Wednesday, November 28, 2012

HIV, STDs & The Power of CHOICE

Earlier this month, I made up this collage and posted it on this blog and on Facebook. I knew being as brief as it was that it might require some explanation. Because truth be told, as much as many of us try to put forth the facade that we don't need things explained to us, reactions prove otherwise.

Such as the exchange between me and a Facebook friend via the comments when I posted the photo there. While I understand where he is coming from with a great deal of what he said. As I said in my reply, my offense to his reaction was that he harped on my using the word "CHOICE". I highlighted the word "CHOICE" out of respect for us all being adults in this situation. So I felt acting like I was wrong for saying "CHOICE" was him greenlighting more of the patronizing safe-sex messages that have been drilled into our heads thus far.

Let me start explaining why I made this collage by saying that I am not pro-barebacking. Nor am I trying to be the condom police intruding upon your bedroom. One reason I made this collage was because I am pro-choice on condom use, and I feel encouraging both of those other extremes is quite dangerous, and I for one am so sick and tired of seeing us adults treated like children over this matter. And the reason adults are treated like children is mainly because of America's attitude towards 1)addressing sexuality with their children, and 2) respecting as adults we have the power of choice. So this leaves the media to try doing the job parents should have started since the children were late pre-teens and continued from there.

I want the media to respect us, the target audience. But in order to show that respect, whether parents did their part of not, certain aspects of sex must be taken into account by the media if these messages to combat contracting HIV and other STDs are to have the desired effect of decreased transmissions.
TAKE NOTE of how the nature of sex is to be in the heat of the moment.
TAKE NOTE how as adults we have inner voices that gives us the power of choice.
TAKE NOTE that  the nature of sex is that there should not be a barrier between you and your partner. Therefore, sex with a condom is unnatural. However, because of the times we live in with various STDs that we may need to go against nature. Therefore,...
TAKE NOTE that which based on the aforementioned nature of sex (being in the heat of the moment) going against nature is not always so easy to do. And also
TAKE NOTE that we live in a time where more and more people (young and old) are using sex to fill emotional voids made by physically and emotionally unavailable parents and significant others, mainly due to putting career before family.

If all these things are taken into account, we can try to come forth with a more effective, and less condescending message. I say "try" because the sexual repression of our society has done its damage to both, our youth and our adults. On a subject like sex, no matter how well-intended these safe-sex messages are, you can't treat an adult like a child and expect him/her to respond without rebellion. Instead, they are going to listen to nature, which is sex void of that barrier called a "condom", even though they're aware of the fact that it includes risks. So all you can appeal to now is their adult power of choice.

Hence why in that Facebook commentary, when the matter was brought up about when making a choice that you are also choosing the consequences, part of my response was to ask him as I now ask you, ...Do you REALLY think we don't know about the consequences of our actions? This is what I mean in us adults being treated like children in regards to the matter of condom use and STD transmissions. We are well aware of the consequences, but we are talking about SEX - an act that has a nature of being done in the heat of the moment. This is why if someone falters in their condom use, you have little to no right to play judge, jury, and executioner. Doing so tells me that you pointing and shaking that "Shame on you" finger at someone is your way of making yourself seem sexually superior (which you're not), since you're trying to distract others from seeing how many times you've made that same mistake, or different ones in judgement.

This may seem like I'm not getting off topic, but I'm not. I'm just taking a moment to elaborate on how in saying "different mistakes", I am referring to another reason I made this collage. It was to counter the infantile and hypocritical antics of some anti-barebacking porn directors. Such as loud-mouths like Chi Chi LaRue with his "Shut Your Hole" PSA, and Michael Lucas with his alleged rules towards performers who have done bareback porn. Before buying into their crap, be aware of their different (and still repeating) mistakes in judgement of making a fetish of Black males, and encouraging life on the down low with their swift hiring of "gay-for-pay" bitches in denial porn performers. The hypocrisy of these and other porn directors should be found astounding, but after my experience in the industry it's not surprising at all. For I have long said that we most of us were told about condom use before most of us even  faced the reality of our being some degree of gay. So blaming porn producers like Treasure Island or Dark Alley Media is scapegoating. I will give credit where credit is due, and say that at least most these barebacking companies don't use "gay-for-pay" bitches in denial. Unlike Corbin Fisher, Sean Cody, and Bel Ami who have started to use barebacking as a way to compete in the game, but try to lessen the heat of scrutiny with claims of mandatory testing prior to shooting, which is not 100% fool-proof. Now, Chi Chi LaRue, Michael Lucas, and the like may use condoms, but they're guilty of the same scapegoating.

And though I don't owe you this, I'm only confessing this to further prove that I practice what I preach, and have been doing so for quite some time now.
In early 2003, within my first year after coming out, I contracted a STD. I sat in Chelsea clinic unlike I am now, uneducated about HIV and other STDs, but fearing HIV mainly, even though I used a condom with the person I got that STD from. But while waiting for the diagnosis and possible treatment, I told myself, "Whatever happens LeNair, you made a CHOICE to suck that guy's dick. You made a CHOICE to let him suck on yours. And since it takes 2 to tango, he made a CHOICE to let you suck his dick. And he made a CHOICE to put his mouth on yours." So on that day, I taught myself to own the consequences of my actions, and how the foundation of much of what happens to us is CHOICE.
And FYI - the STD turned out being syphilis.

All this said, the bottom line message of that collage is as I said in my Facebook comment:
I made this picture to combat the patronizing rhetoric and say, "I respect you have the intellect to know what to do, BUT it is up to you to do it. And if you don't, then that's on you and whoever CONSENTS to being with you.
If you go bareback and get HIV or some other STD, that's your fault. OWN IT! Even if you asked their status, they say they're disease-free, so you go bareback, and get something, that's your fault as well. OWN IT!"

Like I said before, it's all about us being adults, and treated as such. Acknowledge that, then maybe we can create a message to slow transmissions down.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Computer Bold

Have you gotten "Anonymous" replies to a comment you've written on a blog? Do you have profiles on various sites (like Facebook and MySpace, even YouTube, Vimeo, and dare I say Xtube) and seen your words, art, and uploads criticized with hate-speak by some faceless profile with nothing of their own to show to back up their critique? Have you had arguments and/or break-ups via text message or email, instead of face-to-face or voice-to-voice? OR have you been the person to do these things?

Well, I submitted a definition to the Urban Dictionary that was accepted soon after to describe the "bravery" of such people. The term is called "computer bold", and it reads:
However, the idea of being computer bold is no limited to just communications through your PC, Mac, laptop, or tablet. For as the last aforementioned question shows, it also entails text messaging on cell phones.

Well, I have written a poem to accompany the term I made that sums it all up. And also made a video. In the video, I'm aware that the section addressing text messaging seems to drag. The fact is I did that purposely to show how much more work it takes to be a coward addressing someone by text message instead of actually facing them in person or by voice, and owning up to whatever reaction from them your words may incite. So yes, the section drags. But considering the point it makes, it drags for a very good reason.

So with that slow spot explain beforehand, without further ado, please take note of the video for "Computer Bold":
And just think, that texting section would have taken almost twice as long if I had totally typed it. And I'm actually a good typist, even on a Qwerty keyboard.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Enter Me, Enter You

This past Friday, I did as promoted here and took part in the open mic at Titillating Tongues. I also stated in that promotion post what original selections of mine that I would be doing. One of them was an a cappella song entitled, "Enter Me, Enter You".

"Enter Me, Enter You" was written as a happy ending to the poem I posted about a week ago addressing the drug use during sex play that seems rampant in the gay community. That poem was entitled, "Run From The Fun".

Once I arrived to the venue, I was told that because of another event at the venue, only acoustic music would be allowed in our part. Since my song is a cappella, I hoped that would not be a problem for me. Wrong. For it meant my CD with the a cappella background vocals and finger-snaps could not be played. So I had to improvise by having the audience snap along to the rhythm I started of. There was no need for a tantrum on my part. For I just sucked it up to the fact that such curve-balls build character as a performer. Making you better equipped to handle things when all doesn't go according to plan.

So this video is not of that performance. That video should be coming soon. Instead, the video below is one I quickly made up to show you what the song is really supposed to sound like. So please enjoy. :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Run From The Fun

The stigma of there being massive drug use in the gay community was once believed to be due to gays needing to escape from the shame brought on by society for them being gay. After all, drug and alcohol abuse are known tools of escapism, so it makes sense.

Well, in the last couple of years, a lot has changed. Gays are more accepted in society and the mainstream media. In the United States, not that I care so much, but our own recent Election Day saw gay marriage become legal in 4 more states. Also, celebrities who rightfully kept the public guessing their sexual orientation have now revealed their homo- or bisexuality. So with such progress in acceptance, and less need for shame, why is drug and alcohol abuse still so rampant, maybe even growing in the LGBT community?

My suspicions that it's actually growing arose from my noticing how it's gotten bad to the point that drug addiction and alcoholism it is now playing part in gay porn videos thanks to sites like Fraternity X. Sure, some of you might look at the animated gifs and  say, "Oh, it's just weed." But maybe you need to look further.

For add to that the fact of how some of their video descriptions specifically talk of how the guy in the scene was "partying", which we all know means drug use. Even if we don't see it, the mention of that word "partying" says to us crystal meth, cocaine, or some other drug besides marijuana is being used heavily to motivate the sex play. Now if drug use hasn't grown in the community, then porn scenes like ones from sites like Fraternity X are only solidifying the stigma that I've seen firsthand to be true --- of how many porn actors really are drug abusers and alcoholics.

In any case, for some gays, whether it's marijuana, crystal meth, cocaine, extacy, k, heroine, some other drug, some kind of alcoholic drink, or even poppers, one or more of these are not just an occasional sex play "helper". Instead, they're a requirement for their every sex play, which lessens their worth to me. And don't hate me for saying it. Because if you thought more of yourself, and the quality of the sex you were having, you wouldn't be doing any it trying to call it an "enhancer".

After this and my documented encounters with drug abusers and alcoholics, this all made me more so than ever put my foot down as to what I will and will not tolerate from a sex partner, or life partner in regards to drug and alcohol abuse. So now that you know the backstory, please take heed of:

Since so few people seem to have such rules in play for themselves, that makes this poem very necessary. So for the sake of the LGBT community erasing that stigma of us all being drug abusers and alcoholics ashamed of ourselves and our sex play, please pass this poem around, so the words can inspire more and more of us to live by its message. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

F**k Me With Your Eyes,....Then Enter

Back near the end of May, I was a featured performer in an erotica salon called Titillating TonguesSince my performance was so well-received, I have been wanting to go back to possibly debut other new material via their open mic slots.

Well, I finally have some things I'm comfortable taking there. I have written a poem and a song that I am very much looking forward to debuting not on my blog, but before a live audience. And if you're in New York City on November 16th, I very much hope that you can be there to hear them. Bringing the great support you've shown me via cyberspace into the real world.

For one, my poem,

I will be debuting this poem at the next Titillating Tongues. Using erotica, it will address being courted by a guy "on the down low".

Also, I will be debuting a song a cappella that is a happy ending to my poem, "Run From The Fun". A song entitled,
"Enter Me, Enter You"

It is an open mic, so you never know who will take the mic before or after me. Maybe even YOU. Just know beforehand that you have 6 minutes to dazzle the audience with your erotic work if you do, and sign-up for the open mic starts at 7:00 PM, while the show starts at 8 PM. But whether you participate as a performer, or an audience member, if past experience is any indicator, you can be sure that the trip will be something worth your while.

The cover charge is $10. No drink minimum to my knowledge. So get your tickets in advance, especially if you want to guarantee yourself a slot in the open mic. Just click on the event's logo, or the link below it.

The Gallery at LPR (Le Poisson Rouge)
Downstairs Gallery Bar
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012

Friday, November 16, 2012 

Open Mic sign-up - 7:00 PM

Show - 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM

I hope to see you there.

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