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My boyfriend wants unprotected sex

but I don't trust him not to give me STIs

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Warning: advice may be brutal and sassy

The Dilemma

Danny (he/him) l 31 l Gay l London

My boyfriend is pestering me for unprotected sex but I really don’t want to. Deep down, I don’t trust him not to have unprotected sex with others and risk giving me STIs. Don’t ask me why I think that, it’s just in my gut.

What do I do?

What is stealthing | LGBTQ gay sex | LGBTQ sexual health | LGBTQ Wellness

The Response


This a really deep question – and there’s a few things going on here I want to unpick. I’m almost in shock somewhat by the question, so let’s address the unprotected sex last.


Firstly, do you know why are you with someone who you think will cheat? Seriously, do you?

Rather unfortunately, I don’t know your age, which would help me position my response better. Although, I am hoping you might be in your 20’s.

Therefore, in attempt to give you insight that might help shape your decision, depending on where you’re at in your life personally, I’d like to share my own experience with you.

In my 20’s

In my 20’s,  I was hot stuff. Men found me irresistible. It’s safe to say, I turned heads, and had men eating out of my hands. 

I dated some very hot guys in my 20’s, many had washboard abs, masculine features, and some were simply incredible in bedroom. They just knew how to lay it down, and had the package size to suit.

These guys were fit, but they were never relationship material. Though I didn’t cheat on them for my own moral compass, I knew I couldn’t trust them the second they left my bedroom. 

I was able to enter into a short-term fling/relationship with people, but I never became emotionally attached.

Prior to PrEP, my rule was to not have unprotected sex with these kinds of men.

That said, I wasn’t the golden child; I sometimes had unprotected sex in a drunken mistake. I always put myself on PEP after the event. 

Now I’m older (and wiser), I’m eternally grateful I wasn’t exposed to HIV during those instances. But not everyone is so lucky, and we regularly read of young gay or trans people catching HIV after just one instance of unprotected sex. Just one!

The men who banged me may have been very fit, and some had perfect penises, but they were never worthy of sacrificing my health.

In my 30’s

PrEP is now widely available, so I have a choice to have unprotected sex with people, if I so choose to. And I italicize that because, although PrEP is available, it doesn’t mean it gives men a right to my body.

I’m not currently dating and I’m making an active choice to be celibate while I focus on my business. However, if I choose to sleep with someone, it will only be unprotected when I say so, and when I know I’ve been taking PrEP consistently.

Unprotected sex with me will be on my terms, when it suits me, and based on me having full control over the preventative measures – ie knowing I’m fully dosed on PrEP.

I never rely on the sexual partner informing me of their status or that they’re fully dosed n PrEP – NEWS FLASH: people lie!

What point are you getting at, Aunty?

I know right, it sounds like I’m saying a lot without saying much. Stay with me though, I’m going somewhere with this.

Your age

I said earlier I hope you’re in your 20s – I said this because I hope you’re simply in one of the flings I was in. I hope you’re besotted with someone who drives you wild in the bedroom, but who you aren’t deeply in love with.

If you’re in your 40’s, I think you already know, deep down, everything I’m about to tell you, and for whatever reason you’ve made a choice to accept it already.

If you’re in your 30’s, I hope you’re currently strong enough to receive some advice that may thwart future plans you had with this person.

Here goes…

Unprotected sex

Do not ever let any man put you at risk – not even the one you love!

At 34 years old, I have sadly seen countless horror stories of gay men catching HIV from the partner they were planning a future with.

Unprotected sex with someone you love can be beautiful. It is raw, real, and makes you feel connected with the person in a way that only love is capable of doing.

However, you should only ever be having unprotected sex with someone you trust, entirely, and whose recent negative test result you have seen. With you physical eyes.

If you have one ounce of concern that is a risk to you, do not put yourself in way of that risk. There is a reason people say ‘go with your gut’.

Your own value

Importantly, I’m also not sure why you’re with someone you think will cheat on you.

I’m wondering how much value you put on yourself.

I’m wondering if you know your self-worth.

You deserve unconditional love, support, and equal treatment. It sounds like you’re not giving yourself a relationship that gives you these things. We can do this when we don’t feel deserved of love.

Do you love him? Does he love you? Is it just glorified cuddle buddies?

I think you need to determine the answers.

Respect for boundaries and consent

Lastly, if you do think that remaining with this man is right for you, you need to get clear on your boundaries within the relationship and communicate these firmly to your partner.

It sounds like you’ve already decided your boundary is no to unprotected sex (and that’s wise, maintain that boundary), but that he’s trying to peer pressure you otherwise.

You need to sit him down, and inform him calmly, but firmly, the answer will always remain no to unprotected sex and that there is nothing further to discuss on it. A decent partner respects all boundaries of the person they love, and only ever acts within consent.

Read that again.

My final thoughts

I remain conflicted by your desire to be with someone who you do not trust. I want to both shake you, and hug you.

Your immediate concern needs to be protecting yourself from STI’s including HIV, and I pray that my words today empower you to get strong on that. I feel genuine worry for you that your partner might make you crumble.

However, you need to also look inwards and ask why you’re tolerating a love you do not trust? Until you’ve healed what’s on the inside, you may repeat the cycle of men you do not trust, and one day, one of those men may well just make you ill. 

My love and thoughts to you x

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