a 21-year-old straight guy with a boring, straight sex life.
Until a few months ago when something terrifying happened.
Back in May, I was contacted by somebody through Match.com.
She claimed to be a grad student at my school, had a very
attractive photo, and we began IMing. She talked about how
she was looking for a casual deal, and she started going on
and on about how much she loved giving head and liked receiving
anal. A bit kinkier than what I’m used to, I thought, but
it’s Match.com, that’s safe, and she’s a grad student at a
good school. Nothing to worry about.
So I agree—awful decision—to meet up. When I get to the bar
where we agreed to meet, she calls me and tells me to come
to her friend’s apartment instead. When I get there, it’s
totally dark. She calls again and tells me not to turn any
lights on when I come in, just to get naked in the bed and
wait for her. I decide to leave, as I’m afraid I’m going to
get robbed or beaten up. She calls again and says we can meet
at another nearby bar. I wait at the bar for 10 minutes. Another
phone call. She tells me she can’t come to a public place
because she isn’t comfortable, but asks to give me oral sex.
Another awful decision: I go back to her “friend’s apartment”
and comply with her original instructions. I don’t turn on
any lights, I get naked, I get in bed. A slim person comes
into the dark room, but there’s a towel covering her face
and I don’t get a look at her body. She starts going down
on me, it’s awful and uncomfortable.
Then the horror. While I’m not paying attention to her—instead
concentrating so I can climax and get the hell out—this person
gets on top and inserts me into her. Unprotected. I suddenly
realize I’m feeling something I’ve never felt before: anal
sex. I was inside for maybe 30 seconds before I jumped out
of the bed. “She” ran out. When I turned on the lights and
looked around it seemed clear that I was in a man’s apartment.
I got out of the place in a hurry and didn’t look back. I
should have called the police, but didn’t.
Since the moment this happened, I’ve been living with a crippling
fear of HIV. During the summer I got tested three times—four
weeks, six weeks, and nine weeks after the incident, all negatives—but
that only calms me down for a few days until the panic sets
in again. I told my best friend about this, and he pushed
me into therapy, and I’ve started seeing a psychiatrist.
Here’s the advice-needed part of my letter: Aside from continuing
therapy and getting re-tested, how can I put my life back
together? Casual mentions of HIV/AIDS are enough to induce
an anxiety attack. I barely sleep at night. My (nonexclusive)
relationship with a girl I care about has been ruined. (Or:
I ruined it, no passives.) Do you think I have grounds to
file an assault charge? I certainly accept my part of the
responsibility for this—it was my horniness and carelessness
that put me in a vulnerable position, and I did give my consent
to the oral sex. But I did NOT give consent to have anal sex
with anyone, and if it was a man I didn’t consent to any
Shortly after this happened, I contacted the person again,
asking if she/he was clean. She/he responded by suggesting
that we meet again. Would it be a good idea to arrange another
meeting? Obviously I wouldn’t put myself at further risk,
but I could at least figure out the person’s gender—by force
if I had to.
And Seeking Advice
printing SASA’s letter in its entirety so that other young
men can learn from his mistakes. His bedrock fuckup—which,
to SASA’s credit, he identifies himself—was letting his horniness
get the better of him. If SASA had been thinking with his
head and not his dick, he would have bailed on this “woman”
early on in their deeply creepy courtship. Had he paused to
think perhaps he would have remembered the first rule of Internet
personals—and everything else, for that matter: “If it sounds
too good be true, IT IS.” An attractive girl lurking on a
personals site offering no-strings-attached blowjobs and anal
sex (but not, curiously enough, vaginal intercourse) to men
she’s never met? Not on planet Earth. (Yes, yes: There are
plenty of women who are into oral, anal, and NSA, but these
women are, by necessity, a hell of a lot more cautious than
this “woman” was—and they generally don’t wear towels over
I don’t mean to pour salt in your well-salted wounds, SASA.
You know you fucked up, and you know how. But I hope you take
some comfort in knowing that other young men won’t fall for
a similar con after reading your story. And I would urge you
to stop freaking out about how long you’ve been freaking out
about this. You did something so colossally stupid, so monumentally
idiotic, that I would be more concerned if you had bounced
back in a week. That would be evidence that you hadn’t
really learned your lesson. By spending a few months mortifying
and terrifying you in turn, SASA, your brain is making sure
that you don’t let your dick do the thinking the next time
someone makes you an offer that’s too good to be true.
Okay, let’s get to the advice part of your letter. Aside from
staying in therapy (which I recommend), getting re-tested
(at three and six months), and refraining from stripping naked
in a darkened apartment and accepting blowjobs from “women”
with towels over their heads, how can you put your life back
together? By taking this statement of fact to heart: Your
chances of getting HIV from the encounter you describe—briefly
being blown, a moment in someone’s ass—are vanishingly small.
Even if this person is HIV-positive, it’s still highly unlikely
that you were infected.
But it’s not just the fear of HIV infection that’s keeping
you up nights, is it? What really concerns you is this mysterious
person’s gender—hence your fantasies about meeting up with
this person again and determining her gender “by force.” The
suspense is terrible so let’s end it: You definitely fucked
a dude, SASA. There are a number of homos out there trolling
the Internet looking for straight guys. The good ones are
only interested in straight guys who are heteroflexible enough
to accept a blowjob from another guy without having a panic
attack immediately after they come. But there are, I’m sorry
to say, a handful of extraordinarily evil faggots out there
who will—sometimes with the help of an equally evil female
friend—trick straight guys into having sex with them.
Were you raped? Should you press charges? I’m running out
of space, but my spider senses tell me that shitloads of people—cops,
lawyers, rape counselors, and guys who’ve been similarly victimized—are
going to write in. I’ll run their responses, and more of my
thoughts, in next week’s column.
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