Staying Negative aims to emotionally engage, inspire and facilitate imagination in sexual health practices. The campaign profiles the real life stories of gay, bisexual and trans men who have sex with men (MSM). Men talk about all aspects of their life from coming out, relationships, sexuality and a broad range of other topics. While HIV and safe sex is an important part of all stories, it is not the exclusive focus.
Prior HIV prevention campaigns have traditionally focused on providing gay men with information that will encourage them to adopt safe sex behaviours. In reality, safe sex practices are influenced by a whole range of environmental and cultural factors. The campaign also provides an opportunity for HIV positive men to talk about their lives and discuss how their strategies to staying HIV negative were not successful. We understand that there is more than one way practice safe sex and adopt healthcare seeking behaviours, so let's be creative about it!
There are no real criteria for participants other than that they are MSM and happy to have their stories appear as part of the campaign. In addition to the personal stories, the website provides information on HIV/AIDS, sexual health, relationships and broad of the other relevant topics including domestic violence, drugs and alcohol and depression.
Sex is awesome, not many people would disagree. However, there are a few situations that we may face from time to time where the sex isn’t as great as it could be. Men may occasionally experience the inability to get or maintain an erection. This is completely normal and can happen to anyone at any age, although the likelihood of it occurring does increase with age. In Australia, around 1 in 5 men aged over 40 and 2 out of 3 men aged over 70 experience erectile problems so it’s not uncommon. Difficulties may be caused by lots of different things, some physical, some psychological. The best way to understand how things might go wrong is to understand the basics of an erection. It’s pretty much all to do with an increase in blood flow to the penis (through arousal) and the ability to keep it there. When everything works as it should, the erection is maintained until you cum or play time is over.
Don’t get libido mixed up with erectile problems. Libido is the desire to have sex and varies a lot between each person. Some people naturally have a high sex drive and others don’t feel the need to have sex as often. This is a completely different issue but if you feel like you’ve lost your sex drive recently, it’s possibly due to things going on in your life so you may want to talk to someone about it. As we said before, the inability to get or maintain an erection from time to time is normal, don’t get too worried about it. If it has become an ongoing issue and you are concerned about it, speak to a doctor. However, outlined below are a few things which can affect your erection.
Psychological problems include fairly simple reasons which usually don’t indicate an ongoing issue such as relationship problems. Your mind can play an important role in feeling sexy and getting aroused, so if you are going through a tough time, your mind may be too distracted and your body may put up a protest so to speak. You may be going through a tough time and your body can put up its own protest. Generally though, once what is going on in your life is sorted out, everything should go back to normal, so it’s a good reason to resolve any arguments or deal with any issues which may be overwhelming you.
Mental health issues such as depression and psychiatric disorders can also affect your ability to get aroused; this can be further affected by the use of medication so it’s good to talk to your doctor if you think this may be a problem for you. Upbringing and your own attitude towards sex (or certain kinds of sex) can also affect your mental state, for some issues you may want to talk them through with a counsellor.
Physical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also linked to the likelihood of experiencing erection difficulties. It’s a good reason to keep yourself healthy – eating well and regular exercise will help reduce most of these risks, however, diabetes isn’t always lifestyle related, so again, speak to your doctor. Other factors to be aware of are smoking, drinking too much alcohol and some medications. Trauma to certain areas of your body, such as the spinal cord, can affect nerve function in the groin area. Genetic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s can also affect the ability to maintain an erection.
If you are concerned about your ability to get or maintain an erection, talking to your doctor may be uncomfortable, but it is the best option.
Sometimes men have found that they struggle to maintain an erection when using a condom.. One of the main reasons that men can find it difficult to maintain an erection when using a condom is because it is the wrong size. Try experimenting with different sized condoms to see which ones feel and fit the best.
So how do you choose the right one for you? Well first of all, this is where size does matter. Don’t let your ego get in the way of a good time, you may want to take the packet of extra large condoms to the hot guy at the counter but do you really want to risk it slipping off when you’re getting into it? Size varies between brands and a regular condom can be anything from 178mm – 200mm in length and 49mm – 54mm wide, while a large condom can be up to 251mm in length and nearly 60mm wide.... and they’re stretchy! It is important to read the information on the packaging to figure out what is going to fit your dimensions – so that you can be comfortable with the fit and feel, and confident that it will stay on during sex.. It may take trying a few different brands to find one you like. Once you’ve figured that out, just have fun playing with different textures and flavours, it’s good to mix it up!
Tips for using condoms correctly:
1) Getting Condoms
2) Before sex
3) During sex
4) After Sex
Condoms help prevent the transmission of STIs. To find out more visit the How To Protect Myself myself page.
Not all lubes are created equal. There are just as many brands of lube as there are condoms so again you may need to try a few before you find one you really like. There are two main types you should look out for, water and silicone based. Water based lube has a good texture and comes off easily in water (which is good news for your sheets), however as the water part tends to be absorbed by the body it may become sticky and may need to be reapplied if you’re having a long session. Water based lube is good as it won’t degrade latex condoms or silicon toys.
Silicone based lube has more of an oily texture and is very slippery. As it does not contain water, it isn’t absorbed by the body and therefore does not need to be reapplied as often (if at all). Silicon doesn’t come off as easily in water, so if you like to get it on in the shower then this one will probably work best. To remove silicon lube, just give it a hard wash with soap and water.
There are some lubes designed specifically for anal sex and some contain benzocaine, a product that has a slight numbing effect on the anus which can sometimes make sex a bit easier (good for beginners). Good ones to try are Durex Play Longer, Anal-ease or Pjur Analize Me. When using condoms, avoid using oil based lubricants such as Vaseline or baby oil at all costs! These guys are completely unsuitable for latex and will cause damage to the condom and likely lead to the condom breaking.