HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Don't be afraid to say "m...

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 03:33 PM

Don't be afraid to say "masturbate," and 5 other tips for talking about monkeypox

Tweet text:

Mother Jones
While the virus appears to be spreading primarily among queer men, it can infect anyone. As Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness put it, "This is an everyone disease. And monkeypox don’t give a fuck about who you fuck."

Don't be afraid to say "masturbate," and 5 other tips for talking about monkeypox
Experts explain how to fight the virus—and sex-shaming—at the same time.
11:27 AM · Aug 5, 2022


As far as viruses go, monkeypox has proven especially challenging to talk about. First, there’s the name, “monkeypox,” which a growing number of health experts say is misleading and derogatory. Then there’s the stigma around sex: While monkeypox is known to spread through skin-to-skin contact of all kinds, officials suspect the disease is commonly spreading during sex, in part due to reports of sores appearing on patients’ genitals or anus.

And then there’s the population most impacted so far: The majority of confirmed cases have been in gay and bisexual men or other men who have sex with men (and a smaller number of trans and non-binary people, some state health department data shows), prompting concerns that monkeypox may be labeled a “gay disease”—which, of course, it is not.

“There are lots of levels of potential stigma. It makes it rather complicated to find the one perfect message.”

The hurdles don’t end there. Experts also note that monkeypox, which has so far infected more than 5,800 people in the United States and is spreading quickly, is a newly reemergent disease, so there’s still plenty we don’t know about it. Plus, many Americans are already experiencing “virus fatigue” from Covid—all issues that make it harder to discuss monkeypox.

So, how should public health officials and the media talk about the disease in a way that is clear, effective, inclusive, and stigma-free? To put it bluntly, can targeted messaging about gay sex be done without shame? And what can we all learn about how to discuss this virus? I brought these questions to more than half a dozen infectious disease specialists, public health communicators, and advocates. Overall, they said, it’s about trust, clarity, and multiple messages. And they were adamant that clear communication would be a lot more powerful with access to vaccines.


1 replies, 511 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply Don't be afraid to say "masturbate," and 5 other tips for talking about monkeypox (Original post)
Nevilledog Friday OP
markpkessinger Friday #1

Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 03:51 PM

1. I find "Don't be afraid to say masturbate" to be singularly unhelpful . . .

Look, if masturbation had ever been any kind of substitute for sexual connection with another person, then STDs would have disappeared a long time ago, and other diseases that can be spread through sexual contact but aren't necessarily spread that way, would have been substantially reduced.

Sex with another human being is about more than getting one's rocks off. It's easy enough to pontificate to gay men about the need to be less sexually active, or to be more monogamous. But when you consider that many of us grew up in places where to pursue intimate relationships with members of the same sex was to risk possible violence, not to mention, in some cases, the risk of losing relationships with one's own family, we should hardly be surprised that many gay men learn to try to satisfy the need for intimacy with fleeting, furtive sexual encounters. Such encounters may not entirely fu8lfill the need for human intimacy, but they come a lot closer than jerking off ever will!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread