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.
 

Reader Comments:

Comment by: newboys2013 (xBRWAEMWTSVWYEKki) Mon., Mar. 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm EDT
Thank you for your super site in internet.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Anonymous (AJYxAsGpBXDftSzhWNc) Mon., Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:04 am EDT
I like your site. Thank you so much.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Anonymous (ijoiblnnKicJgNF) Sun., Mar. 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm EDT
You have very good site. Thank you.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: herpesdatingsite_org (NY) Sun., Mar. 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm EDT
After finding out you are Living with Herpes / HIV, you may be upset and confused and think your sex life is over. However, once you settle down and learn the facts, you will realize that having herpes is not the end of the world, and herpes is not the end of your sex life or your social life. About 45-60 million Americans have genital herpes. You are not alone!
Reply to this comment


Comment by: mitt123 (san francisco,ca) Sat., Mar. 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm EST
If you or someone you know is living with hiv, please come visit us at www.hivgay.com. You are MORE than your hiv, so give yourself a chance to love again.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Dilara (JBGcaYqVQNZCPlBz) Thu., Mar. 7, 2013 at 6:36 am EST
The program sudnoed great, but when I read the article it said only 58 people applied for the opportunity and they had to turn some down because of limited capacity. The university's website says 28,000 students are enrolled there. Just 58 signed up for Alternative Spring Break? Also, it is rather lame to learn the program could not accommodate all of them. The 58 who did volunteer are to be commended for their service.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: JWM (Mass.) Mon., Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm EST
People do not have a "right" to a sex life. Being HIV+ and having sex is endangering someone's life. Condoms can break. I am a long term survivor. I have practiced abstinence since diagnosis. One of my concerns is not infecting anyone else. Reckless sexual behavior is how AIDS is spread. Abstinence will help the community stay safe. Try it; it is not that difficult. Putting people at risk is an immoral act.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Richard Byaruhanga (Kampala ,Uganda EA.) Tue., Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:04 am EST
people WHO DOES NT USE CONDOMS TO WHAT EVER KIND OF INTERCOURSE I BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE AT HIGH RISK OF HAVING THE MIXTURE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HIV INFECTION, SO MY ADVISE TO SUCH PEOPLES IS TO USE CONDOMS WHEN HAVING SEX.
Reply to this comment
Replies to this comment:
Comment by: elicia (philadelphia, pa) Tue., Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm EST
hello
thanks for your feedback! we would love to hear more. please consider becoming our friend on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pleasure-Rush/303151489700343 or going to our blog at www.pleasurerush.blogspot.com


Comment by: Chris (Columbus, Oh) Tue., Feb. 19, 2013 at 4:43 am EST
Why canít the condom & wrapper ever go in the trash can on the other side of the bed?!
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Terrie (Miami,Fl) Sat., Feb. 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm EST
This looks fun! This is what we need to let everybody know you can have sex and be safe... =)
Use those condoms folks.It won't hurt you! I'm 20 and Feb 27 Makes it a year since I have been poz.. Im hoping to have great sex like this really soon lol
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Douglas M (Miami Beach, FL) Thu., Feb. 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm EST
Excellent! Worry-free sex = hot sex. Safe sex = worry-free sex. Safe-sex = hot sex.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: John-Manuel Andriote (Norwich, CT) Thu., Feb. 14, 2013 at 2:25 pm EST
BRAVO!!!! At last a sex-positive prevention campaign by & for gay/bi men that shows what hot, safe sex looks like. This is exactly the kind of "targeted & explicit" prevention education that public health officials have called for since the beginning of the HIV epidemic. Showing condoms as offering freedom from fear--instead of as some kind of "punishment for being gay"--is exactly the kind of message we need. Thank you, guys!
Reply to this comment
Replies to this comment:
Comment by: elicia gonzales (philadelphia, pa) Tue., Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm EST
hello
thank you!!! we would love to hear more. please consider becoming our friend on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pleasure-Rush/303151489700343 or going to our blog at www.pleasurerush.blogspot.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