I met Clive for brunch just after 1 on Sunday afternoon. I didn’t think I’d be seeing him again so soon. He was back in town for a conference, and despite me avoiding him in San Francisco after the bear party, he still wanted to see me. I wanted to see him too.
I’d gone through his Facebook photos before he arrived. There was one photo of him as a young boy — maybe seven or eight years old — clutching a snake in his fist. The snake was no more than an inch away from his face, and he was calmly observing it through his dark, timber-framed glasses. I never would’ve been able to do that as a child.
I felt a strange connection with Clive; probably because we both shared the same curiosity about life and sex. But he was far more fearless. Maybe that’s why he had no problem barebacking while on PrEP.
Clive was the first person I knew on PrEP. I met him when I was still with DH, and we were looking for a third. Ironically, the threesome never happened because of PrEP: Clive wanted to fuck bareback, but neither DH nor myself had heard of Truvada and we didn’t want to take any risks.
Despite that missed connection, Clive and I kept in contact. I had a lot of questions about Truvada, which he gladly answered. We linked on Facebook, and he had sent me information about the American clinical trials and their accuracy. He seemed confident with the drug, even though it was shown to reduce the risks for people who are at high risk of contracting HIV by up to only 92 percent. He explained that the results didn’t take into account if a subject forgot to take their medication regularly — the results were showing that it was seemingly ineffective because some people in the trial weren’t using the drug correctly (or at all). He told me that when the results were modeled for guys who take the drug 6 or 7 days a week, PrEP is expected to be 99 percent effective.
Clive stayed near the airport for most of the week, but got a room downtown on Saturday night. We agreed to have brunch the following morning after he visited the Art Gallery of Ontatio. When I arrived at the diner, he was standing by the counter and waiting to be seated. I had forgotten how handsome he was.
“What about the conference?” I asked after we took a seat. “How was that?”
“It was okay,” he said. He worked for a pharmaceutical company that produced cancer drugs, which helped those who were dying live a little longer — his words. I wondered whether his experience in the pharmaceutical industry made him trust PrEP so wholeheartedly. Half the literature he’d sent me was way over my head, scientifically speaking; they didn’t make me any less nervous about being on the drug. It was hard to believe that I wouldn’t need to worry about HIV any longer. I had worried about it my entire adult life, and to be honest, I always thought that I’d end up with it, like it was the fate of every gay man. The fact that I could take a pill everyday and not worry anymore seemed too good to be true.
Clive loved the idea of having a complete stranger cum in his ass — it was his thing, which I could understand. I wondered whether fetishizing cum had existed prior to the AIDS epidemic. It’s because of cum that all of those people died, and it’s strange to think that a fluid could have so much power and could destroy so many lives. Now, cum seems to be the forbidden fruit. I’m far too afraid to fuck raw, but I had been finding myself drawn to bareback pornography in the recent years. I loved watching young men being fucked bareback and often wondered how they got there.
Clive, on the other hand, was living this sort of porn. As we had breakfast, he told me stories of going to sex clubs and taking more than one load. The idea of him testing the limits of PrEP made me think back to that photo of him as a child — the snake so close to his face that it could have bitten his nose. I wanted to have that same fearlessness; to have my ass filled with load after load until cum oozed out of my hole . . .