The SSO A-Z guide to queer Sydney

The SSO A-Z guide to queer Sydney

B is for:

Barebacking For so long, the act of anal intercourse without a condom was a taboo sexual practice. As a generation of friends and loved ones died of the deadly plague, the slogan If it’s not on, it’s not on was the rule of thumb -“ and of sex.

But how times have changed! Unprotected anal sex, commonly referred to as barebacking, has shown a frightening new popularity, with many gay men now preferring not to use condoms and to risk HIV infection with their various partners.

For some the rise of effective HIV medications has reduced the deadly fear of the virus and promoted a more relaxed, risk-taking behaviour, while decades of responsible condom use has led to a syndrome now known as condom fatigue in others.

Some believe the use of drugs like crystal can also lead to participants being less concerned about the hazards of their sexual behaviour.

Barebacking has been turned into something of a sexual fetish, with some websites devoted entirely to participants wanting to bareback, while some porn studios are now turning out entire collections with porn stars engaging in bareback sex.

The controversy about barebacking continues, with many medical bodies claiming the increase in barebacking has led to an upsurge in STIs and HIV infections across all levels of the gay community.

While many will argue it is their right to bareback if they choose to engage in consensual sexual acts, these might also be the same people who are about to face a tougher reality as they frantically study the sexual health pamphlets in doctors’ waiting rooms as they await the results of HIV tests.

Brazilians The gay community has long been an early adopter of new lifestyle trends, so it was no surprise that gay men were among the first to line up for Brazilian waxing when the technique became popular a few years back. The removal of nearly all the hair down there seemed a logical -“ if painful -“ extension of the idea that smooth-is-beautiful.

Today, any argument that pubic hair removal is so late 1990s falters around Mardi Gras time every year. Gay men (and no doubt some lesbians) still flock to waxing salons to look their hairless best for the big night. As one Sydney beautician told the Star before the 2006 Mardi Gras party, We have a lot of full body waxing at this time of the year.

And there’s another type of Brazilian that’s just as alluring. Last year’s soccer World Cup again showed there’s more to admire in the Brazilian team than first-rate football skills. Other Brazilians also enjoy a reputation for beautiful bodies -“ just think of Copacabana beach in Rio.

Perhaps it’s these Brazilians that image-conscious gay men and lesbians have in mind when they grit their teeth and endure yet another excruciating waxing.

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