ATTACK OF THE MUTANTS, or their heads in the sand and their butts in the air

Bill Weintraub

Bill Weintraub

ATTACK OF THE MUTANTS, or their heads in the sand and their butts in the air


Two articles appeared this week, one from the AP on Yahoo, the other in the NY Times, describing the rise of HIV "super-infections" in the form of mutant, drug resistant strains of the virus:

Tenth of H.I.V. Cases in a Study in Europe Are Resistant to Drugs


The NY Times 7/16/03

Reports of HIV 'Superinfection' Increase

By EMMA ROSS, AP Medical Writer

Yahoo AP 7/15/03

Both articles laid the blame for the rise of these mutants on people getting infected and then going out and having unsafe sex, thus spreading variant strains of the virus and giving those strains the chance to combine into yet newer and even more drug resistant forms of HIV.

The Times, for example, noted that

Drug-resistant strains appear because the virus mutates rapidly and they thrive when patients take their drugs carelessly. For patients to be newly infected with resistant strains, they must have been infected by people with H.I.V. who had gone back to high-risk behavior despite having caught a disease that is usually fatal.

and concluded:

Dr. Gulick said the study also showed that prevention efforts in wealthy countries needed to be focused not just on uninfected young people, but on infected ones, "to tell them, `You have the infection but you shouldn't spread it to other people,' " he said.

[emphases mine]

Similarly, on Yahoo Dr. Anton Pozniak, an AIDS specialist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, was quoted as saying:

Imagine somebody with a subtype 'C' has sex with someone with subtype 'A' and the two viruses then, circulating in the blood, combine in some way and suddenly some vaccine, because the infection is an 'A/C,' won't work," he said. "Or, perhaps an 'A/C' is more virulent and will attack the immune system in a much more aggressive way than either the 'A' or the 'C'? These are all theoretical possibilities.

Dr. Pozniak concluded that

"This reinforces the message that we've got to stop HIV today so that we can deal with what we have now and not generate a whole load of new mutants that wouldn't have been there otherwise," Pozniak said.

[emphases mine]

Now, as it happens, I know a way to stop generating those mutants.

Doesn't require a lot of research, or super infusions of government money, or protests on the village green.

My way is basic, and, beautiful in its simplicity and certainty of success.

And that's for gay and bi men to stop having anal "sex."

It wouldn't hurt for hetero couples to stop doing anal either, since there's a growing body of evidence that anal penetration is a far more significant vector among heterosexuals than previously believed.

But let's just stick with "men who have sex with men" for the moment.

Among them, anal "sex" is what's spreading these mutants and super-bugs.

And there's no reason to have anal "sex."

It hurts, it smells bad, it's not really sex, and it'll kill you.

For three years I've been putting forth a simple truth:

Sex is about genitals -- not about anuses.

And that if you avoid the anus -- you avoid getting very sick, suffering a lot, and dying young.

And the anus is happier too.

It gets to do its job -- which is holding in and occasionally letting go of your shit -- without having to worry about getting poked and prodded and penetrated and repeatedly rammed from the wrong direction.

And getting the hell torn out of it in the process.

Now -- here's a question:

Who decided that for the last twenty years we would spend all our AIDS prevention efforts -- and dollars -- propping up a culture of anal promiscuity?

Somebody had to decide -- right?

It didn't just happen.

So who made that decision??

Well guys, it's not complicated.

The people who made the decision were the people who staffed the early AIDS Service Organizations -- ASOs for short.

Most of them are dead now, but when they were alive almost all of those folks were gay men who had become HIV+ through -- surprise, surprise -- anal sex.

And they thought that anal sex and promiscuity were central to gay identity.

After all, anal sex and promiscuity were central to their own identities -- so weren't they for everyone?

And they also thought, in a vague way, that anal promiscuity had something to do with "Gay Liberation."

Politically, in my experience, they were not too swift, so it's not surprising that many of these guys actually thought we'd been fighting since 1970 for the right to have anal sex.

There are people who still think that.

But it's not true.

I know, because I was there, I was a Gay Liberationist, and Gay Lib was not about anal sex.

It wasn't even about promiscuity.

And it sure as hell was not about the bath-house boyz and bar keeps and pornographers making a lot of money off of treating men like meat.


Believe it or not, Gay Liberation was a humanistic philosophy which sought to free people to be their authentic sexual selves, without pressure or coercion from the state, the church, the workplace, their family, or even their peers -- aka their subculture.

Why didn't the people who put together the ASOs know that?

Because most of them didn't know what Gay Liberation was about.

That's because they hadn't participated in it.

The people who volunteered for, became the board members of, and staffed the early ASOs were, on the whole, a different group of people from Gay Liberationists.

They were also different, by and large, from the people we later called "AIDS activists" -- people like Larry Kramer and Michael Callen, although in some cases there was overlap: Larry founded Gay Men's Health Crisis -- an ASO -- but then found it to be far too "apolitical" -- so he then founded ACT/UP -- which was a street protest / civil disobedience group.

Most of the early ASO staffers, by contrast, were people who had, again on the whole, eschewed Gay Lib, street marches, political campaigns, lobbying, and the Gay Rights movement in general in order to advance their closeted careers.

When AIDS hit, some of them -- properly -- realized they needed to do something.

And they became involved with the ASOs.

But they were people who by inclination and habit were very conservative.

And who by training favored what was a bureaucratic approach hiding under the name of professionalism.

The cult of professionalism in the gay community emerged somewhere around 1975 -- about the same time that the great anal sex frenzy began -- when politically conservative guys (conservative in terms of the left-leaning gay community) like David Goodstein (the Wall Street whiz who bought the Advocate) and Bruce Voeller (the suburbanite who grabbed our only national organization, then called National Gay Task Force) seized control of the show.

People like David and Bruce thought they were professionalizing the movement by getting rid of the riff-raff and "impractical" intellectuals like me and Arthur Evans.

Actually, what they were doing, it now turns out, was writing their own death warrants.

That wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't insisted on taking everyone else with them.

I mean, half-a-million guys is a lot of company to drag with you to that big gay bar in the sky.

Leaving folks like me and Arthur here to say -- I told you so.

Which brings us back to today's report on mutant strains of HIV.

Clearly, if you bareback and bugchase, you're going to spread the virus -- which is completely helpless without you and utterly dependent on your stupidity to get anywhere -- and give it a chance to mix and meld and grow stronger and stronger.

But if, as Dr. Pozniak said, you stop doing anal --

You can save your own life and those of many other people.

Let's be clear:

The decision to put anal and promiscuity at the center of gay male life was one taken by a self-appointed and self-important elite.

From the beginning -- that's to say, from 1970 on -- these men had looked with disdain upon the street people and intellectuals who made up Gay Lib.

They disliked the dirt and the noise, and the grass-roots democratic process, messy and unpredictable, was anathema to them.

They longed to be able to impose order upon the masses, and when AIDS appeared, they used the facade of professionalism to do just that.

There was no vote, no referendum, no plebescite.

No one asked men like ourselves if we thought anal and promiscuity were worth defending.

Instead, the "AIDS professionals" declared that they knew what was best for us, and rammed their decision down our throats and up our asses.

And they've done it ever since.

Smugly, and complacently.

A guy like Tom Coates, head of UCSF's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, has repeatedy rebuffed not just me -- I'm just a lowly activist after all -- but Ted Green -- a Harvard anthropologist who's the author of 6 books and innumerable studies on AIDS in Africa, including the study which fueled President Bush's African AIDS Initiative.

So: buttfucking has continued to rule the roost, barebacking and bug-chasing have become facts of life, and the epidemic, which is totally controllable, has continued to march on.

The result is the super-resistant super-bugs described in those news reports, and a community which must be reminded of the most elementary facts of social responsibility.

And an industry, now known as AIDS Inc., which is opposed to any sort of social change.

Which knows only the status quo, and will defend it at all costs.

That's who were fighting.

Guys and organizations with big bucks, their heads in the sand and their butts in the air.

How long will this situation last?

That's up to you.

I'm also posting today an article about decreased risk of prostate cancer among men who masturbate.

The significance of that article is that from a medical point of view, frot is masturbation -- and it decreases your risk of prostate cancer.

Where anal intercourse, so-called, increases it.

So what is up to you is how long you're going to let "men into anal" -- aka the ButtFuck Dictatorship -- get away with their non-stop bullshit and lies about how anal is superior to frot and everything else.

It's not.

Anal is dirty, degrading, and above all DANGEROUS.

FROT is healthy, masculine, and SAFE.

And you need to keep saying so -- over and over and over again.



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