In this world of ultra-sensitive people everyone seems afraid to speak the truth for fear of pissing off or hurting someone. The problem with this logic is that in the end we lose out on common sense; something that in my opinion is sorely lacking these days. When we become too afraid to call out bad behavior that’s when bad behavior thrives.
Case-in-point, several lovely ladies on Twitter were discussing the latest ‘kink,’ bug chasing. What I found most disturbing was the lack of accountability of the participants in this this psychological disorder out of a fear of ‘kink shaming’ those who participate.
Bug chasing is the name associated with men or women (although primarily men) who engage in risky sexual behaviour in the quest of getting HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus the virus that causes AIDS). The HIV positive participants being called ‘gift givers.’ Bug chasing also goes by the name of charging.
Although bug chasing has been around for well over 15 years and probably dates back as far as the onset of the HIV virus in the ‘80’s within the gay community I noticed this behaviour catching on over the last five years or so within the hetero community. More and more men were discussing with me how they loved having unprotected sex with men who may or may not be infected with the virus and what a thrill they got from that exposure.
For some of you scratching your head thinking, ‘wait you just said the hetero community and guys having sex with one another,’ yes that’s right you can have sex with other men and not be gay. I’ve discussed that numerous times here in The Review but that’s not what we’re focusing on here.
More and more heterosexual males who are in long-term relationships are engaged in this very disturbing behavior. That means that they are not only engaging in this pseudo-suicidal behavior but it now gets spread unknowingly to the female partner. This, my friends, is manslaughter. Those same clients also told me they hated their wives and didn’t care if they were exposed.
Bug chasing has been studied by many doctors over the last decade and they have concluded several reasons for this type of behavior. First is the obvious…suicide. Which should be really easy to figure out and condemn but nothing is ever that black and white.
I’m a big believer that if you want to kill yourself you should have that right. I believe we treat our animal friends better than ourselves when it comes to end-of-life care etc. I even feel that way for those who are depressed with one caveat, I would rather folks work on that issue before making a final decision because that type of mental health issue can be made better with the right help. But in the long run it’s your life and you can do what you want with it, including ending it. So in that respect I understand the mentality of, ‘let them do what they want.’
If you know me, you know that I am the first person to get folks to live-and-let-live, you-do-you, let your freak flag fly as long as you’re not hurting yourself or someone else. Being in BDSM we obviously have much more leeway in the pain and suffering department than your average person but at what point do we draw the line? In my opinion that line gets drawn when the psychology behind the alleged kink is warped and unhealthy as is the case with bug chasing and gift giving.
I would love to say that we are all mentally healthy individuals capable of making these decisions with a rational mind but unfortunately that isn’t the case for many people engaged in this type of behavior. I don’t like calling it a kink because it isn’t something one should aspire to throw on their kink list on FetLife.
As with any sexual proclivity there will always be those who take things to the extreme. As I wrote in my article on Why We Engage in Risky Sexual Behavior for the most part many are looking for that ‘high’ one gets from extreme risk. Of course there are those bug chasers who are, as I mentioned before, suicidal, have low self-esteem, or even display characteristics of having Munchausen Syndrome and all of these are NOT reasons to be engaged in this type of activity or any type of BDSM session.
I’ve heard horror stories of illicit ‘gift giving,’ where men with HIV actually hunt down men who are clean in order to infect them. Again a pretty nefarious reason to be spreading this disease and in many areas against the law and likened to manslaughter or murder despite the fact that HIV is no longer the death sentence it once was.
The idea of folks craving to be infected also flies in the face of those who have lost loved ones to this wretched virus and its accompanying immunodeficiency. I’m sure there are many of those friends and relatives who would tell a bug chaser that this isn’t in anyway cool or acceptable.
So at what point do we rely on common sense and common decency to make our decisions? I don’t think it’s kink shaming to point out that this is a self-destructive behavior that needs to be addressed by a mental healthcare practitioner. Whether it’s humiliation or base jumping you need to ask yourself the hard question, why am I doing this?
What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments below: