The Invention of Safe Sex
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While the practice of “safe sex” has become an American habit over the past twenty years, few are familiar with its controversial origins and fascinating social history. Stayin' Alive is the story of how reaching for a condom became as automatic as buckling a seat belt, a story compellingly and frankly recounted by activist and journalist Richard Berkowitz who arrived on the frontlines in the war on AIDS in 1982 and has been writing about it ever since. Berkowitz takes the reader on a graphic but moving account of his personal sexual journey coming out amid the sexual abandon of the 1970s and waking up to horror of AIDS in the 1980s. For younger readers with no first-hand experience of what it was like living through the erotic exuberance of the sexual revolution nor the grisly aftermath, the author offers a vivid portrayal that puts the invention of safe sex into fresh, compelling context for a new generation.“Safe sex” was born out of the tireless crusading, politicking, and advocacy of an unlikely trio whose lives revolved around sex and the consequences of sex: the author, the author, the AIDS researcher and physician Joseph Sonnabend, and the late author, activist and singer Michael Callen. Berkowitz recounts how their work found a way to enable a generation of gay men and sexually adventurous heterosexuals to continue celebrating their sexuality without risking their lives or the lives of their partners - in two words, “safe sex.”
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