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“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when semen became the focus of so much erotic fixation in the gay community. Maybe it had something to do with AIDS activist Tony Valenzuela coming out on the cover of Poz magazine in 1999 as an HIV+ gay man who enjoyed condom-less sex. ‘The unprotected sex … was beautiful, intimate, satisfying. I didn’t shower afterward,’ he told the magazine. ‘We slept with his come inside me.’ Or maybe the threshold was crossed in 2004 with the release of the seminal porn flick Dawson’s 20-Load Weekend, in which a strapping, virile bottom has unprotected sex with a score of men. Or maybe it came earlier, when treatments for HIV/AIDS developed in the 90s made the disease more manageable and convinced many gay men not to think of semen as potential life-destroying poison.”

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