AIDS: Sex in the Safe

reprint from FE #339, Spring 1992


Fifth Estate # 368-369, Spring-Summer, 2005

“Safe sex” has put sex in the safe. The three number combination lock reads: heterosexuality (two turns to the right), ultra-monogamy (two more turns to the right), and condoms (one reluctant turn to the left), unlocking the Final Solution for the far right. Even if AIDS isn’t the result of covert germ warfare testing, the CIA couldn’t have created a better weapon against the subculture of drug use and “deviant” sex.

In terms of sheer numbers, there are more deaths annually due to car accidents than from AIDS. Despite this fact, the media encourages auto ownership and consumption, only covering accidents when they are sensational and gory.

AIDS, too, is sensationalized. AIDS is an issue that deserves serious community attention; meanwhile, the gawking media leads the narrow-minded charge in regulating behavior, particularly sexual behavior. If car accidents prompted similar logic,” then the mass media would promote abstention from driving.

The manipulation of information about AIDS for the purpose of serving the state abound. Heterosexuality is promoted as safer than homosexual love, but do we ever see government pamphlets advocating cunnilingus, lesbianism, and masturbation (which are even “safer”)?

AIDS does not call us to merely change our sexual behavior by having an ample supply of condoms, nor does it demand that we keep sexual activity isolated in some mysterious safe of knowledge where science and the state hold the key. It challenges us to redefine our day-to-day lives as if this is the final stand for us all.