Barebacking is fucking or getting fucked in the arse, without using condoms.

AKA: condomless sex, fucking raw, skin on skin, bare.

Why We Do It

The most common reason some of us choose to bareback is simple: fucking raw just feels better.

Some of us love giving or taking a load and most guys admit to going bare at one time or another.

We don’t all love condoms; the vast majority of us understand their importance but understand there are other ways of reducing risk while fucking.

Some of us have the same HIV status as our partner and are in a monogamous relationship (no matter how wild and filthy the sex is, two HIV neg guys just fucking each other stay neg). Some of us are HIV poz and choose to only bareback other poz guys. Some of us understand being on HIV treatment or on PrEP means passing on/contracting HIV is highly unlikely, so still feel comfortable fucking raw with poz or neg guys.

For some of us, condoms affect our ability to keep our cock hard. Wearing a condom can also get in the way of us feeling intimately connected with the guy we’re fucking.

The Nuts and Bolts of It

For our community, fucking without condoms is still considered by some to be “unsafe” or “irresponsible”. Given the history of HIV, it’s understandable that for some guys the idea of fucking bareback is taboo. Some of us will want to keep on using condoms as our primary method of safe sex, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t.

While fucking raw can enhance pleasure and allow us to gain a greater sense of intimacy with our partners, barebacking can mean there is a much higher risk of HIV and STI transmission occurring (especially with casual partners).

You may hear a lot about ‘risk reduction’ and ‘negotiated safety’ when it comes to preventing HIV transmission, but if you’re going to apply these strategies effectively, there are a few things you need to know first:

Know your status

The person who doesn’t know they have HIV is the person most likely to pass it on. For most risk reduction strategies to work, you have to know your status first. The more guys you fuck, the more tests you need – your current test result only ever shows what your status was 6 to 12 weeks before your last test.

Find out more about HIV testing and the easy, confidential a[TEST] service with ACON and how often you should, check it all out here.

Do you have an STI?

Some STIs can raise the risk of HIV transmission occurring, and some can just be a real pain in the arse!

Find out more about STI testing, how often and where you should over here.

Are you confident negotiating the sex you want?

It’s not always easy to negotiate the kind of sex you want, or the sex you don’t want. Understanding what you are after, and feeling confident enough to ask for it (or say, ‘No thanks’ to the alternative) may seem like a given. In the heat of the moment, it’s not always that simple. Speaking up about what we want leads to hotter fucking, and you’ll probably find that fuck buddies appreciate your assertiveness.

Reducing Risk

Fucking without condoms no longer means you are fucking without protection. There are ways that you can protect yourself and your partners from HIV, but the trick is to know the risk before you fuck.

If fucking bareback is something you’ve been doing, or are curious about, these risk reduction strategies might help you:

Undetectable Viral Load:

Viral load refers to the amount of virus present in a HIV poz guy’s blood. If it’s ‘undetectable’, then the virus is still present, but there’s so little of it in the body that even laboratory tests can’t pick it up. For HIV poz men, an undetectable viral load sustained over six months or more, means it is extremely unlikely that HIV can be passed on through sex as long they take their meds daily. Missing doses can increase the risk of transmission though.


PrEP (or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a new means of reducing the risk of acquiring HIV by taking a pill daily. The pill is called Truvada and it contains two anti-retroviral medications that are also used as meds to suppress the virus in guys living with HIV. Studies have shown that as long as it’s taken daily, then guys on PrEP have a near-Zero chance of contracting HIV.

Click here to learn more and find how how you can access PrEP


If you are HIV neg and you feel you have been exposed to HIV, then accessing Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) may stop HIV taking hold. The issue is, you need to do this ASAP.

PEP is a 4-week course of HIV treatments that can stop HIV infection occurring, provided the treatment is started as soon as possible after the risk event happens.

To be most effective, PEP should be started within a few hours of exposure to HIV. If it is not started within 72 hours (3 days) it is not likely to work.

Find out more about PEP and how to access it here.

Same Status:

Same Status is just what it sounds like – you only fuck without condoms with guys who have the same HIV status as you. The thing is, you have to actually KNOW your status and your partner’s to get it right. You can’t guess with this one. Remember: the person most likely to pass on HIV is the person who doesn’t think he has it.

Pulling Out:

Pulling Out is when the top pulls his cock out of his partner’s arse before cumming. It reduces the risk over NOT pulling out, but not by much. Many Poz guys report getting HIV this way. It’s important that guys know precum can still contain HIV, and most guys have no control over when precum is released.

Neg Top/Poz Bottom:

Neg Top/Poz Bottom is a relatively simple concept: the negative man tops and the positive man bottoms (AKA strategic positioning). While this strategy is certainly lower risk than when the poz guy does the topping, there is still a big risk of HIV transmission, when other risk reduction strategies are not being used.

Relationship Agreement:

This is an agreement between guys that usually limits condomless sex to only between partners within a regular relationship. Any sex with other partners outside the relationship must be with condoms.

Wondering which kinds of play and with what status might present the greatest risk for you? Go here for ACON’s online risk calculator