I’m afraid to bottom any more because of what I learned today. What do you think?

by Rachel on May 9, 2011

HPV (human papilloma virus) is present in around 90% of anal cancers.

The chance of someone having HPV increases with more sexual partners. My bf has been with 14 guys before me.

The bottom (me) can be infected by the top and eventually develop anal cancer.

“Risk Factors for Anal cancer:
Having multiple sex partners due to the increased risk of exposure to the HPV virus.[6][7]
Receptive anal intercourse, whether male or female, increases the chances of anal cancer sevenfold.[7]
Men who have sex with men are 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than those who don’t, if their insertive partners are infected with the HPV virus.”

AHH!!!! I never want to bottom again?! Will my bf be pissed if I mention this to him? I already felt as if I was damaging myself every time I bottomed….now I know its true!
Thing is….we don’t practice safe sex. We both got tested and have been bare-backing for a few months, but testing doesn’t include HPV, so he might’ve already given it to me. I’m not the first guy he’s barebacked with :/

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

UVa guy May 9, 2011 at 5:26 am

Even with such an increased risk, you should realize that the risk is very small. If that were not the case, anal cancer would be rampant in the gay community, and I honestly have never heard of anyone I know having it.

And you can get the HPV vaccine; it’s recently been approved for men.

Sounds to me you are looking for an excuse not to bottom.

EDIT: Then why don’t you get tested for HPV instead of panicking?

bob May 9, 2011 at 6:07 am

Don’t worry.

To prevent this get yourself and your partner tested. You are also less prone to cancers and diseases if you are fit, eats lots of fruits, and drink milk. A doctor once told me that masturbation is a key to help prevent cancers and diseases. And if your still in doubt, use a condom. They work 99% of the time :)

Once again don’t worry, just stay healthy and use a condom if neccesary :)

Dass May 9, 2011 at 6:32 am

Don’t worry, anal cancer is still rare, and 90% of HPV cases go away in two years without any effect.

Hildo May 9, 2011 at 7:09 am

Dass is correct. Plus, the HPV vaccine is now given to males. You owe it to yourself to get the vaccine for your peace of mind.

S. May 9, 2011 at 7:44 am

1. You both get tested for HPV.
2. You get vaccinated.
3. If neither of you currently have HPV, you have an honest discussion about multiple sexual partners.
4. If he is actively bare-backing w/ other partners, you get more information on actual transmission rates, so you can make informed choices about how much risk you want to assume vs. insisting he use a condom.
5. Finally, you may want to consider exploring your feelings about bottoming, separate from the question of HPV transmission. Do you feel damaged every time you bottom b/c of societal stigma around receptivity, femininity, and ‘taking it?’ If so, connect with other bottoms & cultivate pride in what it takes to be vulnerable and to own your desires. If you feel damage b/c bottoming doesn’t feel right to who you are as a person, you truly *don’t* desire it, or doing so rends your sense of dignity in ways you can’t or don’t want to work through, tell your partner you don’t wish to bottom anymore. If this would entail the end of a relationship you don’t want to lose, talk to a counselor to sort out your feelings & determine the best course of action for yourself. In other words, put yourself at the center of this decision.

If you have general concerns about your health & the possibility of STD transmission as a bottom, seek help from a counselor, doctor, or a sex information / harm reduction specialist. (415) 989-SFSI (7374) is the number for San Francisco’s Sex Information line; they allow you to call anonymously but their hours are limited. Check online for more info.

Good luck!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: