Barebacking: Is it the conversation that no one is having?
I ended last week being a little frustrated with the blog. After writing a post on barebacking and how it can play a part in dating and relationships, I expected a bevy of comments about the topic only to wind up with the sound of internet crickets.
While I do appreciate the one and only comment from Brad, who runs a barebacking site that has some pretty hot porn, I feel like most people looked past my point: if you are having sex without condoms while dating then ask yourself if your expectations and feelings regarding emotional and physical intimacy are being colored.
I was discussing this with a friend last Friday over drinks, and after a couple swigs from his beer he said, “Kamal, you’re asking people to comment on a topic that a lot of guys just don’t talk about. You’re right that a lot of guys do it, but because of barebacking’s association with HIV and AIDS, a lot of guys consider the subject taboo and just don’t talk about it.”
And why is it that we, as men who are single, gay, dating and looking for love, are not talking about this?
Again, it’s not just about the sex. If you are making a commitment with someone to have a certain level of trust that allows for skin-to-skin sex, and a conversation isn’t being had about what that means, then are we losing out on the conversation of intimacy in the process?
For me, intimacy is one of those immeasurable factors that signals whether the guy I’m dating could be something more. I can never put my finger on what it is that makes intimacy happen, but I know the feeling when I see it. But there are times when my like for a man may be clouded, i.e. by my lust or by his charm, and signs that reflect a lack of intimacy end up being ignored in favor of attempts to create or simulate the intimacy I’m looking for.
Sometimes we trick ourselves with our own thinking and actions. Maybe if I push to see more of him, then we’ll like each other more. Or maybe if we hold ourselves out as dating, then the rest of the relationship will fall into place. Or maybe if we trust each other enough to bareback together, then intimacy in the relationship will start to materialize.
So again I ask the question: is it really just a decision among two people to have sex without boundaries while getting to know each other, or is it indicative of a greater emotional need? Even if you don’t want to join me in a conversation on this, maybe it’s one you can have with the guy you’re dating the next time you see him.