Friday, May 18, 2007

Losing Sleep and maybe a whole lot more.

Trust is a big thing. We all know this. Some people trust easily, some don't. I usually fall into the don't category, but this time I trusted someone right away and it's kind of bitten me in the ass. We'll see how bad the consequences are, but I probably won't know for about 6 months...when I can get tested for HIV.

So I had the condom talk with my new man-friend about a month ago. During the process of that conversation I told him that my usual M.O. is to require condoms for 3 months and then both of us get tested and we can have sex without them. It's a rule that's worked well for me in the past. He told me he hadn't had sex since he was with his son's mom...which was 3 years ago. I asked him how/why he would go so long and he told me he was involved in a long-distance relationship for a while and they never had sex. I told him since it had been more than long enough for symptoms to show up if he had anything and since STI screenings are so expensive, that all I would ask of him is an HIV test. He agreed.

Then I became really irresponsible. I've felt guilty about this for the last several weeks.

The night before he went to jail I was so worried about him that I just wanted to feel close to him. I know it sounds stupid. But I knew he didn't like condoms (although he did agree to use them) and I wanted to feel him. Really feel him. Without the latex barrier. So we did it. Then he got back and we had unprotected sex a few more times (that's the funny thing about condoms...once you stop using them, it's hard to go back). But I trusted him, so I wasn't worried.

Then last night he told me that he had in fact had sex with people after Joey's mom. He had sex with men. I reacted badly. I know how hard it was for him...a straight-identifying tell me (or anyone) that. I should've been re-assuring before I launched into a paranoid lecture about sexual health. He said he used condoms 100% of the time...funny how he insists on using them with men but doesn't want to use them with me.

It was a totally straight reaction. I don't usually give those. I wish that I'd played the whole thing better and been mindful of his feelings instead of thinking only of myself. I apologized for being insensitive. But the thing is, him having sex with other men increases his risk factor...not cause AIDS is a gay disease, but just because of the nature of anal sex. And my having unprotected sex with him increases my risk factor.

I couldn't sleep last night and I'm still worried. I'm worried for myself. I'm hurt that he didn't trust me to handle the truth (even though he knows I've had sexual relationships with women). I'm angry that he flat out lied to me about being with people since Joey's mom...even when I questioned him incredlously. And I'm annoyed that he's still resistant to getting tested. That's how people spread disease: they're too scared to find out the truth.

He's not respecting himself and he's not respecting me.

The thing that's the most frustrating is that I really don't care who he's had sex with. I have absolutely no problem dating someone who has had sex with men...or even relationships with men. It doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that I made a bad choice based on what I thought was the truth and turned out to be a lie.

The first time I went to the gynecologist to get birth control she gave me a lecture about condoms. I told her that I had only been with Ron and that he'd been tested and that we were monogamous. She said, "It doesn't matter what he says or how much you trust him. Men lie. You need to make sure you're always protected."

At 19, I thought she sounded like a bitter old woman. Turns out she was right. I should've been protecting myself.