31 July 2009
A letter I sent to my mean and judgmental evangelical Christian friend...
Thanks very much, Dani, and sorry again for not warning you about the NC-17 line drawing in the Wikipedia link defining "frot" -- glad your kids didn't see it! One other thing, though: please, please bring that Wiki article (which I co-wrote) to the attention of your husband and his med-school colleagues, and here's why...
In 1985, which is to say just a few years before C. Everett Koop's AIDS letter, the Dutch government launched a two-pronged AIDS prevention campaign aimed at gay/bi men. The message was very simple:
(1) If you are a man who has sex with other men, the surest way to avoid AIDS is to abstain completely from anal intercourse.
(2) If you are unwilling to abstain from anal sex, you must use a condom every time.
Note that the Dutch campaign said nothing at all about oral sex, and more than 20 years later, we have massive amounts of clinical data vindicating the Dutch assumption that it really wasn't crucial to discourage fellatio in order to contain the epidemic. Studies of gay/bi men who don't have anal sex at all support this, as do studies of serodiscordant hetero couples where the man is HIV+ and the woman is HIV-. All the data point to the inescapable conclusion that blowjobs very, very seldom lead to HIV transmission, even if you swallow the jizz (unless supposing you're a crystal-meth using gay party boy or female crack ho' and have lesions all over the inside of your mouth).
Which leaves anal sex as practically the entire reason why gay/bi male HIV cases number in the hundreds of thousands in the U.S. alone. Hundreds of thousands who got infected either because the condom broke during a buttfuck session, or (much, much more often) because they made the choice to imitate "bareback" porn movies in which condoms aren't used at all. Curious readers can find bareback porn at just about any adult video store stocking gay titles -- oftentimes just three feet away from the "Safer Sex Always!" poster.
But guess what? If I should ever figure out a way to fund my dream of directing and co-starring in a slickly produced, quadruple-X-rated DVD demonstrating and role-modeling exactly how gay men can make "frot" unbelievably, skull-poppingly pleasurable and also sweetly intimate, it will be the FIRST such movie in the entire buttfucking history of the buttfucking gay porn industry.
That's right -- what you will definitely not ever find near the "Safer Sex Always!" poster, or anywhere in any goddamned porno shop in America, is a movie that depicts frot as anything more than 5 seconds of foreplay before driving right up the Hershey Highway -- with a condom whose presence the pornographers do their DAMNEDEST to disguise from the viewers, so that the "safer" anal sex resembles barebacking as closely as possible. Thus, even while the actors are protected, the message visually reinforced for the porn audience is that "bareback is better."
Of course, gay male entitlement-mentality recklessness has cost billions of taxpayer dollars, along with higher healthcare premiums for everyone who shares an insurance plan with these barebacking idjits. (For example, Andrew "Sex has gotten so much hotter since I turned HIV+!" Sullivan's antiviral drugs, and the testosterone injections he gets to counteract the side-effects that the antivirals purportedly don't cause him, are subsidized by whatever health-insurance company that The New Republic uses, since Andrew was still Editor-in-Chief of TNR when he chose to let some other dude ejaculate a big wad of semen (that just happened to be chock-full of HIV) into his heavily-trafficked lower colon. (Your Word-of-the-Day™ calendar entry: The ubiquitous and utterly enchanting gay slang term for ejaculating into another man's rectum with no condom to catch it is "to breed" -- e.g., "Breed my hot guy-pussy, you fucking stud!")
Anyway, by Andrew's own admission, his little "oopsie!" definitely happened circa the early '90s -- already several years AFTER the Dutch government and C. Everett Koop had tried to warn him that practically the only way for a non-heroin-using gay man to get AIDS is to do precisely what Mr. Sullivan chose to do.
Quite incidentally, some of you already know that I got my ass fired from The New Republic a couple years back, because I'd been gossiping online about a little fact-checking problem they'd immersed themselves in. Je ne regrette rien about having tattled on my employer -- after all, it netted me some much-appreciated free publicity in VanityFair.com and The Huffington Post. And anyway ,it was the third goddamned time in a decade that TNR had gotten caught in a total failure to do the most rudimentary fact-checking, so I would urge my former employer to consider the faint possibility that just maybe, God Himself directed me to their offices as His hand-picked courier bearing the message:
Dear TNR: Y'all needs to STOP doin' this NOT-doin'-fact-checking shit -- it just screams "sloppy."
The LORD God
P.S. Though you were fully justified in firing Mr. McGee for his unprofessional behavior, do please continue to water the office plants he left behind. It is not My wish that they should suffer because of this.
However, I've certainly not held any lasting grudge against the mag. Despite having feet of clay (viz., an embarrassing inability to recognize a badly-repackaged urban legend presented as factual reportage), Franklin Foer and his editorial staff remain, within their narrow spectrum of competency, truly excellent political analysts. And their book/arts/movie reviews are really kick-ass. Therefore, it pains me to know that TNR readers everywhere have to pay just a little bit more for the magazine, and TNR employees have to pay just a bit more for their health plans, and all because Andrew Sullivan had once done something that even a goddamn learning-disabled baby hamster could've told him was a terrible idea.
Now what was I saying about that Dutch anti-AIDS effort? Oh, yeah. By the early '90s, the language of the Dutch campaign had been changed -- totally dropping the "don't have anal sex at all" suggestion. (Which was, let's remember, MERELY a suggestion, as the libertarian Netherlands had abolished its anti-sodomy laws as of 1813 .) In place of the two-pronged approach, the revised language put all the AIDS-prevention eggs into just one basket. That basket being, of course, "Use a condom every time you have anal sex." Which in no time at all got truncated to "Use a condom every time" -- thus subtly reinforcing the highly dubious notions that breaking-and-entry through the backdoor is not only "vanilla," but also the Default Mode of male/male sex.
And why exactly was point (1) dropped from the Dutch campaign? And why was it never even given a chance by the NIH, CDC and other tax-funded government health institutions in the US?
In a nutshell, folks: Because telling gay men "you know, not having anal sex at all is actually an option you guys might wanna consider" would offend them. Even worse, it would concede a tiny point to those awful, awful homophobic religious conservatives -- namely, that "it's not a lifestyle, it's a deathstyle" occasionally has a kernel of truth to it.
Thus, that utterly reasonable "Option 1" of the Dutch campaign -- you can abstain from anal and still be gay as a tangerine and still enjoy other modes of HOT MAN-TO-MAN LOVEMAKING -- got thrown in the trash. And all because of gay political and ideological nonsense that everyone else's money subsidizes. (Just one of the many, many reasons that I tell people: "I'm a total homo with no apologies, but please don't call me gay, because it's a stupid word and an even stupider subculture.")
Thus, in summary, your husband and other medical professionals need to know that this eminently logical approach to preventing HIV among gay/bi men languishes as a neglected and unfunded grassroots movement (if not for the Web, it wouldn't exist at all).
Meanwhile, the victimhood hustlers of the Gay Establishment continue to call poor old Ronald Reagan a "murderer of gay men because he wouldn't talk about AIDS," and continue to chant "Please please please give us mo' and mo' money for Safer-Sex Education and condoms and NIH research studies in Argentinian gay bars to solve the incomprehensible mystery of why every year in America, another 30,000 or so gay/bi men turn up HIV+!"
As you've PROBABLY guessed by now, Dani, I've decided to make it my life's mission (or at least a project for the summer, since I'm still only partially employed) to increase "frot awareness" while also opening a can of boiling-hot acidic pain on the above-mentioned Gay Establishment. (Waving at Andrew Sullivan.)
Admittedly, I haven't quite figured out yet how to accomplish this second part, but it's something I've long wanted to do. However, I've decided I just can't do it without a leetle bit of help from some of my straight friends, which is why I ask you to forward that Wiki link to Kevin so that he can pass it on to others in the medical community whenever appropriate.
Whew. Thanks. That's all!
P.S. Just so you needn't fret over my health too much -- although I've slowed down with maturity, at times in my younger days I was incredibly promiscuous. Yet I remain HIV- and thus far, the onliest STDs I've had to deal with have been one case of crabs and one male yeast infection that somehow got established on the head of my wang.
My secret? Well, after giving it the ol' college try because I'm Mr. Empiricist, I quickly concluded that takin' it in the kiester, or doing it to other dudes, just isn't as amazingly pleasurable and sex-sational as the majority of gay men have convinced themselves it is (with quite a bit of help from self-anesthetizing recreational drugs ).
Certainly ain't sexy enough, in my empirically-based opinion, to be worth the elevated HIV risk, physical discomfort, brown stains, minor rectal bleeding, and all the other assorted drawbacks. So I quit doing it! Makes it somewhat less likely that I'll ever have a boyfriend again, but on the whole, I'm happier this way.
P.P.S. Although it's obviously not my place as a non-Christian to tell you what Jesus would think of all this, I *can* assure you that at least a few Orthodox Jewish rabbis have more or less endorsed the grassroots frot movement, albeit not shouting their qualified "okay" from the rooftops.
You see, in the Talmudic interpretation of the Pentateuch, the verse "If a man lies with a man as with a woman, they shall both be put to death," is understood to be a narrow ban on fudgepacking only. In the Orthodox view, all the other types of man2man frolics, along with lesbian sex in general, will most certainly make G-d sigh and go "Tsk-tsk-tsk, I'm rather disappointed in you, kiddo" -- but He doesn't flip out and make a HUGE Federal case about it.
And the gay dude who coined the slang term "frot," one Bill Weintraub, draws substantially from traditional Orthodox Jewish analysis of the Bible's sex rules in formulating his arguments, though he himself is one of those semi-agnostic Jews who presumably eats bacon (and Bill definitely has lots and lots of gay sex with his Baptist-raised hubby -- just not the one particular form of gay sex that the Torah completely prohibits as an abomination worthy of capital punishment).
P.P.P.S. Mr. Weintraub is a cantankerous old left-winger who was part of early gay activism even before the whole Stonewall thing 40 years ago. I have massive disagreements with some of his politics, and I think he shoots himself in the foot in the way that he tries to promote "frot."
For example, he seems altogether unacquainted with such time-honored proverbs as You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, and also Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and also Mary, Mary, Mary -- you just can't win friends and influence people by calling one of your fellow gay men "idiotic bug-chasing faggot" directly to his face, even when it manifestly applies. (Waving at Andrew Sullivan again!)
I used to waste time arguing with Weintraub over his chosen approach, but now I've decided it's far better to bless the man for having done the enormous work of launching the "grassroots frot movement" in the first place -- and I'll just let him play the Bad Frot Cop role, while I play Good Frot Cop...
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