About Staying Negative

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.


Toys are a great way of keeping things interesting in the bedroom or spicing things up in a relationship. Some people may be quite experienced with toys and know what they like whereas some could may have never tried them before, either way, toys can be a lot of fun to use either by yourself or with a partner. Sex toys come in all shapes and sizes, including dildos, vibrators, cock rings, anal beads and butt plugs.

If you’re new to the world of sex toys, experiment with what’s out there and see what tickles your fancy. Not everyone enjoys the same kind of sex toys and some guys say that the direct contact of a vibrator on your cock or balls can be a little too intense. Sex toys are good to use in foreplay or if you’re just fooling around to keep things interesting. They can also be used to prep you before anal sex to help you get in the mood and relax. Even if you’ve never had anal sex before, using sex toys can be a good way of getting you used to the feeling of penetration. The use for sex toys are endless and they can be a lot of fun too.

There are some things that you need to keep in mind when playing with sex toys. Here are some tips we have come up with:

Good Quality 

  • The quality of your sex toys is important as you don’t want any cheap materials that can affect your skin.
  • Ensure there are no seams or sharp edges that can cut or chafe sensitive areas of your body such as your rectum (inside your arse).
  • You don’t want any bits and bobs that can come loose and get lost where the sun don’t shine.

Keep it Clean

  • Sex toys can facilitate the transmission of STIs so make sure you clean them before and after use. Those that are waterproof, wash them with warm soap and water, for those that aren’t, read the instructions on how to clean properly.
  • It’s a good idea to keep antibacterial wipes or spray in your bedside table to give your toys a quick clean before you use them as taking a moment to go and wash them while you’re in the heat of the moment, could very well ruin the mood! -      Try to keep sex toys in some kind of cloth bag to help reduce the amount of dust accumulating on them.
  • You can use condoms on dildos or penetrative vibrators to reduce the risk of STI transmission. Just remember to change the condom between each use and between different sexual partners.

 Lube it up

  • Sex toys can rub you in the wrong way if you don’t lube it up properly. Make sure you use lots and lots of lube to make them more enjoyable.
  • There are loads of different types of lubes, from water-based to silicone based lube and even flavoured lube! The different lubes work best with different materials but make sure you read the labels properly so you don’t compromise the integrity of the sex toys or condoms being used.
  • Water-based lubricants are always the safest bet as they don’t compromise the integrity of condoms and can be used with pretty much any sex toy, even silicone ones. They are pretty easy to clean up and are good for fisting and anal sex. Some people don’t like them, however, because they can feel a bit sticky, especially when they dry up. They’re also not useful for using in water such as baths or in pools and they tend to not last as long as silicone-based lubes.
  • Silicone-based lubes last longer than water-based lubes and are pretty cost effective since you only need to use a little bit at a time. They’re actually mostly pretty harmless, but they’re not recommended to use with condoms and sex toys to be on the safe side because some brands are not all latex approved. There’s a possibility that they can compromise the integrity of silicone/softskin/cyberskin toys or condoms. They can actually be really great because they’re not absorbed by the skin so last a lot longer than water based lubes, they don’t get sticky and they stay on in water. However, they do cost more for the same amount and are harder to wash off. Just be mindful and read labels properly when picking your lube.
Tell us your story

Tell us your story


Come and tell us your story! We would love to hear from you! If you want to find out a little more about how it all works, give Jessie a call at VAC on (03) 9865 6700, or email staying.negative@vac.org.au