Moving Beyond the Fuck!
By Rae Lewis-Thornton
June 6, 2012
This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.
I only had sex with one guy while I was in high school. Yep, For Real.. For Real... But good Lawd I had sex with a plenty more out side of high school, Yep... For Real.. For Real... Now don't be shocked, but I'm gonna name this thing today. I have to get beyond the fuck. I cannot allow the fuck or fucks to hold me hostage for the rest of my life. Nope!
I am moving beyond the fuck!!!
I've been talking to an old lover and friend and in the course of the dialogue I had an impulse to say, yes I have HIV/AIDS but I wasn't a HOE. Yes, I fucked you, good Lawd one of my best lovers ever. It's been well over 25 years and you never forget. NEVER forget the intensity, the passion, the connection.
But I must be confused or something!!! I gave him the best of me many years ago and that should be enough. Interestingly, it was enough for him, but I had this need, ME to say I'm NOT A HOE! How crazy is that?
With all the passion between us, why would he think badly of me? Why would he take the best of me then dispose the rest like garbage? Where the hell is my head? What am I thinking? Has society and judgments made me crazy? Do I have to justify my fucks until the day I die? The fact of the matter, I have AIDS, so I fucked somebody, somewhere; and contrary to what people want to think, only one fuck will get you HIV. But it is also true, the more fucks you have the more you increase your risk. I know this to be true, so what's wrong with me? I have HIV and it is what it is. I fucked to get it and that's also a fact. Why must I justify the fuck? Why must I contextualize my fucks to make you like me? Shouldn't the fact that I opened my life up, of my own free will be enough?
This is the first time he and I have talked since I learned my HIV status 25 years ago. He was one that I couldn't locate after my diagnosis, but I didn't stress much about it because we used condoms. By chance he discovered my HIV status while watching me on Nightline, started looking for me and found me 18 years later on Facebook. How cool is that? I tell you my life is a made for TV movie just like Oprah magazine said.
He celebrates the woman that I was when we were together and the woman that I have become, so why isn't that enough for ME? Is there a part of me still fighting RESPECTABILITY? So I was happy to know that he is proud of me and the work that I am doing.
So why did I have this need to say I'M NOT A HOE? If the person that you give yourself to doesn't know who you are and appreciate you in your fullness then he doesn't deserve you. But back to me. So it's no secret that I started having sex when I was 13. He wasn't a high school student either. I've always liked men older than me and he was 4-5 years my senior and actually my lover that I just reconnected with recently was 3 years older than me. I stayed away from high school guys at my school because I didn't want Mama to learn that I was fucking. I talk about that in my new book; how I spent years trying to prove to Mama that I was, "respectable" so I wouldn't get accused of fucking her husband. For Real... That was my life. Trying to be respectable on the one end so Mama wouldn't hate me and respectable on the other end, so her husband wouldn't rape me.
The problem was the lack of love in my home, so I went looking. You combine that with my childhood molestation, by the time I was in my late teens I was hot on the trail of love. When you grow up being violated by the people who are supposed to love and protect you, you begin to think touching is love. I was looking for the right man and my body was what I knew how to give and had been taught to give and I believed it to be love.
So sex was what I knew how to do. But I was doing it the right way... CRAZY!! No one night stands, only sex with men I thought I loved, did love, or the ones that I wanted to love me. By the time I was 18, I believed if I could suck a man's dick all night he would love me forever. It was normal for me, sex was normal for me. I had been touched since I was 6 years old and when you grow up being touched, you do what you know how to do.
For the record, in and out of relationships, looking for Mr. Right is a lot of fucking. The earlier you start and the longer it takes you to find Mr. Right adds up to more sexual partners than you may want to admit. If you start at 16 and don't get married until you are 26 thats 10 years of Mr. Rights. What if you don't get married until you are 36? That's 20 years of only fucking the right Mr. Right (s).
So what constitutes a HOE? Is it where I fuck? Hotel, Motel, House, Backyard, Car, What? Does it make the fucking more acceptable if I do it in the house rather then a motel? New Flash: The penis still goes in the same way no matter where you do it; it's still a fuck. Or is it that where you do it, makes you feel better about what you're doing? That's how I open my book, a fuck is a fuck is a fuck.
So what makes me a HOE? Who I fuck? How many men I fuck? How many times I fuck one particular person? How we fuck, oral, vaginal or anal? Is one way of fucking more acceptable than others? Does anal sex make me more of a Hoe than vaginal? If I only fuck while in what I believe to be a "relationship" does that make me less of a HOE? What if I have 20 relationships before I find Mr. Right, am I a Hoe then? And what about men? Why is there a double standard? Why are women policed and not men, it takes two to fuck. Why do we have all these judgments about fucking when everyone is fucking? WHY?
I have another news flash, I'm 50 years old and I have had someeeeeeee sex. Get Over It!! Yes! I need to get over it and so do you. I am tired of dealing with the politics of what constitutes being respectable! OVERIT.COM
Looking back over my life I probably wouldn't take one fuck back. Each and every fuck helped to shape the woman that I am today. This has been my journey. If I could change the course of my life, it would have been at conception, parents that weren't fucking while high on heroin, but I cannot.... It is what it is.
There is no shame in having sex, just judgments and consequences. Judgments are like assholes, everyone has them. New Flash: Judgments are dangerous. They can and do kill. And for you Super Saved Judeo-Christians maybe you should stop judging everyone else's fucks and life and start examining your own. When they brought the woman caught in the act of committing adultery to Jesus, he simply said, "He who is without sin cast the first stone." Now ponder on that!!!
As for me, the greatest consequence (s) has not been HIV, Herpes and HPV, although it seems that way some days. No the greatest consequence of each fuck was giving away so much of me that I can never regain again. With each fuck I gave him a part of me that is gone forever... and forever is forever. But even in giving so much of me away, I have regained a part of me that I never knew... Self-Love...
Post Script: The book is on Amazon Kindle now and we are editing the final draft for paperback. It will be submitted to Amazon by Monday. Then it will take them 5-7 days to make it available. Thank you for all your support... #IcannotdoitAlone
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Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks
Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.
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