HIV Test? Nah….I’m good.

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Believe it or not, no one really wants to have HIV. Yes, it is a virus you can live with and we see wonderful billboards of people living healthy lives but,  does anyone really want to contract the virus. As a HIV test counselor I am responsible for informing people if they are HIV positive or negative. It is never an easy task letting someone know they have HIV but I would rather they know than walk around unknowingly infecting others. However, I always come across those who have reasons for not taking a HIV test. Below are some of the reasons I hear. Which one is your excuse?


I was just tested last week. 

It is amazing the amount of people who were just tested the week before I offered a test. What are the odds of that? Maybe I should have asked a week earlier; oh, but guaranteed I would still be week too late.

I’m not gay.

You’re also dated in your thoughts about the virus. HIV being labeled as a ‘gay disease’ is so 80’s. In case you haven’t noticed, people from all walks of life are contracting the virus: gay, straight, Black, White, Brown, Christian, Atheist, scholarly, and street. Pick a genre and I guarantee they have a HIV positive representative.

I only top dudes, I’m never the bottom.

Sooooooooooooo being a ‘top’ is your safer sex practice? Anal sex is anal sex and whether you are the giver or receiver you’re still at risk. HIV infection can occur during sexual activity. Sex is safe only if there is no HIV, no blood or sexual fluids, or no way for HIV to get into the body. That being said, YOU -unprotected- inside any sexual orifice (anus or vagina) is a risk.

I don’t like needles.

That’s funny, because you are covered in tattoos and you even have your tongue pierced. However, just for clarity, the device used to obtain blood for the test is a lancet. Although it is similar to a needle the feeling is closer to getting your ears pierced. The lancet has a rapid fire feel to it, whereas the needle must go into the arm and withdraw blood, a lancet merely pricks the surface causing a droplet of blood to form. Trust me when I say that you would rather be tested via a lancet than walk around unknowingly infected.

I don’t feel sick.

Neither did a majority of the people who found out they were HIV positive. There are little to no signs of HIV infection. The best way to know your HIV status is to get tested.

I don’t have a lot of time right now.

The rapid HIV test takes 20 minutes. Better yet, the Insti test (the one I administer) takes 60 seconds. That being said, are you still short on time? I mean, the time it took you to think of that excuse was longer than the test time.

You guys are not offering any incentives.

WHAT?!?! I need to pay you to find out your HIV status? I cannot even begin to elaborate on how asinine this mentality is. However, it is no fault of the client that we have created a system that makes them think they are doing us a favor by finding out the status of their health.


 

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Of course there are lots more but these are the top used. What is your excuse for not getting tested? Does it make sense to everyone, or just you? Remember, there are no signs or symptoms and everyone needs to know their status. Before engaging in intercourse with a new partner, KNOW THEIR STATUS. This is not about judgment, it is about staying healthy. I don’t care if you have over a hundred partners, or just two solid ones; get tested.

Click here for more info about HIV and AIDS

 

Spotlight: Shanta Alexander

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Name:  Shanta Alexander Owner and Founder

Location:  Los Angeles, CA

Company: Forbidden Kiss

What exactly is Forbidden Kiss? Forbidden Kiss is a Los Angeles based company that provides adult toys and entertainment. We host parties and events across the country for those who are more comfortable with purchasing adult toys in the privacy of their own home. Our parties are full service events that can include massage therapy, food and beverage service, and strippers (male and/or female).

What made you enter this line of work? They say you should do what you love. I love toys, sex, relationships and all things erotic, so why not share my passion with others. Honestly, I started off hosting lingerie parties for plus size women. I knew there was a void in that area and saw it as a good opportunity to capitalize in that market. However, while doing my first lingerie party the ladies were also looking for adult toys. After it was over one of the guests booked me and told me I better have toys for her party. That being said I have been providing pleasure items ever since.

What is the most exciting part of what you do? Even though I host parties for both men and black-couple-kissing-laying-down-e1342504738499women, the look on the ladies faces when they are greeted by one of my sexy male hosts is always a hilarious sight. I also enjoy watching them fawn over the male masseuse who pamper them with an out-of-this-world massage. I find it intriguing when women admit to not being sexually satisfied in their relationship. It honestly gives me joy to introduce new items and techniques for sexual pleasure because I know so many women who are not fully enjoying the experience. I carefully explain the art of masturbation as well as ways on how to best enhance the experience with her partner.

What has been the wildest party you have ever hosted? The wildest party I ever hosted was a birthday party thrown by a doctor for one of her nurses on staff.  Long story short, the birthday girl loved the stripper and got a mouthful (wink). For the most part all of the parties I host have their own level of fun, but that one went down in my record book as the ‘Ultimate Party’.

What type of women use your products? Most of my clients are professional women between the ages of 25 – 50.

Do you have male customers as well? Yes, I do have male customers. They usually buy vibrators for their wives or girlfriends. They are looking for products to help their women have an orgasm. They also buy cock rings and other items to enhance or prolong their erection. Their shopping mindset is ‘how can I make my woman happy’.

Which celebrity would you most love to host a party for; and why? I want to work with Oprah!!!!! To me she is the epitome of what every woman should strive to be: successful, independent, and in control.

What is one fun fact about you that no one would assume?  I am a proud Cougar! I love younger men!

What’s next for Forbidden Kiss? Our website http://www.myforbiddenkiss.com will be available soon. We have another website coming up for our Exotic entertainment. You will also be able to Join My Team and become and Independent Forbidden Kiss consultant. We also have several other big announcements coming up so stay tuned

Any final thoughts or comments? Yes. I always tell ladies to never buy a dildo or vibrator that is bigger than your man’s penis. Purchase something small and cute that will not intimidate him. You want him to be comfortable using it on you; if what you buy is bigger than what he naturally has, his ego may become a bit bruised. Also, I would love for everyone to follow us on social media and book a party for you and your friends. I guarantee you will have a good time.

  • Instagram: Missforbiddenkiss
  • Facebook: Forbidden Kiss
  • Twitter: @msforbiddenkiss

If you would like to book a party simply send an email to forbiddenkiss.sa@gmail.com or call 323-360-7828

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I Value Black Life

 

 

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“Saying ‘I love me’ NEVER automatically means ‘Therefore I hate YOU.'”

Dr. Derrick-Lewis Noble


The racial tension in America has reached a new high. The killing of Michael Brown (an unarmed black youth) in Ferguson, Missouri by a white police officer sparked a media frenzy and further highlighted a condition that many would like to ignore. The distrust that some blacks have for law enforcement is rooted in a long history of injustice inflicted upon that community by those who took an oath to protect and serve. However, despite the many officers who have misused their badge to carry out their own agenda, there are still some who properly enforce the law. Nonetheless, that is not the premise of this blog. Today’s story goes deeper than that. It discusses an issues that lay within the black community and why it is so challenging to get everyone on one accord as it relates to unity and the ending of black-on-black crime.

Last week a friend and I (William Howard Bowman) began a social media campaign titled “I Value Black Life”. The two videos stemmed from the situation in Ferguson; but, they are also a result countless observations of blacks-on-black crime and a desire for those occurrences to stop. Our goal is to establish an atmosphere of change and renewed affirmation of self within the black community. In doing so we hope to generate a positive shift that will forever change how Black communities are perceived. Although we felt it would garner nationwide attention, neither of us were prepared for some of the backlash we would get for making such an affirmative challenge. We assumed that with all that is going on it would hit the spirit of every black person and be an easy campaign to promote. That was not the case. Many black were not so gung-ho about the idea. However, despite the negative comments and questions we have definitely received some solid support; which proves that a lot of us are anxious for change.

 

I would like to take time to share a few of the questions we were asked: “Why do you want us to say ‘I value black life’, shouldn’t we say ‘I value all life’?” It amazed us how it is assumed that we don’t care about everyone: as though we are trying to create some type of militia against the nation. Indeed we value all life but why is their apprehension about showing pride for ones race. Yet, in all fairness I gave it some attention. After pondering on it I paused on the thought of white supremacist groups and how their campaigns for white power/pride usually are associated with the annihilation of a race. From that vantage point I can see how one would be concerned that we were trying to create a new nation of radicals ready to wage war against the system (which ain’t a bad idea); but we are not.

“It is amazing how blacks always want to rally together after a white person kills one of them, but say nothing when one of their own does it.” That notion is a definite lie and I will be the first to say that blacks do come together and try to combat black-on-black crime, but it often doesn’t get the mass media attention it deserves. Efforts go unnoticed and whereas it may seem as though we don’t care, many of us actually do. Black cities across America rally and hold vigils promoting peace and unity within their communities. They write articles, create social media groups and try to make their voices heard. But, there is still a disconnect. Something is keeping us from coming completely together as one. What is it?

“I Value Black Life” is a very simple campaign that requires a minimum effort. In a world kevionwhere everyone posts pictures of themselves all we ask is for other blacks to join us by either making a video declaring why they value Black life, or post a selfie with the words ‘I Value Black Life’ emblazoned across it. Simple, right? Not for some. Unfortunately, it is hard for social justice issues to compete with pop culture, reality television, and the other vanities leading the current generation. In an era where black celebrities can reach billionaire status, and creating a sex-tape can make you an overnight sensation, the draw to march for equality just doesn’t have the same excitement. I am not mad just sharing an observation.

I would like to challenge my black peers on social media. If after reading this you realize that the things you post, share and comment on are doing a disservice to your community, think about stopping. If you notice that you have become a self-titled gossip columnist and your posts aid in humiliating black culture, think about stopping. Review what you promote and if you conclude that your messaging is furthering the negative way we are viewed as a people, consider changing what you support. I know it can be difficult because we all want a good laugh every now and then but even I had to check myself. I used to operate under the notion of “It’s only social media, what’s the big deal”. Now that I’ve reflected on the bigger picture, I must admit that I was guilty of falling into that same “as long as it ain’t about me” mindset that justifies our spread of malicious rumor and gossip. We must not forget that words can be as lethal a weapon as a gun, so be careful who you aim them at.

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By accepting the challenge of “I Value Black Life”, you are agreeing to uplift the black community and help promote positive images. It means that the messages you post on social media will elevate the black community and bring us together instead of tearing us apart. If you truly value Black life then you should be embarrassed by the behaviors of those who negatively represent our people. You will hold them accountable for their actions and not rally in support of their negligent behavior. If you value black life then the way you interact with you own should be healthy and affirming; instead of toxic and hostile. You won’t walk by and ignore, instead you will be elated by the presence of someone who understands what it means to be black; in whatever capacity that may mean for them; and not make them feel less than based upon zip-code.

This campaign is 100% about unity. It is about promoting self-awareness and self-love within the black community so a decrease in black-on-black crimes will arise. I Value Black Life is about reminding black people of the sacrifices made by our elders. The lives that were lost in the fight so that we could have the opportunities we do. Killing each other was not in Malcolm or Martin’s plan and in continuing to do so we are destroying a legacy. We ask that you join us and help promote this very affirming initiative.

Type the hashtag #ivalueblacklife on Facebook and Instagram to see what others have posted.

“I Value Black Life” T-Shirts also available for purchase. Click here to order.

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Should it Matter Who Pulls the Trigger?

I have a question that I am certain cannot be easily answered or resolved. However, I am going to ask anyway: “What’s the difference between black youth killing black youth and white cops killing black youth?” I know that may ruffle some feathers but it is really something I want to know.

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Yes, both are tragic, yet only one gets the Black community in an uproar. I know that I will get a lot of slack for saying this but I constantly hear about black-on-black shootings (none of it makes the major headlines) and it amazes me how it has become the norm. Yet, when anyone non-black does the deed it is time to rally, riot, and ‘come together’. Understand that I am devastated by the loss of innocent life (Michael, Ezell, and the many others) caused by overzealous cops; but I am also tired of hearing sirens and helicopters –in my own neighborhood- chasing down black youth who have just murdered one of their own.

I am an avid viewer of The First 48 and many of the crimes shown are of young black men killing their blackpeers -some of whom they grew up with- for senseless reasons. As I watch the detectives piece together the crime it saddens me to see how close some of the culprits were with their victims. “Yeah, he and I used to play in the schoolyard together.” or “His mom took me in when I was little but the drug hustle tore us apart.” are some of the quotes I recall hearing from the ones who pulled the trigger. What has created this climate within the Black community? When did the tide change and what can be done to get it back on track?

White cops killing Black youth: Tragic. Black youth killing Black youth: Tragic. Black communities settling on one and being radical on the other: Tragic.

A friend and I shared a meal last night and he was able to attend a rally in Leimert Park -a section of South Los Angeles- for Michael Brown. I could not make it due to work but was interested in hearing how it went. He shared that it was mildly organized with good intentions. However, there was one thing he shared that raised my eyebrow. He stated that a young college student got on the microphone and exclaimed “We need our elders to guide us on what to do?” I was taken aback by that statement. I was unclear on what type of ‘guidance’ is needed. But, on the other hand I can empathize with what he is saying. There is no present day Martin, Malcolm, Bayard, or Medgar (at least not to my knowledge) that can muster the people together in a sustained, focused manner.

The Rodney King experience pulled us together…for a moment. Travon Martin pulled us together…for a moment. Michael Brown and Ezell Ford have pulled us together, again. What needs to occur is that we get together and stay together. We cannot let the smoke clear until we are certain that a change has come. We need to unite on all fronts and make a stand against a machine that has been working against us for decades. We need to create a beacon that will sound a reminder enforcing love, unity, and community. The senseless murdering of our own needs to come to a swift end; and the work of establishing ourselves as an organized force for change needs to begin.

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The season of being content with the way things needs to cease. It is not going to happen overnight. It may not even happen in my lifetime. But, we need to give our kids an opportunity to live safe in their own community and not fear faces that look like theirs. Racism and prejudice will always be present, but killing ourselves does not have to be. Yes…RALLY…PROTEST…MAKE NOISE…but we must also come together as one for the purposes of changing the scope of our own landscape. We need to instill the value of life into the minds of our youth. We need to teach them how to ‘fight’ with their minds and not guns. We need to remind them of where we came from and challenge them to progress us forward. My prayers are definitely with the families of the victims, but they are also with the youth who have no idea how to get off the misguided path they are currently on.

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