Q: Im a 21-year-old straight guy with a boring, straight sex life, until a few months ago when something terrifying happened. Back in May, I was contacted by somebody through Match.com. She claimed to be a grad student at my school, had a very attractive photo and we began IMing. She talked about how she was looking for a casual deal, and she started going on and on about how much she loved giving head and liked receiving anal. A bit kinkier than what Im used to, I thought, but its Match.com, thats safe, and shes a grad student at a good school nothing to worry about.
So I agree (awful decision) to meet up. When I get to the bar where we agreed to meet, she calls me and tells me to come to her friends apartment instead. When I get there, its totally dark. She calls again and tells me not to turn any lights on when I come in, just to get naked in the bed and wait for her. I decide to leave, as Im afraid Im going to get robbed or beaten up. She calls again and says we can meet at another nearby bar. I wait at the bar for 10 minutes. I get another phone call. She tells me she cant come to a public place because she isnt comfortable, but asks to give me oral sex. Another awful decision: I go back to her friends apartment and comply with her original instructions. I dont turn on any lights, I get naked and I get in bed. A slim person comes into the dark room, but theres a towel covering her face and I dont get a look at her body. She starts going down on me; its awful and uncomfortable.
Then, the horror: While Im not paying attention to her instead concentrating so I can climax and get the hell out this person gets on top and inserts me into her. Unprotected. I suddenly realize Im feeling something Ive never felt before: anal sex. I was inside for maybe 30 seconds before I jumped out of the bed. She ran out. When I turned on the lights and looked around it seemed clear that I was in a mans apartment. I got out of the place in a hurry and didnt look back. I should have called the police, but didnt.
Since the moment this happened, Ive been living with a crippling fear of HIV. During the summer I got tested three times four weeks, six weeks, and nine weeks after the incident, all negatives but that only calms me down for a few days until the panic sets in again. I told my best friend about this, and he pushed me into therapy, and Ive started seeing a psychiatrist.
Heres the advice-needed part of my letter: Aside from continuing therapy and getting retested, how can I put my life back together? Casual mentions of HIV/AIDS are enough to induce an anxiety attack. I barely sleep at night. My nonexclusive relationship with a girl I care about has been ruined or, I ruined it, no passives. Do you think I have grounds to file an assault charge? I certainly accept my part of the responsibility for this it was my horniness and carelessness that put me in a vulnerable position, and I did give my consent to the oral sex. But I did not give consent to have anal sex with anyone, and if it was a man I didnt consent to any of it.
Shortly after this happened, I contacted the person again, asking if she/he was clean. She/he responded by suggesting that we meet again. Would it be a good idea to arrange another meeting? Obviously I wouldnt put myself at further risk, but I could at least figure out the persons gender by force if I had to. Scared And Seeking Advice
A: Im printing SASAs letter in its entirety so that other young men can learn from his mistakes. His bedrock fuckup, which, to SASAs credit, he identifies himself, was letting his horniness get the better of him. If SASA had been thinking with his head and not his dick, he would have bailed on this woman early on in their deeply creepy courtship. Had he paused to think, perhaps he would have remembered the first rule of Internet personals and everything else, for that matter: If it sounds too good be true, it is. An attractive girl lurking on a personals site offering no-strings-attached blow jobs and anal sex (but not, curiously enough, vaginal intercourse) to men shes never met? Not on planet Earth. (Yes, yes: There are plenty of women who are into oral, anal and NSA, but these women are, by necessity, a hell of a lot more cautious than this woman was and they generally dont wear towels over their faces.)
I dont mean to pour salt in your well-salted wounds, SASA. You know you fucked up, and you know how. But I hope you take some comfort in knowing that other young men wont fall for a similar con after reading your story. And I would urge you to stop freaking out about how long youve been freaking out about this. You did something so colossally stupid, so monumentally idiotic, that I would be more concerned if you had bounced back in a week. That would be evidence that you hadnt really learned your lesson. By spending a few months mortifying and terrifying you, SASA, your brain is making sure that you dont let your dick do the thinking the next time someone makes you an offer thats too good to be true.
OK, lets get to the advice part of your letter. Aside from staying in therapy (which I recommend), getting retested (at three and six months), and refraining from stripping naked in a darkened apartment and accepting blow jobs from women with towels over their heads, how can you put your life back together? By taking this statement of fact to heart: Your chances of getting HIV from the encounter you describe briefly being blown, a moment in someones ass are vanishingly small. Even if this person is HIV-positive, its still highly unlikely that you were infected.
But its not just the fear of HIV infection thats keeping you up nights, is it? What really concerns you is this mysterious persons gender hence your fantasies about meeting up with this person again and determining her gender by force. The suspense is terrible so lets end it: You definitely fucked a dude, SASA. There are a number of homos out there trolling the Internet looking for straight guys. The good ones are only interested in straight guys who are heteroflexible enough to accept a blow job from another guy without having a panic attack immediately after they come. But there are, Im sorry to say, a handful of extraordinarily evil faggots out there who will sometimes with the help of an equally evil female friend trick straight guys into having sex with them.
Were you raped? Should you press charges? Im running out of space, but my spider senses tell me that shitloads of people cops, lawyers, rape counselors and guys whove been similarly victimized are going to write in. Ill run their responses, and more of my thoughts, in next weeks column.
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Dan Savages new book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, goes on sale Sept. 22.Send letters to email@example.com