There comes a time to stop talking and to get on with living your
(new) life exactly how you want to. It's time to meet other gay and
bisexual people and to explore your sexuality safely and confidently.
A common reaction to this statement, especially in rural areas is,
"Fine - but where do I start?" Remember that being gay is about
expressing yourself in the way YOU want to. Despite the stereotypes,
there is no single way of being gay. We are all as different as any
other group of people.
out with friends and meeting new ones at clubs or parties can be great.
But the scene isn't for everybody and it's not everything there is to
being gay. Most towns and cities have gay social groups and gay men's
health projects. These can be excellent places to meet new people and to
find out what there is to do locally and most will arrange to meet first
time visitors beforehand.
As with any group of people, there will be some you get on with and
some you won't. If you feel that you have little in common with the gay
people you have met so far, you could try different ways of contacting
more gay men, for example as pen pals, or through the many special
interest gay groups (like gay men's choirs or gay football supporters
networks) - look them up in Gay Times (available from some local
newsagents or by subscription see the
There's no doubt that having a positive attitude towards yourself
goes a long way to keeping healthy. It's also important, in whatever you
do, that you look after yourself and consider your actions in relation
This is particularly useful advice when it comes to sex. Whether it's
a relationship or a one night stand, sex with another man can feel great
and should make us feel good about who we are. Sex with other men can be
whatever you want it to be and it's important to be clear about what you
do want to do and what you don't. As with anything, people have their
likes and dislikes and it's important that you talk them over with your
In the United Kingdom,
virus that is believed to be the cause of AIDS) affects more gay men
than any other group and this can make us anxious about sex. But once we
know how we can protect ourselves and our partners, we can relax and
enjoy ourselves. HIV cannot be passed on through wanking, kissing,
touching or hugging. The risk of transmitting HIV through oral sex (cock
sucking) is believed to be very low but if either of you have cuts or
sores in the mouth you should use condoms (flavoured ones taste much
sex (fucking), is the riskiest activity as far as transmitting HIV is
concerned but by using suitable condoms and lubricant every time
you fuck you can substantially reduce the risk. Suitable condoms for
fucking are: Mates Superstrong, Durex UltraStrong, H.T.
Special, GaySafe and Boy's Own. Of course, there is
still a risk if the condom breaks, leaks or comes off. Lubricant is
essential as it makes it safer and easier, so always use plenty of water
based lube such as KY or Liquid Silk. Don't use oils,
creams or lotions such as Vaseline or baby oil as they weaken the rubber
in condoms in seconds.
You can obtain suitable condoms free of charge from Gay Men's
Health Projects, some gay bars and clubs, Family Planning Clinics, some
Youth Advisory Services and local GUM (Clap/VD/STD) clinics. Check the
Yellow Pages for the clinic addresses if you are unsure where the
nearest ones to you are. If you live in Staffordshire, you can
supplies by post here.
While on the subject of sexually transmited diseases, it is worth
mentioning that Hepatitis B is far more prevalent than HIV among gay men
and it is much easier to become infected with it. The good news is that
there is a vaccine against Hepatitis B and you can get vaccinated
free of charge at your local GUM clinic.
For more information, see the mesmen
We would like to thank
Gay Men's Health
Wiltshire and Swindon &
North and Mid
Hampshire Gay Men's Health Project.
For the coming out pages.
Illustrations by Robin Bastian © 1994. | Design by LCDweb