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North West

ISSUE #108, AUTUMNSEXY 2008 GAY MAG THE FIT AND ISSUE #111 SPRING 2009

Are you having a

gay life crisis? Our experts will help sort you out

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WAYS TO GET READY FOR SUMMER

Can we talk about HIV? Find out why those three letters often get caught in our throats DINO DOES ABS “WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY HARD-ON?” IS IT TIME FOR AN HIV TEST?

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A registered charity in England & Wales (no.288527) and in Scotland (no.SC039986).


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THE FIT AND SEXY GAY MAG ISSUE #111 SPRING 2009

Welcome

Ah the life of a gay boy, isn’t it great? Non-stop partying without ever getting a hangover, great sex whenever you want it, lots of money to spend, and the perfect boyfriend always by your side. Are you having a gay life crisis? Gosh, wouldn’t it be great if all that were true? Unfortunately, problems 6 with drinking and drugs, sex, + boyfriends and money happen to all of us. For some that problem turns into a full-blown crisis. But don’t worry, FS is here to help. In this issue’s cover feature, we’ll hear how guys are experiencing their own gay life crises, and our panel of experts will help sort them out once and for all. Do you feel comfortable talking about HIV? For something that is such a big issue in gay men’s lives, a lot of us are very shy about talking about it - but why? We ask men on the street to find out why HIV is still such a taboo subject, and how it affects the way we treat each other every day. There’s loads more including tips on getting that sixpack from Mr Gay UK Dino and lots of other ways to get ready for the summer. Enjoy...

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THEFIT FITAND AND SEXY SEXY GAY GAY MAG MAG THE ISSUE ISSUE #108, #111 SPRING AUTUMN2009 2008

Our experts will help sort you out

WAYS TO GET READY FOR SUMMER

Can we talk about HIV? Find out why those three letters often get caught in our throats

DINO DOES ABS “WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY HARD-ON?” IS IT TIME FOR AN HIV TEST?

Cary James x Editor

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Find us on Myspace at www.myspace.com/fsmag or join our new fan page on Facebook by searching for FS magazine.There you will find more pics of our cover stars, forums on stuff from the mag and other cool stuff. Plus you can post photos of yourself and videos of you telling us why you love FS. Come on, join the FS nation. Do it now!

www.gmfa.org.uk

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ADS

29/1/09

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FS111_P05_Upfront :FS 10/04/2009 11:32 Page 5

Upfront

Have pride in your penis

Try this…

BLACKPOOL

More than one in three men in the UK aren’t happy with their penis, according to a survey by the website Male Health. They also found that 40 percent think that their penis is too small and one in ten have tried to make their penis bigger. One in four have tried to improve their erections and one in five have named their cocks. Always here to help, here are our top six tips for the perfect penis you can be proud of…

Blackpool Icebreakers Group (B.I.G.)

Keep it trim

B.I.G. is a group for gay and bisexual men in Blackpool that want a break from the normal bars and clubs and have a chat over a brew and some biscuits. It’s a place to share your feelings and ideas, to meet new friends and just get out of the house if you are not very keen on the commercial gay scene. All gay and bisexual men are welcome. For more information ring: 07590 025105

If you want your cock to look bigger, trim your pubic hair. A big bush can cover up valuable inches, so keep it short and you’ll see big results.

Check yourself out Check your cock and balls regularly for any lumps, sores, tender bits, itchiness, any pus leaking from your cock or if it burns when you piss. If you notice anything, get yourself down to the GUM clinic pronto. And no sex until you’ve been checked out, or you may give it to someone else.

Take another look The view that you get when looking down at your cock from above hides a third of its length. Stand in front of a mirror sideways on and see the whole picture. Let it rest

If your cock has just had a big work-out, give it a rest like any other part of your body. A marathon sex session or wank-fest can bring on a case of NSU (non-specific urethritis).

Keep it supple If you are uncut, keep your foreskin soft and flexible by pulling it back to expose the head every day. Try to use only fresh clean water to clean your foreskin. Some soaps and bath gels can cause irritation because they strip away your natural protective oils. Buy the right size condoms Putting on a condom that is too big is bound to make you feel small. Or putting on one that’s too tight can really deflate the situation. Make sure you buy condoms that are the right size for your cock.

News

flash

A Serb ian ma n need surg ed em hedge ery after he hog on had se ergency x with Nikolo a hea alleged vic, 35, from ler's advice. a Zoran B h e e lgra ale prema ture eja r told him it de, says the would an ope culatio cu ra n needle ting theatre . But he end re his ed up s left h after th in A hosp is ital sp penis sever e hedgehog's okesm ely lac was ap a e n said rated pare came o ntly unhurt a : "The anim . al n ff d m t uc he encou nter. W h worse from patient e hav the repair the da e managed mage to t o his penis."

www.gmfa.org.uk

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Page six

Six ways to get ready for summer Quit smoking You know it’s going to be easier now than when the summer party season begins. Plus if you stop now you can save all that money and spend it on your holidays. Joining a stop-smoking group greatly increases your chances of success. For more info visit www.gmfa.org.uk/stopsmoking.

Get checked out! Smoking kills

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You don’t want to go on holiday only to find out you have cock-rot. Get yourself a full sexual health MOT before the fun begins to make sure you are fit and ready for action. And if you are bonking like the Energizer bunny all summer, it’s probably a good idea to get checked out at the end of the summer as well. To find your nearest GUM clinic visit www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics.


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Upfront

Stock up on condoms and lube

Holidays, festivals, gay pride events there are loads of things happening that will give you opportunities for an unexpected shag, so be prepared. Have plenty of condoms and lube on hand so you aren’t running around on the day trying to find some. The Freedoms Shop offers condoms and lube at cheap prices, visit www.freedomsshop.nhs.uk. Free condoms may also be available. Check out the listings at the back of the mag to find out more.

Go for a walk

get fit for You want to sometimes summer but fully fledged a to getting in . e can be hard fitness routin o much like s to If it all seem u are likely to yo k, or w hard d of quit. So instea t stuck into ge to g in is prom ramme, just some big prog for five k decide to wal that’s it. y– minutes a da increase it to k ee w xt ne e Th the next 15 en th ten, and get up to 30 u and when yo hed the you have reac S NH amount the you do every ds en recomm your heart a day. It will do d soon you an world a good r something fo up be ay m ait ding – just w more deman and see.

Eat a carrot a day

If you are ha time making ving a hard yo and veg a da ur five fruit y concentrate o then just one and then n adding ta there. Start w ke it from it and later add h a carrot, a see how it go n apple and es. carotene in ca Plus the rr help your tan ots will in summer, so g the et munching!

Take up a sport

No point sitting in the house when the weather is good, you have the rest of the year for that. Why not take up an outdoor sport? There are loads of gay clubs covering just about every sport you can imagine – football, rugby, volleyball, golf, walking, you name it. It’s not just a great way to stay fit, but it’s also a way to meet people and they are a lot of fun. Join now and you will be ready for the busy summer. For information on how to find gay sports clubs, visit www.gmfa.org.uk.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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ADS

29/1/09

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FS110_P09_HIV test:FS 09/04/2009 13:52 Page 9

Health

Are you ready for For some, going for an HIV test is just one of those things, but for others it’s a really big deal. Here are some things to think about if you’re considering testing. Reasons to have an HIV test Peace of mind is the main reason many guys want to know if they have HIV. If they find out they don’t, it will stop the needless worry. Or if they do have HIV, then they can make informed choices about their health. Finding out you have HIV sooner rather than later can have a big impact on your health. People who wait until they are sick before having an HIV test are ten times more likely to die in the first year than people who tested earlier on. Finding out you have HIV soon after you catch it also gives you more treatment options and you have a better chance of the treatments working well.

Condoms in relationships If you want to stop using condoms with your boyfriend it’s important to know that you both have the same HIV-status before you start, so you don’t accidentally pass on HIV. One in three men with HIV don’t even know it. Over half the men who have HIV but don’t know it have tested negative for HIV in the past. It’s best for you both to have the test to be sure.

Staying negative Some guys think they are positive, so they continue having unsafe sex because they reckon they have HIV anyway so what’s the difference? Many of these guys won’t have HIV at all, but the more unsafe sex they have with different guys, the greater the chance they have of catching it. If

the test? you know you’re negative, you can do what you can to stay that way. And if you’re HIV-positive, you may be putting the guys you are having sex with at risk.

Why not to test

HIV and the Law

Some guys are unsure about testing because of recent cases of men going to prison for giving HIV to their partners. Not knowing your status does not mean that you will not be held responsible in court. One of the guys convicted had never had an HIV test. In his case, ignorance you certainly wasn’t bliss.

There are reasons why having an HIV test right If now may not be a know good idea. Here are negati you’re Where can I test? a few of them: you haven’t had any can dove, you If you decide to test, there sex that has a risk are clinics and hospitals that you ca what of catching HIV; offer results in an hour, n stay th to you don’t feel you while at others it will take a at could emotionally few days. If you go to a GUM w ay. clinic for a test, your GP will not handle finding out you be notified of the result. For more have HIV; you’re going information on testing visit through a very stressful time in your www.gmfa.org.uk/testing. life and you don’t need another thing like a positive result to make it worse.

What does it mean if I test negative?

What does it mean if I test positive?

A negative HIV test result simply means that your body has not produced antibodies to the HIV virus. This would normally mean that you don’t have HIV. However, it can take up to three months for your body to produce HIV antibodies. This is called the window period. During this time, you can test negative for HIV even if you have it. This means you could infect others without knowing it. In fact, you are likely to be highly infectious during this time. A second test is the best way to be sure of the result. This test should be three months after your last negative test or after the last time you put yourself at risk of catching HIV (like fucking without a condom).

If you test positive it means that you are infected with HIV. In very rare cases, you can test positive when you are not infected. One of the reasons for this can be because you have been exposed to HIV and it’s in your system, but your body’s immune system fights it off before it takes hold. It could also be that your blood sample was contaminated at the lab or something else unusual happened. That’s why if you test positive, they give you a second HIV test just to be sure. If that also comes up positive, then you’ll be scheduled to see an HIV doctor to discuss treatment options and any support you may need, like counselling.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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Cover story

Are you having a

gay life crisis? Has your gay dream turned into a nightmare? Are you out of shape, drinking too much, taking too many drugs, bored with your sex life, unhappy with your boyfriend, and drowning in debt from your big gay lifestyle? Then let our panel of experts help sort you out and get your life back on track. The experts: Frankie McPolin – professional gay agony uncle Drew Payne – registered nurse Barrie Dwyer – sexpert and creator of GMFA’s Sex Course, Arse Class and Getting a Boyfriend course.

Sex

‘My sex life sucks. Oh I have lots of sex, shags off of the internet, saunas, guys I pick up in bars, in fact sometimes I feel like all I do is go out and look for sex. And sometimes I find myself having sex that I don’t really want and I don’t know why I am doing it. Help!’

Sex can be a complicated business. As gay men we are expected to be out all the time having fantastic sex with loads of people, but this isn’t the case for many of us. Gay cruising websites are online all day every day. And while they can be great, some guys find that the guy they are having sex with isn’t

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GMFA ‘Sexpert’ Barrie Dwyer says:


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Cover story men As gay pected ex we are ut all the to be ong fantastic avi time h with loads s i sex but th , e l p o of pe e case for isn’t th y of us. man

www.gmfa.org.uk

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Cover story important, but rather just the buzz they get from having sex. They move on from one guy to the next without feeling satisfied with what’s happened. The sex becomes less and less enjoyable, but they still go on and on chasing it. If you find you aren’t enjoying your sex life, stop and do something about it. Think about (or even write down) the sex you are having that you don’t want. Write down what it was that you don’t like about the sex, and how you felt afterwards. This can really help you to see the situation clearly and to change your behaviour if you want to. What kind of sex do you want? Do you take risks? Do you want to? What risks are OK and which are not? Write these things down as well, make them real for you and they will become easier to remember. Move away from the sex that is making you unhappy and towards the sex that you do want. If you still don’t feel in control of your sex life, there are services available to help you. Check out the listings at the back of the mag to find out more.

‘I have started to have more and more sex without condoms. At first it only happened once in a while, but now it seems to happen all the time. I haven’t had an HIV test in ages and now I am afraid to because I don’t want to see the results. I really don’t want to catch HIV, but I know what I am doing is the quickest way to catch it. How can I get back on track?’

GMFA ‘Sexpert’ Barrie Dwyer says: For some people it’s a practical thing and for others it’s an emotional thing. The reality of using condoms is that you interrupt an activity which is using one part of your brain and then move to do an activity that uses another part of your brain. It’s kinda like stopping the sex you are having to go replace a tyre on your car. Still, the more you do it, the more natural it becomes. It’s also hard to use condoms when you don’t have the confidence in your ability to do so. How are they introduced into the sex? Who takes

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Tips for better condom use Try not to open the packet with your teeth, but if you have to, make sure you bite the edge of the wrapper and not the middle. Put the condom over the head of your cock and then roll it down the sides. Unrolling it first and pulling it over your cock will make it more likely to break later. If you are having a long session, change the condom every half hour and check the condom every now and then to make sure it hasn’t broken or slipped off. Use plenty of water- or silicone based lube and top it up as often as you want to keep things slipping along.

responsibility for using condoms and putting them on? How do you deal problems (like when they slip off or break)? All these issues can impact on your confidence to use condoms. It’s difficult to use condoms when they don’t fit comfortably or decrease sensation too much. Even though there are a range of condoms available now, if your dick size is larger or smaller than average then you are less likely to find a condom that fits and is comfortable. Shop around and then play around to find a condom

You any ki can use condo temarked sex, it m for ana l oesn’t to be d h ave e or labxtra thick e extra lled as ‘safe’.

you like and feels good. Remember that you can use any kitemarked condom for anal sex, it doesn’t have to be extra thick or labelled as extra ‘safe’ – all kitemarked condoms are ‘safe’ if used correctly. Find a condom that gives you more of what you want, and takes away less of the things you like, and then practise using them. Some men say that condoms stop intimacy between them and their partner, and that intimacy is something that they value.The whole idea of ‘intimacy’ needs to be looked at here, as sensations and intimacy are not the same thing.You can have intimacy with someone when you are fully clothed, and be quite ‘unintimate’ while having sex. I would also question with which partners you would want to be intimate? Your boyfriend who you are having a manogamous relationship with or anyone you sleep with? We cannot be intimate with everyone we have sex with and at the same time feel we have something special with a boyfriend. Avoid having sex that may be putting you or your partner at risk of HIV, so fucking or getting fucked mainly.Then spend some time thinking about the times when you are not as safe as you want to be. When you can understand what it is that leads you to taking risks you aren’t comfortable with, and you have a strong sense of what ‘risks’ you are willing to take, you will find you have a sex life that you are happy with.


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Money ‘Every month I run out of money. What with socialising, shopping, holidays and the rest of life’s essentials, I end up spending more than I earn and I’m getting more and more in debt. How can I get back on track and still have a life?’

Agony uncle Franke McPolin says:

Debt is a big problem for lots of guys. Just realising there is a problem is a great start to solving it. Money saving expert, Martin Lewis, says: “Drawing up a budget is the most powerful tool in trying to sort out your finances, so this should be the first thing you do, and you need to be truthful and disciplined in your calculations. Until you understand how your spending works, you can’t fix it. Once you have a genuine idea of where your money is going, you can start to prioritise your expenditure and work out where you need it to go.” You might find it hard to change your habits, but with a bit of thought you should still be able to enjoy life, without resorting to eating beans on toast for a year. When shopping for example, you can buy cheaper alternatives to most things, such as high street instead of designer fashion, or supermarket brands instead of brand names. And when it comes to socialising, why not stop going out one night a week and stay in with some mates and have your own party at home . You’ll save heaps. There are also lots of twofor-one offers available at the minute so take advantage of them. Check out www.moneysavingexpert.com for a daily updated list of deals. In the current economic climate, holidays really are a luxury and should be down the list of your spending priorities. If you don’t have the money to go on one, you need to simply accept that – definitely don’t borrow money to go on a break. As an alternative, until you’re more flush, why not consider visiting friends in another city in the UK for a holiday, or go camping with mates? Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it at least. Once you’ve dealt with

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bit With aht you ug of tho d still be shoul enjoy life, able to t resorting withouting beans to ea oast for on t . a year

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your finances head on you’ll feel much more in control of things, and you’ll see your bank balance getting healthier too.

MORE HELP For lots of free advice on debt, including a free budget planning tool to organise your finances, log onto www.moneysavingexpert.com The Citizens Advice Bureau offers free, confidential and independent advice on debt. Contact them at www.citizensadvice.org.uk.

Tips on how to sort out your money problems Stop right where you are, realise you have a money problem and decide to do something about it. Don’t put it off any longer. Keep a spending diary for a week, write down everything you spend money on – literally everything. At the end of the week, take the list and figure out how much you are really spending and where you can make savings. Do you really need to spend £20 a week on Frappacinos?

Make a budget – make sure you include everything from bills to food to spending money for nights out – and stick to it. If you find you don’t have enough money to cover everything, make a list of the most important things to pay (rent, gas, electricity, water, or any other things that could leave you homeless, without the basics of life or in prison). Next should be all credit related bills like credit cards, loans, and catalogues. Contact them and tell them that you are having money problems and they will usually work with you to come up with a payment plan you can manage. Most creditors will settle for something rather than nothing.

Make more money. The more money you make the faster you can get your life back on track, so get a job in a pub a couple of nights a week, or do some freelance work. It will make a big difference.

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Health ‘I’ve put on quite a few pounds through lack of exercise, eating a lot of crap food and drinking too much. I just feel fat and ugly. I've tried going to the gym, but I just don’t stick with it and I’m getting really down. How can I get back into shape and stay motivated?’

Agony uncle Franke McPolin says:

When you feel bad about your body and your appearance, you can easily slip into a vicious circle of eating bad food, then feeling bad about yourself, and then eating more bad food and drinking too much alcohol in an attempt to make yourself feel better again. You need to break out of this unhealthy rut and it shouldn’t be that hard to do... once you put your mind to it. Start off by binning the burgers and the booze for a bit, or at least cutting back on the bad stuff so you have it as a treat, rather than your daily diet. Exercise and healthy eating are by far the best ways to lose weight and keep it off. Exercise also makes you feel good about yourself, as it releases endorphins into your body that give you a natural high. The NHS has a great free website with lots of information and guidance on how to eat healthier and lose weight – see the help box for details. Also think about giving the gym another go. The NHS site includes an interactive finder to help you research local authority leisure facilities that won’t break the bank. This time, make sure you get a proper induction, where an instructor shows you how all the machines work. The more machines you know how to use, the more chance you’ll have of finding one that you like – the key is to find an exercise routine that suits you. You should also be given a fitness schedule to use each time you visit the gym, and once you start following it you’ll see improvements, which in itself will be a great motivator. Another way to stay motivated is

How to trim down and get healthy... Eat more slowly – it takes a while for your body to realise it’s full. Eat too fast and by the time you feel like you’ve had enough, you have actually stuffed yourself like a Christmas turkey. Try putting your cutlery down after each bite. That way you avoid just shovelling it. Eat breakfast – research has shown that people that eat breakfast tend to have less problems with their weight as it gives you energy to start the day and stops you from over doing it at lunch time. Porridge is a great option because it releases its energy slowly and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer. Replace at least one portion of potatoes, rice or pasta a day with extra veg. Cut out the beer – they don’t call them beer bellies for nothing. A pint of beer has over 200 calories, so if you knock back seven in a night, that’s 1400 calories, that’s more than half the number of calories you are meant to have all day. Do that twice a week, and that’s a whole extra day of eating. Substitute a glass of wine or a spirit and slim-line mixer or soda and you will half the number of calories you are taking in during a night out. Prepare for the worst – if you know you are going to come home from the pub pissed and ready to eat everything in sight, make sure you have something relatively healthy on hand to eat. Try pasta with tomato sauce since it’s at least low in fat. to get a friend to join you, so you can both spur each other on. You might even want to set yourself a goal such as a 10k run or even a half marathon. Once you start to make a few healthy changes to your life, you’ll soon be feeling less ‘blah’ and more


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Cover story

‘brilliant’, and before long you’ll have a better body and a healthier mind as well – just in time for summer.

MORE HELP For information about a wide range of gay friendly sports and activity groups and clubs log on to www.gmfa.org.uk/theguide. Check out www.nhs.uk/livewell for information and advice on losing weight and healthier living.

Drink & drugs ‘My drinking is out of control. I never go out to get hammered, but I end up blacking out every time and get myself in some very bad situations and end up doing things that I regret the next day. How can I get control of this?’

Nurse Drew Payne says: The first thing to do is to ask yourself a few questions. Do you get hammered when you:

Go to the same club/bar or with certain mates? Do you start drinking before you go out? Do you drink shots? Is there any pattern to your drinking? If you can find any pattern or any triggers that get you hammered you can start avoiding them. If you are a heavy drinker and want to quit, don’t go cold turkey, cut y eekl take down and modify w e l a n i M your drinking ended1 units, m m o instead. 2 c , s s i re y l a ho r seven d o c Stopping l a f o ut ove ll at once. drinking o d a e spr t taken a suddenly, no especially if you have , r e e fb pint o been drinking Half a or lager it large amounts, of spir cider asure glass e m can be very b u l) p m e 5 2 On risky. If you stop mall (1 One s of wine. all at once you risk severe side effects. You also have a high chance of relapsing and ending up drinking again. Instead, cut down and control your drinking. You could:

nit is: U e n O

Don’t drink before you go out, because the drinks you pour at home

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Change the bar/club you drink in, a change of environment can change the pressures on you to drink too much.

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Cover story are bound to be stronger than those bought in a bar. Alternate soft drinks with alcoholic drinks, this can reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, slow down the rate you are consuming alcohol and will keep your body hydrated which will lessen some of the bad effects of drinking. Set yourself a limit for the night. Sticking to a certain number of drinks might not be that easy but limiting the amount you spend on drinks is. Take out only a certain amount of cash and once you’ve spent it stop. Drink at your own pace, don’t let someone else’s heavy drinking effect the amount you drink. Buy your own drinks instead of rounds or skip a round if you’re aren’t ready for another drink yet. Change your social life. Replace your nights out when you will be drinking with another activity. Join a social group or sports group. They’re good ways to meet other guys without the pressure and problems of clubs and drinking. There’s no need to stop your social life just because you’re cutting down on your drinking. Get support. Tell your friends what you’re doing, get their help and support in achieving it.

Get help

‘Going out clubbing and taking drugs is really fucking up my life. I am missing work, losing relationships, and my health has been bad. But my whole social life revolves around clubs and drugs, what can I do?’

Poor performance at work or college, or having problems concentrating. Problems with relationships. Borrowing money from friends and family to buy drugs. Being secretive about things.

You already know what drugs are doing to you but to stop the harm Nurse Drew Payne’s advice: being done you need to get back in control of your life, which means Signs that your drug use is getting stopping taking drugs. This isn’t easy, out of control include: especially if you’re still in the same Needing more drugs to get the environment where drugs are same effect. available. Most people who stop Needing drugs to enjoy yourself. taking drugs have to cut them A feeling of dependency on completely out of their lives. The drugs, that you need them and are hardest part is that this usually afraid to stop using them. involves a big change in your life. If Withdrawal symptoms if you stop your whole social life revolves taking the drug for a short time. around drugs and clubbing you may Sudden mood changes. need to change your whole social life. Loss of motivation, and even loss of sex drive.

MORE HELP

lready You a what know doing to are e drugs t to stop th e you bu being don harm eed to get you n in control back our life. of y

Your GP can refer you to local alcohol advice services.

Your GP can access a lot of local services, they can advise you about them and even refer you to them. The National Drugs Helpline is a free and confidential helpline. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can give advice about drugs, stopping using them and where to get local support. Ring 0800 77 66 00. Hungerford Project is a charity that offers advice about drugs and drug use and support to people who want to quit. Ring 020 7437 3523.

NHS Direct (0845 46 47) can also offer advice.

How to avoid drugs

Alcoholics Anonymous (www.alcoholics-anonymous.org) run lots of local groups and even run lesbian and gay groups.

Stay away from places where you usually get and take drugs.

MORE HELP Alcohol Concern Tel: 020 7264 0510 Website: www.alcoholconcern.org.uk Know Your Units Website: www.units.nhs.uk ARP (Alcohol Recovery Project) Tel: 020 7234 9940 Website: www.aro-uk.org For gay social groups visit the GMFA website: www.gmfa.org.uk/theguide

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Avoid the people who you get your drugs from, this includes friends and even family. Change your social life, find new things to do and meet new people. You’ve taken out a large part of your life and you need to replace it. Tell your friends what you’re doing, get their help and support. Don’t expect it to happen overnight, be patient and don’t give up.


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Relationships ‘My boyfriend and I got civil partnered last year, but I’ve since found out he’s been cheating on me the whole time, and I think I want us to split up. The thing is I’ve no idea how to go about it. How do you start? And how do I a start a new life now?’

Agony uncle Franke McPolin says:

Maybe you love your partner and want to try to sort things out, or perhaps you just want to know your options before you go your separate ways. If staying together is a possibility, you both need to sit down and talk to each other and decide where you go from here – then make some rules. You might both want to consider couple counselling to help this decision. If you decide the relationship is over, which I think is what you’re veering more towards, then you’re not able to simply walk away from each other. Instead you both need to know the steps you have to take to dissolve the partnership, and also the legal and financial implications of doing so. Speak to a solicitor so you know your rights. Although going through a dissolution or gay divorce will be hard initially, once things settle down you’ll start to feel more positive. Make sure you use your family and friends to keep you company, and more importantly get yourself back on to the market for meeting guys for fun, though don’t go rushing into anything serious until you’re over your marriage. Meet new people and get on with your life. What’s really essential is that you don’t look back with regrets, as that will make you miserable. Try to look to the future and remain positive – things might be hard but you will eventually be able to enjoy life again.

‘I just don’t feel like my relationship is going anywhere. The sex is OK and I do love him, but how do I know if this is really right for me or if there is something better out there?’

Agony uncle Franke McPolin says:

It’s human nature to question things in life, including relationships. Most guys want to be in the best relationship possible, and I think this helps to explain the way you’re feeling. That said, I’m a bit concerned that maybe you’re wanting the best of all worlds. There’s no harm in that, as long as you realise all relationships have their highs, lows and happy mediums. Perhaps you’re on a happy medium path at the minute. You say you feel the relationship’s going nowhere, but where exactly do you want it to go? Try to become proactive in making it go somewhere good. Successful relationships need to be worked on – if you don’t put effort into your partnership then it’ll go stagnant. So make plans with your partner and keep things exciting by doing new things together, and make sure you keep talking to each other as well. The sex is OK in your relationship and you love your boyfriend. I think these are pretty good building blocks on which to make a great relationship, and a sign that it’s right for you. Why not take the initiative and spice up your sex life? There are heaps of things you can do, like

Succ relatioessful nsh need t o be w ips on – if orked y o u don’t put e your p ffort into ar then ittnership ’ stagnall go nt.

having a dirty weekend away, or watching porn together and acting out the scenes. And one of the easiest things you can do to sex up things is to just tell each other what really turns you on, and then get into the sack to try it all out. I think once you decide you’re happy with your boyfriend, who you love, you’ll feel more settled and more prepared to work at the good relationship you already have.

MORE HELP For information and guidance on all aspects of civil partnerships, including how to end them, go to www.civilpartnerships.org.uk. Relate offers relationships advice and counselling to gay couples. For more info visit: www.relate.org.uk. Check out the listings at the end of this magazine for free counselling available to gay men and couples.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS110_HIV Talk:FS 09/04/2009 16:18 Page 18

Health

Can we talk about HIV? HIV is a big issue for every gay man in Britain, so why do we have such a hard time chatting about it? There are lots of reasons and one of the big ones is HIV stigma. HIV stigma hurts everyone and is one of the reasons why HIV is continuing to spread. HIV-positive men are often reluctant to talk about HIV with new partners because of fear of rejection, or that they will be judged to be slags or that they should have known better. The truth is anyone can catch HIV, you can catch it from a random shag, from your boyfriend or if you are really unlucky from the first time you fuck. HIV doesn’t discriminate, but a lot of us do when it comes to HIV-positive guys. What do you think about HIV? Are you part of the problem or are you helping to find the solution?

6

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18

Wing, 33

Assistant restaurant manager from Malaysia Do you ever talk to your friends about HIV?Yes, in terms of having safer sex – we’ll say to each other, you have to be careful when you’re having sex. But it’s only something I’d talk about with close friends. Do you ever speak about HIV before you have sex with someone? Not at the time, because it would spoil the mood. I would just suggest we use a condom. I wouldn’t mention HIV specifically. And when you use a condom, that helps protect you against HIV and other STIs. Why do you think gay men have trouble talking about HIV, especially with sexual partners? Because it brings down the mood. I don’t talk about it with sexual partners because I have trust that the guy I’m with is negative. I think that’s a common reason why gay guys don’t talk about it. Also gay men don’t talk about it because it makes people feel worried. And if you bring it up in a sexual situation, it can make you tense up and lead to arguments. It’s a personal, private, medical thing. There’s still a stigma attached to HIV and AIDS, and there’s still no cure.

James, 29

Recruitment consultant from Leeds Do you ever talk to your friends about HIV? Almost every day because a lot of my friends have HIV. One is a complete slut. Another friend got it because his boyfriend gave it to him.The subject of HIV tests sometimes comes up but I wouldn’t go for a test because I don’t sleep around. I go for guys who don’t go out a lot, so I don’t think I’m putting myself at risk from HIV. Do you ever speak about HIV before you have sex? Never, I just wouldn’t. It’s bad enough trying to get someone to put a condom on, let alone talking about HIV. I go for guys who I’m 90 percent sure don’t have it - I can make a very good guess. Anyway, HIV isn’t a cool thing to talk about, is it? Why do you think gay men have trouble talking about HIV? The reality of gay men is that they’re promiscuous. So if a gay man is trying to pull someone, he’s not going to mention HIV and risk not getting a shag. I think gay men choose sex over HIV – that’s how addicted to sex they are. Guys don’t think getting HIV will happen to them – but it’s like being a burglar, you can get caught.


?

FS110_HIV Talk:FS 09/04/2009 16:18 Page 19

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Lawrence, 34

Flyerer from London Do you ever talk to your friends about HIV? Occasionally it comes up in terms of taking precautions, having tests, staying safe. But I’d only ever talk about it with good close friends. Do you ever speak about HIV before you have sex with someone? No, it’s something we don’t do. We don’t talk about HIV. It’s not necessarily because it’s something which is taboo – it’s just not right to talk about HIV and AIDS. Well, I guess it depends on the situation – I think you should only talk about it in the right situation with the right people. But why do you think gay men have trouble talking about HIV, especially with sexual partners? It’s not a nice thing to talk about – it’s depressing. When I’m with someone, it’s not in the spectrum of things I’m going to want to talk about it. It’s too personal and individual a topic to talk about.

Andy, 22

of ne y aid the to s n e m t want o n d l wou sex with a have knew y e h t f guy i had HIV. they

Works in fine art, from London Do you ever talk to your friends about HIV?Yes, it comes up if one of us has been checked, if we’ve had an HIV test. It also comes up when there’s a fundraiser on around World AIDS Day. The fundraising aspect also ties in with awareness around HIV and AIDS at gay pride festivals. It’s an issue in the gay community. Also, scene magazines like QX and Boyz try to raise the profile of issues around HIV and AIDS. Do you ever speak about HIV before you have sex? Gay men are scared to confront it, so it rarely comes up in conversation when you’re in bed with someone – it’s too embarrassing and difficult. If someone asked me, ‘are you clean?’, I’d be pretty insulted. HIV is associated with sleeping around. Why do you think gay men have trouble talking about HIV?The media has a lot to do with it. There’s a real stigma attached to being HIVpositive and gay – the two are portrayed as being hand in hand. Also, HIV is a private medical thing. If you were diagnosed, you wouldn’t bring it up or talk about it. But the less people talk about it, the more stigma there is, so not talking about HIV creates a vicious circle.

31p% ositive

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Luke, 23

Broadcaster from Australia Do you ever talk to your friends about HIV? Yes, it comes up in conversation when I’m chatting with close friends. It might come up if we’re talking about guys who have lots of different partners. Do you ever speak about HIV before you have sex? No, because I’ve got a long term partner. But before, when I was single, I don’t think the issue of HIV came up. I just assumed the other guy was negative. And I wouldn’t mention anything about HIV before we had sex because talking about STIs turns you off sex. Why do you think gay men have trouble talking about HIV? If you were in bed with someone and they started talking about HIV, it would put you right off – you’d lose interest in the whole sex thing. For a lot of guys, I just don’t think HIV is a big thing in their mind. OK, it’s in the media with lots of safer sex ads but it’s still not an easy topic. It takes quite a lot of time before you can talk about it openly. It’s definitely not a topic for a first conversation.

www.gmfa.org.uk

19


FS110_HIV Talk:FS 09/04/2009 16:18 Page 20

Health

now? eone has HIV by Did you k , tell if som u met them

You can’t look like, where yo ress. what they ey are or how they d how old th

Dave, 25

Landscape architect from London

Cyril, 33

James, 23

Actor from Hackney Do you ever talk to your friends about HIV? Yes, for example, if someone suggests to someone else they should get an STI check, and that would include an HIV test. Or we might talk about it around World AIDS Day, when there’s more stuff in the media about HIV. I’ve researched about it myself and we talked about it at school when we learnt about STIs and did drama workshops about it. I’ve also seen plays where there are HIV-positive characters – like ‘Angels in America’ by Tony Kushner and ‘Rent’. Do you ever speak about HIV before you have sex with someone? No because we use a condom and HIV isn’t a very romantic thing to talk about it. Even if you don’t know the other guy’s sexual history if you say ‘I’m negative, how about you?’, it really kills the moment. Why do you think gay men have trouble talking about HIV, especially with sexual partners? Because of the stigma attached to HIV – it still feels like a taboo area. It’s unsexy and uncool. And it’s not a comfortable thing to talk about. HIV isn’t fun and isn’t funny either. The gay scene is about fun easy-going stuff – anything medical or personal like HIV puts a dampener on it. If you’re just about to have sex, HIV is last thing you want to think about.

20

Works in TV from France

Do you ever talk to your friends about HIV? We mention it sometimes but wouldn’t have an in-depth conversation about it. For example, we might tell each other to be careful when we’re talking about safer sex. It’s not something I’m very aware of from reading QX and Boyz, but I did know when it was World AIDS Day.

Do you ever talk to your friends Do you ever speak about HIV about HIV? Yes, because when I was before you have sex with in France I was a volunteer with an someone? No, I’d have safer sex but HIV organisation. It’s no good trying I wouldn’t mention HIV. It ruins the to scare people into having safer sex. mood. If you’re having safer sex, you You need to give them good selfdon’t need to have the conversation confidence and self-esteem so they about HIV. But on the other hand, want to protect themselves and their maybe you do, because you can partners from HIV. catch HIV from sucking someone. Do you ever speak about HIV Why do you think gay men have before you have sex? No, I would trouble talking about HIV? protect myself by using a condom I disagree that gay men have but I wouldn’t speak about it trouble talking about HIV – it’s been upfront. It’s not a situation where known about since the early 80s so you want to think about HIV. But if it’s something which the gay someone didn’t want to put on a community has had to address. condom I’d tell them that I wouldn’t Being gay and having AIDS have have sex without protection become associated in the minds of because of the risk of getting HIV. a lot of people. But if gay men do Why do you think gay men have have trouble talking about HIV with trouble talking about HIV? I think sexual partners, I think that’s it’s because, historically, HIV has because in the heat of the moment, been viewed as the ‘gay plague’, it’s very hard to talk about. and this is still in people’s minds. Also, gay boys and men love to party and death and disease aren’t compatible with that. It’s difficult enough to be gay, so guys don’t want to have men in One out of ten gay may be another problem on top of u the UK have HIV. Yo uld be that to deal with. But co it or , something good about gay one of them y you men is that often they can be ur boyfriend, the gu e yo really honest, frank and upfront or th shagged last night you in about talking about sex. If we to xt guy standing ne talked about HIV more, guys nd us, would be more educated about the bar. HIV is all arou g in lk the risks and protect even if we aren’t ta themselves and their partners. t it.

Finally...

abou


FS_mag_advert

2/12/08

09:17

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FS111_P20-21_Health:FS 09/04/2009 14:02 Page 22

Health

Get fit with Dino

Summer is just round the corner so this issue’s topic is your abdominal musles or abs. Everyone wants a six-pack and you can get it – as long as you’re willing to work hard and do the right exercises to make it happen. Here are my top ten tips for getting the belly you always wanted: 1. Always take ten minutes to warm up and cool down. Doing some good stretches before exercise helps to improve blood flow to your muscles, which is vital to growth. Warm up with five minutes on the treadmill or bike and then five minutes of stretches and then do ten minutes of stretches at the end.

2. Doing countless reps of crunches won’t get you that beautiful belly you want. In order to obtain good abdominal muscles the key is variation. You need to mix up your routine and keep your muscles guessing. Muscle growth just won’t happen if you stick to the same exercises – your muscles will become used to the exercise and won’t develop any more.

3. Attack your abs from all angles! This is vital. The abdominals are not one single muscle – they are made up of several different muscles – upper abs, lower abs and obliques (these are what make that gorgeous ‘v’). All of these need to be worked in order to get that six-pack. Do some exercises lying down, some standing, some using a gym ball and whatever other position you fancy. Mix it up baby!

4. You need to work your whole body. Doing exercises specifically for your abs is great but you also need to work other parts of your body in order to get the desired effect. Doing compound exercises such as squats and dead-lifts makes your abs provide stability. This will stimulate your core muscles and add to a stronger more defined middle section.

5. Don’t over work your abs! This is a common mistake people make. Your abs are just like any other muscle and need time to repair and grow. Working your abs every day will hinder the development of your six-pack. 6. Work your abs at the end of a session. Working abs at the beginning of a session will tire

22

them out – and will affect your other compound exercises. Keep abs until last or devote an entire session to them.

7. Cardio! You might have a gorgeous six-pack but if you have more than 10 percent body fat no one will be able to see it. Do light cardio three to four times a week to burn off that extra fat and show what’s underneath. Stick to short intense cardio sessions as apposed to long slower sessions in order to maximise calorie burning.

You needs r body aminothe vital acids in pro t the fibein to repai musclres in your r e this istissue – musclhow e grow. s

8. Eat lots of protein. This is the case when you want to build any muscle. Your body needs the vital amino acids in protein to repair the fibres in your muscle tissue – this is how muscles grow. Stick to white meats like chicken and tuna as they are a lot lower in fat. Eat red meat sparingly or not at all – make sure you are still getting iron in your diet through vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. For all you vegetarians out there – eat lots of protein rich veg such as lentils and beans. If you struggle to take in more calories than you are burning look into protein shakes to boost your protein intake.

9. Quality over quantity! Hold the tension in every exercise for two seconds before releasing – this is vital to building muscle. It’s infinitely more beneficial to do 15 controlled slow crunches than 30 rushed crunches. 10. Be patient

It may not happen in the first week, but if you stick to these tips you will see results fast. Good luck!

Dino Gamecho is the current Mr Gay UK.


FS111_P20-21_Health:FS 09/04/2009 14:02 Page 23

Health

STI Corner

The place to come for STIs (not literally of course)

This month: LGV What is it and how do you get it? LGV is short for Lymphogranuloma venereum; it is a form of the common sexually transmitted infection chlamydia. LGV can affect the cock and arse and can be passed on by oral sex and fucking without condoms.

How do you know you’ve got it? LGV can cause very unpleasant symptoms including pain and swelling inside and outside the arse. In some cases this can be accompanied by swollen glands in the crotch, and often by a discharge of mucus from the arse (which can be bloody), and constipation. If you are found to have chlamydia in the arse the clinic should send the sample for special tests to see if it is LGV. If left untreated, LGV can cause swelling of the lymph glands and extreme swelling and sores on the cock and balls. A sexual health clinic can test you for LGV and this should form part of routine sexual health check-ups. It is tested for by taking a urine sample or a swab from your cock and arse.

How do you treat it? LGV can be cured using a course of antibiotics. If you have LGV you should inform your recent sexual partners. It’s important that you tell any regular partner so that they can get tested and treated too. You then need to avoid sex with them until the treatment has taken effect (usually a couple of weeks) as it’s common for people to pass it back and forth to each other. If this happens you’ll need treatment again.

How do you prevent it? Using condoms will prevent many cases of LGV. If you wanted to reduce the risks further, you would have to use condoms for oral sex. Sucking cock carries a risk even if he doesn’t cum in your mouth.

For more information on sexual health visit: www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.

Fast Fact

PEP can stop you from catching HIV. If you have been exposed to HIV, there is a treatment available that can stop you from catching the virus. It’s called PEP and you need to start treatment within 72 hours of when you has risky sex – the sooner the better really. It is available from A&E departments and GUM clinics. For more info visit www.gmfa.org.uk/pep.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS111_P22_Doc:FS 09/04/2009 14:18 Page 24

Health

Hey GMFA, I’ve got a problem! The team at GMFA answer questions from their website that you may be too shy to ask in the flesh...

HIV?

Do I need an HIV test? I got fucked for the first time the other day. When he pulled out, the condom was full of spunk. Do I need to go and have an HIV test? The purpose of using condoms for fucking is to prevent pre-cum and cum from getting in your arse. If a man is infected with HIV, there will be HIV in his pre-cum and cum, and these fluids can be absorbed very easily into your bloodstream though the lining of your arse, but not if they have been captured by a condom. It sounds like the condom you used for sex didn’t break, so you should have nothing to worry about. If you ever find yourself in a situation where the condom has broken during sex, you can obtain a treatment called PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) which may prevent you from catching HIV. For more information visit: www.gmfa.org.uk/pep.

Can I share my fleshlight? I share my Fleshlight with my mate and he cums in it and I use it afterwards to wank with. What are

24

the risks of getting HIV as I haven’t ever seen anything in mags or online about sharing Fleshlights? The risks of getting HIV in any situation mostly depend on how likely it is that the body fluid (cum or blood) of a person who is infected with HIV will get into your bloodstream. In this instance, if your mate is not infected with HIV in the first place, then you are not at risk. However, if your mate has HIV, then there is a risk if you use your Fleshlight straight after he has cum in it. This is because you could absorb his cum through the head of your penis or the opening you wee from. Outside of a truly monogamous relationship, it is almost impossible to be sure of another person's HIV status. Even if they believe they are HIV negative, the advice we give when it comes to toys, which is probably not what your mother taught you, is that it is best not to share them, unless you wash it with soapy water in-between people using it (or in the case of a dildo, you should cover it with a condom and

change the condom between users). Unless you are sure that you are both HIV-negative, and if you haven't washed the Fleshlight out before sharing it, then there is at least a possibility you or your mate has been exposed to HIV and may have been infected. For this reason, we recommend that you both take an HIV test. If you are infected with HIV it is much better to know and have a clinic keep an eye on you to help you keep in good health. If you are infected with HIV and wait until you get sick before you find out, then your health will suffer much more. For more information about testing for HIV, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/testing.

For more info about sex and sexual health or to ask a question visit: www.gmfa.org.uk.

How risky is… Fisting If the guy getting fisted is HIV-positive, HIV in his anal mucus (stuff that lines the arse) or any blood inside his arse could get into the bloodstream of the fister through the cuts or sores on his hand. If the fister has HIV, infected blood from any cuts could be absorbed into the bloodstream of the guy getting fisted through the lining of his arse. However, the likelihood of this happening is very low. If more than one person is being fisted, HIV could be passed from one fistee (the guy getting fisted) to another, via anal mucus or blood carried on the fist. Hepatatis A, which is more infectious than HIV, can be transmitted by fisting. Fisting has been identified as a possible route of Hepatitis C infection. It is also possible to acquire a variety of gut infections, if traces of shit get passed to the mouth. For more information on sex and how to make it safer, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.


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FS111_P26-27_Sortit:FS 09/04/2009 14:23 Page 26

Advice

Sort it out! FS readers and a trained counsellor give their advice on how to tackle one of life’s problems. This month’s problem I’m 26 years old and I can’t manage to keep an erection. Even when I’m wanking by myself it can sort of come and go. If I’m with someone else... well, sometimes it’s OK and sometimes it’s a problem. And if I do manage to get one, when I stop and reach for a condom, it’s gone. I’ve had unsafe sex more than once to avoid that situation. Often I just end up being a bottom or avoiding sex because I don’t want to be embarrassed again. I’ve seen a GP and he told me there was nothing physically wrong with me and I should just relax - yeah right. I’ve tried some of the drugs you get online, but they don’t always work either. Help! David via email

Dear David, In almost any situation in life, if you’re worried about things going wrong, then they’re more likely to. It sounds like you’re in a vicious circle where things have gone wrong and your anxiety has increased, so things keep going wrong. Your doctor is right, relaxing is the answer. It might not seem easy, but it is that simple. Look into different techniques: have a massage, learn to breathe properly, take regular exercise, learn to meditate, do yoga, use aromatherapy. Try one thing at a time without putting pressure on yourself for a ‘result’ until you find yourself lying in bed on your own with a hard on, then just relax and enjoy it. When you’ve learned to relax and regained your confidence, practise wanking with condoms, so you get used to them. Then you can use them more easily when you have sex and

26

you can choose if you want to be top or bottom. Sean from Shoreditch

Dear David, I think a big thing to remember is that real life isn’t like porn films. Everyone doesn’t have a huge raging hard-on all the time. In fact there are a lot of us who are very similar to you, and chances are you are totally normal. Of course that may not help with the hurt and embarrassment you are feeling right now. I have always found it useful to remember that there is no right way or wrong way to have sex – find out what you like and what makes you feel the most comfortable and go with that. And while every guy you are with may not share your tastes, that does not mean there aren’t guys out there who will. Gay men can be cruel and not

very understanding – especially when it’s just a random shag, so maybe try different ways to meet men or don’t go home with them the first time you meet them. Get their number, go for a coffee, then maybe dinner, and then decide if they are someone you feel comfortable having sex with. I know it’s not the stereotypical way to do things, but who wants to be a stereotype anyway? The more time you spend concerned with what you think and feel and the less you worry about what others might be thinking, I reckon the better your sex life will be. Jenson via email

A counsellor’s opinion Counsellor Sona Barbosa says:

Dear David, It can be difficult and frustrating for men to cope with erectile dysfunction, especially when the cause is unclear. It can cause feelings of inadequacy and you may feel you are the one to blame. Erectile dysfunction can be due to physiological factors, psychological or both. Even though you have been to your GP and have been told there is nothing physically wrong with you, it is good to bear in mind the effects of alcohol and drugs on sexual responses. You also need to be careful when buying drugs online, as you can be putting your health and safety at risk. It would be of benefit if you could explore whether the cause for your inability to keep an erection is psychological in nature. In virtually


FS111_P26-27_Sortit:FS 09/04/2009 14:23 Page 27

every case of erectile dysfunction there are emotional issues, negative emotions, such as stress, performance anxiety, that can seriously affect the man’s self-esteem and relationships. You mentioned that your penis gets hard but you cannot maintain enough of an erection for fucking or even when wanking. However do you have firmer erections during sleep or when awake? Or while engaging in other behaviours besides intercourse? If you can answer yes to any of these, then it seems like the act of fucking is causing the anxiety and may be the reason for partial or complete loss of erection. Anxiety has both emotional and physical consequences that can affect erectile function. Excessive concern about sexual performance may provoke an intense fear of failure, self-doubt, and as you have said, embarrassment. You may be trying too hard! The more you worry about keeping your erection, the more difficult it will be to keep it. Remember that you are more than just a penis! One of my main concerns reading your letter is that you have had on more than one occasion unsafe penetrative sex and being the “bottom” you are putting

yourself at an even higher risk. I am left wondering why you are not looking after yourself. I strongly suggest you get some support through counselling, in order to address how to keep yourself safe and also to explore possible emotional reasons behind your inability to maintain an erection. It can also help you feel more

comfortable sexually and to better manage your expectations. There are some good services that can help you with this.

If you think that you may want to see a counsellor, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/counselling or go to page 28 for information on where you can get free counselling.

Next month’s problem... My boyfriend is constantly accusing me of sleeping with other guys and I am not. In fact, despite having an agreement that the odd shag on the side is OK, I have never had sex outside our relationship, not for three years. But despite this, many times if I go out on my own or I am late he gives me the third degree and accuses me of sleeping around. Even if we go out together he will accuse me of having sex in the toilets, which I have never done in my life. Sometimes I think it is him who is shagging around and that’s why he is accusing me all the time. What makes matters worse, he sometimes wants to have sex without condoms as a way to prove that I have been faithful, and I don’t want to because I really question if he is shagging around and being safe. Of course that leads to a big fight and it all ends in tears. How can we get out of this mess? Kelly via email

If you have some advice to give, or you have a problem that needs sorting, email it to: fsmag@gmfa.org.uk or search for ‘FS magazine’ on Facebook, become a fan, and post on the Sort It Out forums.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS111_P28-29_listings NW:FS 10/04/2009 11:59 Page 28

Listings

It’s all about the groups and services in the North West... Clinics Manchester The LGF Outreach Clinic: operates from four different locations in Manchester city centre and Chorlton. The clinic is designed to allow men who have sex with men (this does not mean that heterosexual men will be turned away) the opportunity to get a full sexual health check-up. Phone: 0161 235 8035 or visit: www.lgf.org.uk.

Condoms by post Wirral The Terrence Higgins Trust (THT): offers a free, discreet condoms and lube service for men who live on the Wirral. Phone: 0151 666 9890.

Counselling and advice Liverpool The Armistead Project: offers support, information, and referral on all drug and alcohol matters for LGB and trans gay people.This includes support for HIV-positive men who use recreational drugs combined with meds. Also offering training and crisis support including referrals into rehab and detox services. Phone: 0151 227 1931 or 07796 265 814.

Class, Confident Cruising, and Getting a Boyfriend. For more information visit: www.gmfa.org.uk/national or phone: 020 7738 3712.

Birkenhead THT: offers a series of free courses called Bodyworks that cover a range of issues including getting to know your body better, reducing sexual risk and maintaining good sexual health. For more information phone: 0151 666 9890.

Drop-in centres Liverpool The Armistead Project: Drop-in for LGB and trans gay people.Tuesday and Thursday 2-9pm, Saturday 4-7pm. For more information phone: 0151 227 1931 or visit: www.armisteadcentre.co.uk. Queer Notions at the Armistead Project: Weekly mental heatlh drop-in. Tuesdays 7-9pm. For more information phone: 0151 227 9977 or email: queernotions@hotmail.com. Saturday youth drop-in: weekly drop-in for LGB and trans gay people 13 to 19years-old. For more info phone: 0151 227 1931.

Birkenhead THT: sexual health drop-in for any man with need, but particularly for men infected with or affected by HIV, as well as people from the LGBT communities. Wednesdays 12noon-2pm. Phone: 0151 666 9890.

LGB and T counselling: The Armistead Project offers a counselling service regarding issues such as seuxality, HIV, coming out, gender issues, domestic violence, rape, abuse and relationships. Phone: 0151 227 1893 or or call into the centre during opening hours.

Helplines

Manchester

Liverpool

LGF: provides support on issues such as: HIV and sexual health; self harm; sexuality; anger management; bereavement and loss; gender identity; and mental health. Phone: 0161 235 8035 or visit: www.lgf.org.uk.

The Armistead Project Helpline: 0151 227 1931.

Wirral THT: offers counselling and one-to-one support on aspects of sexual health, HIV-concern, sexuality and relationships. Phone: 0151 666 9890.

Courses GMFA, along with LGF, and the Armistad Project, run courses in Manhester and Liverpool including The Arse

28

Manchester LGF: 0845 3 30 30 30. Daily 6-10pm.

HIV services and support Liverpool Gay & Bisexual men’s HIV-positive group: group for HIV-positive men over 20years-old. Phone Phil 07789 927 276 or Paul 07887 657 128.

Manchester The George House Trust: offers people living with HIV flexible support including: one-

to-one services, free condoms by post, telephone advice, email updates, courses, financial support, groups and more. For more information phone: 0161 274 4499 or visit: www.ght.org.uk.

Preston Central Lancashire HIV Advice Support Service CLASS: a confidential free service for those living with adn affected by HIV. Phone: 01772 253 840, helpline: 01772 825 684, email: class-enquiries@druglinelanc.co.uk or visit: www.druglinelancs.co.uk.

Support groups Liverpool BOLD: support group for people with learning disabilities at the Armistead Project. Phone Phil on 07789 927 276 or 0151 227 1931. 50+ Group: group for men over 50. Phone Gareth or Kathy on 0151 227 1931. Parents & Carers Group: support for parents and carers of LGB people at the Armistead Project. Phone Phil on 07789 927 276 or Paul on 0151 227 1931.

Manchester LGF Black LGBT Group: a support and social group for Black people who identify as LGBT. Activities include discussions, socials and outgoings. The group meets on the last Thursday of every month between 7.30-9pm LGF Ice Breakers: a selfhelp group which caters for gay and bisexual men who are coming out, coming out of a relationship, feeling isolated or who are new to Manchester. The group meets Wednesdays from 8pm before moving on to the village for a drink. LGF 40+ Gay Men’s Group: a group which provides a safe and welcoming environment for gay and bisexual men aged 40 and above. Activities range from talks to quizzes and watching videos, as well as the occasional trip out. Thursday evenings from 7-9pm. LGF Gay Married Men’s Group: for men who are, or have been, in a heterosexual relationship and are attracted to other men. Attendees do not necessarily identify as being

gay or bisexual. Meetings are held every first and third Tuesday 7.30-9pm. Other LGF groups: include Biphoria (support for bisexual people), LGB Smoke Free (support for giving up smoking) and LGF Art Class.

For info on all LGF groups visit www.lgf.org.uk or phone the LGF helpline on 0845 3 30 30 30.

Southport Sefton men’s group: group for gay and bisexual men over 20-years-old. Phone Darryl on 078794 265 814 or 0151 227 1931.

Youth groups Liverpool Armistead Youth Drop-in: for young gay people aged 1419 run by the Armistead Project. Saturdays 12.303.30pm. Phone: 0151 227 1931. Gay Knowsley: youth group in Knowsley for 13 to 19year-olds run bythe Armistead Project. Phone: 07748 140 275. Young Gay Sefton: youth group in Bootle for 14 to 19year-olds run by the Armistead Project. Phone Jo or Phil on 07792 316 156.

St Helens St Helen’s youth Group: for 13 to 19-year-olds run byThe Armistead Project. Phone: Darryl 078794 425 304 or 0151 227 1931..

Warrington GLYSS: a place to talk over any issues affecting you, such as coming out to family and friends; relationships; school, home, work and sexual health. For more info phone: 07747 473 829, email: glyss@hotmail.co.uk or visit: www.freewebs.com/glyss.

Contact details The Armistead Project 1st Floor, Muskers Buildings 1 Stanley Street Liverpool L1 6AA Phone: 0151 227 1893 Email: info@armsteadcentre.co.uk Website: www.armisteadcentre.co.uk The George House Trust 77 Ardwick Green, North Manchester M12 6FX Phone: 0161 274 4499 Website: www.ght.org.uk


FS111_P28-29_listings NW:FS 10/04/2009 12:00 Page 29

Listings GLYSS (Gay and Lesbian Youth Support Services c/o Warrington Youth Service New Town House Buttermarket Street Warrington WA1 2NH Phone: 07747 473 829 Email: glyss@hotmail.co.uk Website: www.freewebs.com/glyss The Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) Princess House 105-107 Princess Street Manchester M1 6DD Phone: 0161 235 8035 Helpline: 0845 3 30 30 30 Email: info@lgf.org.uk Website: www.lgf.org.uk Terrence Higgins Trust (Wirral) 5 Bridge Street Birkenhead,Wirral CH41 1AS Phone: 0151 666 9890 Email: info.wirral@tht.org.uk Website: www.tht.org.uk

GUM Department Entrance One A, Hope Hospital, Eccles Old Rd, Salford M6 8HD. Phone: 0161 206 4464 (appointments)/0161 206 4431 (advice).

FREE EYE TEST FOR ALL GAY & BISEXUAL MEN

Stockport

WHO HAVE YOU SUCKED OFF?

GUM Clinics

If your area is not listed, ring THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200 to find a GUM clinic in your area.

Bolton Centre for Sexual Health Phone: 01204 390 771

Bury

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Stockport SK2 7JE Phone: 0161 419 5370/0161 419 5377 (advice line)

Tameside Crickets Lane Health Centre Phone: 0161 339 2222

Wigan Royal Albert & Edward Infirmary Phone: 01942 822 277

If you would like your group or organsation to be listed here, send your info to fsmag@gmfa.org.uk.

Fairfield Barlow Suite Phone: 0161 778 2800 Bo

Manchester - North North Manchester General Hospital GUM Clinic Delauneys Road, Crumpsall, Manchester M8 6RB Phone: 0161 720 2681

Manchester - South South Manchester Sexual Health Withington Hospital, Nell Lane, Manchester M20 8LR Phone: 0161 611 4939 (appointments)/0161 611 4446 (health advisors)

Manchester - West Trafford Centre for Sexual & Reproductive Health Trafford General Hospital, Moorside Road, Davyhulme, Manchester M31 3SL Phone: 0161 746 2621

Oldham Phoenix Centre, Oldham Hospital Phone: 0161 627 8394

3.9m 13ft

4.5m 15ft

6m 20ft

7.5m 25ft

9m 30ft

12m 40ft

15m 50ft

J A WA BE E T

S ON YNE PPE HAN

C L I V E A L L A N B R I A N J E S S E

3m 10ft

3.9m 13ft

4.5m 15ft

6m 20ft

7.5m 25ft

9m 30ft

12m 40ft

15m 50ft

The more people you have unprotected oral sex with, the more likely you are to pick up SYPHILIS.

Manchester - Central Manchester Centre for Sexual Health The Hathergate Centre, 280 Upper Brook Street, Manchester M13 0FH Phone: 0161 276 5200 (male appointments). Phone: 0161 276 5204 (health advisors)

3m 10ft

Ending Homophobia,

Empowering People

www.lgf.org.uk

Registered Charity No.1070904

Regular sexual health check-ups can prevent unnecessary complications from SYPHILIS, including heart problems, brain damage and blindness.

FS is edited by Cary James. The FS team for issue 111 was John Adams, Rob Dawson, Barrie Dwyer, Matthew Hodson, Frankie McPolin, Drew Payne, Shemmy, Gavin Smith, and James Stafford. Cover models: Ahmad. FS is part of the CHAPS Partnership. Appearance in FS is not an indication of an individual’s sexual orientation or HIV status. The views of our writers are not necessarily the views of FS, of the organisations mentioned, GMFA, or of the editor. You can subscribe to FS for just £7 per year. Phone on 020 7738 6872 or email fsadmin@gmfa.org.uk. You can view the current issue and past issues of FS online at: www.gmfa.org.uk/fsnation. Volunteers contribute to the planning, writing, editing and production of FS. To volunteer or donate, contact GMFA using the details below. Published by GMFA. Unit 43 Eurolink Centre, 49 Effra Road, London, SW2 1BZ Tel: 020 7738 6872 Email: gmfa@gmfa.org.uk Website: www.gmfa.org.uk Charity number 1076854 ISSN 1750-7162

Rochdale Baillie Street Health Centre Phone: 01706 517 655

Salford

Design and layout by www.christiantate.co.uk

www.gmfa.org.uk

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Life

Last chance

In case you missed them, here are some things to remember from this issue...

A CARROT what you should eat every day to be healthier by summer.

3 n i 21 1 the maximum number of alcohol units men should drink each week (not all at once).

ALL

S

A

LE NG

ou h s ou y s say o n Di w o –h

t h g i l h A Fles

s you ex toy s e h t out e of just on ’t share with n should it first. g cleanin

30

e guys v i t i s o p of HIV- y r e b s. m b a the nu n’t know the our o y d o t h w . kou V I r H o e v ha ld w

A HEDGEHOG

something you should never try to have sex with.


FS111_P04-05_Upfront :FS 10/04/2009 08:52 Page 31


Reg. Charity No. 1070904


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