mental homework: (11)

please read this below.
old head provide so much insight.
he commented in “You Can’t Even Fuck Someone In NY Without Catching A Disease“.
entry had most of us shook.
i didn’t even want to look at another dick again…
….until later today.
this needed to be shared…

Jamari, you provide a major public service with this forum. Thank you. I had intended to respond to your World AIDS Day post but got distracted. When I came across this post, I decided I had to stop in my tracks and share some things with you brothers. And, this is going to get a little personal.

I can feel the fear in the statements of everyone. And, yes, we have a very serious problem on our hands. I would suggest everyone take deep breaths for a minute. My generation was the hardest hit. I have lost well over 300 friends, acquaintances and associates to HIV/AIDS. I stopped counting after 353; it was too depressing. I am sure surviving brothers of my age, including me, are experiencing post traumatic stress syndrome, whether or not everyone knows it or acknowledges it.

If you think things are bad and scary now — and they are — during the 80s, some of us were petrified. My partner and I in 1987 didn’t even have penetrative sex, because he was so scared. The HIV test had only become available in 1985 and neither one of us had yet taken the test when we began dating in early 1987. His job required him to take the test if he was going to pursue a certain career path before taking an assignment abroad; so, he took the test later in the year before departing. After he took the test, I took a deep breath and took it. We were both HIV-negative.

Fast forwarding, I want to first stress I am in no way bragging or boasting and would be the first one to say, “But, for the grace of God go I.” I have negotiated the 31 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic unscathed — no HIV and not even a single garden variety STD, and I have remained sexually active. In fact, any number of the 300 plus people I lost were people with whom I had sex. Some of whom I knew to be HIV-positive when we had sex. And, I am sure there are those with whom I have sex today who are HIV-positive. Just going by the numbers of black men who are HIV-positive, it stands to reason some would have to be positive. In fact, I have posted on here in much earlier posts that some of the most attractive and sexy brothers on some of these sex sites you guys frequent are brothers I have counseled and given their HIV test results. And, many of them are listing themselves as HIV-negative in their online profiles. All it takes is anti-retrovirals and gym memberships and you wouldn’t have a clue.

I mention all this not to frighten you but to put things into perspective. We don’t have to wake up in the morning. Whenever we step outside our doors, something could happen to anyone of us on the way to work or to school. How many people who worked at the World Trade Center thought they would not return home for dinner on 9/11. A car or truck could jump the curb as we’re walking down the street. I could go on; you get my point. As I mentioned earlier in this post, take deep breaths, then reflect. We have all been blessed with minds, including that critically important sixth sense, which not all of us utilize. And, some of us only use it sometimes, myself included. But, I will say it has guided and saved me, in and outside the bedroom. We have it for a reason. Let’s employ it to the fullest.

The one time I did not employ it when I was out cruising as a young man, I ended up regretting it. I went home with someone I had ruled out earlier in the night only to hook up with him after not meeting anyone by the time of that proverbial last call for alcohol. He went through my wallet, stealing money while I was asleep or in the bathroom. The two times I did not follow my vibes (6th sense) when hiring individuals who looked fabulous on paper and interviewed well were major mistakes I lived to regret.

So, what’s a brother-in-the life to do? Breathe and live, responsibly. Take stock of our health and be protective of it. And, that entails having responsible sex lives. Something luckeystar said jumped out at me:

“I am more afraid that my hormones will get the best of me and I will go dumb just to bust a nut…”

This is the very reason we must not allow ourselves to become prisoners. The danger is we will end up being so pent up that we will burst at the seams and end up indulging in a manner we could regret with devastating consequences. The key is to use our vibes, that sixth sense we all have, and just basic good judgement. I used to tell folk, when they would try to get me to give them permission to do unsafe things, to ask themselves: are you willing to entrust your lives to these people? If the answer is yes, go for it. That’s a simple and direct question we all need to pose to ourselves before we do something that little voice is telling us not to do. I have attended many funerals of brothers who got mad at me for refusing to engage in some things I considered unsafe. Thanks be to God, I am here today, healthy and still turning heads and enjoying hot and intense safer sex, which I call responsible sex.

old head comes through and drops some knowledge that made me a lot more comfortable.
this actually made me exhale.
i think the paranoia will make sex a chore,
rather than something meant to be enjoyed.
the lesson is “be safe and don’t be stupid…
…as much as you want to be fucked stupid“.

does anyone have any thoughts?
good?
bad?
scared?

share…

Author: jamari fox

the fox invited to the blogging table.

45 thoughts on “mental homework: (11)

  1. Very well said I’ve too have lost more than I can count the funerals are all a blur and I concur protect yourselves and do not become captive to fear. The stats in the previous post re. NYC are disturbing but not surprising and mirrored throughout the country. Those neighborhoods listed are among the poorest in NYC people without adequate healthcare and high drug use and lack of knowledge or will to not succumb to bad decisions. This is why we advocates have to continue to educate and fight that medical needs are readily available to those that need it the most.

  2. Post is very inspirational, I really ejoyed it. I understand exactly where you are coming from, there comes a time when you have to make those life and death decisions. But some people won’t even tell you that they even have it, I’ve came in experience with that myself, very naive and wanting some sort of love from these guys but most are very miserable and don’t want to feel as though they are alone with the virus. No matter if its a long life partner or someone you have been dating for a while, I’ve came across a lot of guys who are very bitter and set up situations for the vulnerable young guy to be infected, so that they can be the victim.

    I wish that within the lifestyle people who are in it would protect themselves an care about themselves a little bit better than how they treat themselves, a one night stand with someone who is well equipped or is good in bed, shouldn’t be something to risk your life for. If we take it serious and even help one another to take care of ourselves I’m pretty sure we can do better as a whole. We have to think more for ourselves.

      1. You just gotta be careful Jamari….They are among us and they are closer than you think.

        The rates are higher in the lower income areas because there are no resources or education. Some people can’t even afford the bus fare to go to a clinic.

        Trade boys sleeping with men just to put food on their children’s tables. The men in prison system. The vultures in the church (who don’t believe in talking about HIV and prevention). Black men already hate going to doctors.The ignorant mindsets… there are a lot of factors that goes into this..

        Just gotta protect yourself….

      2. Jamari, this is the best post I’ve read honestly. The man sounds like he has a lot of wisdom, I love it. Yes, I have realized that poorer people make dumber judgements and engage in riskier activities. I used to be carried away with the notion of “thugs” or “lower-income, lower-level” individuals, I am grown and have learned and become far past that. I am in school, graduating, so, I am IN FACT, better positioned than them. 2. Life does NOT tolerate low performance individuals – women (not broads, hos and bitches) like a smooth, charismatic, articulate GENTLEMAN, people favor those who are high ability or STRIVE to be better, so, (NOW) when I see people who want to “act thug” i automatically think they must be stupid. Who wants to be a “thug” in 2012? Have you watched lockup? The hardcore REAL LIFE gangsters, speak so eloquently and even use terminology like “we had an altercation which escalated the situation to what it is” HE, is speaking with grammar? So why, should an educated opportuned boy decide to speak erratically like an idiot? Different strokes different folks.

        When I was still exploring myself, I dated a Doctor, Biologist, Engineers, a Corporate financier, Mechanic, THUGS, Music producers, 2 professors, A rapper, College grads, a baby daddy who was just living off his baby mama, collegians, a model and of course a photographer *sigh*. I’m not here to brag but so far in my experience I have found the THUGS are the ones who have the worse part TO life. So YES, selectivity is MANDATORY (in my opinion) , It is MY body, it is MY mind, MY time, it is MY life and I have a RIGHT to choose who is deserving of it and HOW well I WILL TAKE care of it.

        I remember when this one guy hat was talking to me would ask me to catch the bus to come see him, I told him I don’t take the bus period, he said i was being too bougie, I told him that was just me, i never would catch the bus TO GO SEE ANNNNNYYONE even when i dint have a car, i caught it if i had to go somewhere BENEFICIAL to my life (class, etc).. i guess my point is like i said
        IF YOU DONT STAND FOR SOMETHING YOU WILL FALLLLLL FOR ANYTHING & EVERYTHING

  3. This is great information, and I hope that people will use it. But I must say, I know that people become blind to reality and can be careless when they are horny, in a rush to bust a nut, under the influence, naive, willing to do WHATEVER to please that man they’ve been feeling who is finally showing them some attention, etc.

    1. I agree man. That’s pretty much how I ended up catching the disease. I was young, dumb, away from home at school, and thought I was “grown”. I didn’t know that people with that “gay disease/Magic Johnson disease” would KNOWINGLY infect others with it. I know who gave me HIV. It’s sad, but now looking back, my naivete was my weakness. I just NEVER thought it could, would, or should be me. I thought that only whores contracted diseases, and that if I was not hoing around then I’d be fine. DUMB, I know, but guess what? it’s too late to cry over something that I can’t reverse. I prayed every night for God to heal me, and vowed to never be with a man agian…here I am 10 years later still HIV positive and on meds for life. Fellas, don’t think that because a guy tells you that he’s “clean” and that it feels better without protection that that’s cool. Learn to LOVE condoms! Hell, buy a pack, put it on a cucumber, and test it out. Learn that your safety should be worth more to you than a raw hard dick/wet ass. When you’re young, you think that you’re invincible, but I’m a living witness that that is not the case! Take care of YOU. First and foremost!

      1. This right here was perfect. I commend you for opening up about and telling your story on a subject that is still not talked about enough.

  4. I thank God everyday, that I am still here, I too am old enough to remember when AIDS first hit the devastation it brought to the Gay community, even then it was just something that I thought I would never have to deal with, but it hit me right between the eyes when I lost 2 friends who were like brothers to me.

    I admit, I became numb to sex for a while, refusing to have it, and I guess I suffered from post traumatic stress disorder without even realizing it until Old Head brought it up. I can never really trust men sexually because of HIV and often times it literally drives me crazy, because we are put here on earth to be with someone and have sex, as humans we are sexual beings. When it comes to sexual partners, Im no prude and have had my share, but Im old fashion too and would prefer even if its only a sexual relationship to be with one person and not have several partners. I have had my share of offers from dudes to get down, but if you approach me like that from the jump, I usually run and Im not interested. I have a young man, now that has been trying to hook it up, but unbeknownst to him, a mutual friend who doesnt know that we have been sort of talking told me some less than savory details about his sexual history. I just keep making excuses to this dude, but Im so paranoid that I cant do anything with him. Honestly I really dont have a answer because Im so sexually frustrated because I am not willing to do one night stands and sleep with anybody just to bust a nut. After reading the NYC stats, I get even more disheartened, even though Im not there, I know its not much difference all across the country.

    Another thing I have to look at concerning this, is our obsession with body and looks as gay men. We are superficial for the most part, most men probably are- gay and str8, so if I feel less than about myself and some fine dude with bulging muscles and a big dick pays me attention, Im probably going to think that he is clean, and nothing could possible be wrong with him because he is beautiful, and he chose me. I think that we as gay men have issues because we have been beat down by the world telling us that we are wrong to love the way we do, so we have nothing but our sexuality to express ourselves, and when someone provides that attention we eat it up and worry about the consequences later. So many of us put our lives in the hands of other fragile individuals who dont even have their own life together. By the time most of us realize our worth, its too late. If you manage to come through the gay life at 30 with no life altering STD’s you have been blessed beyond measure. Now that Im past 30, in my own way, I always tell younger gay dudes I encounter in their 20’s to protect themselves and trust no dude when it comes to their health, maybe if we start just trying to reach one of our brothers at a time we can make a difference.

  5. I know we have to have these talks, but I still dread them. I always think of all the reckless, hoe shit I’ve done in the past for approval or just to be reckless.

      1. Yes, I’ve been tested multiple times,but with HIV only showing up 3-6 months after you’ve come in contact with it, its always been in the back of my head that maybe it just hasn’t shown up yet. I can see how one could become paranoid.

      2. People wouldn’t have to be paranoid if they use condoms 100% of the time. Now sure I know condoms are not always effective, but 98% of the time they will be.

      3. Jamari we all have not done hoe shit. You can’t speak for everyone man. I’m young and I have my whole life ahead of me but I will never hoe around. It would hurt my pride.

      4. Most people don’t use condoms for oral sex, so you can get STDs through that. HIV isn’t likely, and condoms are worthless against herpes — just saying.

        Not to scare anyone, but let’s be aware.

  6. As you all know I’m young. If someone disagrees with anything I’m about to say I am open to being corrected or criticized. I’m not going to use the terms Fox, Wolf, or Hybrid for this because everyone who reads doesn’t understand those terms, and since this is a serious topic everyone needs to understand my point. Here’s my take on it. For some reason I feel that men who bottom or are versatile are more likely to catch an STD than a top. Before anyone gets into a fit, let me finish first. My feelings have nothing to do with studies and shit, it goes deeper than that. l feel this way because I believe that bottoms often feel that they should let the top be in control because of his position in the bedroom. Now due to the fact that it is a shortage of tops in this lifestyle, I think that men are letting them be in control all of the time and letting them have an influence on their decisions in and out of the bedroom. They probably feel that just because they are dominate in the bedroom they should let them do what they want, so whatever they say goes. If a top doesn’t want to fuck raw, I can’t imagine the bottom trying to convince him to change his mind. He knows that dude has his mind made up, what he says goes, and he will not let someone who he feels is inferior to him change his mind. It’s the same in the straight world. A woman is more likely to go along with whatever her man says. I’m not saying that bottoms are similar women, but I am saying that they both play a more submissive role during sex and in a relationship. In a marriage whatever the husband says goes because he’s the one who is supposed to be in control, but that is a stereotype.

    I have more to say but I’m tired as hell right now. I hope I made my point clear though.

      1. exactly i don’t think most bottoms are that submissive, they PLaY the role but are far from submissive, they often take the lead (set up the hook up, tell the guy where to nut etc) and MOST times REQUEST the top to fuck raw. As a top I gotta say I love a “slightly” (keyword) attitude-ish bottom who can take charge that just turns me on the more and drives me to be much more aggressive. So i think it works both way

    1. ^well said man.
      i love how you typed that like you were talking to us.
      i agree with your point.

      luckey made a good point about hormones being the key factor in doing something stupid.
      i feel like no one even talks about protection when it comes to a hook up.
      some tops stick it in and the bottom doesn’t care.
      people have this myth that because the person looks clean or is sexy as hell,
      he is also fine on the insides.

  7. @ The Man: There are plenty of men that practice safe sex and years later find out they still caught something. Maybe anal sex is rougher on condoms than vaginal sex? Then you have people who still put condoms on wrong or buy them too big or small.

  8. Condoms will forever be sketchy to me. I question anything society promotes. I know they say it’s made to protect you but is it really? It’s still better than just diving in without anything though. That’s why sex should be with someone you basically trust your life with 100%. This is not a game and you only get one chance in this body. You’d better treat it like the divine machine that it is and do everything in your power to protect & nurture it.

    1. I agree. That’s one reason I don’t condone anyone to hoe. Your chances of catching something decrease if you have one sexual partner over a period of time, especially if you use condoms and if that dude doesn’t step out on you, that’s even better. If you sleep with multiple men at a time, the chances of you catching something increase big time. You don’t know what they are doing or what they have done before you came along.

  9. Jamari, I really like this post. I take the position that we are all going to die of something and at some point in our lives we are going to be at greater risk of catching one thing or the other. I am not trying to be cavalier about it but just realize that I cannot live with the fear of catching HIV/AIDS and live happily. I have to live with the knowledge that I have to do my best to protect myself as if I would with anything else. Putting on a condom is just as routine as looking both ways before I cross the street. Buying condoms has as much scrutiny as buying underwear. Deciding what wolf meat I want to have inside of me is just like buying a car. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I am not upset abut HIV/AIDS. Diseases occur naturally and it is another disease. I am upset that people use the disease as a vehicle for hate and prejudice. We had a very verbal conversation at work about the disease and one of my co-workers was really dogging people who had the disease labeling them as whores, freaks, etc. I had to stop the conversation and point out that anyone can catch the disease in a number of ways other than sex. My coworker then went on to talk about how they would never have sex with anyone who was positive. I asked them how did they know they have not? They did not know that you may not get infected after having sex with an infected person one time. What I try to get a lot of people to understand is that after HIV/AIDS infection, people continue to be people and have needs. Are we to believe that Magic and his wife have never had sex after he was infected? I do not expect Magic or his wife to have a public conversation about it, or people to debate about it, but think about it. Positive people can have sex, as long as it is done safely. I have a lot of good strong sistuahs who are positive and I thank God that they are in my life and will support them until their or my last breathe. I do not believe that Sexy Tall Slim was dumb. I believe that he was just living and in choosing to live, he made mistakes. Yes, some mistakes can cost us dearly but that does not make us dumb. Men who escaped the scourge of syphilis are now contracting HIV/AIDS because of the use of Viagra and other drugs allow them to have sex in a younger demographic. Geriatric AIDS is a growing field in the medical community. I did HIV/AIDS awareness training in the Midwest. I was upset when one person tried to get me to validate that it the disease was God’s judgement and tried to take over the class. I wanted to tell him that stupidity was God’s judgement and he must have pissed God off, but I kept it cool and brought it back. I have only watched the movie “Philadelphia” once. That was enough for me to have the passion to support people who are positive. I know I have said a lot but a lot needs to be said in support of people who are positive. Some of the ignorant people who put up barriers in the past are dead and gone but people who are positive today are still living with the outcome. People were scared in the past but what if that fear was met with knowledge? Understanding and attempting to walk a mile in another persons shoes helps more than you know.

  10. Never say never. I remember talking down on the people that slept around, but it’s an easy trap to fall into, especially when there are few alternatives. I think the positive attention from men is what got me. I was used to being either ignored or picked at by my father, uncles, and classmates. So when you have men saying you’re sexy and all that game, when you’re used to being ignored it can reel you in. If you would’ve told me I was going to do some of the things I’ve done six years ago I would’ve punched you in the eye.

    I’m just grateful to still have my soul because I have seen so many dudes that have lost theirs somewhere along the way. I have to live with it though. I have to live with the fact I essentially gave my body away to people who could not and did not see the value in it… and neither did I.

    Now, where as most normal people use sex to enhance a connection, it’s a perfect disconnection for me.

    1. Those people had confidence and self-esteem issues, and they needed reassurance. That’s why they changed their mind about it. Once they got it they loosened up a bit. Me, I can say that I will never hoe. I’m secure with myself and I have always been told how good I look and I know it. I tell people all the time, I can have any man or woman I wanna have. Telling me I look good will not get in bed. No indeedy.

    2. ^that “lost their soul” comment really struck a cord with me.
      the whole comment was good,
      but losing ones soul is how I feel things in this lifestyle.
      all these guys fuckin’ raw on camera.
      the porno stars.
      if you look in their eyes,
      you can see what’s missing.

      1. God knows I’ve tried to learn from the mistakes I’ve made. I’ve tried trying to get to know some dudes on a deeper level minus sex, but when you’re dealing with dudes who base their interactions with men on their attraction to men it’s ALWAYS going to come back to sex or the possibility of sex. They’re probably out doing God knows what while you’re texting them to see how their day went.

        You can’t connect with someone that has nothing left to connect to.

      2. Jay you talk a lot about not being able to find a dude relationship wise. I think you meet the wrong men, and you don’t set the tone when you meet them. It’s just that simple. When you meet a man you have to be aggressive with him and let him know where you stand. Let them know what you want and that sex is not the only thing on the menu, and if that’s all he wants tell him to kick rocks. It’s hard to tell if a man is being sincere or not, that’s why sex should be on the back burner for at least 3 to 4 months. Yes, 3 to 4 months. If a man wants just sex he will not wait 90-120 days for it. He will stay around at first just cause he thinks he can convince you to change your mind, but will distance himself from you if he doesn’t get it after a month and you’ll know what’s up. Male on male interactions are different than male and female. Women stay looking for love, but men don’t give a fuck, so a man’s chances of finding another man to love him aren’t as high as a straight male’s. It is possible but it just takes more work.

  11. This is a an interesting and engaging discussion, given the subject matter. It’s unfathomable to me in this day and age, that someone would fuck someone else they don’t know raw. When I was in television, we had a weekly program featuring persons with HIV. Even with the plethora of information that was being disseminated on that program, the rates in that area was still high. Sure, it’s hot to look at in the pornos and some buy into the fantasy but, the diseases are real. To me it’s like this; would you walk into a bus or subway car and lick the pole? You have no idea who or what held that pole before you or what critters are on that pole. That’s why some people use hand sanitizer especially after coming out the subway.

  12. So, Imma be that person…kinda lol

    First, Old Head gave some great advice & I appreciate his story – I too came up when HIV was pretty much a death sentence & you would see people wasting away. I lost a couple folks to the disease. So yes, let’s not live paranoid/scared, but we definitely have to be aware.

    That said, something about this generation – about this time – feels so much different than before. Then, people were just finding out about HIV and what it could do; it was a lot of ignorance. Now, no one can say they don’t know STDs exist. It’s almost like a rebellion or willful ignorance/delusion to think that people don’t get infected (with whatever). I’ve said it before – Magic Johnson is the best & worst thing that’s happened to HIV awareness/prevention. No one thinks about how much money he spends on medicine…medicine he has to take FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. And don’t think I’m demonizing HIV+ people – there but for the grace of God. You can live a healthier life & have a fulfilling sex life – without infecting your partner. People are people – we all want love and acceptance.

    I’m starting to ramble, but I just want us to go in with our eyes open. If you’ve had sex more than once, chances are you’ve been with someone who has something, so count your blessings.Paranoia, fear, complacency, cockiness, ignorance, timidity – will get you messed up. A lot of us have done hoe-shyt; most of us have done something we regretted. Don’t live in the past, let it make you wiser for the future.

    1. ^this is one of your way comments yet!

      someone was telling me that magic johnson doesn’t have the disease at all.
      it was some conspiracy talk.
      i think they were telling me he was paid off to pretend he had it to bring awareness.

  13. @The Man: I don’t want a relationship at all. Lol! Chris Brown and Ike Turner would be better boyfriends than me right now. I would like to meet bi/gay guys who don’t get to know me with the expectation of seeing my dick or sex somewhere down the line.

    I find myself caught in the same games, so at this point I’m in self-preservation mode. Anyone with a penis needs to be at least six feet away, gay or straight.

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