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Savage Love: Positive Thinking 

Dear Dan,

Gay guy here. Met a guy online. He came over. We had incredible sex and then a great conversation lasting several hours. But — and you knew there was one coming—he told me that he lied about his HIV status. He is undetectable, but he told me initially he was "HIV/STD negative." I got very upset — more from the lie than his status. (I know that undetectable is practically the same as negative.) I really like him, but that was a big lie. Should I swear off him for lying? Or is the fact he did tell me and our connection enough to give him a second chance? I had not been that happy up till the reveal in, well, maybe ever. But I want to be wise.

— Did Ask, Didn't Tell

Why would he lie? To avoid rejection. Obviously. Guys often refuse to hook up with guys who are honest about being HIV-positive even though a positive guy with an undetectable viral load is less of a risk — at least where HIV transmission is concerned — than a guy who believes himself to be negative because he was the last time he got tested or because he doesn't think he could ever get infected and so has never been tested. Someone who was recently infected is highly infectious; someone who doesn't think he could ever get infected — because he doesn't sleep with older guys, because he only tops, because his ass is magic and he uses unicorn spit for lube — is a fucking idiot, and fucking idiots are higher risk for fucking everything.

Sometimes positive guys get sick of being punished for being honest, and so they lie — and it's particularly tempting to lie to someone you don't expect to see again. HIV-positive people shouldn't lie to their sex partners. Obviously.

The connection you describe is hard to find, but the lie he told was big, yes, but understandable. I think he deserves credit for coming clean right away — and a second chance.

Dear Dan,

I want to fuck my 31-year-old husband more often than he wants to fuck me, his 27-year-old wife. We have been married for three years and together for four. My question is twofold: One, how do I gracefully accept his "no"? We have sex usually two times a week — I wish it was more like five — which means he turns me down two or three times a week. I want to be better at hearing "no" from him without getting upset. The more I freak out, the less likely he is to fuck me the next time I ask. It's a bad cycle. Two, he watches porn every day. I know because I was naughty and snooped. I love porn and I watch a lot of it myself. But it doesn't replace sex for me. Is there a conversation to be had about this? Should I just keep my mouth shut? I love him but I am so frustrated.

— Sincerely Perplexed Over Unwanted Sexual Energy

You want to have sex five times a week, you watch a lot of porn, and porn doesn't replace sex for you. Isn't it possible that it works the same way for your husband? He wants to have sex twice a week, he watches a lot of porn, porn doesn't replace sex for him. Don't assume your husband is having a wank every time he visits a porn site. Lots of people — men and women—like to take a quick peek at porn sites, get a little erotic charge, and then get on with whatever they're doing without stopping everything to have a wank.

That said, SPOUSE, I can certainly understand why you're frustrated — you're having a lot less sex than you'd like and you're constantly feeling rejected — but blowing up about porn isn't going to help anything. So what do you do with your feelings of frustration? Regarding frequency, SPOUSE, you directly address the issue with your husband and propose a low-stakes, low-pressure (and mutually pleasurable) compromise. Tell him you'd like to aim for three times a week, but put mutual masturbation on the table for that third time and/or the husband giving you a masturbatory assist. He may not be up for PIV more than twice a week, but he may be up for crawling into bed with you and either having a wank with you or holding you and talking porny while you have a wank.

As for your frustration around always initiating, well, sometimes we have to accept the shit we cannot change. As the person with the higher libido, you may be stuck being the initiator.

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