Not in My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community
MARIANN AALDA: I was already married when AIDS was first identified some 25 years ago, and I remained married – albeit to two different husbands – for most of my adult life. And I have to tell you, being divorced and on the dating scene right now…and trying to have any kind of sex life can be tough to negotiate… especially when you discover that middle-aged men don’t like wearing condoms any more than teen-aged boys do.
And, yes, I have allowed myself to be intimidated into having unprotected sex…but it was an internalized threat. I was concerned that the man I was dating would be insulted! Now how dumb is that? And it wasn’t even a man that I had a great love – or even a great passion for. It’s just that it had been a really long time…and I was really horny.
And then, of course, having done it with him once without a condom, I figured the cow was already out of the barn, so why go through the embarrassment of having ‘the conversation’ with him after that?
I’ll tell you why…because waiting for the results from an AIDS test is pure hell, that’s why! The relationship ended, but the fear lingered interminably. Every time I got a cold…a sore throat…a rash…I would wonder, could it be…?
Yeah, I was stupid; but thank God, I was lucky. I also smartened up enough to know that I didn’t want to press my luck. So, after I got my results, I went right out and bought myself some condoms. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to use them sometime before their expiration date.
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First of all, I ALWAYS carry my own rubbers. You can also, have some fun - go to the Sex Shop and pick out a variety to try. Make a sexy game of it. Or, carry several different varieties with you and have fun choosing in the moment.
If this is a casual encounter, I try to keep the conversation about protected sex and AIDS tests in the flirtatious, pre-“doing it” stage. For example, we’re sitting on the couch, the moment is thick with sexual desire… I whisper, “Baby, I’ve gotta ask you, have you had a recent AIDS test?” If he balks, I keep it sexy-sweet, “Ah, baby, I’m not trying to break the mood. It’s not easy to talk about it, but we really have to.” I smile. Your sweetness should relax him. But, if he doesn’t talk, send him home and take care of yourself, yourself. After all, an intimate moment alone is the safest sex I know.
However, if he is responsible, you’ll have a terrific conversation about being safe. I find that women are the ones who usually take the lead in this regard, but men, too, can use this approach with that special someone, be it a woman or another man. Even in a woman-to-woman relationship the HIV/AIDS virus can be transferred, because it’s not by penetration, but through the exchange of bodily fluids… THAT is the culprit.
If I sense I want to have a deeper relationship with the man, I suggest that he and I, together, get an AIDS test to make sure that we can be secure in delving into many sexual pleasures, without restraint. We’d also have to agree to be exclusive.
My favorite part – Putting on the condom. Use this opportunity to do something else sexy with your partner. Sure those “rubber things” can challenge the fingers, but I have ways that won’t break the moment. TIPS: Put the condom within arm’s reach, (if it ends up across the room, sashay slowly or sensuously crawl over there to get it!).
You be the judge of when you need to put the condom on. (I make sure it’s on before I let that beautiful thing get close to my legs.) So, in a very sexy moment, subtly begin opening the package while sensuously diverting his attention, with sexy whisperings or kisses. Then, move the condom down his shaft, massaging him the entire time, continuing with nibblings and sexy talk or just keep your focus on admiring your man’s “appendage.” This allows you to get the condom on, hopefully, with as little difficulty as possible and to further excite both of you. But… if it all goes to hell in a hand basket, laugh together, keep it fun and make him hurry up and put that thing on!
Live… to make love… another day.
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