#PleasureOnPrEP: Losing fears

The Sexual Observer continues its series of interviews with people who use PrEP

Name of interviewee: David

Age: 44

City of residence: Brooklyn, NY

When did you start taking Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?


How have your sexual relationships and the way you experience sexual pleasure changed since you are on PrEP?

I can’t say they have changed. I am a little bit more confident and comfortable in the dating scene. Before I was not meeting people at all because I was worried that one accident, one slip up could be a problem. On PrEP I am a little less concerned at least with the HIV aspect of it. In terms of receiving and giving oral pleasure, I am probably more open to it than I was. Other than that, I don’t think I have changed much. I still practice safe sex.

Do you have friends who are on PrEP? If so, have you talked with them about how their sexual relationships changed because of PrEP?

Yeah, and they vary widely. My friends think similarly: It is better to be safe than sorry, but there are people that I have met in apps or bars, who think that [PrEP] is a safety net for everything. They practice barebacking and do whatever they need to do and feel perfectly comfortable in doing that just because they are taking PrEP and you have to explain to them that PrEP is for one thing only. It doesn’t protect you against everything. Some people seem to have deemed an opened door policy; they hear is it’s just a free ticket to have bareback sex. And that sucks.

How do you think that other people experience sexual pleasure while on PrEP?

I know people who were more afraid of barebacking. And now they are more open or cavalier about doing it on PrEP. In terms of opening myself to other experiences because of PrEP, I haven’t really changed. As I said before, I don’t necessarily trust the other person, even if they claim they are also on PrEP. I don’t change what I am doing for that. Now, if we are talking about a monogamous thing, a situation when you are dating someone and you can go and get tested together, I would probably be more open to trying things that would be deemed risky… With someone I love and trust, PrEP would make me more open to even just a suggestion of it.


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