1. The Drake condom hot sauce rumor shocked me most bc I thoght…men still use condoms!?! It made me think of some medical anthropology history in the making.

In the 70s, the birth control pill largely freed straight women & men from condoms, which gay men had never used.
2. For a short period of time, straight men and women and gay men were having a lot of sex without condoms—the pill taking care of pregnancy worry for thr straighths, and cheap antibiotics taking care of STIs for the straights and the gays as needed
3. Then came AIDS. And gay men could no longer have sex and only worry about an easily treatable STI like syphilis or gonorrhea. There was nothing to treat HIV. So in one of the great peer-to-peer education campaigns, gays started using & teaching each other to use condoms.
4. Most gay men used condoms in the 80s and 90s and 2000s and first half of the 2010s. Many straights learned to start using condoms, too.

But largely, “the pill” made it so straights were having a lot of sex w/on condoms, but gays could not, bc the thing gays feared most
5. couldn’t be addressed by a pill.

Then came PrEP, a pill to end fear of HIV transmission. Suddenly the gays had access to a pill *they* could take that allowed them to have sex w anyone without condoms while allaying their biggest fear (HIV). Meanwhile…
6. Straight men depended on their sexual partners to take a pill to allay their biggest sexual fear (pregnancy), and could not have sex without a condom based on their own pharmaceutical practices.
7. Anyway, it’s fascinating how sexual practices are deeply affected by pharmaceuticals—but this technology affects different populations in different ways at different times. (This field is called STS—Science and Technology Studies, ie how science & sociology affect each other.)
8. Oh yeah. I am not denying this. I’m just noting some overall trends of how ppl actually have sex. It’s something like this…
9. —1970s - gay & straight men have sex w/o condoms

— 80s to present-straight men have sex w/o condoms more often than gay men bc the pill allays fears

—2015 to present - gay men have sex w/o condoms more often than straighths bc of PrEP

Not saying it’s right or wrong…
10. or absolute. Just noticing a trend. For instance, of the gay men I know on PrEP, none use condoms. They check for STIs w their med providers every 6 months or so or w symptoms, like pre-AIDS. But this was not the pre-PrEP. They all used to use condoms.
11. One interesting thing in HIV/AIDS literature is a belief in monogamy is a major HIV risk. Viruses don’t know what a marriage it. Ppl who are single use protection more than partnered ppl, who often don’t. Thus single ppl w multiple partners have less risk than partnered ppl.
12. Only 1 in 2500 straight white men are projected to become HIV positive in his lifetime, while 1 in 2 Black gay men are. So straight white guys generally don’t worry much abt HIV & it doesn’t affect their sexual practices a lot. (Again not right or wrong, just noticing.) Thus,
13. the birth control pill was very liberating for them, tho they depended on their partners taking them.

Meanwhile, cis gay men don’t worry about pregnancy while having sex w other cis men, only maybe when having sex w some trans men. So PrEP allayed their major sex fear.

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