A Gut Feeling: Anal Pleasure, Holistic Sexual Health, and Interpretations of AIDS
Part # 3
“We were talking about doing anal pleasure in ways that enhance the gut’s health,” I said when G and I resumed the conversation.
“Of course. Wide-spectrum antibiotics are part of the combination of practices that can result in severe intestinal dysbiosis. Another common practice among gay men back then, Lance claims–and a still common one apparently–is that of douching in preparation for anal sex. Sometimes this is done as a regular enema, which is bad enough for natural elimination if practiced regularly. But sometimes—apparently—a nozzle that can carry pressure equivalent to a shower head is used to shoot hot water up into one’s rectum.”
“Ouch! That must feel terrible.”
“Apparently–though one becomes kind of numb to it after a while. And what’s worse is that the water further washes away all of the mucous lining in the gut. It can even damage its tissue. It can perforate the walls. Overall it makes the gut a lot more permeable than it’s supposed to be, so that what should stay into the body leaks out, and what should be pushed out stays in.”
“Ouch!” I grinned.
“Right,” G noted. “But see, it’s not the penetration per se. It’s the cultural obsession with cleanliness, the squeamishness about fecal matter most people have.”
“I see,” I commented.
“More to the point,” G continued, “that leakiness—remember–is what often causes a positive test. Why? Because HIV tests are known to be co-reactive to many kinds of impurities in one’s blood. And those impurities get in thorough a leaky gut mucous.”
“OMG. So there is a meaning to those tests after all?” I offered.
“Apparently!” G agreed.
“Do you douche before anal sex?”
“I never have,” G replied. “But I’ve done enemas for constipation, and am aware that they facilitate elimination in an emergency, but they are very debilitating of that function and addictive in the long run.”
“This Tony Lance has a lot of guts–as it were . . .” I giggled, excited.
“I know,” G giggled back. “Very brave,” we giggled together.
“Saying these things can be dangerous these days, though,” I comment, concerned. “They go against the grain of what we’re supposed to believe, that most diseases are chronic and infectious and can be treated with daily meds.”
“That’s right, today most doctors don’t even believe on can cure disease, in the sense of regenerating the body’s homeostasis that corresponds to natural, biological health. They believe in ‘treatments,’ namely expensive drugs that supplement what the body is supposedly unable to do for itself,” G concurred.
“Can’t be too surprised when you know that doctors make money from the sale of medicines.”
“They do?” asked G.
“Well, that’s what Melody Peterson claims in her expose, Our Daily Meds. They get wined and dined to lavish trips where big pharma advertises its latest products. They get flooded with false ‘studies’ produced by advertising firms and signed by medical scientist paid as figureheads. They don’t have to account if their patients die of overdose.”
“That’s allopathic medicine gone way overboard,” G responded. “Lance makes a holistic point. He claims one can heal from AIDS in a natural, biological way.”
“Sounds like it. What else does he claim?”
“He does not emphasize poppers, I must say.”
“Why not?” I asked, curious.
“I suppose because it’s already well known in health-savvy queer circles that poppers artificially relax the sphincter and make penetration possible in a mechanical way,” G offered.
“Have you ever used them?” I probed, cautious.
“No,” G replied, positive. “If you practice holistic sexual health, they’re unnecessary. As you know, I don’t do a lot of anal sex–or any sex for that matter–but when I do it, I enjoy it tremendously. Anal is the richest orgasm I can get! I’ve always allowed natural arousal to happen when engaging in anal sex, both as top and as bottom. And I agree with my guides in the matter–Tristan Taormino and Carol Queen–that it can be done gradually and proportionally to what a penetrated partner can take. On the other hand, I can be easily persuaded that opening up the sphincter over and over in a mechanical way can damage its ability to regulate elimination. It’s simply disrespectful.”
“Disrespectful of the colon, you mean?” I asked, amused.
“Yes, of the colon. One wants to respect one’s colon, no?” G giggled.
“Well, this way of worshipping a body part most people considers shameful or gross or both runs a bit against the grain of current culture, don’t you think?”
“Yes, that’s why we have to be grateful to gay men—those who do respect their colon, and there are many—for modeling for the rest of us how this area can be the site of love, and passion, and pleasure,” G concurred.
“Not excessively, though, correct?” I probed.
“Of course, what’s excessive varies from person to person and in proportion to the time one can dedicate.”
“So you mean that if you’re under some kind of anesthesia, if you’re not consciously connected to your rectum when it’s penetrated, then you can damage it?”
“More or less,” G confirmed.
“Makes sense,” I said.
“I know!” G concurred. “Last but not least, Lance says, lubricants have the effect of further drying up the mucous.”
“Oh. But that’s an even more dangerous thing to say!” I exclaimed, concerned.
“I know! Especially since lubricants typically help when one is using a condom,” G agreed.
“Right! Sounds as if he not only makes powerful enemies amidst the medical-pharmaceutical-disease-control lobbies– he takes on the safer-sex industry as well!” I commented, agitated.
“Note, however,” G responded, calmly, “that Lance never says that protection when having sex with a stranger is a bad idea. He simply warns against excessive reliance on mechanical safety and excessive use of some of its products. ”
“Which is a little bit what you were attacked about when your book Gaia and the New Politics of Love was reviewed by a board member of Loving More?” I offered, ardently.
“Yes. You got it. ”
“Talking about the gut as a rainforest. Makes a lot of sense. If you think of all these invasive practices so common back in the days, it sounds as if they did a thorough job of logging the forest away. The forest of one’s gut, I mean,” I muttered, half to myself.
“Yeah, that’s exactly how Tony puts it,” G concurred, eager. “It’s a matter of proportion. You cut off a tree here and there–that’s good for the system. But start logging the forest away, and your gut’s ecosystem is wiped out of commission before you know it.”
“Ouch! I can see how that can get your immune system to collapse too. Back in the days, did gay men know this?” I asked, apprehensive.
“No. Official science was already controlled by big pharma interests. Why would anybody find out? There was no money in it.”
“There’s an old saying in Sardinia. Comes to mind right now,” I offered: “‘madness is the only thing that water cannot wash away.’”
“Ok,” G responded, confused. “And how does that apply?”
“Water is free, it runs in rivers and streams, and it can do most things, can heal most wounds. It’s that simple. When, on the other hand, medicine is for profit, if your illness can be healed cheaply you’ll never find out because nobody can make money off of you.”
“Got it,” said G, earnest. “That’s why we’re lucky to have vernacular scientist like our friend Tony.”
“To me it made sense right away.”
“Because of Freud?” I asked, curious.
“Because of Freud–and other things.”
“How does Freud come into the picture? Did he try anal sex?” I probed.
“And you want me to tell you about that?”
“Ok. We’ll get to it in a few days.”