How can I express my opposition to promiscuity to gay people?

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Cirion Spellbinder
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How can I express my opposition to promiscuity to gay people?

Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Thu May 10, 2018 9:53 pm

I made a thread on Reddit about my stance on promiscuity on a gay discussion subreddit. I tried to make it clear that the disease component was why I found it immoral and not anything relating to purity, but it was no received well and most people didn’t respond in good faith.

Here’s what I said, and of course, please levy any criticisms of it that you see fit:
Cirion wrote:Whether or not you use condoms, regularly get checked by the doctor, and / or take PrEP, having sex with an open group of people puts them all at risk for new diseases. There is nothing wrong with sex among multiple people in a small closed group, such as two couples or a few fuck buddies, because the diseases or lack thereof stay trapped in the circle, but once you actively seek out new partners, you put other people at risk for disease. Condoms and PrEP dampen this, for sure, and one promiscuous person is better with a condom than not, but they still pose real risks to real people. You may disclose the diseases you have to a sex partner, but there is no guarantee that they will, or the people that they have sex with will. Even being honest, you put your faith in people who may or may not be as trustworthy as you.

To be clear, I don’t care at all about purity or any cultural aspect of this. What matters is that you become a riskier and riskier vector of disease as your pool of partners increases.
You can see the thread and responses here: https://www.reddit.com/r/askgaybros/com ... h=1fed9b3b

Tell me what you think.
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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu May 10, 2018 10:52 pm

Also, you may not know about all of the diseases you've caught both due to false negatives in tests and incubation periods.

Even if you do know about a disease, it's unethical to spread it to others if it isn't easily curable (e.g. "gift givers" are doing something inherently unethical because of the innate harm to society posed by HIV, even if the person you're giving it to claims to want it).

Bug chasers need psychological help. Honestly, anybody even willing to catch an incurable disease just to have sex with somebody needs psychological help. That's some terrible kind of dependency/desperation. There are other people to have sex with who aren't carrying that disease. Carriers can have sex with carriers and people who are negative can have sex with others who don't have it. Shouldn't be THAT big of an imposition.

I get being in love, and that's maybe something different, but if it's just sex... seriously?

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Cirion Spellbinder
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Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Thu May 10, 2018 10:57 pm

@brimstoneSalad
Good points brimstone. I hope conversations like this in real life won’t be such a shit show.

How should I address the accusation of slut shaming? If I outright condone it, I think many people will be turned off immediately?
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Post by NonZeroSum » Fri May 11, 2018 1:30 am

Cirion Spellbinder wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 9:53 pm
There is nothing wrong with sex among multiple people in a small closed group, such as two couples or a few fuck buddies, because the diseases or lack thereof stay trapped in the circle, but once you actively seek out new partners, you put other people at risk for disease.
I don't know, I think this is really muddled. Obviously the more sexual partners you have over a lifetime, the more at risk you are of getting an STD and passing it on, and non-testable HPV's also which increase risk of cervical cancer and other cancers. So too large a number could be morally dubious.

And then as for the horror of inflicting an STD on a partner you're in an open relationship with, of course it would be a fucked up betrayal to know you got an STD because you gave your partner permission to start a relationship with someone else, but can we say it's quantifiable that the average polyamourous couple are taking a bigger risk by doing that than potentially having more partners over their life if they were monogamous? I imagine poly friend networks could be better at being honest about number/date of past relationships/health checks, than in buttoned up community where relationship history are not talked about openly.

So the implication is if you're making some leaps in reasoning, you could be coming across as someone who wrongly looks down on people you meet who presents as promiscuous or polyamarous for a period of their life and is more on top of health checks, choosing partners than your average joe.
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Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Fri May 11, 2018 3:10 am

NonZeroSum wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 1:30 am
And then as for the horror of inflicting an STD on a partner you're in an open relationship with, of course it would be a fucked up betrayal to know you got an STD because you gave your partner permission to start a relationship with someone else, but can we say it's quantifiable that the average polyamourous couple are taking a bigger risk by doing that than potentially having more partners over their life if they were monogamous? I imagine poly friend networks could be better at being honest about number/date of past relationships/health checks, than in buttoned up community where relationship history are not talked about openly.
This is best counterargument I've seen, but the difference is that as the size of a closed sex group nears two people, the number of people affected becomes more and more negligible. Consider John and Jim who are both HIV positive, but don't infect others with HIV compared to HIV positive Jared who puts other people at a risk every time he has sex, which is often because Jared is a young and horny lad. Even if all of his partners were on PrEP and a condom was always used, the sheer difference of sexual partners and sexual situations Jared will get himself into (drunk unprotected sex) will outweigh his carefulness. I've had difficulty finding research about the average number of sexual partners of gay men which would allow me to demonstrate my point as the probability of not infecting someone suffers from exponential decay as time goes on.
NonZeroSum wrote:So the implication is if you're making some leaps in reasoning, you could be coming across as someone who wrongly looks down on people you meet who presents as promiscuous or polyamarous for a period of their life and is more on top of health checks, choosing partners than your average joe.
I suspect that the time, number of partners, slip ups, and dishonesty will ultimately prevent this, but yes, there could exist such a person as there could exist a man who shot randomly in a crowd and by chance only killed a terrorist (excuse the difference of severity in the analogy :) ).
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Fri May 11, 2018 1:11 pm

NonZeroSum wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 1:30 am
and non-testable HPV's also which increase risk of cervical cancer and other cancers.
@Cirion Spellbinder Ah, I forgot that one.

There are also untestable diseases/strains that increase risk. While the untestable diseases aren't as immediately severe/life threatening, they increase risk for life threatening disease.

This is also why it can be important to maintain closed sexual generations. E.g. why it can be wrong for a 50 year-old man to have sex with an 18 year-old, because large jumps through generations can help maintain these diseases in circulation, whereas if people only have sex with those roughly their ages these diseases are more likely to die out with them. Unless that 50 year-old was a virgin, in which case you could argue that he belongs in the 18 year-old sexual generation since he held off catching anything from his generation, I guess?

And of course bestiality is wrong because of the potential to become patient zero for a new very dangerous STD.
NonZeroSum wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 1:30 am
but can we say it's quantifiable that the average polyamourous couple are taking a bigger risk by doing that than potentially having more partners over their life if they were monogamous? I imagine poly friend networks could be better at being honest about number/date of past relationships/health checks, than in buttoned up community where relationship history are not talked about openly.
Not sure what that has to do with open vs. closed circles.

It's likely true that a closed circle small poly relationship (like two or three couples swinging) is safer than the average monogamous relationship rife with cheating. (Although it's also possible that adds more opportunity for cheating outside the group.)

Much like, despite lower purity, it may make sense to advocate more vegetarian-eating when going out for most people rather than being strictly vegan because more people are likely to stick with it. Although that doesn't mean that vegan isn't better in the abstract if you *do* stick with it.

Most people either can't or won't stick with monogamy, and shame may just tend to encourage lying. But any limits at all may encourage lying, even saying you have to wear a condom if you're HIV positive... so should we just throw out all limits?

In terms of public policy I don't think the line is clear, but if you provide for what people seem to perceive as needs (like multiple partners) it seems like limits beyond those needs can be taken fairly well.
NonZeroSum wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 1:30 am
you could be coming across as someone who wrongly looks down on people you meet who presents as promiscuous or polyamarous for a period of their life and is more on top of health checks
I think we can be careful about it, saying more partners = increased risk = bad, but more health checks = reduced risk = good. So it's possible to balance the good and bad. That doesn't mean it wouldn't be better to do both.

Just as a vegetarian or reducetarian can balance the bad of remaining animal products with good of more outreach, for example. It doesn't negate the harms (or risk) but it mitigates them and potentially compensates for them. But it would be best to do both.

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