I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion this past week titled “Protection is the New Black: Are You Sleeping with Clair Huxtable or Nicki Minaj?” The event was put on and moderated from the stage by Verneda White, founder of Human Intonation—an apparel brand dedicated to using fashion to raise social awareness on various topics. The focus for this particular panel was creating dialogue around the factors that play into people having medium rare or unprotected sex and exposing themselves to STDs. There was a lot of talk around communication, expectations, bedroom awkwardness, and one night efficiency.
I captured so many thoughts and quotes from the event that it made it pretty damn difficult for me to sit and write this. I wanted to do an overall recap, but that got pausably long. I wanted to do a video blog, but my eyes looked tired and my visually noticeable frustration with this post-nasal drip and accompanying cough would have been overwhelming. So in an effort to save my chin hairs and avoid the stress of not meeting a deadline, I’ve put together a list of 5 things (quotes, event segments, etc.) that got me thinking at the forum:
1. “80% of new HIV infections are Black/African American. That’s the future of our race.” -panelist quote
That’s also pretty f*cking scary. Whether that number is inflated or not, I’m sure we can all agree that the rate at which it’s contracted in the Black community is significantly higher. I remember thinking “that is not the future of my race” then realized I was distancing myself from the issue because I didn’t think it applied to me or any of the people I know. This line of thinking can easily become destructive. I know I’m not the only person thinking this way.
2. “Sex isn’t intimacy. It’s a physical act.” -panelist quote
Some people (maybe a lot) view sex like fast food. They want it when they want it. It’s easily accessible. It fulfills a basic need despite the potentially hazardous side effects. People actually think it’s better for their own good to not ask questions about it, which is incredibly backwards.
3. Clair Huxtable vs. Nicki Minaj Comparison
What I got from the event was that Clair Huxtable could represent a person with low risk of contracting or having HIV/STDs versus a Nicki Minaj character that could be described as high risk. When I think low-risk, I think of the type of woman I could confidently call a girlfriend with longer term potential. I think of descriptors like educated, good upbringing, well-kept appearance, mature, and free of STDs/The Monster. I’m going to approach her differently and not focus on how quickly I can get to the cooty cat. When I think high risk, I think of words and phrases like promiscuous, loose, reckless, and hoetry. Someone that gives off this vibe will be dealt with 1-3 times max. I’ll be much more direct and may possibly bring a magnifying glass in addition to reinforced condoms to the bedroom. The likelihood of her getting face is nil. As you can imagine, much debate was sparked around this.
The Cliff Note Summary: Just because someone looks clean of STDs doesn’t mean they are clean. A lot of the people testing positive in clinics for HIV are middle class and in “committed” relationships. Nicki stans also noted that she’s had the same man for years and her characters aren’t a reflection of her character. No comment from me on that.
4. Attendee Question: Do Women Buy Condoms? Is there a negative stigma attached?
I was chatting with Verneda about this question after the event and she gave me the following:
“Yes. Of course women buy condoms. I still feel there is a negative stereotype around women buying them. She is looked at as being promiscuous, easy, and the exact opposite of the type of woman a man will bring home to mom.”
If a chick is out and about with condoms, it means she’s sexually active and she’s prepared just in case something should happen. I hadn’t really thought about how I processed this before, but now that I think about it…there are some factors at play. If I just meet a chick, we go home, and she whips out condoms, I’m going to assume she knew exactly what she wanted. I’m probably going to go ahead and have sex with her since she seems to be the safe type at the moment. In the morning or after the glow wears off, I’m going to experience the Moment of Clarity (I didn’t make this up) where a man recalls what he just did and starts analyzing the stupidity of his move. More than likely, I’m going to wonder how many times she’s done that before. Her resume and cover letter may very well get put into the pile of despair.
However, if I don’t see these condoms, I take some time to get to know her, and then we get down to business and she has them, I’m not going to think much of it. It’s less about her having condoms and more so about when I see them. The same goes for conversations about s*x itself.
5. Some People Really Don’t Know How to Ask a Partner If They’ve Been Tested Or If They Have Condoms.
Yet they know how to get naked and do what it do anyway.
So yeah, these are just a few related thoughts on the event that sparked some ideas. What do you think about women having an adequate stock of protective supplies? Does it give off the wrong image? Why do we struggle so much when it comes to having conversations around using protection and testing when it comes to sexual partners? What traits and characteristics do women typically associate with low risk vs. high risk men? Is it even thought about? Have you been to any interesting events on sexual health lately? Other thoughts are welcomed of course.
Because I'm lazy, where are all the STD stats… & projected stats… and are they are accurate… Because there are experts out there with agendas and they inflate or just effin make it uptheir stats to push personal agendas
That being said, I do believe that you can stereotype people (high risk vs. low risk) to some degree with a healthy bit of flexibility…
Because I watch WAY too much pornIn the unprofessional realm of adult films, alot of people do not use protection… and didn't seem to have the "Get Tested/STD" conversation… Scary
More thoughts later, Goodnight
Finally I feel I should speak on something. I have been an avid lurker for months and really enjoy this site.
After reading this, I feel any adventure when it comes down to sex whether you're in a relationship or not – it boils down to communication. If you don't feel comfortable asking him about his status why would you want to sleep with him? Closed mouths don't get fed so why would you hold back especially when it can affect your health? I mean I know my worth and please believe looks can be deceiving so the only way to be smart when it comes to sex is to be honest with yourself, get tested and always wrap it up.
From what I was able to gather, some people don't want to mess up a situation or moment by asking those type of questions. These are adults too. Like people that are 25+.
This is a very important post. It is a state of emergency when you here a stat that says "80% of new HIV cases are African American Women..you could have stopped right there. Myquestion is WHy are A/A women primarily at risk? I guess we don't know..but, the point is, why aren't we being safe..and if they are talking about women in "committed relationships" then what do we do then……its just really scary out there.
I know two Black women who have died of Aids..one was a cousin and the other was a very close member of the family….my cousin, we didn't know until the final days of her illness..she kept saying it was something else or this or that…she kept it a secret for most of it…the other person was a close member of the family and she lived longer with it because she had family support and she was taking her meds…either way two beautiful women were lost..one left a beautiful daughter behind..and the other left four wonderful children. It is a tragedy all the way around.
I know we like to joke about s*x and all of that..its fun in the moment..I just want to encourage black women to keep a box of magnums around….or whatever you prefer. Get tested often…and just be safe. Nobody is out here worth dying for. Men stop giving ladies a hard time when they mentiion condoms….its for a good reason..stop acting so silly and put the dam thing on and shut up….or go the hell home. lol.
Excellent post Slim.
Be careful with the magnums, last thing you want is some dude that should be in the regular C attacking your kitty with a baggy one on. That's how things get lost and dreams get deferred.
A couple people on the panel were/are living with HIV. Once people can put a face with it in person, things get real. I know I've been thinking about it a lot more as a result of listening to these individuals talk. A lot of folks don't wanna deal with the idea of it until they know someone that was affected.
Also to add: the Nicki Minaj vs Claire Huxtable comparison is bogus….I have seen the most beautiful women….looking like Mrs. America Middle Class walking around with full blown Aids…one such lady was featured on 106 and Park and the other on Oprah..and they both looked healthy..the lady from 106 and Park said men still try to get at her knowing her status..the other lady was in a relationship and havng a baby….but, it had been a long struggle for both..and another thing, stop looking at Magic Johnson as the face of Aids..like the woman on Oprah said, Magic has unlimited resources at his disposal and doctors…that is not the everyday life of a person living with Aids…and she wanted to make sure that was real clear…..and rightly so.
I think women keeping condoms being thought as easy is as ludicrous as buckling up in a car is being afraid of the driver's driving–both are about safety and NOT getting into trouble. I think women keeping condoms being thought as easy is as practical as me being adamant of NOT wanting to impregnate a woman–both are about thinking ahead and NOT getting caught up in "unwanted consequences". women keeping condom does not give off the wrong image AT ALL. I've been know to have conversations about using protection whether the woman wanted to have it or not (keep telling you all that I tend to be blunt if not just upfront). Since I'm not a woman, the question "what traits and characteristics do women typically associate with low risk vs. high risk men" is unapplicable. BUT, I think about such stuff EVERY time actually every time I even LOOK at potential women with which to bond. No, I have not been to any interesting events on sexual health lately. (smile) But, I DO love to read…
I think women keeping condoms being thought as easy is as ludicrous as buckling up in a car being afraid of the driver's driving–both are about safety and NOT getting into trouble. I think women keeping condoms is as practical as me being adamant of NOT wanting to impregnate a woman–both are about thinking ahead and NOT getting caught up in "unwanted consequences". Women keeping condoms does not give off the wrong image to me AT ALL. I've been know to have conversations about using protection with a woman whether the woman wanted to have it or not (keep telling you all that I tend to be blunt if not just upfront). Since I'm not a woman, the question "what traits and characteristics do women typically associate with 'low risk vs. high risk men' is unapplicable. BUT, I think about "low risk vs. high risk women" stuff actually every time I even LOOK at potential women with whom to bond. No, I have not been to any interesting events on sexual health lately. (smile) But, I DO love to read…
Though I believe that statistic is skewed because of reporting methods (I will verify this statement) it doesn't change anything.
Strap it up, and don't do the "lemme warm it up inside first, then put it on" method.
Be honest about your sexual escapades, even if you are cheating. Better safe than sorry, and your girl/guy may not even leave you over it.
Be honest with yourself, If you don't know your status, make it a priority to do so, even in monogamous situations.
Do Women Buy Condoms? Is there a negative stigma attached?
Personally, I don't know of any women who said she's purchased condoms before — including my girlfriends and the reason being is that dude always had his own and if he didn't he was SOL…
It's sad to say but there is definitely a negative stereotype when a woman carries around her own stash of her favorite brand BUT with that 80% percentage of new cases being US there needs to be more awareness and acceptance of women who do buy and keep their own stash on the nightstand they just need to exercise condom etiquette that is all.
Sidenote: 80% new cases being AA is very disheartening!!! Why is it so high for us is it some kind of gene/trait/blood type we have that makes us more susceptible than other races??
I think this is a major issue.
As Slim mentioned he and I were chatting about this after the event and I think the stigma around women buying condoms is a thorn in our side.
Do Women buy condoms? Yes of course. Do most women want to buy condoms? I don't think so. Our whole discussion at Protection is the New Black centered around what assumptions and stereotypes do we carry that impact our behavior around using protection and HIV prevention, and the reality is I
still feel there is a negative stereotype around women buying condoms.
As much as I am an advocate for using protection insistently and consistently, I shudder at the thought of walking into a store and buying condoms myself. In
fact, the very first time I bought condoms as a young woman the person behind the registered recognized me and told me to tell my mother she says hello. I actually died right then and there. However, my adversity to
purchasing condoms does not mean I have a problem with bringing condoms to the bedroom. I have my own stash and between he and I a condom is going to enter the picture before anything goes down. I feel empowered about my stance on no condom, no lovin' that I hold today, but right behind that bravado is a woman who is thankful that with more and more access to free condoms I have not had to buy condoms for the better half of ten years.
What do you think about women having an adequate stock of protective supplies?
I can see how a guy would think that a woman is promiscuous if she has her own supply. However, as I get older, meet new women and read up on what's going on in our community having condoms is a responsibility for both parties participating in sex. I think women who keep a stock is responsible, cognizant of the fact that there are stds out there and cautious.
Does it give off the wrong image?
Unfortunately, I think it does because of the double standard in society.
Why do we struggle so much when it comes to having conversations around using protection and testing when it comes to sexual partners?
It's such an uncomfortable subject. You don't want to come off offensive or disrespectful so many avoid it. I also think that some people don't think that STDs and STIs exists and don't want to face reality. Many believe it just won't happen to them. If sex wasn't such a "taboo" subject people might be more free to discuss these topics.
What traits and characteristics do women typically associate with low risk vs. high risk men?
I'm not sure what traits and characteristics women associate with low risk vs. high risk men but based off what i've read, seen and heard, the sexiest guy with the great job, big house and perfect smile can be HIV+ (or gay). Until I'm proved otherwise I think all guys are high risk. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Is it even thought about?
From the conversations I've had with some of my friends and associates, the thought of a guy having a disease almost never comes up so I'm not sure if it's even thought about. What's disturbing is the fact that many women contract diseases while in a "committed" relationship. If you're in a serious relationship and you trust your partner, the thought of them doing something reckless such as stepping out and getting a disease does not cross your mind. Unless you've been burned already (pun intended).
Good post Slim.
"If sex wasn’t such a 'taboo' subject people might be more free to discuss these topics."
The role that culture plays in these conversations came up as well. There were a few West Indian people in attendance that said topics like this are rarely discussed between parent and child because of the taboo factor. Therefore, people grow up having never really discussed or even knowing how to talk about it.
On dudes having STDs and it never being discussed, I went to school with a guy that burned (Not the Monster( multiple women his freshman year. The community knew it, but somehow he continued to rack up notches.. I never really understood it and never forgot it.
Same with Nigerians (or at least all the ones I know). I didn't get a sex talk until after I'd already had sexI was 19 and it was from my sisters
"Therefore, people grow up having never really discussed or even knowing how to talk about it."
Growing up with Haitian parents the only thing I was told about sex was not to do it, focus on school and not to get pregnant. Fortunately, I learned about sex at school,in books and from my aunt. Not to be crtical but I think after a while you should stop blaming your culture and think about your health. When you're raised in America you have access to so many resources and people you can talk to that there really isn't any excuse on why the topic never comes up.
In high school there was this popular good looking football player who allegedly had a STD gave it to two girls (who were friends) and girls still flocked to him.
Why can't women utilize birth control instead of carrying condoms?
because birth control doesn't protect against stds
I think the question he asked is a good example of why we need to have more discussions like this. There are a ton of misconceptions (no pun) floating around.
Word. Also, I don't like putting pills in my body. Birth control can do all types of crazy stuff to women who are taking them including weight gain, nausea, acne and a whole bunch of other stuff as a result of the hormonal imbalance that can occur. I'd rather try the female condom first then spend months finding the BC that works for me.
I'm not even sure where to start. I will say this post is much needed. Personally, I've always been more concerned about pregnancy than stds, and I don't think I'm alone. However, I think that getting yourself checked and making sure your partner has also been checked shouldn't be such a big deal. It hasn't been an issue yet but my plan is to suggest that we get checked together. Since it takes me a while to be comfortable enough with a dude to even consider having sex with him I would hope that at that point I'd also be comfortable to ask him to get checked with me.
We all know the "we shoulds…" but the fact is when we're already all the way turned on, our brains are literally flooded with chemicals equivalent to being on drugs, not to mention that we, lots of times, are impaired by alcohol as well…all this discussion must happen before he's at full salute and your drawers look like the bottom floor of the Titanic…
But when do you bring it up? HOW do you bring it up…women are already consumed with not being "the bitch" or "the nag". Men don't want to insinuate that he thinks a woman is dirty or slutty, that's a great way to ensure you never get the buns. Plus, I mean how many times do you plan your first encounter? Rarely I'd guess. Usually "it just happens". Maybe you looked forward to it, hoped it would happen, etc. But it's not like you could say, "hey, we're probably going to have sex for the first time next week, before we do…wanna go get this test outta the way first?" It could happen, but what are the odds? I have my papers in the car, ready for inspection. But I've never been asked for them. Never. And what's worse? I've never requested papers either. I know better…and yet…all my efforts are post interaction. I'm religious about getting checked out after each partner…but after won't help if I've been infected.
It boils down to we must be more responsible, and that just isn't very fun. Stop justifying all the risks away. The physical risks, the emotional risks, the financial risks, the life changing risks…sex isn't just a physical act that you can just do without repercussions. It involves another person; and their body fluids, their baggage, their feelings…
Women that have access to condoms are smart, responsible, and prepared. Men that have a problem with this are illogical and immature IMO. Would you have preferred that she'd gone raw with all the other men before you hit her? Did you think you were her first? Should she entrust her health completely to you?
I don't look at women with Condoms as a stigma. I look at women who will willingly have unprotected sex with and random dude (men too!!) funny style!! These STDs etc are not a game. Im just as scared as the next person of needles etc, but the last time I got tested and I got a 65, I cried Tim Tebow tears and rejoiced. Aint no better feeling in the world!
Regular getting tested is a reminder in itself to wear C's. Nothing is worst than going to a clinic, getting blood drawn, then having to recall medium rare incidents and trying to figure out the likelihood shorty had something.
Since I guess no one else is, I'd like to point out that brotha Slim is being more proactive in the comment section today, as requested. lol
Yeah @Slim and @Streetz, I got tested recently because I switched insurance carriers and I actually get two free test a year, although I usually just do the 12 month round-up.
Anyway, did you know they dont even call you anymore if the test is negative? HOW LAZY IS THAT?!? The nurse told me if I didnt hear anything in 2 days that's good news. I was like "WTF"?!? I mean they cant even take the time out to call a brother anymore and let'm know everything is smooth sailing and green acres?
Somehow this is Obama's fault (Obamacare!!!) But since I didnt get a phone call and as far as I know my phone bill is paid for and active this month, I think I'm in the clear. It is sad that you even have to wonder. This is why I need to get married.
#AintNoCountryForBeingSingle in this country.
Anyway, did you know they dont even call you anymore if the test is negative? HOW LAZY IS THAT?!? The nurse told me if I didnt hear anything in 2 days that’s good news. I was like “WTF”?!? I mean they cant even take the time out to call a brother anymore and let’m know everything is smooth sailing and green acres?
They've been doing that here in TN since I moved here back in 2003 for school.
The few places that do actually notify of you of a negative status will say: "We can't give that information over the phone. Expect a letter…" *sits by the mailbox*
The nurse told me if I didnt hear anything in 2 days that’s good news. I was like “WTF”?!?
This ain't even right!!! So for the next 48 hrs you dropping dookie bricks in your boxers when your phone rings and you happen to get a "sorry wrong number" call or one of your homies is calling you from an unknown number.
Is this is the 3rd mention of being married in 2011 WIM?
Anywhozers… yea I got the same treatment. "Aye, if you don't hear from us.. you good." WTF?! Lol. I happened to back to the doc for some other issues 2 weeks later so I checked on it everything then but still… I needs to know!
Yeah that's lazy and typical. It never made sense to me because what is the nurse neglected to call. (It has happened) So it's on you to call. In Florida, they won't even tell you over the phone. Even if you're negative, you have to go in and wait for the nurse to get your results. Sometimes they're nice enough to drop hints like "Come in at your leisure" or "Whenever you get a chance, drop in it's not urgent". Lazy mofos.
Let me tell you son. They do that in NYC too! That was the most nervous 48 hours of my life! And not becuase im nasty, just because I know Im not a V, so theres not a 100% chance that I didnt catch something feel me? The first 24 was cool. THe second?! I was staring at my cell ALL DAY lmao!
I called them on Day 3 and they were like "You're fine"
Now when I had my allergy tests and they came back positive, they BLEW MY PHONE UP so I wouldnt eat the things I was allergic to in the meantime.
I take the tactic of calling incessantly until somebody gives me my results. Although, I'm pretty paranoid about the whole ordeal and get tested more often than necessary, so my doctor knows that I will keep calling. Frankly, having seen mix-ups in the lab and the 3 month window with HIV, I tend to get tested more than twice a year.
Good post Slim. I actually wrote another post for another website which no I'm not going to link to, that said sexual education is only mandated in 22% of public schools (and conservatives are trying to shrink this even more). I think the assumption is people know more about sex than they do, when they dont. There are some clueless "grown ups." Of course they're going to feel uncomfortable. Thus, it creates a cycle. They cant teach their kids and so on and so forth. It's sad.
1. “80% of new HIV infections are Black/African American. That’s the future of our race.”
That's just scary. Nuff said.
2. “Sex isn’t intimacy. It’s a physical act.”
Within the context of this forum this makes sense and I've seen it more and more in practice and believe it will only continue to worsen. Society has pretty much normalized casual sex and then get up and arms about the consequences. I dont think this specific issue is either good or bad but when it's combined with general ignorance and the 'taboo' of talking about sex, THAT creates the problem. Since I dont see the former going backwards, to me, the later should be addressed.
3. Clair Huxtable vs. Nicki Minaj Comparison
As you said, can't judge a book by its cover. Or as Cam'Ron said: "It be ones with the pretty face and the pretty rides and the pretty thighs, but what about they insides?"
4. Attendee Question: Do Women Buy Condoms? Is there a negative stigma attached?
I'm probably open minded to answer this question, as I usually apply the 'would this be bad if a man did it?' rule before answering these types of questions. However, #inreallife I've only had two girls who had condoms on stash and I didn't judge them in the least. Actually, I was thankful because both times I wasn't expecting to get any and luckily they had some on deck.
#ThankYouBasedGod (granted they werent my brand of choice, Trojan Ecstasy, but beggars cant be choosey, nah mean?!?)
5. Some People Really Don’t Know How to Ask a Partner If They’ve Been Tested Or If They Have Condoms.
See responses to all of the above.
OK, after checking the numbers over at the CDC, for which 2008 is the latest reporting year, the numbers come up to a little over 51% for HIV and 50% for AIDS new reported infections.
As a reference, for our melanin-lacking brethren the figures is 28% for AIDS and 28.5% for HIV cases.
Not that it makes it any better, just wanted to get the facts straight
Good post Slim.
Any sexually active woman should have her own stash of condoms. The days of trusting men to be both responsible for his sexual health, as well as the woman he's with, are long gone. Never should a woman be looked down on for taking responsibility of her own sexual health, and any man or woman who thinks less of such a responsible woman has issues of their own. And one of those issues is probably an STD/STI. smh…
As for the Claire vs. Nicki idea, do people really still believe this? You can't look at anyone, and assume they are disease free. Likewise, degrees, career, income doesn't make you immune to HIV/AIDS. I tell my friends all the time that a good resume does not make a good man. Nor does it make him disease free.
We live in a puritanical society. We are conditioned to think sex is bad, so any talk of sex or sexuality is taboo. This includes any discussion of sexual health. Yes, the media is inundated with sexual images, but these images are seen as taboo. Porn is considered evil and disgusting because of its in your face sex. Yet, with all of this sex in the media, no one talks about sex, sexuality, sexual health. Sex is supposed to be something you do behind closed doors with the the lights off, and not discussed in full view of others. This mind set is killing us. Churchy Christians actually thinking AIDS is a gay man's disease. That only "nasty" people get STDs/STIs. Educated black men thinking a Claire or a Michelle(Obama) can't burn them. Educated women thinking an ivy league alum can't give her the gift that keeps on giving. Until we get over ourselves, our hangups, our elitism, our holierthanthou attitude, we're fucked.
Good post Slim.
Any sexually active woman should have her own stash of condoms. The days of trusting men to be both responsible for his sexual health, as well as the woman he’s with, are long gone. Never should a woman be looked down on for taking responsibility of her own sexual health, and any man or woman who thinks less of such a responsible woman has issues of their own. And one of those issues is probably an STD/STI. smh…
As for the Claire vs. Nicki idea, do people really still believe this? You can’t look at anyone, and assume they are disease free. Likewise, degrees, career, income doesn’t make you immune to HIV/AIDS. I tell my friends all the time that a good resume does not make a good man. Nor does it make him disease free.
We live in a puritanical society. We are conditioned to think sex is bad, so any talk of sex or sexuality is taboo. This includes any discussion of sexual health. Yes, the media is inundated with sexual images, but these images are seen as taboo. P*rn is considered evil and disgusting because of its in your face sex. Yet, with all of this sex in the media, no one talks about sex, sexuality, sexual health. Sex is supposed to be something you do behind closed doors with the the lights off, and not discussed in full view of others. This mind set is killing us. Churchy Christians actually thinking AIDS is a gay man’s disease. That only “nasty” people get STDs/STIs. Educated black men thinking a Claire or a Michelle(Obama) can’t burn them. Educated women thinking an ivy league alum can’t give her the gift that keeps on giving. Until we get over ourselves, our hangups, our elitism, our holierthanthou attitude, we’re screwed.
I've seen this video of this young preacher that brought up sex during sermon. He said that people should discuss sex in church. He proceeded to talk about it something beautiful and God-made opposed to something nasty. I heard only very few people actually use that approach.
That was definitely my sex education…you couldn't STOP my mom from talking about how beautiful and wonderful sex was between husband and wife. We talked openly about sex in church, with family, everywhere. There was no question that I couldn't ask my parents or pastor or home ec teacher for that matter. (The woman that insisted every single woman should always have a cucumber on hand for emergencies O_O Ya'll are starting to understand why I am how I am now aren't ya 😉 lol)
(The woman that insisted every single woman should always have a cucumber on hand for emergencies O_O Ya’ll are starting to understand why I am how I am now aren’t ya lol)
*makes note: NEVER eat the salad if invited over to Starita's house*
No worries, I don't eat cucumbers…
1. “80% of new HIV infections are Black/African American. That’s the future of our race.”
~And I'll bet half them chicks live in B'more [#shots].
But in all seriousness, this disturbing epidemic has been growing for some time now. Matter of fact when I was in grad school , one of my classmates wanted to write her MA thesis on BW and AIDS/HIV and the rates were still high back then. My question has always been why and what messages aren't we getting across to our people?
When I was in HS, we knew AIDS was real because we witnessed people dying daily on the news and people in our circles. But these days I know more about what the Kardashians are doing or how the next smartphone is going to make my life so much better.
And FTR, if i met a woman who had condoms on her or had a stash at the house I wouldn't give her the side-eye for protecting herself. That seems really childish in my book.
This is a good post….
Before a person decides to have sex with another it's a good idea to make an appointment and get tested together….that way both people are sharing the responsibility of being safe.
It's all fun and games until it's not fun and games anymore….but in the end at least you know who you are dealing with….and you did you part in not adding to the problem and being responsible for your health.
i wish I could have been at this event. I would have brought the whole campus with me. The numbers are definitely scary, and even if it isn't really as high as 80%, HIV definitely affects Black women disproportionately. What's crazy is that even the most educated Black women will go along with the whole "he just doesn't like condoms" thing…I never really understood it until I was put in that position…but as Black women we have to be stronger about putting our foot down. No condom, no chex. I told this to my friend once and she looked at me like this o_0.
Also, I hate this stigma that women who buy condoms are loose. I don't know if men get this look from cashiers at the drug store but people always give me this face that almost makes me feel bad when all I'm trying to do is protect myself! I can count the number of times I've actually had to use my condoms because he almost always comes with, but still. Why can men carry condoms in their wallets but I have to hide mine under the bed in the shoebox behind the suitcase with all my old clothes in it??
You just reminded me of something else that came up. There was some talk around how condoms are associated with infidelity in some relationships. Like if a woman asks a dude to wear a C, it can turn into the "You don't trust me or something?" conversation that a lot of people are still scared to have.
That's real. I've never really had to have that conversation but I could see how that could be a real problem, especially if you're in a committed relationship. That's where the whole trust thing comes in and I am in no position to really say much about that
With that said, if you are NOT in a committed relationship with someone, then I think this kind of goes out the window. I know men who would try to pull this with a FWB and I'd have to shut that down because there both parties have zero commitment and accountability to each other. So if the male feels some type of way, than that's an honest conversation that needs to happen. If you're committed to each other, then you should know your partner and then decide if protection is necessary or not (sad, but true). In either case, I think getting tested together is necessary and will help to keep the air (and bodies) clean.
That is a**backwards. C's protect against STD's and pregnancy! Just because you are not worried about getting a disease from someone doesn't mean you are trying to have babies… I have been in a relations for 5 years and we still use condoms (and for a while I was on the pill at the same time).
There is nothing like a prophylactic to provide peace of mind!
"… but I have to hide mine under the bed in the shoebox behind the suitcase with all my old clothes in it??"
Old clothes? Is that what we're calling the things in the shoebox behind the suitcase under the bed now? 😉
LOL! Yes, there are old clothes in that suitcase…among other things.
About sex education:
One thing I've noticed over the years is that they don't really teach you what you need to know. They teach you the mechanics of sex. Which is good but totally inadequate. They don't really get into the important stuff like why you should or shouldn't have sex. It's better than nothing but it's more like biology class than sex education. It should be relationship education.
I can still see that video of the peni$ moving in some random chicks vagina. Wondering how they got the camera in there ROFL
YEooo for real I always wondered how the hell they got a camera to fit in there while ppl were intercoursing?
That's a question I still haven't had answered to this day and I'm too lazy to google it.
ROFL….we thought we was gonna see a porno. Instead we was like WTF? I don't want to see the inside of some chick while she is gettin pounded. ROFL
ROFL….we thought we was gonna see a p()rn(). Instead we was like WTF? I don’t want to see the inside of some chick while she is gettin pounded. ROFL
Nice post. I devote alot of my time to educating our people on the dangers of unprotected s.ex so this hits close to home. I started volunteering at the age of 13 in Miami's first HIV/Aids clinic ran by my mom. I saw so much that it was enough to spark a mini passion in me. I really don't care if someone wants to say that I'm generalizing, but over all as a people we do not use condoms. We just don't and THAT's our downfall. It's not that we're natural born h0es and sleep around. It's the fact that we do not protect ourselves. Like Slim said, many are middle-class and in relationships. It's not a h0e's disease like everyone thinks. On top of that, we don't get tested so MANY of us walk around infected and spread the disease un-knowingly. The numbers are extremely high and it's very scary. I get tested every year like clock work. Get a friend and you two go together. Sometimes it's better having a partner alleviates some of the fear associated.
Btw, yes statistics show that women are pressured into not using condoms by men. Issues like trust are brought up when women admit to the pressure set by their boyfriends/spouses, etc. We WANT to trust each other. Also, women get tested more than men so men really need to tighten up in this area. Not only do you not get tested but you insist on not wearing protection either. It's really reckless. We all need to do better.
Lastly, do not count on looks/lifestyle. It's all probability. I wish I could take pictures of the women who come into the clinic. DIME PIECES. Why? Some could argue that attractive people have much more s.ex so do not rest on her "prettiness". That's all I got for now. Sorry if my post is all over the place. I'm busy today and rushing.
I think what you said was "spot on". watched a family member die of AIDS when I was a child. then my moms friend from work contracted HIV/AIDS from her HUSBAND, and died years later. I just had 3 good friends (one of them a very close friend) contract Herpes…the game is really gettin out of hand nowadays…and its more than sad, its terrifying. Im moving to Atlanta in a month and because I know whats goin down out there sexually…im bowing out gracefully before my plane even lands.But I did plan on doing some community service within the AIDS community, and I wanna thank you for reminding me of that.and since Im rambling, im going to keep going for a minute. I decided to get tested for HIV, and had a "false positive" scare, that literally made me want to go AWOL from the Navy, move to Mexico, and die quietly away from the world and people that knew me. I did the "rapid HIV" test, but my mistake was going in there having a cold…not knowing that that could skewer your results. needless to say after my re-test I cried and hugged the doctor, said my prayers and hail Mary's, and promised myself Id always stay within boundaries. all of this now equals to me asking "have you been tested for STD's AND HIV in the last 6 months/year?"
'then my moms friend from work contracted HIV/AIDS from her HUSBAND, and died years later."
One of the perks of being married or in a commited relationship USED to be knowing you can ride bareback with your mate without any worries BUT nowadays……. it's not the case anymore.
Woooooow. I've heard of people getting false diagnosis. That must have been horrible!!! I can't even imagine what those days must have been like. But yeah, infidelity is another issue as well. I kid you not, I know a guy who…and wait for it….had unprotected s.ex with a STRIPPER!!!! And he was 34 years old with a master's degree. Oh yeah, it's crazy out there.
horrible aint the word…the only thing that kept me level headed is when the phelbotimist heard me sniffling and said "are you sick"? and I said I was…and she said "baby, you shouldnt even worry, if you have a cold, that can throw your test results off". But I really did plan on leaving the country and never speaking to anyone again (i know that sounds extra but thats how I was), the whole situation was a nightmare. I wasnt even 30 at the time and was already saying to myself "my life is over".
but homie with the stripper? oooh weeee….dat right durr…I dont even know what to say about that one. other than it being hella wreckless.
Thank you again Slim for this great post and for attending HUMAN INTONATION's fashion presentation and HIV forum. This is not an easy topic to get people to take down their walls and facades to talk about candidly. I am encouraged by all the comments here. More to come I'm sure!
I’ve had three women in the past that I knew of who had a stash of condoms, and oddly enough, I didn’t even THINK to judge them for it. They reached for the stash, but I had my own. I would no more judge a woman for having condoms than I would judge a man for carrying them in his wallet.
I have an issue with women having a condom stash for a different reason. A woman doesn’t know if she’s getting the average, an elephant trunk, or a button the first time. A condom that doesn't fit is only slightly better than none at all. So how is she supposed to know what type of condom to buy? Does she keep a wide assortment just in case? I feel it’s a man’s responsibility to bring a condom, and a woman’s responsibility to say, “you ain’t getting none” if he doesn’t.
I didn't realize they made them joints in different sizes till this girl gave me a condom one time and that joint looked like a mid-driff when I put it on ROFL Dat joint was like a kiddie condom.
[ A woman doesn’t know if she’s getting the average, an elephant trunk, or a button the first time. A condom that doesn’t fit is only slightly better than none at all.]
So wouldn't this be more of a better reason to have a stash of condoms just in case? Better to be safe than sowry….. *shrug*
I understand how it may look if a woman opens her nightstand drawer displaying 5 different brands/sizes of condoms but when you really think about it — she's practicing Safety 1st.
I'd wager a bet that at least 80% of men fit in a standard condom just fine…if you don't, you should always bring your own don't ya think? If I needed specialty anything to have sex, I'd keep it with me at all times.
Yep, 80% will. But what happens when you bring home either Mandingo or the New Year's baby? I agree with you; a man knows what he's working with, so he should by his own condoms.
I'm glad we're talking about this. Personally, I never felt pressured to NOT use a condom, it was more of a "if you don't say anything I'm not saying anything" vibe. I don't know about the other ladies, but back in my dating days it was an immediate turn off when things would start getting hot and heavy and the guy didn't even have one on him. Then giving me the heavy sigh when I say, "7-11 is right around the corner. Hurry back."
You know who that scary stat about BW HIV rates reflects on, right? Black men. I'm not one to paint you all with the same brush, but there were certain dudes that I just couldn't get with back in my day, condom or not. I didn't run into any IV drug users, but it always boggled my mind when women would wait patiently for their man to do a looong azz bid in jail and be waiting with open legs when he got home. Not the kid. If I get that down low vibe, no. If I know you are chexing every woman who gives you the green light, no.
Great post, Slim. I don't know who told y'all to get more involved in the comments section but please extend my sincere "thank ya kindly." It really makes it more of a conversation that way.
I'm trying with these comments. Can't do it every day just yet, but this is a start. 🙂
Is it just me or do all condoms bust if you have sex for than 15 minutes?
It's you. You're doing something wrong. Too much friction, little lubrication.. Boom!
How long before I see a posting like "The Rising Cost of Condoms… Why Can't These Females Go 1/2 (half) On It"
Real talk. I'm going to shift the seismic plates and be honest about this. I dont like condoms and would rather not wear them. But I hate stds even more.
One time I seriously wouldn't have minded having kids so I went in without protection, depends on the girl I guess.
I have also been with a partner where we both got tested at the very start of a relationship and we made a commitment to be exclusive and so we thought that it was alright not to use protection as she was on birth control.
My current position is that the relationship is more important than mere sex so am not even doing it until we fine tune the relationship.
That's my own personal journey. I've figured out that commitment and monogamy is more rewarding than running about town and sticking a finger in every pie.
I guess if you are going to engage in risky stuff the least you can do is protect yourself. I knOw my aversion is psychological and knowing that, my response has been practical .
I know that risky behaviour is exciting and these kinds of outreach simply ignore the very human element. The consequences can be dire, but it's like speeding in a drop down convertible , risky but exhilarating until these programmes find a way of dealing with this excitement things aren't going to change.
I have done some silly stuff in the past but will not in the future. My way out is to consider marriage and fidelity, a very conservative option that future me recognises and appreciates but past me didn't really care about .
I think this comments hits the nail on the head exacty Sambaguy. Knowledge (knowing the risks of HIV/STDs) does not make people engage in safer behaviour or make better choices. The reasons why people are willing to have unprotected sex vary far and wide and it is a challenge (but a challenge that must be taken on) to reach each individual where they are and get it through that regardless of the the "excitement" or whatever may be their motivation for engaging in risky behaviour that protecting yourself has to be #1 consistently and insistently.
Personally (speaking for my own experience) I think it starts with a person just being willing to admit to themselves that they are willing to put themselves at risk. So many people walk around with a front on in public and it is a whole different story behind closed doors. Then you can take steps to figure out why you are doing what you are doing and make a change.
PS : can we lay off the "down low " scare stories? Apart from being lazy thinking and homophobic, it misses the point that everyone should just rubber up and be safe. Whether it's gay sex or the neighbourhood kitty slayer from the yard, the risk remains the same.
Very interesting points brought up. It is amazing how behaviors and opinions remain the same about sex. I myself as I age and seek knowledge, I am able to make the right choices for myself. And not be so apt to go with the okie doke. At the end of the day this is my life. I am not willing to sacrafice it over such nonsense of not having protection or having the conversation of when were you tested? Do you have the results, can they be verified?
Excuse me for not speaking into your mic because of the health risks associated in doing so. Maybe it would be telling if I asked you to put on a raincoat in order to speak into your mic… it would be muffled and I would be safer. If this is what I gotta do then this is what I gotta do. Even if I was in a "monogomous" relationship it begs to question do I trust enough or make him wear the coat???? Uhm hmm…. because married men and women are contracting HIV/STDs because of infidelity!
I wish I could have attended those events but I am in school in the evening almost everynight! Perhaps they can hold some events on the weekends.
Thanks for the recap!
I've seen a few comments on this post that people "need to get married" so apparently they won't have to worry about std's etc. So I'm soooo glad someone mentioned that married men and women are also contracting HIV/STDs too!!! I was at the forum and one of the panelist was actually a psychologist who's counseled a lot of newly infected women. She said the majority of those cases were middle class, degree holding women and not just in "committed" relationships, but she specifically said MARRIED!!! In one of the previous HIV forums that Human Intonation held (before it was open to male attendees), there was a moderator who was married for a number of decades before she found out her husband had given her HIV (imagine actually LIVING the scene with Janet Jackson from For Colored Girls).
To me this is crazy. What's the point of getting married if you can't even trust your spouse to not step out on you and bring you back some crazy disease!?! No one wants to think thier husband/wife would do that to them, but yet sadly it happens… I hear countless stories of guy friends who step out on their girlfriends regularly and the girls are none the wiser. Another point that was brought up at the forum was should we have to live our sexual lives in fear??? Especially for those who are married…. should you have to wear a condom in your marriage "just in case"? But then where's the trust???
I just think some of these issues go so much deeper than "always strap up." Not saying that I'm not a fan of condom use, because I'm in a long tern committed relationship now and we use condoms 99.5% (gotta be honest lol), but if we were to get married can I honeslty say the condom usage will stay that high? …No, I can't.
But I also value my life… so where can we find a happy medium in this crazy life???
To me the outlook seems bleak…
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I'm 1,050 years late to this discussion, but it popped up down in the corner so here I am!
Anyway, I'm divorced and my ex-husband was the last man that I um…got up close and personal with and that was some time ago. I am also allergic to latex and have sensitivities to all them sauces and juices they put on co.ndoms. SO my XH (again, we are still friends) went with me to the store and helped me buy some that won't send me to the emergency room in anaphylactic shock during during a hot and heavy episode so that if and when I am ready to do the deed, I will be ready. I would hope a dude could understand that and not make assumptions about my possible promiscuity.
My recent post From the SLS Archives: "Why do we do this to ourselves?"