Poisonous Semen and AIDS

By Fred Cline

13 May 1999

One of the most vexing and divisive issues in the dissident "AIDS" movement, with the possible exception of the existence/non-existence of "HIV," is the role of semen as the cause of disease.

In my paper Anal sex and AIDS (1), I thought, although it was short and to the point, that I had given sufficient evidence that semen in the anus was not peculiar to gay men and had therefore dispelled the idea of it being a possible cause of "AIDS." It was not meant to be an exhaustive treatment of the subject, nor was it "scientific" as I am not a scientist. It was my hope that my detractors would pick up on the subject, pull in other references as objective researchers, and come to the same conclusion as I.

Around last Christmas I had an inquiry from the Perth Group for this paper as they contended that they had lost their copy. They gave me the impression that they were going to reassess their position on the subject. A friend of mine in London had a similar inquiry and also supplied information to them with the same expectations.

We were, therefore, all rather surprised, to say the least, to see Eleni Papadopulos's paper, "Looking back on the oxidative stress theory of Aids."(2)

In this paper she makes the following statement (p. 31): "Thus, by the time AIDS was diagnosed I was aware of the biological and pathological effects induced by many agents (semen, nitrites, recreational drugs, Factor VIII, infectious agents and the drugs used to eradicate them) to which the patients belonging to the AIDS risk groups were exposed." I have no quarrel with most of the agents mentioned, but semen is not and cannot be considered a "pathogen." She quotes various studies correlating HIV positivity and conditions leading to AIDS with anal and oral sex, but nowhere quotes any studies mentioning the QUANTITY of semen in the high risk group being unique. Therefore, in spite of her arguments, I have not been persuaded to change the conclusion of my original paper: namely that most anal sex is heterosexual in nature and cannot be the pricipitating agent for disease.

In making the case against gay men (the so-called high risk group for passive anal sex) our sexual excesses are often referred to. I will not totally deny that gay men left without any mitigating influences will not get all the sex they can get, nor will most straight men. However, there is a huge overlap between heterosexuals and gays in this regard. In the straight community it is referred to as the Don Juan syndrome in males and nymphomania in females. The desire to have huge quantities of sex are the fantasy of every male, whether straight or gay, and the same impediments to getting laid are there in the gay world as in the straight.

The myth of the "pig bottom" was largely originated by Michael Callen in his now famous letter published in Jon Rappoport's AIDS Inc. Because of its importance, I quote this passage in its entirety: "Everybody likes to compare AIDS in America with AIDS in Africa. Here's the only link I see: A small subset of highly promiscuous, urban gay men unwittingly managed to recreate disease settings equivalent to those of poor third world nations and junkies. My own case is a good example. By the age of 27, I estimate that I had had 2,000 different sex partners. I'd also had: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis non-A, non-B; herpes simplex types 1 and 2, shigella; entomoeba histolica; giardhia; syphilis; gonorrhea; non-specific urethritis; chlymidia; venereal warts; CMV; EBV-reactions; and finally cryptosporidiosis and AIDS. The question for me wasn't why I was sick with AIDS but rather how I had been able to remain standing on two feet for so long. If you blanked out my name and handed my medical chart prior to AIDS to a doctor, she/he might reasonably have guessed that it was the chart of a 65 year old equatorial African living in squalor. Have we forgotten how much time we spent in our doctors' offices."(3)

It was generally known that Michael was a bottom and this would be indicated by the venereal warts, but what he fails to mention is the fact that during this whole period he was using nitrite inhalants. This was related to me by none other than John Lauritsen. Michael did not mention the fact that he used drugs as they were ubiquitous in the gay world at that time and so taken to be part of the scene that it was not even thought of to mention them. Lastly, even though Michael was a bottom, bottoms do not always get what they want. Only a portion of his so-called 2,000 encounters were thus anal intercourse. One can be sure of this because of his own admission to having had non-specific urethritis. Be it further known that gay men at that time were wont to exaggerate their sexual exploits as it conferred a higher social ranking within the gay community. This, although lamentable, was a fact and everyone living through that era will remember it. I suppose it still is to some extent, although I am no longer part of the scene and not able to judge that. In addition, it is also a characteristic of gay men to be given to hyperbole (myself included). Where this comes from and why is the topic of another paper. Much of his above statement, including his odious comparison with Africans, can therefore be discarded.

In almost every case where Eleni P. mentions a correlation between "AIDS" and sex, there is also a correlation with the use of drugs. To me, therefore, even though I believe that "AIDS" is a construct, Peter Duesberg's drug/AIDS hypothesis is still the most comprehensive and rational explanation for why people have become ill and continue to become ill.(4)

Another aspect of the semen in the anus theory that Eleni P. ignores is the fact that most of the semen after anal intercourse is expelled. Although there are about 350 million sperm released in a healthy ejaculation, how many actually are retained and enter the blood stream? The rectum is also, in addition to being an organ of pleasure, used as an organ of elimination. Paul Philpott, in a highly charged debate on this subject, once exclaimed that one ejaculation may cause no more harm than a glass of wine! What then, is the issue and why are we talking about this subject?

In this regard I would like to quote the following: "GAY FILIPINO SEX SLAVE SEEKS REPARATIONS. A 74-year-old gay man in Manila, the Philippines, is seeking reparations from Japan for being kept as a sex slave during World War II. Walter Dempster says he and five of his drag-queen friends were kidnapped, taken to a garrison in suburban Manila, and forced to service Japanese soldiers for several months. "We were mauled, punched, kicked, slapped, pinched with cigarette butts, and hit with bayonets until we bled," Dempster told the Manila Standard newspaper. "Then we were pushed on the table face down where a long queue of Japanese soldiers waited their turn." Dempster is receiving assistance in his court case from a Manila city councilor."(5)

Without having interviewed Mr. Dempster, one can come to several conclusions: (1) Mr. Dempster was a bottom and must have had innumerable other sexual encounters in that mode before and after his encounter with the Japanese, and (2) when you gather men together without women they are inclined to have intercourse with other men. Please note that Mr. Dempster is still alive at 74 and expecting to live many more years as he is "seeking reparations" from the Japanese.

Men have been having intercourse with other men throughout history, even though they are not necessarily gay, especially when isolated from women. This is well known. This has also not only been on land, but also on the sea. A traditional limerick from the days of sailing goes as follows:
A cabin boy on an old clipper,
Grew steadily flipper and flipper.
He plugged up his ass
With fragments of glass
And thus circumcised the skipper."(6)

In modern times the sexploits of sailors are chronicled in a marvelous book by Steven Zeeland titled Sailors and sexual identity. The author observes: "Unvoiced is the truth that homosexual expression is a natural possibility for men who identify themselves as heterosexual, and that the unavailability of women is often not so much a cause of, but an excuse for, sexual feelings for other males."(7) All of the usual forms of sexual activity are recorded, including much maligned anal sex. It has been ever so and will continue to be so despite President Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" policy which has been used as a club against "gay" sailors. This is because "all male sailors tend to be sexually adventuresome. It is one of the many areas where a hard distinguishing line between 'gay' and 'straight' simply does not exist."(8)

More evidence... From On the margins : "In many of the developing countries, the age of the participants in anal sex can determine what sex role they take, with younger men or boys usually taking the receptive role. Such role taking is often in the context of juvenile male prostitution, but it can also reflect strong cultural traditions of inter-generational sex between adult men and younger men and boys. In Madras, for example: 'Older boys, younger men and adult men have a liking for younger boys often because of their androgynous appearance. For them these boys are socially approachable and many indulge in sex with them. Often there are relationships of patronage between younger and older boys and men in the role of inserters. Not all juvenile anal sex is intergenerational. Boys and adolescents have sex with their peers, often in the context of sexual experimentation, and sometimes because of the sexual unavailability of girls and young women. Among the estimated 100 million streetchildren, 'comfort sex' between boys is common." ..." In many countries, especially among indigenous or 'first' peoples, and in many societies in the Pacific, anal sex between men and boys and between boys, has a sacred or ritualistic 'rites of passage' dimension."(9)

Please note that amongst the 100 million streetchildren that anal sex is common. Multiply this by men and boys around the globe and the figures are truly astronomical. This especially in view of the fact that "22% of... men [not necessarily gay] said they had engaged in homosexual acts."(10)

From On the margins again, referring to gay encounters: "When examined by region, the figures are interesting. In Africa, 57% of respondents said anal sex 'quite commonly,' 'very commonly,' or 'usually' happens. In Asia the figure was 62%; and in both Latin America and the Caribbean, 100%. We can conclude that anal sex is a sexual behavior of major significance for men who have sex with men in all parts of the world, and especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, where anal sex appears to be the rule in male-to-male sexual encounters."(11) I should also like to point out that in Latin America there is no social stigma attached to the inserter; it is only the receptive partner who is referred to as a "maricon," i.e. queer. "Straight" men therefore avail themselves rather promiscuously of receptive men.

In looking at these figures I am reminded of my assertion in my previous paper that only 6% of all gay sex in the developed world is anal sex. This can be accounted for by the intense propaganda against it in conjunction with the "AIDS epidemic." However, the recent barebacking rebellion (and these statistics were compiled before this phenomenon occurred) would now produce a higher rate I am sure. In addition, I believe these figures were skewed by the fact that gay men in the developed world have been until recently unwilling to admit to their "unsafe" sexual practices because it has been considered déclassé and would therefore interfere with obtaining other sex partners. Above all, one must conform in order to become part of the sex circuit in the gay world.

The roots of analphobia lie in a long tradition of the religious persecution of sodomy.

How did this come about in the Western world? I think it only makes sense in light of the Church's early battle with Paganism and Gnosticism. For centuries the Church did everything in its power to suppress these elements, but has been unable to eradicate them from our culture even unto this day. During the '60s there was a resurgence of the desire to search for direct spiritual knowledge through the use of sex and psychoactive drugs. This is a legitimate, even though dangerous, path that has been used by man since the beginning of time. Indeed, there are those who maintain that man's first knowledge of the transcendent was through the use of mind-altering plants, and the connection between shamanism and psychedelic substances is legendary. Gay men, being naturally fey, were accepted into the counterculture of the '60s because of the ancient pansexual traditions which had come to the surface again at that time.

Historically the Church had to suppress the direct route to spiritual knowledge in order to consolidate its temporal power. The early Councils of the Church established a single route to salvation, which was through the Church itself. The Church and its priests were made the intermediaries between God and man and all other approaches were made heretical. Sodomy has always been identified with these heresies. "In Gnostic cosmology.. the snake [was] employed to 'liberate' Adam and Eve. He did this, quite simply, by 'seducing' Eve in the Garden of Eden, that is by penetrating her. But... the serpent also 'seduced' Adam in the same way. In other words, he deflowered, through the appropriate apertures, both the ancestors of humanity, thus providing them with a double revelation: pleasure and knowledge. For the Gnostics, this act evidently had the force of example and no doubt certain of them did also practice sodomy in the name of the serpent, as a ritual repetition of his first act, a way of opening up the 'passages' of knowledge and thereby unsealing the blind eyes of the flesh. One can well imagine how horrified the Christians were at this individual interpretation of Genesis and the Gnostics' practical application of it! But it is also beyond question that this practice of sodomy... was nothing more than one among many techniques of erotic asceticism: normal coitus, lesbianism and no doubt fellatio..."(12)

The word "bugger," which is used in Great Britain to refer to anal sex, particularly between two men, comes from the word "Bogomil," which was a "Gnostic-like sect, the heirs to neo-Manichaen traditions which emerged in Bulgaria from the ninth century on."(13) They are also reported to have engaged in sexual "abominations", as the current use of the word would imply. Thus it is clear that authority has suppressed sodomy in conjunction with a direct route to transpersonal experiences in order to control mankind. These western biases have now been spread throughout the modern world and as belief structures infuse not only scientific pursuits but also the popular mind.

Although popular belief would have us accept that all science is objective and bases its conclusions on empirical data alone, this is far from the truth as can be demonstrated by the many reversals we have had in diet, for example. At one time salt was to be eliminated from our diet because it supposedly caused high blood pressure. Now this has been thrown out along with many other so-called empirical conclusions. Scientists protect themselves by inserting such qualifiers as "it seems that," or "it may" cause this and that, but the fact is there are few assumptions in the scientific world that are not challenged. Another example is the Big Bang theory. Halton Arp, a noted astrophysics scientist, has been driven out of the USA because of his opposition theory to the Big Bang theory and now resides in the Max Planck Institute in Germany where his ideas are looked upon much more favorably. (14)

It is my conclusion, therefore, that Eleni Papadopulos's oxidative stress theory as applied to "AIDS" and semen is just that and nothing more. The patterns of illness do not correlate with the practice of anal sex, which has been performed in both sexes from time immemorial, and there are few, if any, studies indicating that quantity of semen is a factor. In order to prove her hypothesis she would have to document that those engaging in anal sex in the the risk group under consideration have higher quantities of anal sex (with numerous different partners) than those outside the study group. Considering the widespread practice of this form of sexual activity in all genders it is very unlikely that she will ever be able to prove this.

Be it further known that there is also a theory that semen is the cause of cervical cancer (which she also correlates with a high frequency of heterosexual activity) and that the University of California at San Francisco is studying semen in the anus as a possible cause of cancer of the rectum.

To recapitulate: semen is said to cause "AIDS" in men and women who engage in excessive anal sex, and also to cause cervical cancer in heterosexual sex and also cancer of the rectum (also presumably in both sexes). What on earth are we as loving, sexual human beings to do? This leaves only masturbation and lesbian sex (or sex insulated by latex) as the only "safe" sexual outlets for the human race (and some develop allergies to the latex!).

I can't help reflect on the fact that this has all come about during the feminist movement where men have been blamed by extreme feminists for the patriarchy and for most of the ills of our present society. It is therefore not surprising to me that semen should now be considered poisonous. Could all of this speculating about poisonous semen be the result of misandry?

I should like to point out (to mention the obvious!) that all of this pathological postulating engenders fear of sexual activity and that it is only through love that man evolves. Eros is the gateway to Agape and Charis [love without an object].

In the midst of all this confusion has appeared a truly revolutionary book by Bruce Bagemihl titled Biological exuberance: animal homosexuality and natural diversity.(15)

Bagemihl is a biologist who has uncovered all the hidden references to homosexual activity in the animal world which were observed and duly recorded by zoologists since the very beginning of their discipline, but have been suppressed because they were either too bigoted to accept what they saw or too afraid of the consequences if they had revealed the truth. "Bagemihl estimates that same-sex relationships occur in from 15 to 30 percent of the 1 million species that are known to exist, even though no more than 2,000 species have begun to be adequately described by scientists." (16)

Of particular interest to the subject at hand, it is further revealed in this book that male Orangutans mount one another with full penetration and ejaculation and further engage in kissing and fellatio with one another.(17) It is not too far fetched, therefore, to conclude that the widespread exuberant sexual activity we find in human beings has been inherited from our animal ancestors.

If we assume that Mrs. Papadopulos-Eleopulos is correct and that semen is indeed dangerous to our health, how does she or anyone else plan to change the whole human race who is at this very moment engaging in every conceivable sexual activity? (N.B. We are far more inventive than the Orangutans!)

The oxidative stress theory of disease goes back before Mrs. Papadopulos and is the result of a reductionistic, myopic dwelling on pathology. We have had enough of this approach to science and health. Let us now turn our attention to the whole and encourage man to love, because the negative approach will only continue to produce fear and we cannot function as complete human beings while living in such a state.

Please do not misunderstand me: promiscuity does have its dangers, but not from "HIV" or semen, only from the same old sexually transmitted diseases. One should still exercise some caution in that regard.

I would like to close with a poem from Mutsuo Takahashi:

In the name of
man, member,
and the holy fluid,
AMEN (18)

Fred Cline, San Francisco, email:


1. Continuum [London] vol. 4, no. 4, Nov.-Dec., 1996, pp. 18-19.

2. Continuum [London] vol. 5, no. 5, Midwinter 1998/9, pp. 30-35.

3. Rappoport, Jon. AIDS, Inc. San Bruno, CA, Human Energy Press [1988], p. 341.

4. Duesberg, Peter H. Inventing the AIDS virus. Washington, D.C. Regnery [1996]

5.San Francisco Bay Times December 10, 1998, p. 13.

6. Anderson, C.V.J., ed. Forbidden limericks. [No place, no date] p. [4]

7. Zeeland, Steven. Sailors and sexual identity. New York [etc.] Harrington Park Press [1995], p. 9.

8. Ibid., p. xix.

9. McKenna, Neil. On the margins. London, The Panos Institute, 1996. p. 75.

10. Janus, Samuel S. and Cynthia. The Janus report on sexual behavior. New York [etc.] John Wiley [1993] p. 91.

11. McKenna, op. cit. p. 74.

12. Lacarriere, Jacques. The Gnostics. New York, E. P. Dutton [1977] p. 82.

13.Ibid., p 113. See also the word "bugger" in the Oxford English dictionary.

14. Arp, Halton. Seeing red; reshifts, cosmology and academic science. Montreal, Apeiron [1998]

15. Bagemihl, Bruce. Biological exuberance. New York, St. Martin's Press [1999]

16. Gorner, Peter. "Exploring the variety of sexual expression among animals..." Chicago Tribune Books. February 28, 1999.

17. Bagemihl, Bruce. op. cit., pp. 284-288.

18. Poem by Mutsuo Takahashi. Tr. by Hiroaki Sato. Pub. in A day for a lay, ed. by Gavin Geoffrey Dillard. New York, Barricade Books, 1999. p. 123.