THE BLOG

The Bleeding Red Pustules of Courage

05/21/2015 01:11 pm ET | Updated May 15, 2016

In writing this blog, I've often been carelessly critical about the gay community and our sex lives. I've revealed my cowardly avoidance of barebacking, and I've rebuked people with sex practices I now know are superior to my own. I've deservedly been called a homophobic, trite writer with outdated opinions forcing heteronormative values on the gay community. Well, the Gay Men's Chorus has sung, and I understand how ignorant I used to be. I was an unknowing pawn furthering oppressive messages that had been fed to me. We truly are a persecuted people, and we must place freedom first when talking about the gay community. I've listened to my critics and changed my tune on how I think gay men should comport. I have distilled these thoughts into this modest proposal that I put forth. I hope people are listening.

Edmund White, who coauthored The Joy of Gay Sex in 1977, once said "Gay men should wear their sexually transmitted diseases like red badges of courage in a war against a sex-negative society." I believe now, more than ever, we should proudly proclaim to the world the STDs we receive in our battle for sexual freedom. The halcyon days of post-Stonewall 1970s gay liberation have returned once again, and now is the time to feast upon the Bacchanal buffet we have built for ourselves. No orifice shall go unpenetrated! Everybody shall become full on the seed of their brethren! Only this kind of unquestioned orgiastic sexual freedom will break down the sex-negative structures that oppress us. We must practice the very types uninhibited, basal man-sex mainstream society would condemn us for, even if it places us at risk for disease.

All of us grew up hearing harmful, backwards views of sexuality: Bodily fluids must be contained, sex can harm you, etc. This anti-liberty message has even infiltrated our gay community centers. They are just as likely to shame us for practicing the free sex we are inherently entitled to: They chide us to wear a condom, limit our number of sexual partners, etc. These people demonize us, our semen, and our sexual practices; and we should not stand for it. This is a conspiracy to destroy the institutions of gay sexuality we have fought tooth and french-tipped nail to earn! They tell us to limit our number of sex partners and the amount of sex we are having because -duh- they want us to be less gay! The outside world is afraid of gay sexuality, and we shouldn't let them criticize who we are as sexual beings. After all, mainstream sexual norms don't reflect humanity's biological experience, but are instead a social construction meant to preserve the privileges of a dominant group. By rejecting these messages, we destroy the power structures that oppress us. Every time you get gonorrhea or syphillis--whenever pus or pox invades your body--know that this is one more blow to the old, repressive views of sexuality. These are your battle scars in the real fight for equality.

Like any warrior, we must put ourselves in physical danger in order to advance our cause. By living sex-positively, we naturally come under fire from a wide range of hazards. Gonorrhea, syphilis, anal warts, hepatitis, HIV, and a slew of other boutique ailments may knock us out of the game for a few weeks. With big-pharma turning HIV/AIDS into an easily preventable chronic condition, we are truly living in a post-AIDS society--there is no disease you and your doctor cannot conquer through regular testing and treatment! As a sex-positive warrior, it is your duty to stay informed and know your status, but with enough fighting you will get popped. We should rally around our brethren who contract illness in the pursuit of overturning repressive sexual norms. When you go to eat a guy's ass out, and you see bleeding red pustules, know this: that is the mark of a brave soul willing to fight for your sexual freedom.

This war is far from over, and we will continue to fight until we triumph. We are ready to face the truths of this war--even death--if it means a future generation of gay men may have the free sexual landscape that we envision. We may have to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria, incurable anal warts, or some unknown pathogen yet to enter our ecosystem. We accept the risks of this battle, and believe martyrdom is the highest calling for us warriors. This battle will not be over until every gay man in America has an uncurable sexually transmitted disease! We are ready to fight.