New Gay In Town PrEParing for My Future
By Branden Lee
I feel like I fell into a sexual depression once Slutty Summer ended. Black Gay Pride/Labor Day weekend was the big finale of Slutty Summer, and I definitely went out with a bang. I partook in an orgy, hooked up in a public place, then had my first date in months and hooked up with him too.
Then nothing. I didn’t hook up for three weeks following those encounters. Even though I did see my date again, we didn’t hook up on our 2nd date. It’s so unlike me to go so long without any sexual encounters. Three weeks feels like an eternity. Granted during those three weeks I was super busy working, making money, worrying about bills and finances, and I was exhausted. I usually don’t believe in being too exhausted to lose my sex drive, but I learned it’s possible.
Plus, after all my wild and crazy antics during pride, I knew I could no longer go without PrEP. I always freak out and feel paranoid about HIV/STIs after every sexual encounter. Sex gives me anxiety, which is why I never want to do anal. I finally got on PrEP, so thankfully some of my anxiety can be relieved, though it doesn’t feel like it yet.
PrEP is supposed to be like 99% effective in preventing HIV, but that doesn’t suddenly change who I am as a person. A daily pill doesn’t suddenly end decades of stigma and fear. PrEP is supposed to make everyone suddenly free. We no longer have to worry about HIV. We can be poz-friendly. We can have raw sex without worrying about the deadliest and worst of all the STIs. Obviously, PrEP doesn’t prevent any other STI, and you still have to worry about gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, all the Hepatitises and what not. But let’s be real: HIV is really the one people fear the most. Drug-resistant gonorrhea is out there wreaking havoc too. So, there’s always need to be cautious when having sex and think about the repercussions of unsafe sex.
I’ve been on PrEP for two weeks now, but I’ve still not had anal. My friend did encourage me to return to the bathhouse, which I hadn’t been to since Pride. It was fun, and I hooked up with a few guys. I still don’t feel like my sex drive is fully back.
Even online I feel so disinterested in most guys. Perhaps it’s just the natural boredom of living in the same place and seeing the same guys online daily. Perhaps I desperately want more than just hookups and meaningless sex.
I did see my date again. I do like him a lot. We went to dinner and a concert, and back to my place afterward. I’m more attracted to him each time I see him. Which is not usually how things go. Usually, I know instantly if I want a guy to be my future boyfriend or not, but this guy is different. Taking time to go slow and build up to the chemistry has made me more invested.
Perhaps losing my sex drive and promiscuity is the universe steering me towards a relationship. It’s cuffing season after all. I’ve always said autumn is the best time to get a boyfriend, and now I have a potential one. I found a guy I really like, whose company I enjoy, and we actually have things in common which is a rarity in Atlanta.
Plus all of the awkwardness I felt on our 2nd date about being an interracial couple wasn’t a factor on our most recent date. Most likely because we were in a more diverse setting, and it was also a super queer concert.
I originally thought PrEP would make me want to run wild and have a Slutty Fall. I got that out of my system so now I can be ready to embrace monogamy once more. Possibly. It feels a bit of a waste to get on PrEP then get into a monogamous relationship, but then again, the rate that people are cheating and STIs are running rampant, best to be protected. Can’t trust anyone except yourself.