What Being "Sex Positive" Means to Me

What does being "sex positive" mean to you?

I was following ACG's Twitter (@AIDSGuelph) a while ago and I notice that Megan had put this out to the online world. She recently told me that it didn't get any responses. This surprised me. The subject used to stump me. How do you answer this; what is it?

I attended a workshop recently where this term was used and explained but it didn't address the thoughts I had on it. My take on it is based on something I learned while taking the Positive Prevention Train the Trainer course a couple years ago. Sure there are a lot of scientific and medical parts to what it may mean to be “sex positive” but I decided to share my thoughts which are more based on an emotional definition. Is it possible to have a healthy sex life after a HIV+ diagnosis? And what would that look like?

I remember years before my diagnosis, I would be online, I'd watch conversations by many people saying that when you test HIV+, your sex life should be over, you should not be having sex. Oh yeah, there would be some who spoke up to say that you can still have sex by using condoms and practice safe sex like we were all supposed to be doing. In my opinion this thinking still goes on, and the ratio seems to be more people still think that HIV positive people shouldn't be having sex with other people. I had met people who were in relationships where one person was positive and the other negative and they remained this way for over 10 years, so I knew and believed it is possible to still have sex even after testing positive.

I had my status broadcasted over the internet; I sat and watched as it happened. For two hours I sat in front of my monitor watching all the people I had been chatting with for years debate the fact that I should have had my status in my profile, that I should tell everyone, everyday, that I should not be in a chatroom trying to meet people. I was dirty, I should be shot, I should be run over, I was a dishonest person, I should be locked up and the key thrown away, no one should meet me let alone have sex with me.

Being sex positive for me is believing I can still have sex, good sex, safe sex, using the same safe practices that everyone else should be using. I AM worthy of it, I AM an honest person. I have always disclosed my status to any possible partners. In fact, I don't meet anyone face to face without telling them first. It’s the choice I made from the beginning.

Having been diagnosed HIV+ coupled with a little aging has settled me down but it looks like I'm going to be around a while longer. My wild days are over, now I want more out of life and sex from just one person. There are plenty of ways to have sex without taking risks, It doesn't have to involve sexual intercourse or an all out sex Olympics, instead it can be a lot of human contact, intimacy and mutual gratification. I don't want to get too graphic here but let’s just say, foreplay doesn't have to be time limited and masturbation isn't going to make you blind (but you might close your eyes a lot.)

Yes, it is possible to have a good sex life, a healthy sex life with an HIV+ diagnosis and it can be great, the message is the same… play safe. This is what being "sex positive" means to me, positively!

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