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  • Writer's pictureAdrian (the meat guy)

meat: Sexual Health

For this month's meat ICONS, I photographed Brazillian sexual health Doctor Eduardo. As usual, we chatted for the magazine, but I could only publish an abridged version of our conversation due to space constraints. However, it was such a meaningful conversation that I decided to publish the full transcript here. Let me know what you think in the comments.

How did you get involved with sexual health?

It happened by accident or some serendipity. Until my last semester of uni, I was sure I would become a plastic surgeon like my older sister. I had plans of becoming a specialist in gender surgeries, as transgender health had always been on my radar. In my last semester, I had a rotation in a "sexology" clinic, a multidisciplinary setting that covered psychosexual disorders, dysfunctions and transgender health. I remember listening to this person describing their obsessive sexual behaviour and how that was impacting their life, and listening to the doctor discussing solutions, but also talking about sex in such a casual and professional way. It really flipped a switch for me. From that day on, I decided I wanted to specialise in sex holistically! So I completed med school, went into sexual and reproductive health, also became a psychosexual therapist and specialised in LGBTQ+ Affirmative mental health, and finally got involved with sex research. Sex is such an essential part of our lives and well-being that I pride myself in saying that I take care of everyone's sexual health.

What are the biggest myths and stigmas that still survive around men and their sexual health?

Oh! There are so many, and the list would go on and on. The most common ones I hear/see relate to the ideas of morals associated with sexual behaviour, promiscuity and interpersonal connections. There is this big myth that men (mainly men who have sex with men, MSM) are more promiscuous (which is a term I hate) and, therefore, less likely to take care of their sexual health. This myth usually comes associated with narratives such as "since PrEP became a thing, STI cases have increased" or "I am not promiscuous like 'the other gays', so I don't need to take certain preventions". The moralistic tone behind these beliefs really stems from internalised homophobia and a widely perpetuated stereotype that MSM are sexually deprived. We struggle to eliminate these beliefs because we are all raised in a society that normalises these discriminative discourses. Another myth is that MSM are incapable of making meaningful connections, and all relationships are fluid and shallow. A philosopher named Zygmunt Bauman wrote about the fluidity of modern times (including modern relationships). Creating roots and stability in a constantly changing world may seem like a bad idea because there is always something better and new around the corner. This makes connections less valuable, as they are always expendable. And the word around our community is that gays are never stable because there's always a better option around the corner. These myths and stereotypes are detrimental and not close to reality. Existing as diverse, out-of-the-norm individuals is such a complex experience that focusing on the labels we are implicated in doesn't do justice.

And what can we do about that?

I feel that it is essential to have a sex-positive approach to life to debunk these myths and stigmas. First of all, let's all scratch the term promiscuity! There is no such thing as being promiscuous; we are people who enjoy our sexual connections with many, many others! And this is far from being negligent or careless. We have an array of strategies to engage in safer sex: wearing condoms, getting tested regularly (ideally every 3 months), taking PrEP, getting your vaccinations, notifying partners about STIs that they will need to test or treat (to stop the chain of transmission), treating and abstaining when required, and being open about your sexual needs, likes and dislikes to create a line of communication and allow healthy consent to happen.

When it comes to modern fluidity, it is a sign of our times and not of our community. We can maintain strong and meaningful connections once communication and boundaries are established (which, let's be honest, is quite complex). Queer people are not worse than straight people. We live different lives and have different dynamics, so we should all approach our connections in a more open-minded and permissive way.

What's your impression of London in terms of men and their sexual health?

I like London because of its cosmopolitan atmosphere and very bright lifestyle. I get to meet people from all around the world, and the city is definitely queer! It feels like we make space for some straights to be around us, but we dictate the rules. When it comes to men, I am happy to be married to the most unique, beautiful, hot husband, and we have been in a 12-year-long polyamorous relationship, which has its struggles and glories. That is to say, we have had opportunities to experience our sexual and romantic life with men in London, and I cannot complain at all. I get to explore my kinky side and cherish my vanilla phases. Every person I get to know brings something new and fun to my life and my primary relationship. In terms of sexual health, some topics do concern me, such as chemsex misuse and certain health boundaries, which I feel most of the time people are either blissfully ignorant of, or don't care much. Sex in London is definitely more hardcore than it is in Brazil, but I think I am navigating it well enough.

You seemed so comfortable when we did our shoot. Is it something you've done before? 

Being naked in front of people that I just met or modelling for male erotica art? Both I have done before! I cannot claim myself a model in the slightest, but I do enjoy the fun of posing and interpreting someone else's creative prompts. It all started as a joke because my self-esteem has always been very low (I was always the ugliest in high school). So, being in front of a camera gives me some control over my vulnerability, and the result is usually something completely unexpected (and, dare I say, beautiful).

How did you feel during the session?

Extremely comfortable and well-directed. What I love about modelling is being a piece of someone else's work of art. I love seeing through someone else's lens, seeing the final result, and seeing myself differently. You are great at directing and encouraging us to give our best!

More importantly, what do you think of the photos we made?

I mentioned it to you when you showed me the pictures, but I rarely see myself as a man, not from the 'masc' perspective, more towards being used to seeing me as a boy. When I looked at the pictures, I saw myself as a man and a sexy one! It boosted my self-esteem and gave me a new perspective about my body and who I am, which I didn't see before.

Do you think something like meat is still relevant to men these days? 

I feel male erotica is a political statement in itself because it transgresses the commonplace of erotic bodies in media. We rarely see men in sensual, natural and laid-back erotic contexts. This tends to be something more (cis)female-focused because of the straight male gaze. I feel like meat does the opposite: it brings the male gaze from a homoerotic perspective and depicts people, bodies, context and settings that are relatable, and in the end, it helps us see beauty and sex in the casual. Incredibly relevant, for sure!

You can buy a copy of meat ICONS featuring Eduardo HERE

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1 Comment

edward houghton
edward houghton
Apr 26

Really good conversation, especially from a sexual health professional. Thanks. Love the photo. Xt

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