If you’re looking for an interesting book to read consider Corrupted: One Gay American’s Story of Breaking Bad on PrEP by Joey Wagner.
This is one gay American’s story of being one of the first men in the U.S. Army to go on PrEP for the prevention of HIV. From his trials and tribulations in the military under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, to his hot– and often comedic– sexual experiments in the U.S. and Europe, such as an interlude in St. Louis Cemetery Number 1 in New Orleans, Joey Wagner takes us on a wild ride in this, his personal memoir of breaking bad and coming of age in the post-PrEP world.
Joey Wagner’s story is honest, explicit and captivating that we caught up with Joey for a quick interview to learn more about him and his sexual self-discovery in the age of PrEP
When and why did you decide to write the book?
In early 2017, I decided that I wanted to write a memoir memorializing my personal experience with PrEP – how I got on it and the effect it’s had on my own life since being one of the first active-duty Army officers to go on it in 2014.
Why the name Corrupted?
That’s a chapter in my book. You’ll have to read it to find out!
You self-identify as an “ethical slut.” What does that mean?
“Ethical slut” is a term derived from one of my favorites books by the same name, written and published in 1997 by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy. To me, being an ethical slut means that I’m very open, honest and upfront about my sexual preference, desires, tendencies, kinks, STI/STD status, as the case may be. I feel like gay men – and all people alike actually – are more empowered than ever to be ethical sluts.
What does sexual liberation look like in the age of PrEP?
My personal experience is that it’s more liberated than it has been than at any time during my adult lifetime, and I suspect it’s more liberated than at any time since the HIV epidemic in the early 80s. I have many friends in The City that – for better or worse – only attend sex parties, fuck more frequently and raw, etc., only because of being on PrEP.
Where does the line between sexual freedom and sexual promiscuity get crossed?
That’s a great question and one that I think we can only each answer for ourselves because promiscuity is subjective. I am almost certainly considered promiscuous by most people; I fuck all the time. I feel like I have sexual freedom, but I don’t feel free because I’m promiscuous. I feel free because I don’t have any hang-ups on sex. My best friend in St. Louis, where I grew up, just doesn’t like to have sex very frequently. That’s just the way he’s wired. Almost nobody would consider him promiscuous, and yet he feels completely free to have sex when and how he wants it (I know because we’ve talked about it). I’m sure you’re dying to know; yes, he’s on PrEP.
What have you learned about yourself and relationships from writing this book?
I’ve learned that I’m very fortunate and gracious for my modern slutty life.
What do you say to people who say porn is giving men an unrealistic view of sex and relationships?
Is this even an issue? Haha. Porn is a lot of work. I think it’s unfortunate if men are garnering an unrealistic view of sex and relationships from watching porn. Porn must be a huge contribution to how men learn to have gay sex though. I wouldn’t be a FF bottom but for porn, for example.
How is PrEP helping and hindering the gay community?
I definitely think PrEP is helping the gay community find sexual freedom, but I also think it can be a hindrance to the extent gay men think PrEP is the only safeguard out there. I visited Steamworks in Chicago on October 27, 2018, and I was surprised to hear a hot 24-year-old ask me in the halls if I was “clean.” I thought we were past that. To the extent PrEP is responsible for allowing gay men to be lazy in critically thinking about terminology, risk avoidance, the safety of undetectable viral loads, Treatment as Prevention, for example, then I think that’s an unfortunate hindrance.
What are the biggest misconceptions you think people will have from reading your book?
I think it is really easy for people to read my book and think that it’s just trashy porn. Admittedly, the second half of the book is trashy porn! However, the first half is my journey from corruptible Midwest boy to a corrupted New York hustler and porn model, of which PrEP is inextricably weaved. I also don’t want people to think I’m trying to be too profound in my book. I’d like for our community to be able to look back at this timeframe and point to several books from several people, all with different stories about PrEP, and I think I’d be very fortunate if mine would be just one of those stories.