Monday, October 21, 2013

     This was an unusually busy week. I set a new personal record for most people tested: 30 people among our offices in Overland Park, the University of Kansas, Johnson County Community College, and DCAP’s office in Lawrence. Unfortunately, only about a fifth of those were the high risk people that I should be testing. The highlight from this week was a KU student who was reading the testing consent form and asked why we can’t test people 70 or over. I told him the FDA had not approved the test for them. To that he replied, “That makes sense, they probably didn’t have HIV back then.”
      Having done so much testing I wasn’t able to troll the interwebs until the end of the week. I finally sat down in DCAP’s office Friday and hit Craigslist. Lawrence was pretty typical with sad, lonely hetero guys looking for anything, and gay journeymen who post everyday for blow-and-go’s. After that I hit up Kansas City’s Craigslist. Again, pretty typical, but I started to notice the guys on there are older than Lawrence or Topeka. I should have known that from the clientele at HLP, but wow there are a lot of guys over 50 looking. Then I went to Topeka’s craigslist. Damn Topeka, you scary. At ten in the morning on a rainy Friday there is more crazy in Topeka than Albuquerque after a visit from Walter White. There were guys already looking to ‘Party and Play’ (have sex on drugs like meth or cocaine). There were guys who had been up all night “Zooted and Booted” and still looking for guys to bone (What is zooted and booted you may be asking yourself? I admit I had to urban dictionary this one, but it is when you are so drunk or high that your brain is not functioning). There was a guy looking to get tag-teamed by multiple guys whom he wanted to have taken “GO FAST incentives” so they didn’t get tired (Meth). What really caught my attention was the amount of blatant prostitution. Looking for prostitutes or advertising your services on craigslist is usually a game of code words and innuendos — women looking for a “date”, and men looking to give a woman “50 roses” — but not in Topeka! Today all subtlety was abandoned with men openly saying they wanted Latino woman and for how much (usually between $50 and $100); and women posting their services including the strip club location you could meet at and their picture! If it were just one or two of these post I could chalk it up to a troll or cops, but there were just too many!
     The only dick pic that really jumped out at me was one sad, pale, overweight old man with a incredible small dick. If the gloom of cold rainy days in November start to make you feel depressed, just think about the sad old man on craigslist looking for anyone to do anything with, and remember that at least that’s not you. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

     This was an exciting week. I was testing people all over the place. I was at the homeless shelter Monday night, Overland Park Tuesday, and a women's rehab clinic Thursday. I got to spend a reasonable amount of time on craigslist. They need a way to see what is 'trending' on craigslist like twitter.
      This week I noticed a lot more men looking for cross-dressers and cross-dressers looking for guys. The gay guys are taking back the casual encounters section from the sad lonely straight guys that ruled last week. There were more straight men looking for prostitutes than usual, and I noticed a few gay men looking to get paid. I have seen a lot on craigslist, but people looking to eat scat still makes me stop for a second and think about my life choices. While technically eating scat is not risk factor for HIV I still still sent him a message asking him to come get tested.
      I feel like I got a lot done this week. I tested a lot of people, and I accomplished my goal from last week of making two new HIV prevention memes (the two on this blog post). I think they are both pretty solid.
     The dick pic of the week has to go to a straight guy in Kansas City. He posted looking for a woman with a title something like "Women love a great smile", and the picture, once you click on the post, is his dick with a MS Paint smile painted on. What a clever guy.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

      This was not the most exciting week. I was able to troll a few people in KC into the office to get tested, but the rest of my time in Lawrence was a snoozer. This blog stuff isn't as easy I thought.
     Last week there was a big trend of guys looking for poppers.  This week KC's craigslist was flooded with hetero guys and scam post with women looking for men. Topeka is full of old guys. This weeks most memorable dick pic was an old guy in Topeka. I am not a doctor, but something is wrong with you. Seriously, get that checked out.
      I haven't made a new meme in over a month. I am slipping. Next week's goal is now two new memes. If you are reading blogs then you know what memes are, but I have a funny story about someone who did not.
      The first HIV prevention meme I made was a Good Guy Greg. I posted it on facebook and my older co-worker asked if that guy Greg was my friend. That was a good laugh. I then had to try and explain what memes are to a guy born in the 1950s. Try that for yourself. How would you explain memes to someone who can barely use facebook or email? It is not easy.
      When I first started trolling craigslist I would just use the agency logo or a red ribbon in my post. Craigslist post with pics get clicked on more often and when you are replying to someone's post they usually ask for a dick pic attached to the email or they won't open it. There is nothing wrong with the agency logo or a pride rainbow, but memes are big among young people. Young people are part of the target high risk group I am trying to get to come to be tested. I think memes are a better way to get young people's attention than a red ribbon, so I am going all in on memes.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

      My week is over and I am about to dash out of the office. This week was not as interesting. Tuesday I worked in Overland Park and was able to get a high risk guy on the downlow in to be tested with my craigslist post. That was a nice. The rest of the week I have been on campus. I forgot how much I hate KU. Being on campus I wasn't able to do much trolling on craigslist, which is a little disappointing.
     I guess I can share a fond memory, and my motivation for trolling craigslist. A few months after I started working in Overland Park I began dabbling in craigslist outreach to get people to come in and get tested. With no real instruction, other than my boss telling me she used craigslist to get people to come in, I began posting.
      As I have mentioned before "Bareback" or "BB" is the word for unprotected anal sex among men who have sex with men, and it is one of the highest risk behaviors for HIV transmission. So, knowing this, I posted an add on craigslist that said "Bareback Now". Once they clicked on it the add said that if you are barebacking off craigslist you are putting yourself at risk for HIV and should get tested. Then I put our agency information. Then he came in.
     A middle-age white Johnson County man came in to the testing room crying. Not a little sniffing, but full-blown Old Yeller bawling. He was married with kids and had been meeting men off craigslist. He told me he saw my add and knew he was putting himself, and his wife, at risk. I tested and counseled him then told him to wait in the other room. It was a busy night and it took a little longer than 15 minutes for me to give him his results. Negative.
      That experience felt really good. Casting my bait out onto the interwebs then reeling this guy in was very satisfying. I felt like I had actually accomplished something and made a difference. When I get no responses from my adds or someone flags my post for removal, I just think back to the bawling man shaking my hand.
     I have not seen any outstanding dick pics this week, but I have seen a lot of strange stuff worth mentioning. Poppers are all of a sudden popular in KC. Tactfully looking for scat play is a skill. And if people could stop posting their rape fantasies on craigslist that would be great. This was a Boromir week.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

   Another day almost done, and I am ready to head home. An exciting day on the more interesting side of the interwebs. A post in today's craigslist about a porn shop in Topeka that has people pay for glory-holes in back had me scouring the internet for more information. I found where it is and the basics of how it works. If a porn shop in Topeka organizing glory-holes sounds sketchy and disgusting everything I found out about reinforced that notion. I avoid Topeka at any cost. Nothing good has ever happened there. Ever. And if something good did happen there, then something proportionally grotesque and terrible would have to happen there at the same time to restore the balance. After investigating the situation I emailed my findings to a counterpart working in HIV prevention in Topeka. She had just found out about it last week, and was looking into it. In my research I also found a gay cruising site that reviews places men can meet all over the country. As worried as KU is about it's rankings someone should inform them that the Campanile is only a 4 out of 5 star site, and the men's bathroom on the third floor of the Union is an embarrassing 1 out of 5. This was a productive day.
     Craigslist was better today than it was yesterday, but still no replies. A lot of the same people I know I have already messaged about getting tested. My post in the Topeka casual encounters was flagged and removed, so I re-posted there and in Kansas City. The highlight of day for dick pics was a cavalier man with an exceptionally large member looking for man to live with him. I have seen more than a few dicks, and yup that is big.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

     Well my first day after creating this blog is just about to end. I posted in the Lawrence, Topeka, and Kansas City craigslist. I don't usually post in KC, but I had a clever idea and I couldn't resist. I had an idea for a new prevention catch phrase, "PNP is HIV". I think it is pretty clever, and it rhymes. PNP or party and play is the holy grail of high risk behavior for HIV prevention. PNP is when guys do some meth or other hard drugs and have sex. Using meth and having sex with men is how you get HIV. I could cite some grim statistic from the CDC, or you could just take my word that HIV and meth are peas in a pod. I have never taken meth or even watched Breaking Bad, but I am from Kansas and I work in HIV prevention, so it is my understanding that meth makes you horny but you can' t finish. Guys on meth wind up having marathon sex that leads to some tearage, and that blood exposure is how they wind up infected. Toss in the effect meth has on judgement and you have yourself one of the biggest risk factors in HIV transmission.
     Aside from my clever new phrase today was pretty slow. I replied to seven post, and didn't hear back from anyone. No one came in for to get tested, so not much going on here. As the dick pics go there was not much today. A few hetero guys looking and posting dick pics, but they all screamed creepyserialkiller. I think the same 18 year old guy in Ottawa posted three times looking for different things and taking different shots of his dick for each one. It took me a minute to realize it was him in all three. One pic stood out. A flaccid shot with some weird discoloration. Not sure who thinks that is attractive.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

     Well my name is Chad Steele, and I work in HIV prevention. An interesting portion of my job is spent online trying to get men who have sex with men to come in and get tested. For now I spend most of my time on craigslist. That said, if you spend much time on craigslist trying to talk to men who have sex with men you are going to see some dicks.
     My basic modus operandi is to post in the casual encounters section with a catchy title that our high risk demographic will click on. Something catchy like "DL Vers ready now". In non-craigslist lingo that says "a man who is not openly gay and is sexually willing to be either a top or a bottom is looking for sex in the immediate future" The unknowing man then clicks on my add and instead of being a picture of a dick there is a picture of one of my HIV prevention memes and a message that you can get tested for free at our agency. After posting an add I go through the everyone else who posted in that day's casual encounter and I open every post where a man or transsexual is looking for a man or transsexual (m4m, t4m). Now that I have all of them open I cut and paste the craigslist email address into an email composer. Then I have to take a good look at their add. Sometimes they ask that you put a word or phrase in the subject line of your email. It's usually very clever. Something along the lines of "cock" or "raining outside". I then put his requested subject in the subject line. I then cut and paste a short paragraph about coming in to get tested and our agency's information. Based on what at risk behavior I then personalize the first sentence of the letter to address what they are looking for and tell them they are at risk for HIV. Then I attach another HIV prevention meme to the email and send it. I then take a second to document my work on an excel spreadsheet where I write in the columns when, what site, post/reply, the title, where, at risk behavior, etc. And I am done! Well, done with that one post. Now I go to the next post and the next until I have messaged everyone who posted so far that day. I can get this done pretty quickly, so sometimes I post Topeka's craigslist. That's my day. Trolling people on craigslist with the hope of getting them to come in and get tested for HIV.
     While drinking at a fundraiser party I had an interesting conversation with three female acquaintances. They told me that men who hit on them immediately send them dick picks. Right off the bat, dick pic. I was a little shocked. I am straight guy, and I was under the erroneous impression that it was only guys looking for guys or creeps like Anthony Weiner who sent dick pics. They informed me that I was incorrect and now heterosexual men are sending unsolicited pics of their dicks to women with the hope that the picture will sway her opinion of him to seal the deal. I am by no stretch of the imagination a suave ladies man, but I know you don't send a woman a picture of your dick. Even if she ask. The ladies I was speaking with then shared a recent dick pic they had with me. A dick with a flashlight for perspective. One of them then said that every man she meets she looks in their phone and their is a photo of their dick and a photo of poop. So guys are documenting their bowel movements and their dicks. I was a little shocked at her proclamation of dick and poop pics. So shocked that later I had to check my phone. Did I unknowingly have pics of my dick or poop on there? Thankfully no.
     I explained to one of them what I did, trolling craigslist, and that I see a lot of dicks. She said something along the lines of "that is interesting. you should write that down like in a blog. i would read that." That was a good idea, so here it goes.