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Let’s talk about Condoms in Queer Books

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There’s a big difference between rightness and perceptions of what is right and what is truth.
Huge difference.
There is this wave of well-intentioned ideology that comes along with writing…you know what?
Fuck it
Let’s talk about condoms and safe sex in books, shall we?

Look, safe sex is important. AIDS in the ’80s taught us that.
Gay men know more about this than anyone else on the face of the planet.
However, not everyone has ALWAYS practiced safe sex.
It happens, quite a bit, I’m sure and sometimes – and maybe a little bit more than sometimes there are no physical repercussions.
Is it ‘right’ to practice safe sex?
Sure. Hopefully, people do.
Is it wrong not to?
Define wrong.
Because I really want to know if someone who has a sexually transmitted disease or if they end up pregnant or get someone pregnant are they A) Themselves Wrong and B) deserving of those things as a punishment for their deeds?

I’ll wait.

There’s a standard placed upon gay men in books that aren’t placed upon heterosexual people in just about every other facet of life and that is if you do not wear a condom…wait how did she put it?

“I’m always sad when I’m reading a book I enjoy and I get to the first sex scene and there’s no talk about condoms. Just lube up and go.”

I love this part, “I lose respect for the characters, and that makes me care less about them and their lives.

No condoms, no testing and no discussion = a callous disregard for your partner’s health, and a stupid disregard for your own. And that’s not even slightly sexy. Too bad.”

— Mar 29, 2020 05:04PMAdd a comment The Colors of Love (The Color of Love #1-3)”

While I don’t normally yank reviews from my Goodreads page (or any other page for that matter) this has sunk it’s teeth into my skin.

The internet is rife with a whole host of obnoxious shit. I mean, to the hilt. But this one is honey and while there is a whole lot of privilege to unpack in these couple of dismissive paragraphs, the worst is this expectation of some sort of well-intentioned morality to make the lives of two people worthy of their attention or “respect” as the commenter writes.

Gay people who do not wear condoms are often referred to be ‘barebacking’ or as I like to call it by its real name, “Having natural intercourse.” Like you do. Like you have done. Like they choose to do in reality between themselves because they’ve reached a point in their relationship where they feel comfortable or, and here’s the real kicker, they have a blatant disregard for themselves and/or for the partner they’re with.

Their lives are still valid. They’re still people.

Like a pregnant woman who makes her way to an abortion clinic because “Ooops!”

Go explain your point of view to HIV victims or that pregnant woman and see how they respond.

Again, I’ll wait.

To be a writer today seems to be something where one has to agree to some sort of morality clause for the sensibilities of others. A list of faux-pas one cannot make otherwise they risk the shunning of heterosexist’s and running the risk of not being “….even the slightest sexy.”

I did not come into writing to write about perfect people, who have perfect bodies, living perfect lives, and who make perfect choices all of the time.

I came to write the truth not about homosexual couples in some type of cotton candy alternate reality that even straight people can’t manage to exist in, I came to write about human beings who happen to be gay. I came to write the truth. The funny thing about that is it is complicated and it’s nuanced and messy and unapologetically human – just like their heterosexual counterparts.

And if that’s not good enough for you…well…we’ll take another quote from your review.

“Too bad.”

Truth, about my goddamn people, is a hill I am willing to die on and opinions like that are what’s callous and so, so, not sexy.