Should characters in a story that is primarily meant to arouse, use safe sex practices?
I'm of two minds on this.
In one sense, in the name of realism, I do believe that safe sex can/should be incorporated into a fictional erotic encounter. Both my novellas (Exposure and The Crush) include the use of condoms and discussions about safe sex. I don't think that it has to take away either the romance or the erotic nature of a fictional encounter anymore than a real encounter.
However, I will be honest and admit that many, if not most, of my sexual fantasies, include an, ahem, affinity for the messier aspects of sex play. Which is to say that there is something extremely sexy - to me - about a man's ejaculate, or come. The sight of a man coming and the look of that fluid being deposited on someone, or on the floor or on the walls or even the ceiling (yes, please!), is extremely arousing to me.
There is something magical and powerful about it. I mean, the whole basic purpose of a man's ejaculate is to create new life. Whether it actually does so, is irrelevant.
It is also a very obvious sign of a man's excitement and pleasure and a way to demonstrate intimacy between two characters, not to mention the aspect of dominance to the act of ejaculating either onto or into someone.
In the stories, when my character James Lucas is in the practice of sharing his weekends with like-minded men of various addresses, it is made clear that he and his partners undergo STD screenings regularly to ensure no infectious agents are spread. In actuality, although this may provide some protection, it is not a guarantee and there is still a certain amount of risk involved in engaging in certain practices with other men without the use of condoms.
Why did I take this approach? Because with The James Lucas Trilogy, I really wanted to go deep into my fantasies and take a no-holds-barred approach to my characters and what they enjoy. Because it's not real life - it's a fictional story - and I wanted to go places that I enjoy when creating fantasies for myself that I figured my readers might share.
I would trust that readers of erotic fiction realize that the stories, even when based in contemporary reality, are erotic fantasies, and that real life and real mortality may require other, less risky, arrangements.