how condoms are inconvenient for some and even boner killers for others — that was awkward to watch. But HIV is not the only STI out there, there are quite a few others (some chronic) to watch out for. 

For those of you who are very adamant about still not wearing rubbers, maybe try DoxyPEP.  Doxycycline Post-Exposure Prophylaxis offers high protection against bacterial STIs like chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea. 

Maybe it is my frontal lobe developing as we speak, or maybe someone did f*ck some common sense into me, but I find myself giving in less and less to my urges. I am also not saying this in a puritan kind of way, I am still a big sl*t — just more responsible. 

I remember my times indulging in raw play and they were fun, until I found myself getting tested at Cornell Health — free for students — when I first got to campus to make sure I could jump on all the d*cks campus had to offer and found out I was out of commission for two weeks for chlamydia. Nothing that a couple — very nauseating — antibiotics did not solve. But having to wake up every morning wanting to throw up and sobering at parties for two weeks is definitely not the way I pictured my first couple weeks of freshman Fall to go by. 

While I am still not on PreP, I finally got some free time to make an appointment soon to get on it — I will report back! 

So, if you are so inclined to keep having raw fun. Get on your pills! But remember no D is good enough to compromise your own comfort.

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