Men's Health

 

Opposites Attract Study

 

Wherever Sex Happens 2

Beats

Beats are public spaces where gay guys meet, often to have sex. They can include beaches, parks and public toilets.

Wherever sex occurs, it is important to protect yourself and your partners from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis can be passed on by blood, cum, pre-cum or mucus during anal or oral sex. Some STIs may also be passed on by skin to skin contact.

HIV is most commonly passed on through anal sex without a condom.

Oral sex carries a small risk of HIV transmission particularly if it involves getting cum in the mouth.

You can’t tell whether someone has HIV or an STI just by looking at them. People with HIV or STIs often don’t know they are infected as they may not have any symptoms. The only way to know is to have a test.

Using a condom and water based lubricant reduces your risk of getting and passing on HIV and many STIs.

 

Top tips for better sexual health

  1. Use condoms and water based lubricant
  2. Get regularly tested for STIs including HIV
  3. Recognise and act on symptoms of STIs
  4. When possible tell my recent sex partners if I have been diagnosed with an STI
  5. Get vaccinated for hepatitis A & B

 

Personal safety

  • Tell someone where you are going.
  • Doing a beat when drunk or on drugs may impair your judgement and make you more vulnerable.
  • Leave valuables at home. Attacks at beats may involve theft.
  • Don’t wear a personal stereo – you need to be able to hear what’s going on around you.
  • Wear clothes and shoes you can run in if need be. Know the surroundings – you may need exits/escape routes.
  • If you want to leave the beat with someone you meet, talk with them first to determine whether you feel safe with them.
  • Be discreet if you are having sex. Most police activity at beats is in response to complaints from the public about obvious sexual activity taking place in easy-to-view areas.
  • Stay away from anyone you think is suspicious – even if they look like your ‘type’. Be especially wary of groups of people.
  • If threatened, run away (if you can) and try to attract help by shouting. Or, if you see anyone being hassled, call the police or yell. Take a note of their details (appearance, car rego, etc) so that you can identify them later.
  • If you see someone being attacked, try to help them but don’t put yourself at risk.
  • Consider learning self-defence.

 

Respecting the Bush and other visitors

Keep to the constructed paths to protect the native vegetation, prevent soil compaction, erosion and weed infestation and to allow the bush to regenerate. Do not litter. Take all rubbish away with you. Discarded condoms/wrappers are not only environmentally unfriendly but they also attract complaints and interest from the public and authorities.

 

Where to get Help

In an emergency - call 000

 

More info

Contact: ACON's Gay Men's Education Team

Tel: (02) 9206 2000
Free Call: 1800 063 060
Hearing Impaired: (02) 9283 2088

Email: sgep@acon.org.au

Web: Beats NSW