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I Changed My Mind, I’m On PrEP

I identify as a harm reductionist. I believe in the idea of being fully aware of the consequences of risky behaviors, and utilizing strategies to reduce the risk out of them. I look both ways before I cross the street. I keep my shoes tied. I wear condoms when I have sex. I do my part in trying to not put myself in harms way of anything that could be harmful — and ironically why I was against PrEP.

I couldn’t wrap my head around not using condoms, being tested regularly, and having to take a pill for the rest of my life. In the current state of Blackness and the way PrEP is marketed, I always felt like it was some racist target to medicate the Black gay community…or something. I mean, that’s not a far fetched idea right? The Tuskeegee Experiment comes to mind.

I guess I should explain what PrEP is, no? PrEP means Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it’s the use of anti-HIV medication that keeps HIV negative people from becoming infected. Essentially, a pill someone can take daily to greatly the reduce the risk of contracting HIV while in addition to practicing safe sex. We tend to always look for something quick to remedy us as opposed to focusing on the root of the problem. We see it with obesity, mainly. Hydroxycut, Phen-Phen, or those bad bitch teas they sell on instagram which is a one-stop-fix-this-problem magic potion without changing any of the behaviors contributing to the heart of the matter.

“Why can’t we just work out our issues with promiscuity, dating/sex apps, and dating by proxy? A pill is just contributing to the problem.”

That’s something I said numerous times, and it’s not completely off kilter. There’s this notion in the health community that we may be pacifying risky sexual behavior because HIV/AIDS campaigns aren’t aggressive enough in tackling reducing the community viral load — in other words, the ads suck and are too soft. “Oh, if I get infected I can take a pill, become undetectable and I’m cool? Bet.” That’s one argument. There’s a few others around. I was vehemently opposed to this entire concept until last week. I went to the doctor for the first time in years.

Full disclosure: the doctor is scary for me. Nothing ever has good with me visiting a doctor or a hospital so I stay away. I have had a change of heart recently due to a health concern (it was just acid reflux, I’m fine) and I went. I had a physical and had the doctor test me for everything. I got the results in two days, so naturally I was sweating bullets. I came back negative for everything…and I asked for a prescription for PrEP.

In March, Damon Young of VerySmartBrothas and The Root wrote about the reasons why Black men don’t go to the doctor. If straight Black men aren’t going to the doctor, imagine those who have sex with men. The stigma and fear, and lack of understanding from medical professionals is just enough for us Black gay men to rub some tussin on it and keep it pushin’.

What changed my mind?

Two things: statistics and quality of life.

We are becoming infected at an astronomical rate. I have no intentions on dating outside of my race to reduce the viral load due to it being concentrated with risk. In February of 2016, the Center for Disease Control announced that half of gay and bisexual black men and a quarter of gay and bisexual Hispanic men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes. The numbers show that it’s almost common place for Black MsM (men who have sex with men) to become infected. There’s a lot of us who are in committed monogamous relationships, and someone may be unfaithful and infect another person with the virus — a not uncommon story in the LGBTQ+ community. Also, people lie about their HIV status out of fear, denial, or them not knowing since, by large we don’t necessarily go to the doctor. There’s also a lack of sexual education in our community. Essentially, we’re socialized and learn how to protect ourselves in a heterosexual way, but not when it comes to having sex with other men. With that being said, it really lessens the dating pool.

Growing up gay, the golden ideal was to date and love someone who was not HIV positive as there was a fear you could contract HIV or some other social issue. There’s a lot of us who ideally would like someone who is not HIV negative, and whatever their reasons are it’s okay. But if the numbers are showing that half of us will become infected with HIV, and by large a lot of men (positive or not) aren’t compatible with you and trash, what’s left? This is all to assume that someone is being completely honest of course.

So, I decided to take PrEP in addition to condoms (because it does not protect against all STDs) as the air bags to my seatbelt. I did it for me.

And I feel good about it.

For more information, log on to http://www.whatisprep.org

For assistance on paying for PrEP, log on to https://start.truvada.com/paying-for-truvada

 

Ameriie Still Has ‘Drive’ with New EP

We all have our favorite flop and mine just happens to be Ameriie (fka Amerie). She hasn’t released a full body of work since 2009 and today she dropped a brand new EP called Drive. The vibe, well, it’s in the text. It’s pure driving music to bump in the whip for Summer Sixteen. Give a listen and check out her interview this week with The Breakfast Club.

Being Okay with Being “Okay”

I’m often surrounded by messages, or I find myself in spaces of “self-empowerment.” There’s always a brother or sister circle advertised to uplift, encourage, and inspire. It’s often filled with phrases like “live or walk in your truth” or something that is meaningful to that group regardless of how hokey it may sound.

But… idk.

I often wonder if the question of knowing our self worth is a bit lofty. What if, even for some of us, our self worth is to be low? I often think about science and how it applies to regular-degular life — and natural selection comes up. This idea of “survival of the fittest!” Maybe everyone isn’t meant to be a star or important. This isn’t to be confused with the idea that everyone should feel validated, because that’s a thing and should continue to be. However, just maybe, some of us are just meant to be in the bleachers while the rest of us are out there going for gold.

This comes on the heels of a thought I have about relationships — a common theme: good enough to fuck, but not good enough in which to be in a relationship with. What is it about someone that makes them only good to fuck, but not good enough to cultivate a relationship? What is it that makes the folks who are sitting in the proverbial bleachers stay this way? How did it come to be? What is it about the proverbial players who are going for the gold that makes them stand out? Stellar? I’m learning that there are roles that we all play in life. Some of us are good and comfortable being in the bleachers. Some of us are good and content on winning that gold medal.  Some of us fall in between.

Just some thoughts. Discuss below.

Podcasting 101: The Beginning

This is the beginning of my podcasting series. Here you can learn all there is to know about getting your podcast up and running with ease.

You can listen to my podcast at 2Guys1Girlshow.com

email me if you have any questions!

xd@thexdexperience.com

 

Here’s the links I mentioned in the video:

Hosting:

http://www.podomatic.com
http://www.podbean.com

Microphones

Blue Mic Snowball: http://www.bluemic.com/products/snowball/

Amazon ($49): http://amzn.to/1NvO713

Blue YETI mic (used for 2 Guys And a Girl podcast): http://www.bluemic.com/products/yeti/

Amazon ($124): http://amzn.to/1YwaN1u

Recording

Audacity: http://www.audacityteam.org/download/

Editing

Adobe Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orJnMKm7Ano

Iladelph Fantasy

Over the years, I’ve been trying to figure out what or who my ideal man is. At one point, I thought it was going to be Ryan Phillippe. Not to say that’s not #BaeGoals, but I prefer my chicken to be cooked if you smell what I’m stepping in. I often think about what my ideal guy looks like, smells like, what kind of soap he uses, what he calls his mother…all that. With much thought and deliberation, I have figured out who he is. Now, this isn’t to deter you future baes. This is just an IDEAL n*gga. A fantasy n*gga, if you will.

I’d like to introduce you all to my Illadelph Fantasy.

Note: This reads like an Eric Jerome Dickey novel. Enjoy.

We’d meet in Philadelphia. Our eyes lock across the room at a Roots concert hosted by OkayPlayer.com. I’m wearing my “Hip Hop Raised Me” sweater. He’s wearing black jeans–fitted, but not skinny. He’s wearing an Assata Taught Me hoodie. His locs look long, but he has them up in a style fit for a king. His locs match his complexion – a pretty shade of roasted peanut butter. His full lips take a sip from his drink that seems to be something dark and on the rocks. I turn around briefly, and I feel a tap on my shoulder. I’m greeted with a smile and a question.

“You smoke?”

He has the biggest smile, perfect teeth, and a set of eyes that heaven and earth dwelled within.

“Let’s get out of here.”

I follow and we end up sitting atop the roof of his car smoking high grade and watching the stars, with Cody ChesnuTT playing. He tells me his name is Rashaan, but he’s known around the way as Shah. He grew up in North Philly, and went away to college on a basketball scholarship. He hurt himself in an accident, and was unable to play. He finished his degree and earned a Masters in Public Administration. He came back to the hood to open up a non-profit for di yute dem (He’s not Jamaican. I just thought that sounded cool).  He hops down from the car and just stands with his hands atop of his head and stares at me. He smells like egyptian musk and the most exquisite dank. He’s 6’4″ and 215lbs.

 

I’m taking you home.Shah

 

He drives me to his house instead of my hotel. “Your home is where ever I am.”

….and then we fuck until we’re both rendered unalive.

 

The end.

Fatfished

So, I turned 30. I was totally told by Apple Care that there would be a bevy of hoes and good fortune. In the past week, I’ve gotten neither. But since a winner don’t quit on themselves, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I logged on to a site where D&A was abundant, and intelligence and shame was void. I didn’t take my own advice by practicing self-love before getting on because that’s how you stop yourself from making bad decisions, but I figured I’m grown and I can make sage choices.

Woo shit. I was totally wrong.

I get a message from this young fellow. He was bearded and kind of fullfilled my Illadelph Fantasy (we’ll talk about that later). We had a short exchange of words, and I was off to his apartment in my neighborhood. I made up in my mind that if shit went left, that he lived by a Rite Aid and I needed to pick up deodorant so the trip wouldn’t have been in vain.

He was very secretive. He didn’t want to give me his apartment number and gave me all sorts of Alice In Wonderland ass directions to finally get there. I was slightly turned on by it.

OH THIS SHIT IS ABOUT TO BE SO LIT.me

I get to his apartment door and he opens the door where I can’t see him. He had MachoFucker porn playing on his Toshiba laptop that was in clear view. I stepped into the apartment and I get a look at him.

 

This n*gga is wide as God’s grace.

“Oh, so were those your pics,” I asked as I took a seat on the couch with a confused look on my face.

“Nah, that’s me but those are old,” he responded. He was wearing a wife beater that was so tight it could’ve only been made by NASA. “So, what’s up?”

N*gga! “What’s up?” The f*ck you mean?!

Here’s the thing:
I have no problem with fluffy men. Sometimes I’m in the market for a good thick piece of ham, but that’s not what was advertised and what I was in the mood for.
You thought that shit would fly? Like, how many people do you do this to? And how many people go along with it because they’re that f*cking horny.
You got me f*cked up.

I got up and said I had something to do. His face screwed and confused like this was a sure-fire plan to get his rocks out and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t working. Or, maybe he was hungry. I don’t know.

“Oh, aight. I have to go to work anyway,” he said.

I walked out and went to McDonald’s.

 

 

Happy To Be Here

My mother wasn’t supposed to have children.  She was told by a doctor in 1985 that I wasn’t supposed to happen. She calls me her miracle baby. When I was several months old, a woman stopped my mother in a store while I was in a stroller. The woman looked at me and then looked at her. “This is a special child. He’s going to do great things,” she said. My mother believed it. Today is my birthday, and I believe it too.

I thought about what to write for the longest. I thought what epic, award-winning, gut wrenching post could I write that would define this milestone, this…moment. But, then I realized the ability to even write and just being able to exist is platinum in the hood. Now that I’m here, things all of a sudden seem less complicated, less convoluted, less cluttered. Clear, even.

I’m just happy to be here.

 

— buy me drinks here: https://cash.me/$XavierDLeau

XD’s 30th Birthday Playlist

It’s my 30th birthday, everyone! I’ve decided to celebrate by putting a 10-track dope playlist on Spotify to commemorate where I am in my life at the moment.

I hope you all enjoy!

Xavier D’Leau Talks Sex and Polyamory on ‘The Boys’

I stopped by the budding new podcast “The Boyz” this week to talk about all things regarding Black and gay. We covered a bunch of topics ranging from marriage, love, loyalty, finances, and I share my experiences being in a polyamorous relationship. Tune into The Boyz every Monday on iTunes and Soundcloud for a dose of 4 hilarious, smart, Black gay men discussing the ins and outs and ins of all things Black and gay.