​How Gay Men Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Semen

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when semen became the focus of so much erotic fixation in the gay community. Maybe it had something to do with AIDS activist Tony Valenzuela coming out on the cover of Pozmagazine in 1999 as an HIV+ gay man who enjoyed condom-less sex. “The unprotected sex … was beautiful, intimate, satisfying. I didn’t shower afterward,” he told the magazine. “We slept with his come inside me.” Or maybe the threshold was crossed in 2004 with the release of the seminal porn flick Dawson’s 20-Load Weekend, in which a strapping, virile bottom has unprotected sex with a score of men. Or maybe it came earlier, when treatments for HIV/AIDS developed in the 90s made the disease more manageable and convinced many gay men not to think of semen as potential life-destroying poison.

Whatever the case, semen is everywhere these days. You can find it at CumUnion, an international “pro-choice” (a.k.a. bareback or condom-less anal) sex party series where sharing fluids is embraced. You can find it all over the porn industry, where more and more studios are producing bareback films rather than condom-only stuff, according to the blog Str8UpGayPorn. You can even find fake semen, in the form of FT Cum Lube, a sex product that bills itself as “the closest thing to jizz in a bottle.” A few years ago, the Centers for Disease (CDC) control reported that bareback sex between men had increased 20 percent between 2005 and 2011—and with the advent of PrEP, or the practice of taking a pill that makes it much more difficult (though not impossible) to contract HIV, it seems safe to assume that more men are going out in the world unprotected.

Read the full article on Vice