From unsolicited dick pics to inappropriately direct sexual invitations, together with exposure to extreme kinks and aggressive flirting from total strangers, the online gay world can sometimes feel like the sexual equivalent of rush hour on a Friday night.
But while hooking up in the digital age can be messy and confusing, one rule should be clear: when your partner refuses to practice safer sex, it’s time to stop and make a U-turn.
In celebration of World AIDS Day this December 1, the world’s largest gay social app Blued–a platform that’s facilitated millions of awkward sexting encounters–wants to remind its users to get tested for HIV and practice safer sex, through a series of videos where a user aggressively sexts multiple people, and hooks up with a guy who’s only willing to have sex, as long as it’s safe.
Currently, Blued has close to one million users in the Philippines, where as many as 32 people test positive for HIV every day, mostly among men having sex with men.
This stems from a lack of education on how HIV is transmitted, as well as the stigma of sex and the continuing discrimination of the LGBT community.
“We at Blued believe in sex-positivity, and that the abstinence-only solution to stopping HIV is not exactly the most realistic solution for a lot of people,” says Evan Tan, country marketing manager of Blued in the Philippines. “By making fun of awkward sexual encounters, we want people to lighten up their attitudes towards sex–but also remember that using condoms, getting tested for HIV regularly, adhering to your PrEP regimen, and establishing to your partners that safer sex is a non-negotiable rule, will allow you to enjoy your sex life even further.”