We went behind the scenes to ask them some questions.
#PrEPChats – The Series
In the series, five men share their experiences of using PrEP – why they started using it, what it means to them, and how they’ve benefited from using this HIV prevention tool.
Andrei heads up an International Franchise Division for a British fashion retailer. He was born in Barbados and raised in the UK with family of British, Bajan, and Indian origin.
Duane is a Filipino-born, UAE-raised, and London-residing set designer who hates being asked where he’s from.
British-born of Afro-Guyanese descent, Blaize is a marketing communications professional and freelance musician based in London.
Phil Samba is a British-born Sierra Leonean writer, activist and PrEP advocate who works in the HIV and sexual health sector.
Fahad is a South Asian queer man.
Myths and Misconceptions
Phil Samba sits down with Duane, Blaize and Andrei to talk through what PrEP is, how you take it and what PrEP means to the people who use it.
We explore the reasons why PrEP use among men of colour is comparatively low and how we can improve on this.
Intimacy and Expectations
Phil, Duane, Blaize and Andrei discuss vulnerability, coming out, and how family expectations impact the way they feel about themselves and their place in the world.
Sex and Love
Phil, Duane, Blaize and Andrei discuss how using PrEP has affected the way the feel about sex and love.
Be sure of your HIV status
Terrence Higgins Trust is offering free and totally confidential HIV self test kits.
These kits allow you to do your own test at home and know your results in just minutes.
If you would like to order one of these kits completely free please visit THT’s Fastest at Home page (UK Only).
We want to hear your opinion
How do you masturbate?
I caught up with Richard Crowe and asked him a few personal questions.
Can you remember the first time you jacked-off?
As an early developer, one of the first to have pubic hair in my cohort, I was very young when I started to masturbate — no more than nine years old.
My father was a keen collector of straight pornographic magazines — Mayfair, Penthouse, Fiesta and the like — which he hid in various places around the house to keep them from my mother. Keeping them from us, my older brother and I, was a different matter, however. I think we found every hiding place and plundered his collection mercilessly.
At this time my brother, 12, and me, nine, shared a bedroom — two single beds against opposite walls. I remember my brother reading out loud from the Forum section of Mayfair — a place where ‘ordinary housewives’ or whoever would confess their sexual peccadilloes and adventures. Pretty graphic stuff with as much mention of dripping cocks as slippery tits — it was always the cocks I wanted to hear about, even then.
As I listened, without knowing what I was doing or why, my hand strayed down to my small but very hard cock — all perfectly natural, I suppose — and I began to rub myself. I believe my brother was unaware of what I was doing throughout — not that I would have cared — and, of course, he too, unbeknown to me may well have been masturbating.
What I distinctly remember was a growing sense of excitement and pleasure as I continued to rub my cock. The words my brother spoke, at once, both hugely stimulating and seemingly irrelevant, disappearing into the ether as the tingling in my cock grew in intensity. Until I reached a point where I had to stop or die or pee or laugh out loud or scream. In other words, I had an orgasm. No ejaculate, no sperm or semen, obviously, but an orgasm nonetheless.
How did you feel when you first jacked off?
I think my first thoughts were that I’d discovered something wonderful and unique to me. It never occurred to me at the time that my brother might have done the same thing, or that boys everywhere might do this. But I knew that I would do it again and often because it felt so good — I went on to do it six or seven times a day regularly.
I had no feelings of guilt, dirtiness or the like at that time, though I understood it was something private to do behind locked doors or under the sheets. Also, despite the ‘experience’ gained from my father’s magazines, I had no idea what to call this beautiful thing. Wank, wanking, tossing off, and masturbation were words that would be missing from my vocabulary for a few years yet. So I called it ‘sensation’ because that’s what it was.
Did you talk about it with anyone?
No. I wouldn’t have known who to talk to about it or how. I also felt quite protective about the experience. It was mine and I wanted it to stay that way.
Did you try any different techniques in those early years?
I stuck pretty much to the conventional peeling back and pulling forward of my foreskin, but I do remember variations in my early years — including soap in the bath, a pillow between my legs in bed, and simulating sex with a cored apple.
Can you remember the first time you talked to someone else about jacking off?
When I was nine — a big year for me — I started to attend a traditional English all boys public school. Among other things, this meant spending all my formative years, puberty and teens, exclusively with other boys, all aged between 9–18.
Changing rooms and showers were communal, organised by House rather than year group, and no one was allowed underwear beneath their sports kit. Everyone had to shower, no excuses, and no modesty panels. We were also required to swim naked in the indoor pool — we were allowed trunks in the outdoor pool, but only since a local convent girl had been found peeping through a pair of binoculars.
So cocks — naked, a bit hairy and really hairy and floppy and erect — were an everyday fixture. At times, it seemed, they were pretty much everywhere. So was an awareness of wanking off. From the age of 12, I guess, it wasn’t so much talking about wanking to other guys that I remember, but rather wanking other guys off.
This included my first proper ejaculation, at age 12, when three boys were working on my cock in a classroom during a morning break. These sessions were regular and were, more than once, interrupted by masters walking into the room and expressing surprise at our being there. Whether or not they knew what we were up to is, with hindsight, another matter.
How has your jack-off style evolved over the years?
During puberty, my glans outgrew my foreskin, which rolled back to reveal my mushroom head. As a result, I began to experiment with my masturbatory technique, wanking more, I imagined, like boys who were circumcised.
Neglecting my foreskin, I’d use baby oil and facial creams to stroke my glans and bring myself off.
However, I then discovered the joys of talcum powder and the dry wank — applying more powder to soak up any juices produced in advance of orgasm. Dry wanks produced the most powerful ejaculations that I’ve ever experienced.
What’s your preferred way to jack-off currently?
Now in middle age, my cock-head has begun to shrink a little, my foreskin to stretch, so I’m back at stage one with a fully uncircumcised appearance. So I tend to revert to the traditionalist style of masturbation, rolling back and pulling forward on the foreskin.
I think variety is essential to a youthful outlook and attitude, so I like to mix it up when I can, using wet, dry, and pillow techniques to get me off.
What jack-off hints or tips would you give a young guy just starting to explore his sexuality?
Never be afraid of masturbation. We still don’t talk about masturbation enough and still the agenda can seem dominated by the Christian-right and those who would tell you that it’s sinful, unnatural, and harmful.
It’s not. It’s wholly natural — other primates and apes and mammals do it too. It releases tension and stress. It helps you to sleep. It releases good hormones and, particularly as you get older, it reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Masturbation can save your life.
We need to talk about masturbation more. Be more open about it. My father may have left porn mags around the house for me and my brother to find. But he never talked openly about the subject, and my mother would have died if it was mentioned at the dinner table.
Wank and enjoy wanking. Wank knowing that you’re in the majority. Most males wank — old and young, in partnerships and single. Once you start you never stop. You think you’ll stop when you get a partner. But you don’t. When your partner goes out you go and have a wank. That’s fine. It’s natural. Wanking and sex are very different things and serve very different purposes. Wanking is just for you, wholly indulgent, you can be with who you want and you can cum without any pressure to perform or satisfy.
Relax! Masturbation is cool.
A gay boy on the girl’s volleyball team
How do you masturbate?
Cockroaches. Rats. Prison.
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