Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol

Sex = Fun? Pro-Pleasure Videos Bring "Sexy Back" to HIV Awareness

A Conversation With Elicia Gonzales, Executive Director of GALAEI and Co-Founder of PleasureRush!

February 14, 2013

 < Prev  |  1  |  2  |  3 

Say there are folks out there reading this article or your blog, who are working in conservative HIV organizations, who really want to start their own campaigns that are pro-pleasure and sex positive, and incorporate some of these more honest messages and imagery into their work, but might not know how to start those conversations, whether within their organizations or as independent volunteers. What advice or guidance would you give to them?

The first thing would be to call us at PleasureRush! [laughs] One of the things that we're working toward is developing toolkits specifically for providers so that they know how to make their agencies, their work, their curriculum more sex positive. Our hope is that we create toolkits that are specifically designed for providers, whether they work in HIV or family planning, so that they know how to incorporate sex-positive language, messaging and images into the work they're doing -- so that people feel like they're not doing it alone, and that they don't have to reinvent the wheel. There is stuff already out there that's sex positive; it's not a new concept. In fact, when HIV first got here in the '80s, HIV community work was far more sex positive than it is now. It's not reinventing anything.


Encounter 6: "What If" you get to know your status?


You can call us and we'll help guide you through the process. I would also just look at what the responses are from the people you're serving. Are you only talking about HIV in terms of the medications that people are taking? Do your intake forms include questions like: Are you enjoying your sex life? Are you having sex? Why or why not? Is sex even talked about in your office space at all? That would be a place to start. Because I think there is oftentimes a sense that HIV automatically means not necessarily a death sentence, but a death to your sex life. We at GALAEI are sex positive, and so we are having conversations with our clients, be they HIV positive or high-risk HIV negative, around "You can still have a pleasurable sex life. You deserve it!" We believe it's a human right.

"If the thought of having a conversation with a client about sex scares you, then don't have that conversation until you're ready, because your discomfort is going to speak volumes."

To providers who are considering their own documentation, their own questions that they're asking of clients, first and foremost -- and I hate to sound like Gandhi -- but start with yourself. If the thought of having a conversation with a client about sex scares you, then don't have that conversation until you're ready, because your discomfort is going to speak volumes. So, it's about getting in touch not necessarily your own sexuality but your own stuff, with your own comfort, around your views on sexuality. This is bigger than just individuals and what they do in their bedroom. This is about messages that we got at an early age from our family, from our church, from our teachers, from our lovers. It's pretty deep, and it's a societal condition. Get in touch with that, get in touch with GALAEI and we'll be fine. [laughs] We'll be sex positive together.

In closing: I want people to be open-minded -- be it funders, community folks or ourselves as providers. Just be open -- that's all I ask. Even as providers, I think oftentimes we feel like our hands are tied because of lack of funding. There's ways around that. PleasureRush! is not publically funded, and we're doing this. I don't want to jinx it and I don't want to say we will never get public funds! But if you have an idea that you think needs to happen, and you believe in something with all of your might, there is a way to make it happen.

For more information about PleasureRush!, their videos and other community activities, check out the PleasureRush! blog. You can also "like" PleasureRush! on Facebook.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Olivia Ford is the executive editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.


Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.
 < Prev  |  1  |  2  |  3 


Related Stories

TheBody.com's Forum on Safer Sex & HIV Prevention
HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics
The Body en Español
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Awareness and Prevention in the U.S. Latino Community


This article was provided by TheBody.com.
 

 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

 
Advertisement