The Manual (Wednesday, December 7th, 2005)

Published by Ian in CHAPS at 10:37 am. Skip down to comments or read the others.

A guide to sexually transmitted infections.

Many men will get a sexually transmitted infection at some time – even if haveing (sic) safer sex or sex with only a few men. This helpful manual takes an in-depth look at sexually transmitted infections, exploring what they are, how they are passed on, how to tell if you have one and what you can do to treat and prevent them. It also looks at clinics and what you should expect from a visit. This new edition has been fully revised and updated and now includes a section on LGV and a comprehensive index. Figures for numbers of gay men treated for each infection in 2004 have been added as well as a more comprhensive (sic) list of referral websites and helplines.

Third edition, revised this year and yet it remains "A gay man's guide…" rather than "A gay and bisexual men's…" and when it says gay, it means it (and only Kinsey 6's, i.e. ExHAMs, too!)

It opens by saying

Many of us will get a sexually transmitted infection at some time, even if we have safer sex or sex with only a few men.

(Sarcasm alert) Oooh, good, gay men can't get STIs through sex with women!

What was wrong with saying 'people'?

A few pages in (p12) it does. But only some people count…

How common are STIs?

Infections are getting more common among both gay and straight people.

(Sarcasm alert) Oooh, good, not among bisexual people.

There's more of this, but I'll give just one other example (p23)

Fungal infections, such as thrush, are caused by a sort of mould that lives on warm, moist skin in the mouth or on the cock.

Why not mention "and in the vagina"?

Well… on p30, in the main section on Thrush, it does say

Thrush (also called candidiasis) is more a problem for women, who can give it to the men they have sex with. Gay men can get it, but it’s rare unless you have HIV.

Clearly the two implications are a) men don't give thrush to women and b) the "men they have sex with" are not gay men. Both are crap.

In fact, the Sigma surveys show more gay-identified men have sex with women in any given time frame than, for example, have BDSM sex.

I can find one single acknowledgement of bisexuality, on p66:

When seeing the doctor, here are the kind of questions you could be asked:

  • When did you last have sex?
  • Was it with a man or a woman? If the doctor doesn’t ask this, it’d be best to mention the sex was with a man, if it was.

In such a large resource, funded by money for work with gay and bisexual men, why is "if it was" the only 'and bisexual' bit?

In the definitions section, we get the curious distinction between fingering "into someone's arse" and fisting, which apparently only men's arses can take: "into another man's arse". No mention of vaginal fisting (or, indeed, vaginal fingering!)

Similarly, rimming is a men-only thing, apparently, and there's no mention of cunnilingus.

Still, as "genital" means, to the authors anyway, "to do with the cock and balls" and herpes apparently never affects the vulva, what should I expect?

Downloadable copy here. (Again the better, shorter, link broken with website redesign. This is the case for all deep links and I'll stop mentioning it. For some reason, it's in the 0..9 section of the alphabetical listing of publications, rather than the M section too.)

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