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Using Saliva as Lube Can Transmit Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Using Saliva as Lube Can Transmit Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Quite often we think natural products are good for us, and in may cases they are, so our thinking might be to use saliva as lube, since it’s natural, it comes directly from the body in an unaltered state and there’s a readily available supply on hand whenever we might need it. Saliva can also be dispensed on-demand extremely conveniently, without needing to squeeze lube through a tube, from a bottle or via a sachet. And while saliva (or spit, as many of us prefer to refer to it as) might sound like a great lubricant solution based on its natural properties as a slippery fluid created by the human body, it can actually enhance the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

The most common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) associated with saliva include herpes simplex virus, which leads to genital warts, as well as the common STIs chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, plus less common STIs, including trichomoniasis. In addition to the virus transmission issue, a study in 1982 found that saliva reduces sperm motility by 50% with 5 minutes of exposure and reduces sperm motility to zero after 15 minutes of contact. While sperm motility doesn’t affect men who have sex with men (MSM), because we do not require sperm for reproduction purposes, if you’re a lover of active sperm, then you might still consider this to be an issue, especially if you want active sperm swimming around inside you for as long as possible.

© Can Stock Photo / Mark2121

In addition to spreading STIs, saliva can also dry out fairly quickly, losing its moisturising properties after just a few thrusts, which can increase the level of friction between the penis and anus, which can lead to more intense pressure being applied to the skin, which could result in abrasions and in turn provide viruses with a higher chance of being transmitted. It could be said that the whole issue of STIs being transmitted via saliva is irrelevant when you’re barebacking, considering that these STIs can be transmitted through unprotected sexual whilst using other types of lubricant, which is true, as these STIs can be spread from the touching bare skin or from swapping other bodily fluids, but the addition of saliva can enhance the virus transmission process.

You will discover a number of different lubricant brands and types on the market, with the most common types of lubes being water-based and silicone-based, along with specialty lubes, including ones that look and feel like cum, ones that heat up or lubes that are scented, just to name some of the different variations. If you’re wondering which lube might be the best for you, it really does come down to personal preference. Most people are satisfied with water-based lube, because it works well and it’s extremely versatile, but if you’re looking for lube that has more substance, feels thicker and lasts longer, then silicone lube is your best bet.

If you’re wanting to use lubricant with condoms (probably not anyone visiting this website), then make sure you avoid oil-based lubricant, because the properties of oil-based lubricant can damage latex condoms. On a similar note, if you’re going to be using sex toys for your encounters, then it’s best to avoid using silicone-based lubes, as silicone-based lube can bend, warp and damage sex toys. So for simplicity, water-based lubricant is the best option and when it comes to raw sex, you might want to try silicone-based lube or even a water-silicone hybrid product. It’s also recommended to avoid lubricants containing Nonoxynol-9 as this ingredient is a spermicide that kills sperm and is known to cause skin irritations, which can also lead to a higher chance of STI transmission.

When it comes to choosing the right lube, once you have defined the category that best fits your needs, then choosing a brand really comes down to personal choice. I am a fan of both Swiss Navy water-based lube and silicone-based lube, but I’m always happy to try new products to keep things interesting. If there’s a particular type or brand of lube that works best for you, please share the details below so you can let us know what you like the most about it, so we can give it a shot if we want to try something different. There’s a coconut-based lube that has recently captured my attention, so I’ll be trying it sometime, because there’s nothing like a raw cock sliding superbly inside a hole, whether it’s someone’s cock sliding inside you or your cock sliding inside someone else.

Further Reading:

Featured Photo: Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay.
Supplementary Photo: © Can Stock Photo / Mark2121
Article ID: CC057
Version Control: 1.0 – January 22, 2023: Original article published.

The Canadian ‘The Gift Giver’ Short Film is a Winner

The Canadian 'The Gift Giver' Short Film is a Winner
The Gift Giver / Dresser Drawer Productions.

Last month I was emailed by Curious Chaser member Sprigs suggesting I watch the short film called ‘The Gift Giver’. I responded by saying that I had recently reviewed this film and I shared the link to the article I wrote thinking we were referring to the same film. I was pleasantly surprised when I read Sprigs’ reply and learned that there is actually another film that has the same name, and I couldn’t believe I didn’t already know about this film, because it’s fantastic. The first film I reviewed was the British film released in 2014, whereas the second film I am about to introduce you to (if you don’t already know about it) is the Canadian film released in 2017.

As this short film has a running time of 8 minutes, I am mindful of how much detail I share with you about the film in this article, because I don’t want to spoil any of the story for you, but I will say that the film is quick to introduce a powerful storyline through solid acting performances, as the story follows an interesting path. You can watch this film for free if you have an account at Vimeo, as the film was produced through the assistance of crowdfunding and I have included the link at the end of this article. If you don’t have an account at Vimeo, you can create one for free that will have you watching this film in minutes.

The Gift Giver / Dresser Drawer Productions.

Released on August 2017 by Dresser Drawer Productions, The Gift Giver explores the subject of HIV-infection through a HIV support group setting. Rich and Sam are the two main characters, with Sam being a new person attending the support group and Rich being a more long-term group attendee and there are also appearances of several other group members who share their experiences with being HIV-positive. The film is split into three segments from two distinct parts, with the beginning and end segments being separated so we can be taken on a brief journey that bridges the story together. The end of the film is powerful when the story comes together, which gave me goosebumps.

The film was written and directed by Denis Theriault and was produced by Wayne Burns, who played Sam in the film and the cinematography is credited to Jordan Kennington. The film stars Wayne Burns as Sam, Kyle Mac as Rich, Alex Ozerov as Paul, Tanya Bevan as Theresa, Michael Ayres as Seth and Katie Messina is the female voice we hear from the group. Even though this film was extremely short, the acting is excellent and the actors all provided solid performances so we could get a better emotional understanding of the characters they were representing.

When a filmmaker is able to tell a story that leaves you feeling emotional, you know they have done a tremendous job and you are left with an appreciation for a quality story and impressive acting abilities. I urge you to take a few minutes of your time to watch this film so you can be touched by the work the production team and actors put into creating this film for their audience. As a particular audience that can intimately relate to the subject matter, this is an even more important film for you tune into. I am more than happy for us to continue to the conversation about what you think of the film and anything else you would like to mention in the comments section below, so please don’t read the comments until you watch the film to avoid any spoilers.

The Gift Giver Characters / Dresser Drawer Productions.

Click Here to Watch The Gift Giver at Vimeo

Featured Photo: © Dresser Drawer Productions.
Article ID: CC056
Version Control: 1.0 – January 7, 2023: Original article published.

The Festive Season is a Time for Spreading Joy and Sharing Gifts

The Festive Season is a Time for Spreading Joy and Sharing Gifts

Today is considered by many, but not everyone, to be the day Jesus Christ was born. Whether you are religious or not, December 25 is often a festive day that involves people coming together to share their gifts with others. As this day is celebrated by many to mark the creation of a new life, this day can have a significant meaning for different people, although for many who are not religious or who do not share the same religion that’s associated with Christmas, today might just be another day on the calendar. Whether you are religious or not, you might decide to make today a day where you contemplate something you would like to see happen in the future.

Curious Chaser launched on September 20, 2021, with 2022 being the first full year this website has been in existence. I’m very grateful to everyone who has visited the website during this time and to those of you who have created a membership account so you can get involved through the interactive features inside the members area, including the popular forums and private messaging system. When I first started Curious Chaser, it was my intention to just publish articles, but I received many requests to make the website more interactive, which I have been happy to implement through the launch of the forums this year, which is the most popular part of this website.

As this website has grown, I upgraded my web hosting package to a higher performance plan, as the interactive features are more resource intensive. There’s more to this website than just machines and technology, there’s people who help make the website what it is for you to enjoy. I would like to mention a few people who work their magic behind the scenes, including our forum moderators Jim and Duane, who kindly offered to help moderate posts that have been selected for manual approval, which are posts from members who haven’t yet had three posts manually approved. Jim and Duane work hard to approve posts quickly to help ensure the flow of communication isn’t affected by having to wait for too long for posts to be reviewed.

Christmas Quote from Pope Francis / Pope Francis

I would also like to thank someone who has asked to remain anonymous, but who has been a massive help with improving the current bug chasing and gift giving survey. This person knows who he is and he knows that I am very grateful for the assistance he has provided to make the survey the best that it can be, so I want to acknowledge his assistance publicly. Each of you who has participated in the survey this year, will have personally experienced the survey that was made better through the assistance of this person, and he has also agreed to help make the next survey in 2023 even better, so stay tuned for this!

In addition to everyone I have mentioned already, I also want to thank those who frequently comment on the articles I publish and who are actively posting in the forums. Without you, the website would be static and lifeless, so thank you to those of you who are bringing the website to life by participating and getting involved. If you’re feeling shy or afraid to say something, there’s no need to be worried, as we are a friendly and supportive community, so please share your thoughts through a comment, forum post or even create a new forum thread of your choice, because you’re more than welcome to do so and it can be a freeing experience when you’re able to express yourself by saying something you’ve being wanting to say for a long time.

Some of you have attended the Meet and Greet meetings on Zoom that are hosted by Scott. I would like to thank Scott for coming up with the initiative to create these meetings and for hosting them on a regular basis for us to become a part of. If you want to join one of the meetings, you can find out when they’re being held via the Meetings and Events forum at this website, so make sure you keep checking the forum regularly so you can get the date, time and meeting link for the next meeting, where you can join likeminded people to discuss topics including bug chasing, gift giving and HIV in general.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the bug chasing and gift giving survey this year, with almost 500 responses received to date. I’m currently working my way through tallying the responses so I can present the data to you in graphs like I did last year. This is why the articles have been slim this month and will be for the beginning of next month too, as I prepare to launch the next survey, so if you haven’t already participated, make sure you check out the survey page so you can do something special and become part of the results.

Christmas usually involves the sharing of gifts and spreading joy, so that’s where the spirit of this message is coming from today. It’s quite possible that some of you may have received the gift of HIV throughout the year or perhaps some of you may have shared the gift of HIV with others throughout the year. This is the perfect day for sharing, so if you’re wanting to share your knowledge or experiences, the forums are the perfect place to do this and it’s also a great place where you can ask questions and receive answers from those who may have personal experience they would like to share with you.

However you decide to spend your day today, I hope it’s a day that’s filled with happiness and joy. As busy as your day might be, I hope you’ll take some time for yourself, so you can enjoy the day as we prepare to begin 2023 in a few days time. Thank you to each and every one of you for visiting, sharing your thoughts and offering your support, it has not gone unnoticed and it’s greatly appreciated by myself and everyone who spends time here. I hope you enjoy the articles and updates I will continue to share with you in the New Year and beyond.

Featured Photo: © Can Stock Photo / Konstanttin.
Article ID: CC055
Version Control: 1.0 – December 25, 2022: Original article published.

‘Equalize’ is the World AIDS Day Theme for December 1, 2022

'Equalise' is the World AIDS Day Theme for December 1, 2022

It was back in 1987 that World AIDS day was first conceived by two public information officers at the Global Programme for AIDS at the World Health Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland. James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter took their idea to Dr. Jonathan Mann, who was the Director at the time of the Global Programme on AIDS, which is now known as UNAIDS, who liked the concept and approved it, with the recommendation for the first observance to be on 1 December, 1988. This date was chosen, as it was believed that it would maximise the coverage of the day by the western news media and the day has continued every year for the past 35 years.

Each year a theme is selected and is used for messaging to highlight the campaign and to keep it relevant as the world evolves. The global campaign for 2022 is ‘Equalize”, but other countries have chosen to embrace different themes for a more local approach, with Australia choosing ‘Boldly Positive’ for their 2022 theme, the United Kingdom choosing ‘Rock the Ribbon’ for their 2022 theme and the United States choosing ‘Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV’. The global theme is important, but each country has introduced themes they believe are relevant to the people in their locations to help keep everyone connected.

Global Themes Over the Years
Rock the Ribbon - Eli / National AIDS Trust
1988 Communication
1989 Youth
1990 Women and AIDS
1991 Sharing the Challenge
1992 Community Commitment
1993 Time to Act
1994 AIDS and the Family
1995 Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities
1996 One World. One Hope.
1997 Children Living in a World with AIDS
1998 Force for Change: World AIDS Campaign with Young People
1999 Listen, Learn, Live: World AIDS Campaign with Children & Young People
2000 AIDS: Men Make a Difference
2001 I Care. Do You?
2002 Stigma and Discrimination
2003 Stigma and Discrimination
2004 Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS
2005 Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise
2006 Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Accountability
2007 Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Leadership
2008 Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Lead – Empower – Deliver
2009 Universal Access and Human Rights
2010 Universal Access and Human Rights
2011 Getting to Zero
2012 Together We Will End AIDS
2013 Zero Discrimination
2014 Close the Gap
2015 On the Fast Track to End AIDS
2016 Hands up for #HIVprevention
2017 My Health, My Right
2018 Know your Status
2019 Communities Make the Difference
2020 Global Solidarity Shared Responsibility
2021 End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics.
2022 Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice

As you can see from these different themes, the focus is about providing awareness of HIV/AIDS and to highlight the importance of HIV testing, eliminating discrimination, knowing your HIV status and acknowledging the people who have HIV/AIDS around the world. Even though the date of December 1 never changes to commemorate World AIDS Day, the themes are adjusted each year to deliver a new message that is relevant for the year and many campaigns still tend to acknowledge the overarching global campaign, even if local campaigns have different messaging. The red ribbon is also a common symbol that many people choose to wear to show their support for World AIDS Day and has remained a constant symbol over the years.

World AIDS Day is designed to help prevent new cases of HIV and also to fight against HIV stigma and discrimination involving those who are HIV-positive or have AIDS and to help secure rights for those who are living with the virus, so it’s a very important date on the calendar. This is also a day that highlights the need for inequalities to be addressed, as many people living with HIV/AIDS still experience discrimination or are affected by societies views towards HIV/AIDS in some way, which is why educating those who don’t know a lot about the virus is so important, as this helps tackle stigma by providing the facts and pointing out that anyone can be affected by HIV/AIDS.

One of the issues identified by UNAIDS over the past couple of years is the fact that a lot of resources have been redirected towards researching vaccines and health initiatives for COVID-19, with researchers and public health officials becoming distracted by trying to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, so the need for continued focus on HIV/AIDS remains important, so those in our community are not forgotten as a result of other events that are currently taking place around the world.

People currently living with HIV37,700,00038,400,000
Total number of people infected with HIV since the beginning of the epidemic79,300,00084,200,000
New HIV infections (people aged 15+ years)1,500,0001,500,000
AIDS-related deaths680,000650,000
Total number of AIDS-related deaths since the beginning of the epidemic36,300,00040,100,000
People currently accessing antiretroviral therapy27,500,00028,700,000
Source: 2021 and 2022 Global HIV Data / UNAIDS

These statistics are based on averaging estimates, with the minimum and maximum groupings quite significant. For example, the latest figures show that 38.4 million people were living with HIV globally in 2021, based on an estimate between 33.9 and 43.8 million, with the average estimate of 38.4 million used, and out of this number, 36.7 million in the 15 years or older age bracket, based on an average between 32.3 million and 41.9 million. It is also believed that between 1.1 million and 2.0 million people became infected with HIV in 2021, with a figure of 1.5 million used in the statistics. Out of the the total number of people living with HIV, 54% were women and girls, which is likely due to the higher number of infections in the sub-Saharan Africa region. It is estimated that approximately 5.9 million people did not know they were living with HIV in 2021. We need to remember that behind every number is a person and when you’re looking at these numbers, we’re talking about a lot of people.

Rock the Ribbon - Jay / National AIDS Trust

New HIV infections have been reduced by 54% since the peak in 1996, with around 1.5 million people infected with the virus in 2021, compared to 3.2 million people in 1996, with women and girls accounting for 49% of all new infections in 2021, which again relates to the high percentage of people in sub-Saharan Africa. The number of new infections has declined by 32% since 2010 from 2.2 million people to 1.5 million people in 2021. The number of AIDS-related deaths has been reduced by 68% since the peak in 2004 and by 52% since 2010, with an estimated 650,000 people dying in 2021 compared to 2 million in 2004 and 1.4 million in 2010.

The figures also state that in 2021, sex workers and their clients, gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, transgender people and their partners accounted for 70% of HIV infections globally, with the risk for gay men and other men who have sex with me 28 times higher than men who don’t have sex with men. In 2021, 85% of people living with HIV knew their status, with 88% who knew their status accessing treatment and 92% who were accessing treatment were virally suppressed. Based on these figures, 12% of people who knew their status were not accessing treatment and 8% of people who were accessing treatment were not virally suppressed, which could be those still at the early stage of taking medication.

World AIDS Day is an important day on the calendar for everyone, but especially for gay men who have been affected by HIV/AIDS more than any community outside the sub-Saharan Africa region. Many of us have been touched by someone we know who passed away in the early days of the epidemic before medications became available and some are long-term survivors of the virus. There are also those who want to become part of the HIV/AIDS community, so this is a day for everyone to reflect on the past and look towards the future, as HIV is not going anywhere for now, although the number of AIDS cases has dropped dramatically due to advancements in medications. You can show your support by wearing a red ribbon or donating to a number of different organisations that provide support for those living with HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day 2022
Further Information:

Featured Photo: World Aids Day Vectors by Vecteezy.
Article ID: CC054
Version Control: 1.0 – December 1, 2022: Original article published.

Shame and Stigma that can be Associated with Bug Chasing

The Shame and Stigma that can be Associated with Bug Chasing

The mind is an extremely powerful tool that controls everything we do. Every thought and and every action is processed by our brain and this is what makes things happen. When we have such an influential part of our body that controls us, it can affect other parts of ourselves and our identity, which is why it’s important to understand the way we think and what we want to have happen in our lives. Sometimes our mind can be so powerful that it works against us, such as making us question ourselves, or think badly about who we are.

As one of an estimated eight billion human beings on this planet, each of us is completely different, as we all come from different cultures, backgrounds and walks of life. It’s important for us to remember and appreciate that we are all unique, because trying to mimic someone else, means we are just living in the shadows of another person, who is not the person who we actually are. We all have our own identities and sometimes common themes bring people together, like those of us who share the same interest in bug chasing and/or gift giving.

It’s really important to remember that we are at different stages in our lives; we might be older or younger than others, we might come from a particular country, have varying cultural believes that might impact the way we think or we might let society dictate how we should live our lives. These are only some of the considerations when it comes to how we are all different people, which means there is nobody else in the world like you, and this makes you a special individual. Sometimes we forget that what makes us different can make us special, because it can be easy for us to take this for granted when it comes to who we are and how we feel about ourselves.

What we also need to consider is how we react when we hear the thoughts or views of others. Many people can be extremely vocal about their thoughts and beliefs and will happily share them with you or even try to control you based on the way they think, where they believe their way is the only way and everybody else is wrong, which is definitely not the case. This is why it’s so important for us to take a moment to stop before we react, because our impulses can sometimes take over and our reactions might not be the best to deal with the situation, which brings us back to the core subject about our minds and the way we think about things.

As bug chasers, we are often the subject of harsh comments by critics, coming from people who don’t understand us and don’t want to make an effort to understand us, because it’s easier to judge others and make statements based on personal thoughts, which we might innocently do this ourselves sometimes. As human beings, this is a characteristic that can make or break people, because sometimes harmful comments can hurt and cause so much pain, they have flow on effects, which can at times be detrimental to ourselves or others.

Being judged harshly can be soul destroying and it can affect your self-esteem and make you question your identity. If you have thoughts about bug chasing or feel connected to HIV, this can form part of your being, because it’s a part of you, so you need to accept this, which isn’t always easy and is why bringing your thoughts into alignment with other aspects of yourself is really important. If you let others tell you what they think, this could be damaging to your mind, so you need to be really careful who you reveal your bug chasing identity to.

If you were to walk out on the street and ask one hundred people who know what bug chasing is what they think of bug chasers, almost every person asked would most likely have a strong view and it probably wouldn’t be favourable. Some might even use words that are extremely harsh to reinforce what they think about bug chasing or question why someone would even contemplate being a bug chaser. It’s highly unlikely you would find anyone who supports bug chasing, which is why the reactions from others can make our thought processes vulnerable and when you’re in this situation, you need to have a tough shell to protect yourself.

To create a barrier that’s difficult to penetrate can cause other issues, which includes shutting yourself off or feeling isolated from the rest of the world, which can cause even more problems. This is why finding the right balance between protecting yourself and exploring your emotions is a priority and it’s something only you can do, as you know yourself better than anyone else does. You can seek the professional assistance of others, such as a counsellor or psychologist and they could prove to be helpful, but even though their personal opinions and lack of understanding on the subject should not affect the quality of the therapy session, it could be difficult for a professional to explore your feelings with you or you might feel uncomfortable opening up to them about what’s going on due to the fear of being judged.

So you’re probably wondering where this leaves you. It doesn’t leave you alone, because there are other people connected to bug chasing all around the world, it’s just a matter of finding a like-minded community, where you can interact with others by asking questions from those who are happy to share their knowledge or experiences with you. A community such as the forums here at Curious Chaser can be a great starting point, with community members who are happy to answer questions and genuinely try to help from the perspective of someone who has a similar thinking to yourself and who understands what you might be going through based on personal experience.

There is a still a significant amount of stigma involved when it comes to HIV in general, as some people still view it as a death sentence and believe a diagnosis will turn a persons world upside down, which is no longer the case based on medical advancements. When stigma is involved with HIV and bug chasing, this can create shame and lower our self-esteem, so we really need to know that bug chasing does exist and has existed for more than 20 years, with solid evidence of bug chasing dating back to 1997. Most people who contract HIV are not bug chasers, but there are most certainly some HIV-positive people who contracted HIV deliberately and are now part of the HIV community.

Stigma can create feelings of shame, which can lead to mental health conditions, as people who are constantly made to feel bad about who they are can have a serious effect on the mind of those who let what other people say affect them. It can be really easy to let other people influence you, because we often appreciate what others have to say, but when the tone or meaning of these comments or discussions are flipped, they can be harmful to our mind and souls and we need to take action to flush anything damaging from our minds, otherwise our entire body can suffer from the consequences of letting these thoughts linger for too long.

As our brain is an extremely powerful tool that controls our body, so it’s imperative for us to understand how it works and ensure our brain works with us and not against us. Understanding the way you think and how you process your thoughts will help you feel better about yourself, which means you can think clearly and redirect any negativity or damaging comments from others in society. It also means that you can reflect anything critical said about you so you don’t absorb that energy into your body, which it can be harder to process.

Here are a few things that might help you process any harmful comments or thoughts and help you feel better about yourself. It’s really important to cleanse the mind of anything that makes you feel bad, otherwise your self-esteem will be affected and your energy will be depleted unnecessarily, which can lead to other health issues.

  • Work on understanding who you are and be proud of yourself for being the person you are meant to be.
  • Know that you are not alone in this world, other bug chasers exist, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
  • Don’t let something horrible someone says affect you for too long, because this can affect your mental health.
  • Process any negative comments or thoughts calmly and efficiently to achieve a better and less stressful outcome.
  • Talk to others who are like-minded and understand some of the issues you are going through together.

Featured Photo: Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash.
Article ID: CC053
Version Control: 1.0 – November 20, 2022: Original article published.

Bug Chasing and Gift Giving Terms, Acronyms and Social Media Hashtags

Bug Chasing and Gift Giving Terms, Acronyms and Social Media Hashtags

If you have ever come across a word or term you’ve never heard of before, your first reaction might involve curiosity or confusion, where you might just go along with what is being said, followed by you quickly looking it up the first chance you get so you know what’s going on and get back in the loop again. The world is constantly coming up with new terms and acronyms, which can make it difficult to keep up with the evolving terminology. When it comes to bug chasing or gift giving, it can be hard to find comprehensive information in one place, so this article has been put together to give you some insight, although it’s likely that you already know everything on this page.

To help you understand some of the terms, acronyms and social media hashtags involved with bug chasing and gift giving, this article has been created with the assistance of Van, who kindly contributed some of the information you will find here. I had already started working on this page, so when Van messaged me and suggested the inclusion of a “Pozipedia” along with some definitions he had already come up with, so we merged what we both had already come up with to create this document. Van also came up with a cool name for it, being “Pozipedia”, which is a name that sums up what this page is about perfectly.

This “Pozipedia” contains information similar to what you would find in an encyclopaedia or Wikipedia, with the only difference being that this document exclusively encompasses the subject of bug chasing and gift giving. This page will remain a living document, because some of the terms and acronyms will change and new terms will come along, so this reference material will continue to be updated, just like the other articles published here. If you know of any references that haven’t been included on this page yet, please share them in the comments below so this article can be updated.

Barebacking, Bug Chasing, Gifting Giving, HIV and STI Definitions

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS): The final stage of infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), where the body’s immune system has become badly damaged by the virus. Symptoms include weight loss, fever, fatigue and recurrent infections, which can lead to death, however, antiretroviral medication can prevent the virus from reaching this stage.

Bareback: Coined in the early 1990s to define the preference for forgoing the use of condoms and engaging in unprotected anal sex with one or more guys. This term was initially used by gay porn studios and gay men, but was later embraced by the straight porn industry, with the term is starting to lose its identity, due to so many people now having bareback sex following the introduction of PrEP.

Blood Slam: Injecting the blood of a toxic person into the bloodstream of an HIV-negative person to facilitate HIV infection. This is considered to be nearly 100% effective at conversion.

Breeding: When the top ejaculates directly inside the bottom without pulling out during unprotected sex. This ‘direct cum injection’ is sometimes referred to in bug chasing circles as impregnating the HIV-negative participant with toxic (or viral) seed and potentially infecting him with the virus.

Bug Chaser: An HIV-negative person who is intentionally seeking to become infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The term ‘bug’ refers to HIV and the word ‘chaser’ can be used to abbreviate the term.

CD4: These cells are also known as T-cells, T-lymphocytes or helper cells and they are the white blood cells that fight infection. The CD4 count is a test that measures how many CD4 cells you have in your blood. A normal CD4 count ranges from 500 to 1,500 and those living with HIV with a count above 500 are considered to be in good health, but those living with HIV with a count below 200 are at risk of developing serious illnesses.

Charged: Signifies that cum is detectable and has the ability to infect another person with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

Conversion Party: A planned event where an HIV-negative person will bottom for multiple HIV-positive detectable men in the hopes of becoming infected with HIV or other STIs.

Convert: To change someone’s HIV status from negative to positive. Conversion can be the result of intentional HIV transmission through bug chasing, but can also happen unintentionally through intravenous drugs or having unprotected sex without being on PrEP.

Creampie: When a bareback top pulls out before ejaculation, then ejaculates and pushes his cum-covered cock back inside the bottom’s hole again. This usually leaves a creamy mess on the outside of the bottom’s hole.

Cruel Condom: A metal sheath made of small, stainless steel hoops, which can be worn like a regular condom, but it provides no protection against HIV or other STIs. The friction caused by a cruel condom results in skin abrasions to the anal flesh, which increases the chance of HIV infection.

Detectable: An HIV-positive person with a viral load capable of transmitting the virus to others.

Gift Giver: An HIV-positive person who intentionally transmits Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to an HIV-negative person. The term ‘gift’ refers to HIV and the word ‘gifter’ can be used to abbreviate the term.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): A virus that attacks the CD4 cells that help the body fight infection. The virus can be transmitted through infected blood or semen. Within a few weeks of infection, flu-like symptoms can occur, then the disease is usually asymptomatic until it progresses to AIDS. There is currently no cure for HIV, but medication can be taken to make the virus undetectable, which prevents the transmission of the virus to others.

No Load Refused: Highlights the acceptance of all loads, no matter what the HIV status. This term can be used by anyone in the barebacking community, but bug chasers tend to use this term to show they are open to receiving HIV-positive loads.

Poz: To be HIV-positive or to convert someone from being HIV-negative to HIV-positive.

Poz Brotherhood: A community of like-minded men who are Poz or who are trying to become Poz.

Poz Curious: Those who are thinking about starting to chase HIV, or those who are excited by Poz talk.

Poz Tribe: A group of men who have been pozzed by the same man, thereby sharing the same “strain.”

Pregnant: Symbolises the body carrying HIV after being infected, in a similar comparison to when a woman is carrying a child after being impregnated. The woman becomes pregnant through ‘fertilised seed’ from a man, while the bug chaser becomes pregnant through the ‘toxic or viral seed’ of a man.

Russian Roulette: A game of chance at a bareback sex party, where HIV-negative and HIV-positive participants fuck without knowing each others HIV statuses.

Stealthing: A person who intentionally misleads another person about using a condom (by taking it off or damaging it) or lying about their HIV status.

Strain: The specific viral marker of someone’s HIV infection.

Toothbrush: Prepares the anal canal for maximum susceptibility to HIV infection by using a toothbrush before, during and after sex. This can also be shortened to “brush” and some refer to “brushing”, which is the act of creating abrasions to the anal canal with the toothbrush.

Toxic: An HIV-positive person who has a detectable viral load. Other words to describe this include poison, venom and viral.

Undetectable: An HIV-positive person on medication that reduces and/or sublimates their viral load to zero.

Viral Load: The measurement of the amount of the virus in a blood sample, reported as a number of HIV RNA copies per millimetre of blood plasma. When taking HIV medication, the viral load should reduce and the CD4 count should increase, with the opposite generally taking effect without medication. Viral load is an important indicator of HIV progression and how well the treatment is working.

Barebacking, Bug Chasing, Gifting Giving, HIV and STI Acronyms

AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
ART – Antiretroviral Therapy
ARV – Antiretroviral
BB – Bareback (sex or porn)
CD4 – CD4 Count
HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus
HVL – High Viral Load
MSM – Men who have Sex with Men
NEG – HIV-negative
PNP – Party and Play
POZ – HIV-positive
STD – Sexually Transmitted Disease
STI – Sexually Transmitted Infection
U=U – Undetectable Equals Untransmittable
UVL – Undetectable Viral Load

Barebacking, Bug Chasing and Gifting Giving Social Media Hashtags

#bbbh Used by barebackers to let other men know they are open to having bareback sex. This hashtag is not used primarily by bug chasers and gift givers, but some chasers and gifters do use this hashtag to help reach a target audience.

#bugchaser Used by HIV-negative men seeking unprotected sex with HIV-positive detectable men with the intention of becoming infected with HIV.

#giftgiver Used by HIV-positive detectable men seeking unprotected sex with HIV-negative men with the intention of transmitting the virus and infecting them with HIV.

#neg4poz Used by HIV-negative men seeking unprotected sex with HIV-positive detectable men with the intention of becoming infected with HIV.

#noloadrefused Can be used interchangeably by HIV-negative or HIV-positive men to let others know they are willing to accept loads of any HIV status.

#poz4neg Used by HIV-positive detectable men seeking unprotected sex with HIV-negative men with the intention of transmitting the virus and infecting them with HIV.

#rawislaw Used by barebackers to affirm that unprotected sex is the only way they will ever have anal sex, with the use of condoms not up for discussion.

#toxic Used by HIV-positive men to confirm they are not currently taking HIV medication, which means their viral load is detectable and can be transmitted to others.

If there are any other hashtags, terms, definitions or acronyms you know of that aren’t already included in this article, please leave a comment below so they can be added if they are relevant or suitable.

Featured Photo: 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay.
Article ID: CC052
Version Control: 1.0 – November 9, 2022: Original article published.

The Gift Giver is a Short Film Involving Malicious HIV Exposure

The Gift Giver is a Short Film Involving Malicious HIV Exposure

The Gift Giver is a 20 minute film that was written, directed and produced by filmmaker Gareth Askew in 2014. The tagline for the film is “Three Letters. Two Guys. One Gift.” The 3-2-1 countdown starts with the three letters representing HIV. Out of the two guys involved, one is a gift giver, but the other is not a bug chaser like you might think, he is a victim of stealthing. The film’s opening sequence involves Edward Carter, who is a virgin getting ready for his date with Jeremy, who is HIV-positive, which is something Edward was unaware of at the time. Perhaps Jeremy’s status wouldn’t have bothered Edward had he been upfront about it, but what happened during their encounter will impact the rest of Edward’s life.

Jeremy seemed determined to transmit the virus to another person and his victim in this case was Edward. Sex may not have even been a consideration for Edward on their date, and he didn’t even know he had sex with Jeremy, due to Jeremy using a roofie to get what he wanted. Ben is another character in the film who could see what was happening from a distance and he tried to warn Edward about Jeremy beforehand, but his warnings weren’t heeded, which led to Jeremy getting what he wanted and Edward getting something he didn’t want. It’s clear that Ben is concerned about Jeremy’s intentions, which indicates that Edward may not have been Jeremy’s first victim or he may have romantic feelings for him.

This film was produced in 2014 and was filmed in various parts of Northampton in the United Kingdom. This short film might appear to have been based on the real-life events of British hairdresser Daryll Rowe, who was convicted in 2018 and given a life sentence for using HIV as a weapon after intentionally infecting 5 men with HIV and attempting to give 5 other men the virus between October 2015 and December 2016, but the film was actually released before Daryll started offending, which is an eerie coincidence. Daryll Rowe was confirmed to be fully aware of his HIV status in April 2015, yet he refused treatment and went on a campaign to find other men to infect with the virus. Daryll was the first person in the United Kingdom to be convicted for deliberately spreading the virus, by insisting on having unprotected sex with his victims or he would intentionally damage the condoms of the men who refused to have unprotected sex with him.

Even though this film was produced prior to Daryll Rowe offending in a similar way the character offended in this film, the short film provides some insight into the emotional process for the victim, which is something that would impact anyone in this situation for the rest of their life. I found this short film intriguing and I did like the dimly lit environment with a beautiful hue of purple lighting when the victim was being seduced by the offender, because the darkness gives the film a touch of realism, as it equally does when fluorescent tube lighting is used for the clinical scenes. I’m not sure whether these lighting elements were intentional or not, but I did notice them and thought they added something special to the film either way.

I took note that Dr McIntyre completed Edward’s bloodwork without using safety gloves, unless gloves aren’t used for these kinds of procedures in the United Kingdom where this film was produced. I know I have always been handled with gloves by healthcare professionals in a similar healthcare setting. Gareth revealed that he produced this film as part of his studies at the University of Northampton and I thought his choice of subject matter was interesting and I also liked some of the dialogue about creating a new life through the virus, along with the celebration involving a bottle of champagne and flutes, which is language often used by bug chasers and gift givers.

The film also importantly pointed out that Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is only useful up to 72 hours of potential infection. Although this film only has a running time of 20 minutes, it covered a lot of emotions and drama, provided useful information (although some of it is not completely accurate) and it also helps people understand the perspective of someone who might find themselves in the predicament that Edward found himself in. I also wanted to add that it’s not currently possible to detect HIV in 6 days due to the window period, but advancements in technology may change this at some point. This film was produced in 2014 and although PrEP became available in 2012 in the United States, it was not made available in the United Kingdom until 2021, after trials began in 2020.

Gareth revealed that he left the ending of the film open, because he intends to make a feature-length film of The Gift Giver, where the characters get the chance to be together if they can get past the rape and HIV infection issues, which would be a lot of emotional work to overcome. Gareth also added that this film is based on a true story and that the character Edward is loosely based on himself, so it’s unknown whether what happened to Edward in the film actually happened to Gareth in real life, which remains part of the mystery. Gareth stated that the full-length feature film has now been completely written and he’s polishing the script before he takes it to the production stage, so stay tuned to see where this story goes in the future and in the meantime, enjoy watching The Gift Giver below.

Video: The Gift Giver / Gareth Askew.

Featured Photo: Gareth Askew.
Article ID: CC051
Version Control: 1.0 – October 23, 2022: Original article published.

Understanding the Power of Positive Thinking as a Bug Chaser

Understanding the Power of Positive Thinking as a Bug Chaser

Trying to understand the thoughts that keep emerging inside our minds can be one of our biggest struggles when it comes to bug chasing. We use our mind constantly to make all sorts of decisions on a daily basis, so our cognitive function is the most important tool required for decision making, which is why your brain needs to be in the right gear for you to be able to take the next step. When I launched this website a year ago, I decided that the content wasn’t going to be all about me, but I do sometimes allow the articles to explore the way I think, as I try to understand my identity better, because achieving clarity about bug chasing is an important milestone on a bug chaser’s journey.

I feel like the first anniversary of launching this website is the perfect time to think back to the day when I published my first article, which was 50 articles ago and look at where I’m at today. Some of these reflections might have striking similarities for others who are also in a similar position as I am in right now. You might recall that on this exact day one year ago, I published the article Inside My Head: Thoughts from a Curious Chaser. The aim of that article was to put my thoughts onto paper (or an electronic document), so I could look at my thoughts directly in front of me. When thoughts are swirling around inside your mind, it’s easier to calm these thoughts by taking notes so you can see where you’re at.

When something is in front of you in written form, it’s easier for you to focus on what is before you, as all your attention is focused on this one thing, whereas if you keep thinking about the thoughts that are swirling around inside your mind, you won’t make as much progress and it can lead to confusion or an unclear direction you need to take. This is because there’s most likely not just one thing you are thinking about, there are probably many questions entering your mind simultaneously that you’re trying to find answers for. So writing down everything that comes to your mind about bug chasing is my first recommendation, as I have found this technique extremely helpful.

Something else I have found beneficial is to take your time. In the beginning of my journey of self-discovery, I felt as though I needed to rush into making a decision, but in the end, this just created an enormous amount of pressure and it wasn’t helpful at all, which can lead to you taking longer for you to understand yourself. I can appreciate if we make a decision to start actively chasing, then we might think to ourselves that we should have just made this decision a long time ago, but not everyone will make the choice to chase. Some of us who feel spiritually connected to bug chasing might decide that chasing is not for us, or we might not be ready yet, which is perfectly fine as well.

There are two defined steps involved with bug chasing. The first step involves thinking, which can the most stressful part if you are a deep thinker and explore every facet of bug chasing meticulously and the second part involves taking action, whether this action is to commence your chase or to abandon the idea for the time being or even indefinitely. For some people, bug chasing is just a fantasy and that’s perfectly fine, providing those who are role-playing or exploring their fantasies are not misleading anyone into thinking they are actively chasing or wasting other people’s time by misleading or ghosting them. We all need to know where we are at and for some people who feel connected to the virus, taking the risk by becoming HIV+ might not be something that’s right for them.

We all have different comfort levels, which can also impact the speed of the decision making process. Some people are too nervous to ride a rollercoaster, because of the height, speed and intensity of the experience, but for others, they thrive on the adrenaline rush that comes from enjoying the thrill seeking adventure. The same thing can be said about bug chasing, because it involves making a serious decision that can have a lifelong impact, as there’s no cure for HIV at this time, only a treatment that can in most cases provide HIV+ individuals with a life that’s on par with those who are HIV-. We all have different thresholds when it comes to risk analysis, so for some people, they might be more than happy to take a risk and accept what happens afterwards, whereas others are more analytical and want to know as much about what might happen in the future, so we know more about what to expect once it does happen.

On a personal note, in the past year I have come a long way, but I’m still not quite ready to take the next step, which is fine in my opinion, as I still believe in what I want and know will happen in the future. The thoughts that first entered my mind many years ago have never disappeared, so I believe the only way I can fully process these thoughts is to take the next step once I am ready. I am inching closer to the day when I will be confident enough to take the next step, but that time is not today. We only live one life and we are on this planet for a short period of time, so I believe that if I’ve had bug chasing instincts with me for so long, where these thoughts have become a part of my identity and I never act on them, this is something I may regret.

The mind is an extremely powerful part of our body, as it controls our decision making, which then leads to everything else we do from this point forward. You are most likely reading this article because you are connected to bug chasing and have an interest in HIV and you might even be struggling to understand this issue right now. The need to understand why you feel this way is something that just about every bug chaser will experience during their life, which is why we need to do our very best to understand why we have these thoughts and feelings as we try to figure out whether we are prepared to accept the consequences of taking the next step. You cannot move your foot forward to take the next step until your mind tells the key parts of your body to make this movement, which is why it’s so important for you to get your brain into the right gear if you want to take the next step or if you choose to stay where you are.

Featured Photo: Dante T. from Pixabay.
Article ID: CC050
Version Control: 1.0 – October 11, 2022: Original article published.

Learn More about PrEP and PEP from a Bug Chasing Perspective

Learn More about PrEP and PEP from a Bug Chasing Perspective

This is probably going to be one of the most unpopular articles I will ever publish, as PrEP is often seen as the enemy when it comes to bug chasing or gift giving. There are times when PrEP can be useful to help a bug chaser on their journey of self-discovery. I have received some questions about PrEP from those who are sitting on the fence or wanting to psyche themselves up to take the next step, which is why I decided to publish this article. Bug chasers might decide to take PrEP for a number of reasons, particularly those who consider it to be more of a fantasy or fetish. If this topic interests you, then please keep reading to learn more about PrEP and the options available.

PrEP is the acronym for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, which is an antiviral drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 for those who are considered to be at high-risk of HIV infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when the medication is taken as prescribed, but this rate drops to 74% for those who are injecting drugs. Understandably, the medication is less effective when it’s not taken as prescribed. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) actually came before PrEP and was introduced in 2005, with the difference between the two medications being that PrEP contains 2 drugs and is used before potential exposure, while PEP contains 3 drugs and is used after potential exposure.

A bottle of a generic version of Truvada / Wiki Commons.

Many people still believe that PrEP is a pill that must be taken daily, because this was the recommendation that was reinforced when the drug was first approved and adherence is one of the most important requirements when it comes to maintaining its effectiveness. As further studies have taken place, advancements have been made, so there’s now a number of ways the medication can be taken, which means different personal circumstances can be taken into consideration for those who want to take it, which is important, as we are all unique. Before we explore the different delivery and dosage options, let’s consider some of the reasons why bug chasers might want to take PrEP.

Some people consider themselves bug chasers based on having a bug chasing mindset, but they might not be ready to take the physical step that leads them towards becoming infected with HIV. There could be a range of reasons for this, from not being ready, to those who consider bug chasing as a fantasy only. It’s important to note that some people who have bug chasing desires may want to remain HIV-negative in the long-term and consider HIV only as a fetish or fantasy and there’s nothing wrong with this, because we are all at different stages in our lives, so our thought processes may continue to evolve and things can change. Some bug chasers may also choose to put their chase on hold for personal or medical reasons.

PrEP is available in both pill and shot versions, with Truvada; a combination of tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine, the first type of PrEP that was approved for use, which involves taking a pill either daily or on-demand. Descovy is a combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide and is also administered via a pill daily or on-demand, with both brands manufactured by Gilead Sciences. You can learn more about the different pill dosage options in the next section of this article. In late 2021, a long-acting injectable was approved for use in some countries called Apretude (cabotegravir), which does not require taking a pill, but the downside with injections is that they need to be administered by a healthcare professional each time, which can make this option inconvenient.

Daily PrEP (Pill)
If you have a high amount of unprotected sex, daily PrEP might work best for you, which involves taking 1 pill each day for as long as needed. If you are a cisgendered male who has sex with men, you can take 2 pills (a double dose) at least 2 to 24 hours before sex on day 1 to become highly protected, followed by a daily pill after this, but for other people, they need to take the pill daily for 7 days to reach the full level of protection.

On-Demand PrEP (Pill)
Also known as intermittent, non-daily or event-driven, if you are a cisgendered male who has sex with men, you can apply the 2-1-1 method, by taking 2 pills on day 1 (a double dose), which needs to be done 2 to 24 hours before sex, then take 1 pill on day 2 and 1 pill on day 3. If you are enjoying extended sexual encounters, then make sure you take 1 pill after the last day you had sex, followed by 1 more pill the day after this. It’s important to add that this method is not currently approved by the FDA and is not recommended by the CDC. In addition, more research has been done with Truvada using this method, so Descovy is not recommended for 2-1-1 at this time.

Periodic PrEP (Pill)
This is similar to the daily PrEP regime, where you take 1 pill each day for the required period of time. This could be seasonal, say summertime when you might be more sexually adventurous or for special events, such as pride. If you are a cisgendered male who is having sex with men, you can use the 2 pills on day 1 method to establish a high level of protection, then continue taking 1 pill each day until required. It’s important to continue taking PrEP for 2 more days following the last sexual encounter for it to be effective.

Injectable PrEP (Shot)
Long-lasting injectable PrEP was approved in 2021 and is taken every 2 months and is administered by a healthcare professional after the initiation injections have been given 1 month apart for 2 consecutive months. These shots need to be administered by a healthcare provider each time they are required and the injections must be given as scheduled. Anyone who misses a scheduled injection by more than 7 days needs to contact their healthcare provider right away. Injectable PrEP is not recommended for those who are injecting drugs.

PEP (Pill)
For situations where you weren’t taking PrEP and you were exposed to HIV following a high-risk sexual encounter, you can choose to take Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) within 72 hours of the event for a period of 4 weeks. It’s recommended that this course of medication be taken within 24 hours of the event for it to be most effective, but longer than this is fine, although it can only be prescribed up to 72 hours after the possible exposure to the virus, with 72 hours being the maximum length of time possible for the medication to work.

A bottle of Descovy / Wiki Commons.

You might be wondering why the dosage is different for those who are not cisgendered males having anal sex. This is because there can be differences relating to hormones and also for those who are using gender-affirming hormones and having vaginal sex. The medication works more quickly when it comes to cisgendered males having sex with men, so it’s important to understand this difference when it comes to dosage. A healthcare professional will consider your personal circumstances when it comes to providing you with medical advice and please remember that the information here is general in nature.

It was confirmed during the PrEP trials that there can be some side-effects including headache, nausea, flatulence and the potential for renal injury. The side-effects reported in the trials were apparently uncommon and were usually resolved within the first month of taking PrEP, which is known as ‘start-up syndrome’. It’s also important to note that some of the symptoms can vary between Truvada and Descovy. The benefits of On-Demand PrEP can include less medication in your system and it could also be a cost-saving measure, considering you are not required to take as many pills. The injectable option is great based on not having to remember to take pills regularly or having to purchase the medication from a pharmacy, but you do need to visit a healthcare professional every 2 months after the initial phase, which could be an inconvenience for some.

There’s various ways PrEP can be delivered to your system and different ways the medication can be taken, which can be adjusted to your personal circumstances should you or a healthcare professional feel it’s suitable. This article has not been written to force you to take PrEP, but as this website discusses all aspects of HIV and considers the pros and cons of bug chasing and gift giving, it is important for this topic to be discussed. You need to do what’s right for you, as you are responsible for making decisions in your life, so this information has been presented for your consideration, along with external resources below to help you learn more, should you be interested.

Further Reading:

Featured Photo: Photo 85870384 © Marc Bruxelle | Dreamstime.com
Article ID: CC049
Version Control: 1.0 – October 1, 2022: Original article published.

September 20 Marks the First Anniversary of Curious Chaser

September 20 Marks the First Anniversary of Curious Chaser

Time flies when you’re having fun is the saying that comes to mind when I describe how it feels to have reached the first anniversary of Curious Chaser. September 20 is the day when this website was officially “turned on” after I had spent several months beforehand preparing for what the website has now become. I am proud of the articles I have written, but I am even more proud of everyone who has joined me to become a part of this website through the several interactive features on offer here, which has created a supportive community for those of us who are on the bug chasing path and wanting to learn more about bug chasing.

As I have mentioned previously, I have had bug chasing thoughts entering my mind for over 15 years and initially, I just kept pushing these thoughts aside, thinking they were temporary and would eventually go away. They kind of did at first, but they never went too far away, as these thoughts would always return, so I would keep following the same pattern of just ignoring them and waiting for them to disappear. It was kind of like a yo-yo effect, where my mind would become fixated on bug chasing, which I would think about briefly, then I would forget about it. This thought process went on for more than 10 years, where the gaps in between these thoughts were quite long at first, but over time, the gaps shortened, to the point where the thoughts are pretty much constantly with me.

When I made the decision to start learning more about bug chasing, I became confused and bewildered when I tried to find articles online that would be helpful to someone who wanted to learn more about bug chasing with the aim of helping them understand themselves better. I found a higher number of unhelpful articles than articles that were useful. The articles were either scientific and designed for healthcare professionals, so they were written from a medical standpoint and the other perspective came from the media who often tried to create controversy through their writing style, which created stigma and made anyone who had a bug chasing identity feel isolated and as though they had something else wrong with them.

Being unable to find resources that were helpful to anyone who identifies as a bug chaser or who thinks they might be a bug chaser is what inspired me to create this website. I figured that if I come across information pertaining to bug chasing that is helpful to me, it might be helpful to others as well, because we are not alone, although many of us remain silent about who we are because of the way many people judge us. Having access to information that is written specifically for those of us who want to learn more about bug chasing to try to understand ourselves is extremely important, which is why I am very proud of this website and those of you who have become a part of it.

Since this website was launched, I have published 48 articles and I have created several interactive features, where everyone can get involved. The first interactive feature was the original bug chasing survey, which received 295 responses in 3 months. This survey will now be held annually and the current survey includes both bug chasing and gift giving sections. Everyone has the ability to leave comments on any of the articles I publish, which is a great way to help shape the articles by giving them an extra dimension through contributions that may include different perspectives. The biggest interactive feature involves the forums, where registered members can participate in 8 different forums that are exclusively related to bug chasing or gift giving, with 76 topics and 698 posts posted in the past 5 months.

What makes Curious Chaser an important place for bug chasers is the ability for us to all learn and share information and experiences. Some of the website sections are accessible only to registered members, due to the need to create a safe space that enables an open discussion about bug chasing and gift giving and it’s easy to become a registered member if you aren’t already one and access is completely free. It’s also possible to join the mailing list in addition to this, so you can be notified of new articles the second they are published. The main menu bar at the top of each page includes additional options for logged in members, including access to the forums, members directory, user profile page, along with the ability to send private messages to other registered members.

The creation of this website has not been without its technical issues, as I have rapidly had to learn new things, because I’m not a website developer and I do not work in the information technology field. Some of the issues that have plagued this website were the result of having extremely high security settings, which still remain, but they were previously so tight, that registered members were being locked out. I have resolved this now and I also needed to upgrade my web hosting package to cope with the growing number of members and interactive features, plus I have switched to more sophisticated forum software, as the original one was basic and struggled to function reliably.

Curious Chaser is fully funded by myself to keep the website free for everyone. There are numerous ongoing expenses involved with running this website, from web hosting to annual software licenses. I also don’t feature any website advertising, which is extremely rare for a website, but my goal is to provide information that is objective, which means all distractions have been removed so you can focus solely on the subject matter at hand, which is bug chasing and gift giving. I have received several offers of financial assistance, which I am grateful for, but I have kindly declined. If you want to show your support, all I ask is for you to contribute by interacting in the forums, commenting on articles if you have something you would like to add, or just spend time here, which doesn’t cost you a cent, just some of your time.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for being here and for making Curious Chaser a better place for those of us who need a resource such as this. I will continue researching topics and publishing articles that are relevant and I will also endeavour to keep the existing articles updated, so they remain relevant, no matter when you read them. If you are struggling with your emotions or trying to figure yourself out, just know that you are not alone and there are many of us around the world in a similar situation as yourself. If you need professional assistance, please seek this from a qualified person, as the articles published here are general in nature, so having a one-on-one discussion with a professional who knows your circumstances is extremely important.

Featured Photo: Wout Vanacker on Unsplash.
Article ID: CC048
Version Control: 1.0 – September 20, 2022: Original article published.