I have a confession to make, so pay attention…
Since I’ve started having sex (in the 1800s), I’ve experienced plenty of orgasms — some high, some low, others too blurry to remember. Through it all, I’ve often wondered about the orgasm: What makes it so special? What does it give to us? How can we make them better?
Obviously, I did plenty of research on the topic and after months of personal study, I’ve come up with a theory: HIV-positive people have the best orgasms.
Why you ask? Let me explain:
Let’s start with the complexities of our own bodies. The more we orgasm, the more our body craves it. Each time we have one, our brain gives us a dopamine spike (i.e. the “happy chemical). Who doesn’t want that?
Because studies show that dopamine is linked to love and addiction, we trick ourselves into thinking we need more orgasms to be satisfied, which results to having more sex with our partners. In fact, one study by the Kinsey Institute showed that college students who masturbated frequently also had intercourse more frequently.
Still, having sex is different from having an orgasm. A truly great orgasm doesn't rely on visual or physical stimuli alone — it’s about giving ourselves permission to enter the mental space. And for HIV-positive people, emotional and mental clarity is a daily ritual.
Mental Freedom is Sexy.
HIV-positive people who undergo antiretroviral therapy and are undetectable have the freedom of knowing they are untransmittable. Having an undetectable viral load means you are not capable of transmitting the virus to your partners, therefore sex no longer comes with mental, emotional, or physical barriers relating to HIV.
The idea of Undetectable = Uninfectious is so powerful that sex turns into a response of our own inner wellness. Fear is replaced with pride, due to a realization that the virus, this once-called “curse,” is no longer in our periphery. Having HIV doesn’t mean we need to sequester ourselves in a cage to protect the uninfected (as if we were in a Zombie movie), but rather cherish medical breakthroughs and scientific research for giving us the ability to suppress it.
As a result of our mental and emotional clarity, hangups around sex and HIV become blurred. All that exists is us, our partner’s trust, and a whole lot of climactic discoveries. That’s the beginning of a sexual awakening.
Orgasms are Mother Nature’s Happy Drugs
Most health professionals encourage HIV-positive people to have a healthy sex life, not only because it improves overall self-esteem and worth, but because orgasms help us sleep, raise immunoglobulin levels (thus helping us fight infections), reduce stress, and lessen depression.
While there are cases of people with HIV that deal with sexual dysfunction (some say because of their meds), the truth is much of the problem has more to do with our overall wellbeing. Having one to two orgasms a week also helps to protect our body against heart disease, which many poz people deal with later in life.
Having an orgasm once or twice a week is also linked with higher levels of Immumnogobulin A, an antibody found in saliva and nasal linings that helps our immune system’s ability to fight bugs.
We’re Only as Prudish as Our Secrets.
The more secrets people have, the more likely we are to have emotional weight so heavy that it could possibly keep us from investigating our own sexuality.
One study lead by Columbia University professor Michael Slepian showed people who are too preoccupied with their secrets often find simple things more challenging than they should. Disclosing one's HIV status is very personal and should always be done with care, but the result of releasing it to your partner likely leads to a habit of opening yourself emotionally.
Openness, above all else, is key to having the perfect orgasm. HIV disclosure is something people living with the virus deal with constantly; so much so that the words have become scripted, yet each time they say it, a new layer of skin is shed. Add a sprinkle of sexual tension to it, and an orgasm is soon to follow.
Our Partner Wants Us Regardless of Our Status (& That’s a Turn On).
Nothing beats the feeling of knowing our partner wants us, inside and out, regardless of our status. Being able to trust they won’t judge or think less of us is extremely important in freeing ourselves. After all, the mental state we’re in during sex affects our ability to enter our sexual potential.
For couples who are in serodiscordant relationships, where one partner is HIV-positive and the other isn’t, encouragement is key to reigniting a sexual liberation in the bedroom.
Encouraging the practice of PrEP for your HIV-negative partner, the use of condoms, and routine checkins with both your doctors boosts sexual bonding in a way that heightens your need to please the other.
Being able to have sex with your partner, who is taking control of their health either through antiretrovirals or PrEP, lets you be free of “what ifs." That's the biggest aphrodisiac out there!