october 2000 · v3.0

SM: Safe Magic for Gay Men

by Mark Bond-Webster
for The Society
Northampton, MA 01060

Ass Play


A high-risk activity. There is no way around it: whether you are a top or a bottom, condoms must be worn every time. HIV can pass across an ass-lining even if it is intact. The risk is even greater in SM scenes where dildos, butt-plugs, or fisting may have torn the lining. As a general rule: if you are going to fuck, do so before heavy ass play; if you fuck afterwards, be extremely careful.


Carries a small risk because it may tear the ass- lining and the skin on the fist. To make it completely safe, wear a glove, use lots of water-based lube, and proceed slowly to allow your partner time to relax. Full length gloves (those which extend all the way up the arm) are best, particularly for deep-fisting. Be sure to trim and file your nails so that you don't cut the glove or your partner.

Do not share gloves: use a fresh one for each person.


Carries no risk of HIV transmission unless you have a cut on your finger. If you do have a cut, wear a band-aid and a glove or finger cot. As with fisting, trim and file your nails to minimize the risk of cutting your partner. Be aware that if you finger someone's ass during heavy play, you may get traces of their blood on your fingers: be very careful not to transfer this to anyone else involved in the scene. Either wash your hands thoroughly between partners or wear cots every time and change them when necessary.


Although douching before ass play is hygienic, remember that it will wash away mucous from the ass-lining and so leave you more vulnerable to infection. Use only fresh water in a douche or enema. Never mix in drugs or alcohol.

Caution: Douching is not a remedy for unsafe sex: you will wash cum, blood, or shit further into the intestine rather than washing it away.


Neither piss nor shit contain enough HIV to present a significant risk of transmission.

Oral Sex


There are two different views on sucking. European and Canadian authorities agree that oral sex presents little risk as long as you don't have open cuts or sores in your mouth. To make it safer they suggest that you don't swallow cum or brush/floss your teeth for two hours before or after sex. American authorities are more restrictive: they argue that a condom must be worn from start to finish, whenever you go down on him.

The choice is yours. You must decide on your own level of safety. And you must establish your limits with your partner(s) before having sex.


Oral-anal contact presents minimal risk for HIV, but a high risk for the transmission of hepatitis and parasitic diseases. For complete safety, use a dental dam.


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