Sunday, March 26, 2006

BET NEWS Presents The Down Low Exposed 03/28/06

From "Corey J."

Will you be tuning into the show? What are your comments on the "Down Low" lifestyle with men in general?

For perspective, I am also posting the reflections of Kenneth Winfrey on the topic of the "Down Low" lifestyle:

It is so sad that more and more black media outlets are perpetuating this hyperbole. Despite the CDC's overt detachment from the DL as a prevention paradigm, black women are still being told that they should be more concerned about a man's sexual orientation, rather than his sexual health. After all, safe sex is safe sex regardless of gender.

The contrast between the hyper-masculinity prevalent in our male culture, and the femininity associated with homosexuality, makes this a media favorite. As we affirm the image of black men as King Kong-like reckless dangerous hyper-sexed aggressors, the "gay" element allows us (as black folk) to continue our lethal disassociation with HIV into the domain of the "sexually perverse" and even the wrath of God...

What bothers me most, as a gay man, is the perpetuation of the myth that homosexuality is "responsible" for HIV. No new term has been coined to describe men who cheat with female prostitutes, men who use IV drugs, or even women who cheat on their male partners. Yet, we get the infamous "Down Low." The black man is, again, the poster child for what is wrong with the world. The black woman is, again, the poster child for victimization. The gay man is also, again, portrayed as a deviant element of the community that should be avoided at all costs.

...and we forget that a good reason these men are so "down low" and not "up high" or " 'out' and about" is that the black church has been obsessively emphatic in its stance that homosexuality is a greater sin, or even a disease itself. The drug slingin', crotch-grabbin', pimp-walkin', misogynistic Mandingo, with countless unprovided-for children by various women in his wake, is still more acceptable to us than a homosexual with just one significant other/life partner/lover. As we struggle for the cause of diversity as black people, we are actually very oppressive among ourselves when it comes to operating outside the stereotypes that were actually byproducts of the slavery that brought us here.

It's ironic that we talk about how same-sex marriage is a threat to the family, but I can't help but wonder what a threat the question of sexual orientation poses. Imagine a black wife waiting anxiously to put the kids to bed, or that rushes home from work, to do the unthinkable. That is, to question her black man's heterosexuality. [gasp!] Given that the matter is one that many black men work hard to evade all their lives, it's bound to create conflict. In a culture where men don't cross their legs, talk with their hands, or float too far above that bass-line in voice, to have the woman with whom you make love ask if you are gay must seem nearly surreal, as it should be...

Black America, let's get a grip

Kenneth Winfrey

Monday, March 20, 2006

I am still around

I'm still here, but focusing on EuropeBound right now. We have such a short time left together that we are making the most of it. I will be able to write more about us after March 30th. Until then, shem hotep.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Bare-backing dilemma: Ty Lattimore Speaks?

I am reposting this from Pure Black Beauty Yahoo Group. What are your thoughts? Post them here:

From Bernard Bradshaw:

"Surprise. A little controversy is stirring on this blog. From Sexandthe2ndcity:

Recently, I have been writing about the stupidity of having bareback sex with people you don't know.
I discussed the lack of responsibility that black pornographers (like Ty Lattimore) display when they produce bareback sex videos in 2006, when the rate of HIV is disproportionately affecting African-Americans.

I received the following letter from black pornstar Ty Lattimore:

To Whom it May Concern:

I recently was forwarded an email about me and my production company and the fact that I recently produced a bareback video. I do not know who Bernard Shaw [sic] is, nor do I really care. While controversy is not anything new to me nor typically spend time worrying about, I felt I would respond. I am very aware of the Hiv Rate of Black men. I was also aware that soume folks might be critical. My position is that consenting adults have the right to make any choice they choose. I find it hypocritical how many people chose to act like barebacking does not exist.

At no point do I recommend any sexual choices for anyone. I provide entertainment. My models and I made very conscious choices. Its also funny how many folks watch straight videos particulary because no condom is used. There are many other companies that only produce bareback films. My company produces some bareback and some with condoms.

But as with anything I produce whether its sex parties, video or etc....if its not for you then thats cool. Hit Delete. Just as some folks oppose bareback, there are folks who think all porn should be outlawed, or that sex parties are wrong. I always will believe that folks have a right to make their own choice. Just as you have the choice to not buy these things. Nobody is ever going to push their beliefs on me. A lot of men bareback, some occasionally, and other just want to see someone else do it. Either way, I produce what I want and what I think my audience wants to see.

Judging by the response, folks seem to like the movie. But better yet, you keep right on talking about it. Just make sure to include the website while you debating it!

Ty Lattimore

Response from Bernard Bradshaw at Sexandthe2ndcity:

For real Ty? I won't be including the website, buy an ad. Sadly, based on his response, it seems like money was his primary motivator when making a bareback video.

I'll make this simple. Ty missed the entire point. No one is arguing that consenting adults do not have the right to engage in bareback sex. That is your right to be stupid and fuck strangers without condoms. And I defend an individual's right to do that. But my critique was whether its responsible for a well known, sucessful, and respected black pornographer to create videos that make dangerous sexual activity between black men look sexy and appealing?

Personally, I don't think so. I think that we have responsibilities. It's not enough to say simply that you don't recommend any sexual choices for anyone and that you merely provide entertainment. That's irresponsible. Do you have a right to do it? Sure. Is it fucked up? Yes!

Also, Ty misses the point when he says that people are hypocritical when they choose to act like barebacking doesn't exist. In my post on barebacking, I not only acknowledge that barebacking is a sexy, and hot form of sex--but in fact its the best. But it is also the riskiest and most dangerous sex. So no one is pretending like barebacking doesn't exist, but does that mean we need to go out and celebrate it without discussing the real life, real world dangers that accompany it?

In some of the comments on my site, Ty goes on to say that other porn production houses produce black bareback videos--like Flavaworks which produces Cocodorm. I 100% agree, they do. And they are equally irresponsible.

However, one of the reasons why I pointed out Ty is because a reader of mine was surprised that Ty, a black man heading a porn house, would be irresponsible enough to create bareback porn. Flavaworks is not a black owned and operated business. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be called out for being irresponsible, but if we can't expect our own black producers to be responsible to our communities of color--how are going to expect white producers of black gay porn to act responsibly?

Anyway, I'm exhausted. Keep making money sensationalizing the unsafe. "

Ok blog reader. You have read the exchange. So, how do you feel about bare-backing pornography? Hit me back with comments.

Shem hotep.

Friday, March 10, 2006

What's Up With the Fratman

A fellow blogger told me not long ago that when older guys start coming out, we are like adolescents. Well, guess what. He could not have been more right. I didn't have this much excitement and fun as an adolescent. And let me say thanks to all of you who have helped to make this possible - Rashid, Tandy, Callis, Maxim, Kenneth, Jai, No4real4real and others.

Now on to the business at hand. I have met "two persons of interest." One is a considerable distance away, and our hot & heavy budding relationship is confined (right now) to telephone, text, IM and emails. We intend to change all that real soon. The other is local, OMG HOT and a great lover (did I say that?). But he is moving to Europe at the end of this month and so....

Those are the two extraordinary men in my life right now. There are a few others who I can move up the chain (LOL) as vacancies arise. But please somebody tell me why guys get into telephone sex?? I get IM messages and a few calls asking for sex by phone from those that I have given my number to. One guy called me at 4 am on a work night! And we won't even go into the ones who put their webcams up for any and everybody to view (though I admit Gentle Alchemy has much to be proud of - oh my!).

So, I am learning a lot fast, ripping through my adolescence, already been played - still pissed about that one, and have had to permanently block someone from my IM who was falling in love. Geez, we ain't even met and he don't know me like that. And for those who put up a picture or send pics that are way out of date or when you weighed 80 lbs. less, please stop it. You will be found out. Dammit, if we meet, you gonna be found out. Btw, 4 those who know, I decided to decline the preacherman. Just didn't feel right, and I'm going with my intuition for right now.

Aiight, aiight. Didn't intend to get to bitchin. It's Friday and I got a date tonight. So don't call me, I'll call you (if I'm feelin you). Shem hotep.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


You may have noticed that I have not been posting as frequently as of late. Two reasons:

1. I haven't traveled or experienced anything noteworthy of late (and I don't want to waste your time), and

2. There is a "person of interest" in my life and I am spending the time to see where this relationship might go.

So as I sit at my computer on this sunny Sunday in the South, this poem comes to mind and I hope that it speaks to you in some way no matter what you may be going through:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

--Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.