Within a frank discussion of sexuality, it would be irresponsible to overlook issues of safety and health. Though the darkside club scene prides itself in all sorts of transgressionary practices, some of the consequences of thoughtlessness are severe. Because most scenesters are, on average, better read than the average person on the street, the incidence of STDs are fairly low, especially considering how sexually active the scene is. Most know how to protect themselves, and most do.
Nevertheless, there are people who throw caution to the wind. There are also people who have just come into the scene because of isolation or youth, and their knowledge of sexuality and safety practices may be below par.
The AIDS-phobia brought into common usage the notion of what was fallaciously called "Safe Sex" by virtue of common perceptions of "risk activities" and "high risk groups" with whom intimacy was presumed to be dangerous. Over time this has given way to more rational ideas about "Safer Sex" and what this could include.
Sexuality is generally not a risk-free activity, just as walking outside on the street or talking on the phone involves a certain amount of risk (from invasion, contamination, violation, etc.). There are risks and there are results which we may evaluate as of greater or lesser value in comparison to those risks. Levels of contact graduated by exposure (where communication of diseases and viruses are the concern) can be protected against in the following manners:
Common colds and many other illnesses can be transmitted through touch or contact with an article commonly held, sometimes with a transfer to vulnerable membranes (eyes, nose, mouth especially); the least obnoxious of these may be repulsed even with very intimate encounters by a well-timed boost of one's immune system using herbs or vitamins; the activity of orgasm and especially the exchange of bodily fluids has been known to reduce the immune-response of the individual whose body deals with the foreign matter; for this reason contraceptives like condoms and dental dams can become a minor aid, though may not be worth the effort; for somatic communication such as Herpes or Clymidia, the most effective preventative measure is a solid barrier such as those just mentioned; Herpes goes through periods of contagion at eruption and communication can be prevented by the honest and attentive; Gonnorhea and esp. Syphilis are more chronic and, simultaneous to important treatment by a health care specialist, can be protected against by barrier.
Exchange of bodily fluids is the traditional bugaboo of modern alarmists due to what has become known as the Advanced Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) associated with the virus known as"HIV"; the risk factors appear to include the type of fluid, the point and means of entry; certain activities (such as barrierless anal-penile penetration), the re-use of intravenous (IV) needles without proper sterilization, and transfusion of infected blood, are the most hazardous, especially with individuals from specific cultures (gay, Haitian males, sometimes females, check medical journals for the latest identifications of risk categories); blood or semen seem to be the major fluids of issue, anal entry the major concern (saliva, without some blood interior to it, does not appear to transmit HIV, the vaginal entry is slightly more protected on account of its natural enzymes and structure); barriers such as condoms and dental dams can prevent communication of such viruses, and thorough cleansing of toys and tools can also assist in protecting against infections like Hepatitis); as with all usage of latex-based barriers, the use of lubricants which are petroleum-based constitute a hazard in that they will tend to break down the material's integrity, leading to breakage and possible transmission of unwanted foreign matter;
Another hazard transmitted by fluid (in particular ejaculate near the vagina) is sperm, which has the potential to lead to an unwanted pregnancy); barriers such as condoms can be quite effective in preventing conception, and other methods (IUDs, sponges, spermicide,"the Pill", etc.) have a proven track record when used methodically and consistently; some are more risky than others, and paying attention to menstrual and fertility cycles can assist in reducing the risk; new pills and patches are becoming available, even for men, as well as "Emergency Contraception" such as the RU-486 "Morning After Pill" (for information on all types of contraception, including this last, call 1-800-584-9911).
The best way to protect oneself from these is to eliminate human contact except with thoroughly screened individuals; filtration or gas masks may be effective here, as may frequent sterilization of clothing and skin; typically those who are seriously infected are quarantined or seclude themselves so as not to impact others, but nothing is certain and those with very vulnerable immune systems may have to live in sterilized environments; some, seriously-infected by memes, such as cultists who go door-to-door or seek out those to convert, we may never be protected against.
- prolonged contact or unusual activities
One of the possible problems encountered by men whose post-ejaculation leads to a vacuum- reversal of bodily fluids (or due to intentional attempts to induce this on the recommendation of various quack mystics, the absorption of semen via the penis using muscular contraction) is an urinary tract infection; preventing this minor problem can be as easy as using a condom if such prolonged contact is desired or minimizing inferior-position post-ejaculate coitus (a break in contact can facilitate).
Commentary by Tyagi Mordred Nagasiva, Monday, May 18, 1998.
|Illustration by Kurt Komoda|