Join Me In Telling Researchers About Our Sex Lives

3 August 2008 | 5 Comments

I’ve been sitting on this for a while now ’cause I’ve been busy with work and lately ’cause I figured I needed to be giving you guys more sex and less “stuff”… So since you got write-ups on no fewer than three hookups in the past 4 days, I figured it was time for me to take care of this…

A few months ago I told you about a research study about drugs and sex that was being done by CHEST which is part of Hunter College here in NYC. Well, the folks behind that study are starting a new study called “Pillow Talk” where sexually active guys login and record their sexual activity before they go to bed each night. Here’s their full blurb on the study…

The Study is called Pillow Talk. It is for sexually active NYC gay and bisexual men. We are really interested in learning about men’s sexual experiences. There are absolutely no judgments and this is not an intervention (i.e., we are not trying to change any behavior). We just want to hear your story!

Men who join the study will be asked to visit our office in Chelsea, where they will participate in a 1-on-1 confidential interview and a computer-based survey. Something new we have added to the study is a “daily diary.” Men who join the study will complete a brief online-survey about their day. They will keep this “diary” for 30 days.

There are 2 follow up appointments. We ask you to return 1-month and 4-months after joining the study. This is to get an update on you life since the last time we saw you. All told, you can earn up to $220 for full participation.

Call 212-206-7919 x 300 to screen for the study. All calls are completely confidential.

Or email (we can answer questions briefly via email, but will ultimately ask you to call if you want to screen for the study).

This study is being sponsored by Hunter College. We have been doing research with the GLBT community for more than a decade.

You may be asking “why bother”? To me there are two really good reasons. First, the $220 isn’t bad, but more importantly it’s important that researchers understand what’s going on in our lives. Honestly, the safe sex message is failing miserably these days. Personally I don’t think that’s going to change, but I feel like we need to give “thinkers” the information they need to come up with something better than “use a condom every time”. They need to understand the lives of those of us who are sexually active in order to really understand what messages have a possibility of working.

I will always encourage guys to ditch the rubbers, fucked raw, and give and take loads. But at the same time I have no problem helping the safe sex crowd get their act together and get more grounded in reality.

If you contact them, please tell them you heard about the study from rawTOP. If you don’t want to admit to reading this blog you can say your friend “Richard” told you about the study (Richard = Dick => I’m a top… Get it?)

And just for the record – I do plan on signing up for this study. It wasn’t until today when I looked closely at the study objectives and requirements that I realized I was eligible…


So I called a couple of days ago to inquire. They said they had about 10 minutes of questions (it took 13 minutes), and I was approved. Apparently the 30-odd guys I’ve fucked in the last 3 months qualifies me as being a big enough slut for their study… I have an appointment early next week.

I’m not quite sure why the appointment is going to take 3 hours, but that’s how long they say it will be. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with me for 3 hours! No wonder they pay you $225 to be part of the study…


I went in today for the initial interview it took 3 hours like they said it would. They first went over the different sex, alcohol and drug use I had had in the past 90 days (looks like I had sex with over 50 guys thanks to IML and going to the bathhouse in Montreal). Then we had a general discussion of sex, and then there was an hour long computer survey. So pretty straightforward, and they paid $40 for the three hours.

Now for the next 30 days I do a daily online survey (get paid $40 if I complete all 30 days), then there’s a 4(!) hour follow up interview for which I get paid $45, and then another interview something like a month after that (another $40 I think…)

The important part is that the people there really are really non-judgemental. It was a woman (young) who interviewed me. I could tell she’d heard it all before and had no problem with my answers (and I was reall pretty honest and frank with her)… So I can say from personal experience that you won’t have a negative experience if you go…

Like To Get Fucked Up And Then Get Fucked?

21 April 2008 | No Comments

If you like to PNP and bareback, and you’re in NY City, and you’re ambivalent about what you’re doing, then I’ve got a research study for you…

The other day a researcher from CHEST contacted me and told me about a study he’s working on that’s looking at the relationship between “club drugs” and sexual risk taking. They’re testing two different approaches to counseling people – seeing which approach is more effective. The study just involves some computerized surveys and some one-on-one counseling. I was in something not too dissimilar a few years back that was a really good experience for me…

Here’s a blurb from them about their study…

We are interested in talking to men about their sex lives and drug use. No judgments. Earn up to $340 for your time.

If you are eligible for the study, you will be asked to visit our office, located in Chelsea, for an initial appointment. There are separate phases of the study that you might be eligible to participate in. If you are eligible and do all study visits you can earn up to $340 for your time.

For more information, please call (212) 206-7919 x302.

ABOUT US: We are a group of researchers from CHEST, the Center for HIV/AIDS Education Studies and Training. We’re affiliated with Hunter College of the City University of New York. Our research team includes gay, bisexual, and straight men and women and community representatives who play lead roles in this study. We have been doing research with the GLBT community for more than a decade.

NOTE: Any information about you is kept strictly confidential. We are not affiliated with the New York City Dept. of Health, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), or the Police Department. This is strictly a research study being conducted out of Hunter College. For more information about us, please visit

The good part about research studies is their opinions are pretty honest and factual. They’re not getting paid to change you, but to watch and study you. They do have an ethical obligation to encourage you to engage in risk reduction, but no one’s going to lose their job if you don’t take their advice… Nor is anyone going to lose their job for telling you something other than “use a condom every time or else”. They’re not about dogma – they’re about research… That makes all the difference and it’s the reason why their statement says who they’re not affiliated with.

The study I went though a few years ago was really pretty good. It was nice to have someone to talk to about my fears and concerns. The fact that CHEST would even ask me (of all people) to promote their study says a lot about them. They’re not hostile towards the bareback community – they won’t frown or scowl at you if you’re honest with them and tell them you just spent the weekend being a cum dump with the help of your friend Tina.

At the same time I do get the sense that they’re hesitant to be promoted here ’cause they have people watching them who might find the association a bit odd or inappropriate. But it’s not odd at all – sites like this are where they’ll find some of their best research participants. If they filled their study who guys didn’t take any risks, they’d have a hard time drawing conclusions – they need you guys for their study to succeed.

When I was talking to the researcher on the phone the other day one of the interesting things he said was how people’s attitudes have changed about studies. My generation and above volunteered for studies because we saw people dying and we wanted to make a difference. These days people don’t see their friends and lovers dying so they don’t really feel the need to be in studies.

But there really is a need for studies like this – drug use (especially meth) is a real problem in our community and it’s fucking up people’s lives. I know, I know some of you can control it, but a lot of you can’t. Or you think you can, but you’re no fun to fuck ’cause you’re so tweaked that you’re messy and distracted. A lot of you need someone to talk to about it – someone who’s not going to freak out on you – someone who will just accept you and help you think through the choices you’re making, and what you’re options are.

Now, I really want the research community to realize that they should be working with people like me. So if you call them, when they ask how you heard about the study, say you heard about it from rawTOP. If you’re too embarrassed to say that you can also say you heard about it from “Richard”. (Get it – the nickname for Richard is Dick – I’m a top… Seemed appropriate.)

The other day PigMaster told me I was responsible for about 4% of the traffic on BarebackRT and I’ve sent him hundreds of new registered users (the actual percentage is higher since people clear the cookies in their browser). I’d like the researchers to have a similar realization – that it makes sense to work with the bareback community. That we can be their allies, not their enemies…

So, if you have issues with sex and drugs, and you’re in NYC, give CHEST a call…




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