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.
The name topping can be a little deceiving because it doesn’t mean you are the partner who is on top. It pretty much means the guy who is using his cock and doing the fucking. The top partner is often misconceived as the dominant one in the relationship but this isn’t necessarily the case, it’s a personal preference of what you like when getting it on.
Topping isn’t just about sticking it in, doing your thing and getting it over and done with. For anal sex to be pleasurable, both parties need to be relaxed and enjoy what’s happening. It’s pretty easy for the top to get turned on quite fast and get into it, but the bottom needs a little more prep so it helps to have some foreplay action happening. Tease him and keep him wanting more which will help him relax. If the bottom isn’t relaxed, sex can be quite uncomfortable for both parties.
Start with allowing the bottom to guide you before taking control. It’s really important to start of slow, not just for the bottom’s sake but you don’t want to damage your cock and you especially don’t want to rip your banjo (frenulum, the elastic band of skin that connects the head to the foreskin)!!!
You may have heard that it is less risky for a negative guy to contract HIV when fucking a positive guy than it is for a negative guy getting fucked by someone HIV-positive. This is often the case but it is still very possible for the top to contract HIV as bodily fluids or blood containing from a positive bottom could enter the top through the tip of the penis or abrasions caused from sex. The risk is always there so the best way to protect yourself is to always use condoms and lube.
There are a few different terms, bottom, power bottom (no, it’s not motorised) receptive or passive partner, it all comes down to being the one who gets fucked in each sexual occasion. Some people prefer to only bottom, the same as some prefer to exclusively top. That’s fine, but most guys don’t mind a bit of both to keep things interesting.
When being the bottom, you need to make sure you’re comfortable. The anus is really sensitive and delicate so you don’t want to get hurt or tear your arse. The main thing to remember with bottoming is that you need to relax to keep the muscles in your butt open; if you start to feel uncomfortable they will immediately tighten and make penetration difficult and painful; the muscles (sphincter) of your anus are mostly involuntary so they are used to being able to tense up as required without you noticing. Lube is an absolute must, especially if you’ve not been on the receiving end much. With time and practice, some guys find they don’t need it as much -they’ve gotten “used” to it in a sense, but until then, have plenty of lube on hand.
Studies have shown that there is a greater risk of catching HIV if you are bottoming but if you always use condoms and lube this shouldn’t be a deciding factor in which position you choose. Transmission can occur because if a positive guy cums in you, the semen is hanging around inside of you and can enter through the lining of your arse. Another reason is that the lining inside your arse is an extremely delicate area which can get abrasions from fucking as well as the fact that there are loads of blood vessels in that area making HIV transmission risks high.
When you know you are going to have sex and know that you are going to be a bottom at least some of the time, some guys are concerned about getting shit on the other guys cock. In general, the rectum is not always filled with faecal matter. It is only just before you actually need to go to the toilet that it reaches this point. Once the rectum is full, it signals a feeling of needing to poo to your brain so that you know what needs to happen next – pretty clever huh? Prior to this, the rectum is empty but there can be some residue that remains. This is usually what guys are concerned about when they want to clean the area before sex. While in general the area is pretty clean, there are steps you can take to make sure there is less of a risk of a mess.
Firstly, diet is important. A healthy, high fibre, low fat diet is the first line of defence when it comes to keeping the rectum clean. The fibre helps by clearing out your lower intestine and rectum as it works its way through – kind of like an internal broom – picking up any residual bits and pieces that may be lying around. This means there is less faecal matter and less residue that remains after you poo. To add more fibre to your diet, fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and cereals are the best way to go. If you feel you want to add more fibre even though you eat a lot of these foods already, psyllium husks are cheap and can be bought from your local super market in the health food section. These can be sprinkled on foods (such as your cereal in the morning) or you can mix it with water and drink it. If you are worried about the smell, some people swear by chlorophyll to reduce the odour but this has not been proven, it’s a personal choice. Diet also plays a part in the smell, healthier diets lead to a healthier gut and better functioning digestive system which means less offensive odours. You also want to make sure that you have been to the toilet a few hours prior to having sex to make sure everything’s cleared out.
Following these few rules means you shouldn’t have too much to worry about when you have anal sex however some people like to take it one step further and use a douche. There are a few different varieties, such as the douche bulb which can be bought from the chemist or there are some you can purchase over the internet that fit onto your tap fixtures in the bathroom. If you do decide to use a douche, whichever one you use, you need to be careful and follow the instructions. It can be a good idea to shower and clean the outside area before you begin, it’s good to use lubricant both on your anus and on the douche to help with insertion and reducing the risk of tearing. Use lukewarm tap water (never, ever use any creams or chemicals, not even soap as these are harsh and abrasive on the delicate tissue found here) and use low pressure to squirt the water into your rectum. Once you feel “full” then release the water into the toilet. You can repeat the process but once is usually enough. If you do this about two hours after your last meal and at least two hours before you have sex, this will all help in a successful douche.
Just remember, the act of pushing water up your arse means you are washing away the internal flora of your lower gut which is what protects this area from infections; yes, it will grow back but it takes time. Most importantly, douching is not going to protect you from STIs or HIV so always use condoms and water based lube to protect yourself.