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THe fIT and Sexy gay mag ISSUe #128 wInTer 2012

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ways To HaVe THe beST fIrST daTe eVer

Learn the a-Z of condoms

Blow me down Learn how to give great head

Gay, but my way Be your own stereotype

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FS128_P03INTRO_FS 26/01/2012 07:39 Page 5

Hello

We need your feedback... Have you ever read an article in FS which made you think differently, act differently or encouraged you to change your life in some shape or form?

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Every year, FS gets funded to supply you with content that you enjoy reading, sharing and laughing along with. Although we enjoy making you laugh, FS is here to make you think about your sex life, how you have sex and to help you make the best decisions for you and your partner(s). We need to show the people who fund this magazine that FS works, which is why we need your feedback. If FS has made a difference to your life, please email us at fsmag@gmfa.org.uk with your stories or support. You can also leave a message on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fsmag) or tweet us with your comments (@FSmagazineUK).

Brought to you by

FS will only continue to be around if you, our readers, want us to be around. So if you have something to say, get in contact. Funded by the Pan London In the meantime, enjoy our first issue of 2012. Woop! HIV Prevention Programme

Ian Howley, Editor. www.gmfa.org.uk

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Sexual health check-ups in Leeds Monday and Thursday evenings 4 - 7pm

Services provided with:

Terrence Higgins Trust, Oxford Chambers, Oxford Place, Leeds LS1 3AX Tel: 0113 246 9272 For details of all Fastest services visit www.tht.org.uk/fastest or for information and advice on HIV call A registered charity in England & Wales (no.288527) and in Scotland (no.SC039986).


FS128_P05_Column_FS 26/01/2012 07:40 Page 5

kristian+LiFE Sex and the single man: When does positive become a negative? Ah, Valentine’s Day — when smug couples take over all the restaurants and a million single guys hit the bars safe in the knowledge that they won’t end up in the middle of a domestic for feeling up someone’s boyfriend. For positive guys, it’s the age-old quandary: Do I tell him or not? Will it bring us closer or will he run a mile? With the scent of sex weighing heavily in the air around February 14th, the issue is never higher on the agenda. I’ve had many experiences with disclosing my status, some good, some not. Funnily enough, the most interesting one took place rather recently. To explain it, we’ll need to rewind to about September 2010. Picture the scene: It’s Soho Pride and I’m fresh from a pretty heinous breakup. Like anyone with a damaged ego, I decided the only solution to getting over one man was to get under, on top of, and suspended from the ceiling, with another. He was about my height, cropped blond hair, blue eyes and cheeky smile, which he flashed more than once. We laughed, we chatted, laughed some more and duly ditched our friends to go for a snog and a grope in a secluded corner. Actually it was a doorway, but that’s ok in Soho. Fuelled by sun and pent-up testosterone, we quickly decided that a doorway was no substitute for a mattress, and we set off back to his place. As we stood outside the tube station, I bit the bullet and told him. He faltered for a second and looked apologetic: “I’m sorry, mate, I can’t go through with this. You’re really nice, but…”

For a second I grinned, thinking he was joking. He wasn’t. My hard-on died as quickly as the smile on my face. “It’s OK, mate, I… …CAN’T FUCKING BELIEVE THIS! IF I’D ONLY KEPT MY BLOODY MOUTH SHUT AND NOT TRIED TO ‘DO THE RIGHT THING’, I’D BE HALFWAY TO WOOLWICH NOW WITH A SMOKING HOT BLOND DUDE! …understand” I walked away, dejected and more than a little sexually frustrated. How dare he treat me like a disease? Surely the fact I told him should prove I’m responsible? The next day I got a text: “I’m sorry, mate. I acted like a dick. I’d really like to take you to coffee and apologise.” Obviously I ignored him. He texted me every other day for a week, until eventually I relented. I was hard on him at first. He admitted, rather ironically, that he worked in healthcare, and his job frequently brought him into contact with people in advanced stages of the disease. He’d simply freaked out. His reaction isn’t uncommon. I’ve had people back away, block me on Gaydar, call me all sorts of names, even accuse me of having an ‘agenda’ to infect them. Seriously guys, in what dimension is it considered acceptable to treat HIV-positive people with such contempt? If a guy tells you he’s positive, shouldn’t that tell you he’s responsible and aware? More to the point, shouldn’t you have absolute respect for him?

“Seriously guys, in what dimension is it considered acceptable to treat HIV-positive people with such contempt?”

At best, the guy who balks is just ill-informed. At worst he’s an idiot. But let me make one thing clear: if you’re HIV-negative you can’t expect to sexually trapeze your way across the gay scene without eventually falling into bed with a positive guy. And unless you bring a rapid testing kit out with you, you’ll never be sure. The only thing to do is to assume the other person is HIV-positive and to be safe. Or never have sex. Your choice. Do you honestly believe your first time with an openly HIV-positive guy will be the first time you’ve slept with an HIV-positive guy? No. It’ll just be the first time someone’s told you. Skip forward to 2012, and the guy who turned me down has become one of my closest friends and most avid supporters, and has learned more about the human aspect of HIV in 18 months than anything he learned during medical studies. He’s even looking at opening up a specialised clinic for HIV-positive patients under his care. A happy, albeit unexpected result, but not every story ends like that. HIV may be a disease, but the people who have it are still people, and we have feelings. Everyone has the right to decide when and with whom they share aspects of themselves, so please, please show a little respect to the guys who are brave enough to be honest; and not just on the most sexually-charged night of the year. And one final word to all those latex-shy people out there: I’m HIV-positive and my partner isn’t, and anyone who’s still clinging to the excuse that condoms aren’t sexy needs to be a fly on the wall in MY house on Valentine’s Day. ;)

l Kristian Johns is an author and former editor who now runs his own copywriting agency. His first full-length novel is due out in 2012. You can catch his personal musings at his blog, www.sexdrugsandsausagerolls.com and on Twitter, @guy_interruptd. www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS128_P06-07_PAGE6_FS 26/01/2012 07:44 Page 6

6 upfront

ways to Have tHe Best First Date ever We’ve all been there. You meet someone on Gaydar, Manhunt, Grindr or, if you are a bit old-fashioned... in a pub. You arrange to meet up and have a date. Now what the hell do you do? Drew Payne offers some advice to have the perfect first date.

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Be yourself

Don’t try to be something you’re not, just relax and be yourself. This guy is going on a date with you because he likes you. We can be tempted to put on a show on a first date, to be more macho then we are, or confident, or the life and soul of the party and keep him entertained every minute of the date. This guy is going on a date with you so let him get to know the real you. That chemistry between two guys will never happen if you’re pretending to be God’s Gift To Gay Shagging. So relax, be yourself, and get to know him.

Don’t try to be something you’re not, just relax and be yourself.

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Have fun

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Don’t expect to get laid, but be prepared

Do something different and fun on your date, don’t just spend it in a bar trying to make conversation. Go to see a film together, go ice skating, go to a gallery together; there are so many different choices than just going to a bar for a drink. You’ll make a good impression doing something different. Give him a date to remember, show him you’ve got a life outside of the bars, and it will give you something to talk about afterwards. Often it can be a strain making conversation on a first date. You don’t know the guy well and he doesn’t know you well. Unless you’re great at making conversation, it can be difficult getting one going. Doing something together can give that conversation a boost.

Sex is great fun but if your date doesn’t end in sex it doesn’t mean it was a failed date. Some guys make big distinctions between casual shags and boyfriend material, and other guys want to get to know someone before having sex with them. Getting laid on

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FS128_P06-07_PAGE6_FS 26/01/2012 07:44 Page 7

a first date mightn’t be your priority either. If it isn’t be upfront about it but do so in a positive way. Saying all that, sex can and does happen on a first date, so be prepared. This means don’t forget your condoms and lube. The last thing you want is to have a great date, get back to the bedroom and find you’ve forgotten to stock up. Also, don’t assume that he will have condoms and lube too. There’s no right or wrong about sex on a first date, but it shouldn’t be used as a measure of how successful a date was. If you didn’t get laid, it doesn’t mean it was a bad date.

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What do you do after?

This can often be the awkward thing, when to make the next contact after a first date. You don’t want to seem too needy, calling him before he’s even got home from the date, but you don’t want to leave it so long that he thinks you’re not interested in him. A text message can often be less intimidating than a phone call as it allows him to reply in his own time. Give him a text the next day, and tell him how the date went for you. Give him a chance to start up a conversation, either by text or phone, and take it from there. Be wary of demanding another date (“When am I going to see you again?”) but show him you’re interested. Don’t wait for him to contact you. He could be waiting for you to make the first move and if you’re waiting for him then a chance could be missed.

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Valentine’s Day is just another day

Romance is big business: our cinemas are full of rom-com films, every other gay novel is a romance between two impossibly handsome hunks, and the TV is full of adverts for Valentine’s Day. But there’s a big difference between romance and having a relationship. The hearts and flowers and breathless emotions of romance can be the death of a relationship. Relationships are about getting to know another guy and the levels of communication and intimacy (not just sex) between the two of you, far more then living in a gay Mills & Boon plot. For some couples celebrating Valentine’s Day can be very important for a first date it can be the kiss of disaster, with all the emotional baggage that day comes with. It’s best avoided, especially for a first date.

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Take yourself out on a date

Yep, that’s right. You don’t need a boyfriend on your arm to enjoy yourself. Take yourself on a date, do something special just for yourself. Go to the cinema, pub, treat yourself to something you’ve been meaning to for ages, spend an evening with your friends. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to sit at home on your own or be endlessly bar-hopping. We can pamper ourselves too, dates don’t just have to be for couples. Who says you need a man? There’s an old saying that you find a boyfriend when you’re not looking for one. This isn’t always true, but if you’re happy and relaxed then you’re certainly more attractive to other guys. So take some time to look after yourself, and give yourself a date.

Voxpops Jose, 27

Web Designer from Portugal What are your thoughts on Valentine's Day? It's nice. I hope I will enjoy it this year. It's my first Valentine's Day with my new boyfriend, so it should be good. We've been together three months. What's been the best first date you've had? It was a complete disaster, but I enjoyed it because it was so funny and memorable. We ended up having to rescue my date's friend who overdosed on GHB in Vauxhall. We took him home on the bus and ended up staying up all night looking after him. He was OK in the end and I just found the whole thing really funny.

Jack, 22

Banker from South London What's been the best first date you've ever had? My best first date wasn’t actually a date to begin with. I was out with a couple of mates and I spotted a guy I fancied. We started chatting and he asked me out for dinner, right away. We had a great evening and I will always remember it.

Dean, 39

Bank officer, originally from Jersey, now Clapham, South London What are your thoughts on Valentine's Day? I don't care about it. Too big a deal is made of it. I don't think you should have to celebrate on any particular day. What has been the best first date you've ever had? My first date with my partner of 20 years. We met in a club on Miami Beach. Who would be your perfect first date? Ben Cohen.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS128_P09-14_GAY_FS 26/01/2012 07:48 Page 9

cover story

15 tips on how to do it

t

how to be GAY your way

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS128_P09-14_GAY_FS 26/01/2012 07:48 Page 10

LifestyLe

When you come out as gay – no matter how easy you find it – you have broken the cardinal rule of straight society: namely that you should shag girls and not boys. You are a grade-A rule-breaker. Cardinal rule-breaker. Give yourself a pat on the back. Having broken the big one, you can now break all the others. You have an amazing freedom to live your life as you choose. How delicious!

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VoXpop

Here are our 15 tips on How to be gay your way

1

Carlos, 47

Fashion insider from Miami Do you think it is a bad thing to label/stereotype people? Yes. Most of the time it is not the thing to do, but being realistic you can't really help it sometimes. What do you think the gay stereotype is? There are several. Quite a few different stereotypes. The biggest stereotype straight people tend to have about gay people is that we are very promiscuous. Gay people tend to stereotype transgendered people quite a bit, I think. What annoys you about other gay men? Stereotypical bitchiness! Are you worried about being stereotyped? Not really. I think I'm a bit beyond all that now.

Just because gay men are often shown on TV and in films to be girly, a sort of third sex between man and woman, growing up we think that if we really are gay (and we fancy several Premiership footballers so we must be), then we have to be like that. We don’t. Stereotypes are a lazy shorthand. If the one applied to you doesn’t fit, don’t wear it. It’ll only chafe if you do.

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The flip side of that is that some gay men are less masculine. And they like being like that. They are very good at being less masculine. And all power to them. There’s nothing wrong with having a wiggle in your walk and a giggle in your talk, as long as it’s you who is doing the deciding.

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You really don’t have to be funny. It’s connected to that last one but, you know, broader. More even than hostility, gay men get ridicule thrown at them all the time. People seem to find the idea of a man kissing another man THE most hilarious thing they can imagine. Look how often it happens in films as the main comic moment. But that’s not your problem. It shows how uncomfortable with the idea of gay men some people are – the sillies. It doesn’t mean you have to play along to make them feel comfortable. There is nothing intrinsically funny about being

t

While straight people can find themselves sleepwalking into lifestyles they’ve learned from their parents – engagement, marriage, children, affairs, divorce – gay men tend to put a little more thought into it. We are free! Free at last! Because we haven’t grown up with a hard-and-fast rule about how life should be lived, we tend to be more creative and choose lifestyles that suit us. Do we want a partner or to be on our own? Do we want children or not? Do we want to be monogamous or in an open relationship? Straight people often feel they don’t have the freedom to choose this stuff. The sad thing is, a lot of gay men don’t feel they have the freedom either. But they do. And because we all grow up with other people’s ideas of what gay men are like all around us – often straight people’s ideas of what gay men are like from films and TV – we think that to be properly gay, we have to be like that. But we don’t. It’s not as bad now as it used to be, when the only gay man you’d ever see on TV would be a big old camp queen. Now for every camp comic you have a brooding gay soap character and gays growing up in today’s Britain can see that there are different ways to be gay. The clever thing is to find your own way to be gay. To be gay your way. There’s even poetry in the wording...


FS128_P09-14_GAY_FS 26/01/2012 07:48 Page 11

cover story

VoXpop

Mark, 44

Financial analyst from usa Do you think it is a bad thing to label/stereotype people? I don't think it's BAD, exactly, but I don't like it. No one likes to be labelled. What do you think the gay stereotype is? The stereotype we always see on TV is very queeny and over-exaggerated. Not a true representation. Kids make fun of it because that's all they hear and all they see on TV. What annoys you about other gay men? Cliquey-ness and not being very inclusive. They tend to form groups and not let others in. Are you worried about being stereotyped? No. I'm not worried at all. I just be myself.

Your feelings – no matter how difficult other people find them to accept – are as valid as anyone else’s. Insist on that.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS128_P09-14_GAY_FS 26/01/2012 07:48 Page 12

VoXpop

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In the same way, straight people often don’t take gay relationships seriously. Your female friend might have a major breakdown because her boyfriend hasn’t texted her in the last ten minutes, but tell her that the guy you’ve really loved for the last year has decided it’s all over and more

“It doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s who you really are that matters. Everyone knows that! often than not she’ll brush it off, say there are many more fish in the sea and, hey, why don’t we go down the gay bar right this moment and look at boys. Gay relationships are not serious to her. They’re fun. Funny even. Don’t take it. Your feelings – no matter how difficult other people find them to accept – are as valid as anyone else’s. Insist on that.

5

Everyone – gay or straight – can find it more comfortable to live the stereotype and in the gay world there’s no shortage. Are you a bear? Or a twink? Are you top? Or bottom? But like we said, stereotypes are lazy. Maybe you look like a bear physically but don’t want to dress like that. Maybe you look like a twink but are old beyond your years and hate being treated like a bit of fluff. Whatever your particular combination, that’s who you are. It doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s who you really are that matters. Everyone knows that!

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Certain behaviour is thought to be very ‘gay’. Like sleeping around. Word up: it’s not actually a particularly gay thing.

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barry John, 38 works in marketing, from south London

Do you think it is a bad thing to label/stereotype people? Yes, absolutely. People assume because we are all gay we are one big happy community. Everyone fits into a role and everyone judges according to roles just the same as in the straight community. What do you think the gay stereotype is? In London specifically I would say hedonistic and with a short-termist attitude towards relationships. Image-obsessed and shallow. Yet also friendly, supportive and cool. What annoys you about other gay men? The way we can be very judgemental, stereotype and make assumptions. We can be scared, and don't tend to trust other people. We're not all into discos and GHB. Just because you wear a sweater and trousers, doesn't mean you don't like having orgies. Are you worried about being stereotyped? Yes. People judge me because I am not muscular. They assume from my body type that I am a certain type of gay person. If you are of a slighter physical build, people tend to assume you are not into being the dominant partner.

Straight girls do it, straight boys do it, even educated fleas do it (don’t worry, it’s from a very old song). And quite a few gay men DON’T do it. Have sex as much or as little, with as many or as few, as suits you. Ain’t nobody’s business (another of those old songs). Sleeping around carries its own health risks but as long as you have the information, and the condoms and lashings of lube, the number of men you have sex with is entirely up to you. Visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex to keep up with all the latest sexual health info.

7

Other behaviour that every gay man is supposed to be down with is drag. Girl friends often love dressing you up like you were a small dog living in her handbag: “Go on, just try my dress on”, “Just let me put some lipstick on you”, “Try on these high-heeled shoes, it will be a laugh”. As above, you are not the butt of a joke here. You are a real life human being. If drag’s not your thing say no. Or say, “Fuck off”. That often works as well.

8

Everyone loves gay clubs. Except some people. Some people prefer to blow their cash on a slap-up dinner or a film or a trip to Paris or a weekend adventure in a canoe… Just because gays are famous for clubbing, doesn’t mean you have to go clubbing. Try it, decide, act accordingly.

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And everyone knows that when the gays get down at their gay clubs they like to neck a handful of pills. They really don’t, you know. Statistically, gay men may take more drugs than the national average, but that doesn’t mean that ALL gay men are taking drugs. A lot of gay men wouldn’t touch them. And wouldn’t go to a club where gay men were touching them. Don’t be bullied or cajoled or persuaded into doing anything that’s not you. And when they say, “Oh you’re no fun” just say, “You haven’t seen yourself on drugs. That’s what no fun looks like.” Snappy lines are great, aren’t they?

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Drinks. As above – and see below…

For those of us who do like the odd shandy booze, or even something stronger, the important thing is that we are

t

gay, just as there’s nothing intrinsically sad. Don’t be the butt of anyone’s joke. Just don’t allow it. Even if they’re ‘well-meaning’ and tell you to ‘lighten up’ or ‘get a sense of humour’. Why should you? This is your life, not a sitcom.


FS128_P09-14_GAY_FS 26/01/2012 07:48 Page 13

cover story

VoXpop

Chris, 44

researcher from brixton

As long as you have the information, and the condoms and lashings of lube, the number of men you have sex with is entirely up to you.

Do you think it is a bad thing to label/stereotype people? I think everyone does it to a certain extent. It's common practice, but you can fight against it in certain situations. What do you think the gay stereotype is? I don't think there is a general gay stereotype. I think we've moved on from that. What annoys you about other gay men? Selfishness. Obsession with sex. Narcissism. Are you worried about being stereotyped? Yes, sometimes, but it depends on the situation. Certain situations bring it out. It is very situation-specific.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS128_P09-14_GAY_FS 26/01/2012 07:48 Page 14

cover story very clear that over-drinking or drugging obviously means we’re not always as careful as we should be when it comes to keeping sex safer. If you’re going out and think you may be over-indulging and bringing someone back, make the safer sex thing as easy as possible by having tons of condoms and lube in clear view by the bed. ON the bed even. It will remind you, it will make it easier and – hopefully, if you’ve picked up a good’un – he’ll see them and take the welcome hint that it’s all about safer sex in this bed, because…

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The one thing ALL gay men should do is practise safer sex. That principally means using a condom and plenty of water-based lube when fucking or being fucked. No questions asked. Some partners will try and make you sound square if you’re not into ‘barebacking’. You’re not. Some gay men will make less experienced gay men think that everyone’s doing it. They’re not. Some will use the line that, “If you really loved me, you’d let me fuck you without a condom”. Bollocks. If HE really loved YOU he wouldn’t even ask. Isn’t loving sex about cherishing and protecting each other, not making them feel uncomfortable, guilty, frightened etc?

VoXpop

nick, 39

Head of Visual Merchandising from London Do you think it is a bad thing to label/stereotype people? Yes. It is just very lazy thinking. What do you think the gay stereotype is? Camp. Funny. Fey. What annoys you about other gay men? The assumption that we all think the same way just because we are gay, and are therefore into certain things. Militant gays annoy me. The ones who make their whole lives about being gay and feel they have to let everyone know about it. Are you worried about being stereotyped? No. I don't care what people think of me.

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One of the greatest things about modern gay men, modern gay British men in particular, is that they don’t buy into the body beautiful thing quite as much as some other gay cultures we could mention. Yes, there’s pressure to go to the gym and have great pecs and abs you could play xylophone classics on but the proliferation of gay bars for bears, older gay men, indie types and so on proves that there’s a place for you out there somewhere whatever you look like. If you feel uncomfortable among the shirtless dancers in a particular club, don’t change yourself, change the club you go to. It’s good to be healthy but pumping yourself full of steroids – even if it does give you a Hollywood hot body – is neither good nor healthy. And it gives you spots and makes your balls shrink, which is SO not a great look.

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When it comes to going out on the scene many of us find a pub or club where we feel safe, secure and one of the gang. All too often you may think “Well I’m not into leather so XXL is not the place for me” or “I’m too old to go to G-A-Y Late on a Wednesday night”. This is something you shouldn’t feel. The gay scene is one big melting pot. Excluding yourself because you think you might not fit in is just hindering who you are. You don’t have to wear the leather chaps or squeeze yourself into a pair of skinny jeans to be welcomed. Get out there, shake it up and have fun.

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There are other places to meet men. Gay bars would have you think that the only way to hook up with lads is to come in and buy several drinks. Quite apart from the fact that we now have the internet and iPhone apps, that’s simply not true. And meeting new lads doesn’t have to be about drinks or drugs or sex anyway. There are gay groups for most interests, whether it’s yoga or drawing or mountaineering or running round Hyde Park in the cold and wet. Whatever you’re into, there’s a gay group out there for it. Join, meet, enjoy and maybe meet someone special. Visit www.gmfa.org.uk/theguide for a way to get out there and meet gay men on your terms. As a gay man, the world really is your oyster. Eat it your way. ____________________________________ Words: Simon Gage Voxpops: Vivienne Button D id you find this article helpful? Em ail fsm ag@ gm fa.org.uk w ith your feedback.

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The gap between HIV tests should be no more than a year.

Test sooner if you’ve fucked without condoms. Find a place in London where you can test in confidence and for free at tht.org.uk/clinics or call THT Direct on 0808 802 1221.


FS128_P16-20_CONDOMS_FS 26/01/2012 08:09 Page 16

HealtH

The A-Z of condoms

Think you know everything about keeping yourself safe from STIs? Then think again, as FS presents the ultimate guide to shagging with confidence...

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FS128_P16-20_CONDOMS_FS 26/01/2012 08:09 Page 17

VOXPOP

Keith, 36

Attorney from San Francisco

This is where the vast majority of HIV transmission occurs in gay men – as the virus can spread from semen into the delicate lining of the arse when an infected guy fucks an uninfected sex partner. The most effective way to prevent the spread of HIV is to use condoms and plenty of lube. The 'Smart Arse, Clever Dick’ campaign, launched last November, aims to encourage condom use among gay and bisexual men. Find out more at www.chapsonline.org.uk.

B is for Breaking myths

“Some guys think that if someone is young and beautiful, they must be safe,” says Scott Lupasko, Director of Counselling and Peer Support Services at the Metro Centre. But

C is for Confidence 

“Using condoms should give you confidence between the sheets, as you know you’re being safe,” says Peter Stevens, agony uncle for QX. “The more practice you have using them, the less risk you’ll run of one coming off or breaking, and the more you'll know about them.”

D is for Drugs

“Drugs and alcohol can make you more likely to ditch condoms and catch a sexually transmitted infection,” says Peter Stevens. “I

regularly get guys writing to me saying they were drunk and had sex without a condom and now are worried about STIs”. So if you’re planning to shag, try to limit your booze intake, or at least make sure you’ve condoms in your pocket – you’re more likely to use them then.

t

Ais for Arse

you can’t tell if someone is HIV-positive from how they look – or from where they go to socialise or to have sex. The only way to be safe is to always use a condom.

What's your favourite brand of condoms? Beyond Seven. They are well-lubricated and help you go all night long. Do you carry condoms with you just in case? When I am in America I usually do. Here I tend to keep them in my hotel room. Do you pick up free condoms in pubs/clubs/health centres? No. I was in an HIV-negative study and they gave me 27,000 free condoms. That's 27 boxes of 1,000 condoms. Should keep me going for a while. What's the best thing about using condoms? For a man who is insecure, it means his dick is a little bigger. Why do you think some gay men don't like using condoms? If you're drunk they're not easy to use. There's more chance of ripping them if you're intoxicated. I find men in the UK don't like using condoms. It's seldom discussed and I find it really odd.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS128_P16-20_CONDOMS_FS 26/01/2012 08:09 Page 18

E is for Erections IInconsistent is for

F is for Failure

Condoms are the best way to stop you from getting HIV and other STIs, but let’s be honest they can fail from time to time. “The best way to stop the condom from ripping is to use plenty of water-based lube. If you find the condom does break, arrange a visit to your local GUM clinic and get tested”, says Matthew Hodson of GMFA.

G is for GUM clinic

Although condoms can protect you against a wide range of STIs, you should visit a GUM clinic at least once a year to get a full check-up, if you're sexually active. You can also pick up free condoms while you're there, so it's another great reason to go. To find a clinic close to you visit, www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics.

H is for HIV

HIV is an incurable virus and using condoms can prevent you getting HIV. “We can now effectively manage HIV; however it can have serious implications for your future health,” says Daniel Dennehy, a health adviser at Dean Street GUM clinic. Someone infected with HIV can often find their life complicated by prejudice and the reality of needing to take medication every day for the rest of their life.

18 |

condom use

Around a quarter of gay men have unprotected sex with two or more men in a year, according to surveys by Sigma Research. The highest ever number of gay men tested positive for HIV in 2010, yet more consistent condom use would dramatically reduce this figure.

J is for Johnnies

L is for Lube 

Always use plenty of water-based lube with condoms. “This is important to make sure the condom doesn’t break” says Peter Boyle. And if you’re having a long sex session you should change the condom every 30 minutes.

M is for Mental health

“People with mental health issues can struggle with boundaries, self-care, and a range of Condoms have loads of different things that might names from johnnies and rubbers to result in unsafe cock socks and sheaths. You can call sex,” claims them whatever you want – the most David Stuart. important thing is to know they're Depression the best way of protecting against can make HIV infection and other STIs. someone engage in riskier sex than they might The otherwise have had. highest ever John, 23, from London explains, “I had personal problems number of gay and ended up spiraling into a men tested positive depression. I felt so low I was for HIV in 2010, yet having bareback sex most weekends. Thankfully I have a more consistent counsellor now and I'm back to condom use would using condoms. Getting help from my GP was the best move I could’ve dramatically made.”

reduce this figure.

K is for Keeping condoms on you

N is for No worries

Condoms have come a long way in the last decade, there’s lots of choice out there, from ribbed to flavoured and large and luminous, “Think about when you might need so there's no need to stress about condoms,” says Daniel Dennehy. Do finding the right one for you. And you have sex when you go clubbing the good news is that you don't or cruising, or go to saunas? Do you need to use extra strong ones as meet guys on the internet? If you normal ones work just as well (just answer yes to any of these remember to lube up!). If questions, you may need to you're worried about consider carrying condoms whether you can find one in multiple places, such as to fit, don't be. “Condoms your favourite jacket or fit all sizes gym bag. “Keep condoms of cocks,” says David around the house so you Stuart – so there’s no can grab some easily on excuse to not use one. Get the way out and always experimenting have some at home in a handy and see what works place,” says Daniel. best for you.

t

...Or more specifically the loss of erections. “Some guys blame condoms for making them lose their erections or lose sensitivity,” says David Stuart from the LGBT drug and alcohol service, Antidote. But this doesn’t have to be the case if you try and incorporate condoms into your sex activities and make them part of sex. “Always keeping condoms next to the bed, or on you if you are on a night out, means that you will always be prepared and won't have to ‘ruin the moment’ by looking for them,” adds Peter Boyle, Sexual Health Coordinator at the Lesbian & Gay Foundation.


FS128_P16-20_CONDOMS_FS 26/01/2012 08:09 Page 19

VOXPOP

VOXPOP

Anthony, 29 Teacher from Essex

Paul, 38

Airline pilot from London What's your favourite brand of condoms? Durex, I guess. But I don't really favour any particular brand. Do you carry condoms with you just in case? No, but I should. However, nothing ever happens! Do you pick up free condoms in pubs/clubs/health centres? I do pick them up in pubs sometimes. What's the best thing about using condoms? They offer protection against STIs. Why do you think some gay men don't like using condoms? I don't know. Preconceptions? They can be a hassle. I guess some people are embarrassed to use them.

What's your favourite brand of condoms? Trojan. Do you carry condoms with you just in case? Only if I am going out with the intention to pull. Not on a regular basis. Do you pick up free condoms in pubs/clubs/health centres? I do if they're being handed out. What's the best thing about using condoms? The variety of types and flavours available. Plenty to try out! Why do you think some gay men don't like using condoms? They can kill the mood, ruin the moment. Bit of a passion killer. You have to stop what you're doing and it doesn't feel very spontaneous.

VOXPOP VOXPOP

Michael, 29 Florist from Holland

What's your favourite brand of condoms? Durex. Do you carry condoms with you just in case? No. If I go out for sex, then yes. But when I go out generally? No, I don't. Do you pick up free condoms in pubs/clubs/health centres? Yes, sometimes in pubs. What's the best thing about using condoms? You don't have to worry as much because it is safer. Why do you think some gay men don't like using condoms? I don't know. I use them all the time – it's a priority.

Marco, 34

Works in fashion, from North London What's your favourite brand of condoms? Whichever ones are free! Do you carry condoms with you just in case? I'm in a relationship and we don't use condoms. Do you pick up free condoms in pubs/clubs/health centres? Yes, I used to, before I was involved in my current relationship. What's the best thing about using condoms? They protect you from STIs and keep you safe and healthy. Why do you think some gay men don't like using condoms? Because they can reduce sensation. It just feels better without.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS128_P16-20_CONDOMS_FS 26/01/2012 08:09 Page 20

Ois for Oral sex S is for STIs Most guys don’t use condoms for blow jobs, as the chances of catching HIV from giving a blow job are low, especially if he doesn’t cum in your mouth. If you're the one receiving the blow job, the chances are non-existent. But to be totally protected from other STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea you may want to consider using condoms for oral sex. If this isn’t for you, be sure to have a regular sexual health check-up so any infections you pick up can be detected and treated.

P is for PEP 

“If you’ve had unsafe sex then post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can possibly protect you from HIV infection,” says Matthew Hodson of GMFA. PEP is an often-grueling course of anti-HIV medication that needs to be taken daily over the course of a month. The sooner it’s started, the more effective it is. So you must act quickly if you want to take PEP, and no later than 72 hours after suspected infection. “PEP is not always guaranteed to work, so it should never be thought of as an alternative to condoms, but only used in emergencies,” adds Peter Boyle. Visit, www.gmfa.org.uk/pep for more info.

“Condoms and lube remain the most effective way of reducing the risk of getting or passing on HIV and STIs,” says Peter Boyle. “By always using condoms I know I’m doing everything I can to protect myself against HIV and other STIs,” adds Tom from Battersea.

T is for Testing

Large numbers of gay men in the UK remain untested for HIV, according to the Gay Men’s Sex Survey. “There’s only one way to know the state of your sexual health and that’s to get tested and to test regularly,” says Peter Stevens. So visit your local sexual health clinic and know your HIV status. You can find a clinic near you by visiting www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics.

Condoms and lube remain the most effective way of reducing the risk of getting or passing on HIV and STIs.

Q is for U is for Quality condoms Unsafe sex

The British Standard kitemark on a box of condoms shows they've been checked for quality. “Always ensure that the condom is of a reputable brand, and that it carries the kitemark, and CE mark for quality standards,” explains Peter Boyle.

“If a guy isn’t using condoms with someone whose STI or HIV status they are unaware of, they're putting themselves in the path of potentially serious health risks,” says Peter Boyle.

R is for Respect Vis for Vaseline

Wearing a condom, or insisting one's used if you bottom, means you're respecting not only your body, but your sexual partners too. “It shows you’re taking control of your sexual health,” says Peter Stevens.

20 |

Never use oil-based lubes such as Vaseline or baby oil with latex-based condoms as they'll dissolve the latex and break the condom. It's OK to use these lubes with polyurethane condoms, but this type of condom is more expensive.

To be on the super-safe side, always use a water-based or silicone based lube instead, such as ID Glide or Liquid Silk.

W is for Wanking

Have you ever tried wanking while wearing a condom? It may sound odd but some guys find it a turned on. “Having a wank while wearing a condom can also help programme your mind into finding condoms a pleasurable thing,” says Daniel Dennehy. If you don’t find condoms easy to put on, practising on your own may help.

X is for Cross infection

HIV-positive guys who don’t use condoms are exposing themselves to cross infection. “These guys are risking the effectiveness of their medicines and may also pass on drug-resistant strains of the virus to others,” says David Stuart.

Yis for Yes

Yes is not just a word you scream when you’re in the middle of a fantastic sex session. It’s also a word you must say when you actually agree to a sex act. If you don’t want to do something then make sure the word no is your new best friend. It’s your sex life and you control it.

Zis for Zonked

Zonked is slang for being drunk (OK, we struggled a bit with this one!). If you or your sex partner has been drinking, it's even more important to use a condom for sex, to prevent any nasty accidents. _________________________________ Words: Frankie McPolin Voxpops: Vivienne Button D id you find this article helpful? Em ail fsm ag@ gm fa.org.uk w ith your feedback.


ADS_FS 26/01/2012 08:13 Page 22

Listings

Want to stop smoking? You are ten times more likely to succeed on one of our courses than by doing it yourself. Our seven session course, run between 7 & 9pm on one night per week is facilitated by gay men professionally trained to give you the best support and advice to stop smoking. This course is free to gay men in London. For more information or to book a place call 020 7738 6872 or go to www.gmfa.org/ stopsmoking The Stop Smoking course is ran by GMFA – the gay men’s health charity. For more information on how to quit smoking visit, www.gmfa.org.uk/quitsmoking. GMFA, Unit 11 Angel Wharf, 58 Eagle Wharf Road, London, N1 7ER. Tel: 020 7738 6872. Email: gmfa@gmfa.org.uk. Registered Charity Number 1076854

22 |


FS123_ADS_FS 07/04/2011 19:52 Page 31


FS128_P23_Health_FS 26/01/2012 08:17 Page 23

HEALTH

* HEALTH

Bin the fags for good...

Some guys say smoking calms them down, some say it gives them something to do with their hands, some say they enjoy the whole thing. The truth is that smokers’ brains are chemically addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes on a subconscious level. When a smoker begins to feel nicotine withdrawal (a mere 30 minutes after his last cigarette) he feels a need to smoke and satisfying this need provides him with relief. He may describe this relief as calming down, pleasure or meeting a need to do something with his hands. You got addicted very soon after your first cigarette, partly because your subconscious finds it very easy to make the connection between what the nicotine does in your brain (triggers the production of endorphins, or pleasure chemicals), and where the nicotine comes from (the act of smoking).

What’s the best way to stop? Here’s the truth behind the advice. go Cold turkey Just stop smoking – simple as that… or it is for a few people. “I just decided I wanted to quit one day and I did,” says Chris from Liverpool. “It was hard at times, but I knew I didn’t want to smoke any more. That was three years ago and I haven’t had a puff.” This is the most difficult way to quit and the option most likely to fail, but if you think you can do it without support then go for it.

get stuCk with pins Acupuncture is one of the alternative therapies that some people believe has helped them stop smoking. Hypnotherapy is another. It is meant to work by altering your subconscious mind’s dependence on smoking as a habit – or something. There is no clinical evidence to show that either works. In fact the best evidence available shows that they have no more effect than doing nothing, and you are more likely to have quit just going cold turkey but hey, some people swear by them.

read a book Allen Carr’s (not Spexy Beast Alan Carr from the telly) book “Easy Way to Stop Smoking” has sold millions and millions of copies around the

you are off it for good. NRT is one of the safest medicines you can take. Studies have found that using NRT doubles your chance of quitting.

pop some pills Champix is the first specific anti-smoking drug on the market to help you stop smoking. It works in your brain so you no longer get pleasure from smoking. It has helped even die-hard smokers. “I had been trying to quit smoking for years and Champix was my last chance and it worked,” says James from Surrey. Zyban is another drug that can help you quit but men on HIV medication or anti-depression medication may not be able to take it. Speak to your specialist or GP.

There is plenty of help and support on the web if you want to quit smoking.

world and claims to have helped countless die-hard smokers quit. They don’t follow up those claims and there is no valid data on the supposed ‘ex-smokers’ to back them up, but supposedly by the end of the book you realise smoking is gross and quitting is easy. Another problem is that it makes out nicotine is the villain when it’s a couple of the other nasty things in cigarettes that cause cancer.

Chew some gum, slap on a patCh, pop some miCrotabs… Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) helps your body cope with the physical withdrawal you have from nicotine. There are a number of options available, so you could chew gum for a nicotine hit, use a nasal or mouth spray for a quicker hit when you are craving, or put on a patch for a long sustained dose. Whichever method you use you slowly lower the amount you are taking over a period of time until

Visit the gmFa website There is plenty of help and support on the web if you want to quit smoking. GMFA has a website dedicated to help gay men stop smoking. There you will find lots of information and advice on how to kick the habit once and for all. Check it out at www.gmfa.org.uk/quitsmoking. GMFA also runs free to attend Stop Smoking courses for LGB&T people living in London. Visit www.gmfa.org.uk/gwk.

l To find out more about quitting you can call the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 0224 332 or visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk. QUIT is an independent charity whose aim is to help people stop smoking. Ring 0800 00 22 00 or visit: www.quit.org.uk. www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS128_P24_Health2_FS 26/01/2012 08:18 Page 24

health

Blow me down Anyone can suck cock, but these secret  techniques will help you blow like a pro... Deep ThroaTing One of the tricks to deep throating is the position. The cock usually curves upwards and the throat curves downwards, so the more you can get the two to work together the better. Probably the best position is to lie on your back with your head dangling over the edge of the bed, just enough so that your throat is in a straight line. This means that he can insert his cock, avoiding your soft palate (and therefore avoiding the gag reflex). Another trick is when his dick gets to a point where it’s beginning to feel uncomfortable or where you’re gonna gag, then swallow and it should feel better.

The BuTTerfly fluTTer Get the head of his dick into your mouth (your lips just past his ridge) and create enough suction to keep him there without holding him. Now start gently flicking the tip of his cock with your tongue. Remember, you’re flicking, not licking, so adjust accordingly. Keep this up for as long as you can.

The lollipop lick With your man sitting in an elevated position and you on your knees in front of him, lift his hard cock to reveal his balls. With your tongue find the underside of his balls. Now, while resting his balls on your wet tongue, lick in an upward motion to the very tip of his cock. Repeat this several times, like you are licking a lollipop or ice cream.

corona Twirl Wrap your wet lips around the ridge at the head of his cock, and then twirl your lips by moving your head. This works because this ridge is one of the most sensitive areas of his cock. By sucking on this area you can really drive him crazy. This technique is also great to get him hard in the first place.

24 |

How risky are... blow jobs

It is possible to get HIV from sucking cock but the chances are small. Even so, there are ways that you can reduce the risk further. If you’re giving someone a blow job don't let them cum in your mouth. Although there is HIV in the pre-cum of an HIV-positive man, the protective properties in saliva would usually disable the amount of HIV that there is in pre-cum. A condom, used correctly, will prevent either cum or pre-cum getting in the mouth, although few gay men in the UK use condoms for oral sex. Although the risk of HIV infection is fairly low, some other STIs can be easily passed on via oral sex, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes and syphilis. There is a small risk of picking up hepatitis B through oral sex, if you have not been vaccinated. If you have an existing STI in your throat you will be more vulnerable to infection and the chances of picking up HIV or hep B are increased.

l For more information on sex and how to make it safer, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.


FS APP AD2_FS 26/09/2011 08:15 Page 25


FS128_P26-27_Sortit_FS 26/01/2012 08:22 Page 26

advice

Sort it out! FS readers and a trained counsellor give their advice on how to tackle one of life’s problems. Dear anonymous Is this really your problem? I mean he’s an adult, and the people he’s having sex with are adults. It’s their choice to have sex with or without condoms. You never know, maybe his viral load is undetectable which means it would be hard for him to pass it on. I think you should just get on with your work and leave him to it. Dave via email

A

Dear anonymous I can understand your frustrations. If it were me, I’d tell the manager. The customers are consenting adults but he’s an employee and the business could be in trouble if he gives another guy HIV. Also if he does give someone HIV and it’s found that you knew he was having sex with customers, you may get into trouble. I’d find it hard not to tell, but that’s just me. Shane from Manchester

A

This month’s problem...

Should I tell on my HIV-positive Q work mate?

Dear anonymous I think you need to confront him first rather than tell your manager. You don’t know the facts behind it. Maybe the guys he’s having sex with also have HIV? Maybe his viral load is undetectable? Maybe the other staff are lying and he is not putting others at risk. You won’t know till you ask. Jacko from London

A

I’ve got myself into a tough position and I don’t know what to do. I’ve been working for a gay sauna for the last few years. I love my job and don’t want to change it, yet. Recently we had a newbie start with us. He’s a nice, down to earth kinda guy. On a drunken night out he told me he has HIV, which is cool with me. My problem is I know on his ‘lunch breaks’ he’s having sex with the customers and I don’t know if he’s using condoms. I’ve been Sona Barbosa, Counsellor Team Leader for the GMI told by other staff members that he’s been spotted having Partnership, says: bareback sex and maybe putting the customers at risk. Should I Dear anonymous be doing something about this, should I tell my manager or It does look like you are in a should I just ignore the whole thing? In one word, help! tough position and I very Anonymous via email much empathise with your

A counsellor’s opinion... A

26 |


FS128_P26-27_Sortit_FS 26/01/2012 08:22 Page 27

concerns towards your customers’ safety. Disclosing someone else’s HIV status is a difficult decision and it may involve personal, ethical and perhaps legal implications. Before making that decision it is important that you have taken into consideration all the options. First of all you say your colleague disclosed to you on a drunken night out. How sure are you that he was telling you the truth? Does he remember disclosing? You need to think of this as a possibility. The same would apply to what the other staff members have told you. Is this really a fact or is it just gossip? If he is in fact having bareback sex how do you know it is not consensual and that his partners are not aware of his HIV status? If you are considering taking any kind of action (e.g. going to your manager) you’ll need evidence based on facts and not just hearsay. Misconceptions and prejudgements can lead to a negative working environment and bullying behaviour. Perhaps your first step could be to actually have an honest conversation with your colleague and explain your concerns to him. This may be beneficial to you both as it may help you to make a decision and would give him an opportunity to talk with someone if he wishes to do so. If you feel that you or your colleague need any further support you can always contact a counsellor and/or speak to a health advisor/health trainer.

Next month’s problem... I’ve been recently diagnosed with HIV and my world has fallen apart. I am 19 years old and I feel like my life is over. I had unprotected sex with quite a few guys. I can blame the drink, the drugs or the inability to say no as to why I got it but the real reason is I just thought it would never happen to me. I’m now down, depressed and feel like I’ve no one to talk to. I haven’t told anyone, I have nowhere to go and I’m starting to have suicidal thoughts. Please can you help me? I need some support. Gaz from London

Q

l If you have some advice to give, or you have a problem that needs sorting, go to www.facebook.com/fsmag or email: fsmag@gmfa.org.uk.

ask dr FS A qualified doctor answers your other questions and concerns. Got a question? Email it to fsmag@gmfa.org.uk.

If I’m depressed, does my willy stop growing? When I was 14, my cock was 6.2 inches long. Now I’m 21 and it seems like my cock has not grown since then. I was depressed a lot in my teens. I was wondering if depression could have affected my penis growth? Absolutely not. Although no two people go through puberty in the same way, it is quite normal for the penis to have reached adult size by the age of 14. Certainly if it is 6.2 inches long then you have nothing to worry about, as this is larger than average. People suffering from depression are more likely to have a reduced libido (sex drive) and problems with erectile dysfunction. In most cases these problems can be rectified by treating the depression, but if not there are several treatments available to help. If you are worried about depression or problems with your sex drive, see your GP who will be able to help.

Q

When can I test for chlamydia? A guy I had sex with a week ago just tested positive for chlamydia. We had protected anal sex (I was the top). I also rimmed him. If I took the test now would it show my accurate status or should I wait a few weeks? Chlamydia and gonorrhoea can take up to 2 weeks to show as positive. However, I would advise going for a check-up now as you will be given treatment (as a contact of someone who has had chlamydia) regardless of test results. The staff at the GUM clinic can advise you about whether you need to be re-tested and let you know if you are at risk of any other STIs. They also provide free condoms and lube and can offer you vaccination against hepatitis B if you haven’t already had this. Of course, there is a small possibility that this guy caught chlamydia from you, as STIs don’t always have symptoms. If this is the case, then any test done is likely to be positive already.

Q

Have I rimmed my way into an STI? Five days after rimming my boyfriend, my tongue turned a greenish-yellow/brown colour. I also had a sore throat and diarrhoea. I went to the free clinic to get an STI culture in my throat, and it came back negative. My tongue is still greenish-yellow/brown. What should I do? The delay between rimming and the colour change may mean the two are unconnected. There are many causes of tongue discolouration, too many to list here. What isn’t clear from your email is whether the GUM clinic carried out a full STI screen or just swabbed your throat. If not I would recommend going back for this, as the symptoms you are experiencing could be explained by HIV seroconversion. Although there is no data to suggest that anyone has caught HIV from rimming, perhaps you’d put yourself at risk during a previous encounter? Even if you had a blood test for HIV recently, I would suggest having another as there is a ‘window period’ of up to six weeks during which the virus may not be detected. Of course, there could be another, less serious cause for the discolouration (such as diet or smoking). If your STI screen comes back negative, see your GP who can help.

Q

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS128_P28-29_listings NE_FS 26/01/2012 08:36 Page 28

i

Listings

Groups and support in the Yorkshire and the North East… Advice and support

Counselling

Helplines

Bradford

hartlepool

lTHT Direct: 0845 1221 200.

lYorkshire MESMAC: support, information and advice for gay men, bisexual men and men who have sex with men. Phone: 01274 395815 or email: bradford@mesmac.co.uk.

lHart Gables: 01429 236790.

County durham lThe Gay and Bisexual Men’s Service: offers support and info to gay and bisexual men. Phone Colin Cowings on 01207 523614 or 07825 401987. Phone 0191 3744131 in Derwentside, Chester-le-Street, and Durham City. Phone Tim Holmes 01325 746141 or 07971 429235 in Darlington and the Dales.

newCastle lMESMAC NE: support, info and advice for gay and bisexual men. Phone: 0191 233 1333.

Clinics leeds lFast testing for gay men: HIV-testing. chlamydia and gonorrhoea screening and Hepatitis B vaccinations. Thursdays 6-8pm and by appointment. For more info ring: 0113 244 4209.

newCastle lOne-hour testing for gay men: Tuesdays 5-7pm. Phone MESMAC North East on 0191 233 1333.

teesside lOne-hour testing for gay men: for more info phone TPA 01642 254598.

wakefield lTHT free sexual health clinic: Just drop in Saturdays 11am-1pm at Unit 1, Kinsley and Fitzwilliam Community Resource Centre, Wakefield Rd, Kinsley. Phone 01977 614 120.

lBradford Friend: 01274 723 802. Monday and Wednesdays 6.30-8.45pm

newCastle lMESMAC North East: 0191 233 1333.

darlington and durham

yorkshire lYorkshire MESMAC: offers oneto-one support in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and North Yorkshire. Phone: 07771 931 327 or email: counselling@mesmac.co.uk.

Drop-in centres

lG.A.D.D (Gay Advice Darlington and Durham): 01325 35 55 51. Monday to Friday 11am-4pm Friday 6.30-9pm, Sunday 7 - 9.30pm www.gayadvicedarlington.co.uk/

hartlepool lHart Gables: 01429 236790. Monday to Friday 10am-3pm.

darlington lGay Advice Darlington, 9 Duke Street, Darlington, DL3 7RX. Offers info, support and advice. ‘Open House’ afternoon drop in runs Tuesday and Thursdays 2- 4pm.Mainly Men drop in Fridays 7 - 9.30pm. Phone 01325 355 551 or email admin@ gayadvicedarlington.co.uk.

hartlepool lHart Gables: Monday to Friday 10am-3pm and Mondays 7-9pm at 31 South Road, Hartlepool.

newCastle lMESMAC North East: Monday to Thursday 1-5pm at 11 Nelson Street, Newcastle.

peterlee lPeterlee Open House: Mondays 1-3pm and Wednesdays 2-4pm in Room 7, 4th Floor Lee House, Upper Yoden Way, Peterlee. For info ring: 0191 586 9988.

Bradford lOlder and Bolder: social group for gay and bisexual men over 60. Once a fortnight, Monday afternoons at the Equity Centre in Bradford. Ring Jonathan on: 01274 395815 or email: bradford@mesmac.co.uk. lBradford Support Group: a service providing info and advice on mental health and well being. Ring Clive on: 07913 264 967

darlington lFriday men group: group for gay and bisexual men on Friday evenings 7-9.30pm. For info phone: 01325 35 55 51.

leeds

gateshead

lLeeds LGB Switchboard: 0113 245 3588.

lStag group: social activities away from the commercial gay scene, access to safer sex resources. Meets Mondays from 7.30pm in central Gateshead. Phone Steve and Mark on 0191 490 1699.

newCastle lMESMAC North East: 0191 233 1333. Monday to Friday 1-5pm. Monday-Thursday 1-5pm.

HIV-positive Bradford lOur Project at Yorkshire MESMAC: service for people living with HIV including counselling, complementary herapies, advice and support. Phone: 01274 740548 or email: our@mesmac.co.uk.

darlington lGADD: closed drop-in and other services. For more info phone: 01325 25 25 22.

sheffield

newCastle

lSHOUT!: info and support service for gay and bisexual men, a variety of activities and one to one support on request. Thurs 6.30- 9.30pm. For more info phone: 0114 253 6767, email: support@shoutinsheffield.co.uk or visit: www.shoutinsheffield.co.uk.

lHIV+ Men’s Group: discreet service for HIV-positive gay and bisexual men offering support and social activities. Meets fortnightly in central Newcastle. Phone: 0191 233 1333 or email: all@mesmacnortheast.com.

Published by GMFA Unit 11 Angel Wharf, 58 Eagle Wharf Road, London, N1 7ER Tel: 020 7738 6872 Email: gmfa@gmfa.org.uk Website: www.gmfa.org.uk Charity number 1076854 ISSN 1750-7162

28 |

Bradford

Support and social groups

halifax lMSM @ the Brunswick Centre: support group for gay and bi-sexual men on Thursdays 5.307.30pm. For more info phone: 01422 341 764. lHAGG (Halifax Gay Group): weekly social for gay and bi-sexual men. Phone Paul: 01422 375 307 or email: paulm@hagg.org.uk.

huddersfield lMSM @ the Brunswick Centre: support group for gay and bi-sexual men on Thursdays 5.307.30pm. For more info phone: 01422 341 764. lHUGG (Huddersfield Gay Group): weekly social for gay and bi-sexual men. For more info phone: 07773 588 628 or email: info@hugg.org.uk.

leeds lIranian Gay Community Group: meets every last Wednesday of the month 4-6pm at the Yorkshire

The FS team for issue 128 was Ian Howley (Editor), Matthew Hodson, Drew Payne, Sean Cassidy and Gavin Smith. Voxpops by Vivienne Button (viviennebuttone@hotmail.com). Design and layout by www.christiantate.co.uk. FS is part of the Pan London HIV Prevention Programme. 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 view the current issue and past issues of FS online at: www.gmfa.org.uk/fs. Volunteers contribute to the planning, writing, editing and production of FS. To volunteer or donate, contact GMFA using the details to the left. To express your views on HIV services in London, go to www.ergoclear.com/express.


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MESMAC Leeds office. For more info phone: 0113 244 4209. lLeeds Gay Community Group: social group for gay, bi-sexual and men who have sex with men. Info: 0113 255 9973 or visit: www. leeds-gay-community .org.uk.

halifax lHalifax Sexual Health Clinic Laura Mitchell Sexual Health Centre, Great Albion Street, Halifax, HX1 1YR. Phone: 01422 305553. Same day HIV-testing on Tuesdays 9.30am-12noon.

newCastle

harrogate

lGay Men Tyneside (GMT): offers social activities as an alternative to the commercial gay scene, open to gay/bisexual men who are 20 and over. Meets Wednesday evenings. For more info phone: MESMAC North East on 0191 233 1333 or visit: www.gay-men-tyneside.org.uk.

lHarrogate District Hospital Heatherdene, Lancaster Park Road, Harrogate HG2 7SX. Phone: 01423 553428.

huddersfield lHuddersfield Sexual Health Clinic Greenhead Road, Huddersfield, HD1 4EW. Phone: 01484 344311.

north yorkshire lGay Men Talking Northallerton: social group meeting on the first and third Tuesday of the month. For more info phone Gary on 01325 259084.

sheffield lGay Friends South Yorkshire: non-scene men’s social group. Email Paul at dogsrfine@ hotmail.co.uk.

sunderland lGay Advice Sunderland We offer advice and support on welfare benfits, housing benfits and a drop in centre for the LGBT community. Phone: 0191 510 1006 or email: gayadvicesunderland@ hotmail.co.uk. Open Mon - Fri, 10am - 3pm

Youth groups Bradford lBLAGY: LGBTQ youth group for people aged 14 to 25. Wednesdays 6-8pm. For more info phone: 01274 395 815, email: blagy@mesmac.co.uk or visit www.blagygroup.com. lSOUND: For young people aged 13 to 19 who are LGBT. The group meets on Mondays from 6.30pm until 8.30pm. For more info phone: 01274 432 135 or 07796 997 569 or email: sound@bradford.gov.uk.

Calderdale lGALYIC: LGBTQ youth group for people aged 14 to 25. For more info phone: 01706 817 235, email: getintouch@galyic.org.uk or visit www.galyic.org.uk.

County durham lDurham Young Gay People’s Network:Tuesday evenings 5.309pm. For more info phone: 0191 384 2785 (office hours only).

darlington l16-25s group: Gay Advice Adrlington group for LGBTQ people aged 16 to 25. Meets every Thursday from 4-7pm. 9 Duke Street Darlington. For more info phone: 01325 35 55 51.

hartlepool lR2B (Right to Be): Hart Gables’ group for young LGBT people up to 25. Meets every Tuesday from 5pm until 7pm. For more info phone: 01429 236 790 or email John on john.atkinson@ hartgables.org.uk.

huddersfield lYorkshire Mixtures Youth: For young people aged 13 to 19 who are LGBT. The group meets on Thursdays from 7pm until 9.30pm. For more info phone: 01484 223 603 or email: kerrie.clark@kirkless.org.uk.

hull lShout Group: For young people aged 14 to 25 who are LGB. The group meets every Monday from 6pm until 8pm. For more info phone: 01482 218 115 or email: huddersfieldwaters@hotmail.com

leeds lOut 2 25: For young people aged 13 to 25 who are LGBTQ. The group meets every Tuesday and Thursdays from 5.45pm until 7.45pm. For more info phone: 01132 243 798 or 07903 319 435 or email: lisa.carlin@leeds.gov.uk.

newCastle lGAP (Young gay and bisexual men’s group): open to all young men aged 16 to 25 who are (or think they may be) gay or bisexual. For more information phone: 0191 233 1333 and ask for Ian.

northumBerland lAshington LGBT Youth: A group for gay/lesbian and bisexual youth. For more info phone Kate on: 0167 0520 889.

peterlee l16-25s group: for LGBT people aged 16 to 25 on Wednesday from 5-7pm in Peterlee. For info ring: 0191 586 9988.

rotherham lThe LGBT Youth Group For young people aged 16 to 25 who are LGBT. The group meets on

Tuesday from 7pm until 9.30pm. For more info phone: 01709 513 063 or email: russell.oxley@ rotherham.org.uk.

sCarBorough lYoung Men’s Group: meets every Wednesdays 7-9pm. For more info phone Yorkshire MESMAC on 01904 620400.

sheffield lThe Fruitbowl: offering support and information for LGB young people of secondary school age, up to 17. Fridays 5-7pm. Phone: 0114 226 1750/ 07974 825 318, email: fb@lgbsheffield.co.uk or visit: www.lgbsheffield.co.uk.

keighley lKeighley Health Centre Clinic Oakworth Road, Keighley, BD21 1SA. Phone: 01535 295615. Appointments: Friday: 9-11.30am.

leeds lThe Centre for Sexual Health Sunnybank Wing, Great George Street, Leeds, LS1 3EX Phone: 0113 392 6724 or 0113 392 6725. Health Advisors: 0113 392 6057.

newCastle lThe New Croft Centre Market Street East, NE1 6ND. Phone: 0191 229 2999. Website: www.gumnewcastle.nhs.uk.

north tyneside If your area is not listed, ring THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200 to find a GUM clinic in your area. If you would like your group or organsation to be listed here, send your info to fsmag@gmfa.org.uk.

wakefield lFruitbowl: LGBTQ youth group in Wakefield. For info hone: 01924 211116 or email: fruitbowl@mesmac.co.uk.

york lLGBT Youth York: LGBT Youth is group for young LGBT people up to 25. For more info phone: 07767 318 175 or email: info@lgbtyouthyork.org.uk. or visit: www.lgbtyouthyork.org.uk lGUM clinics Bradford, St Lukes Hospital Sexual Health Department Trinity Road, Bradford, BD5. Male appointments: 01274 365231. Health advisors: 01274 365035. lThe Information Shop for Young People 12 Broadway, Bradford, BD1 1JF. Phone: 01274 432431 or 01274 432432. Walk in: Tuesday: 23.30pm Thursday: 2-3.30pm.

lOne-to- One Centre Brenkly Avenue, Shiremoor NE27 0PR. Phone: 0191 297 0441.

northallerton Friarage Hospital Outpatients Department Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1JG. Phone: 01609 764209.

sCarBorough lNorthway GU Clinic The Mulberry Unit, Northway, Scarborough. Phone: 01723 342785.

sheffield lRoyal Hallamshire Hospital GUM Dept, Glossop Road, Sheffield S10 2JF Phone: 0114 276 6928.

skipton lSkipton Hospital Clinic Keighley Road, Skipton BD23 2RJ. Phone: 01756 797021. Appointment times: Tuesday: 3.30-6.30pm.

wakefield lJosephine Butler Centre for Sexual Health Clayton Hospital GUM Department, Northgate, Wakefield WF1 3JS. Phone: 01924 214421

york lMonkgate GUM Clinic 31 Monkgate, York YO31 7WA. Phone: 01904 725417.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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Last chance Here are some things to remember from this issue...

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