I have a hero, and his name is Eric Paul Leue. This man is deeply wise, informed and has the courage of a lion. I urge everyone to read this interview, and to be properly informed about PrEP, an intensely valuable topic.
In my own case, I know how damaged I am, as a result of losing so many brothers to AIDS thirty years ago. It has warped my perspective, inhibited my ability to be truly intimate, and cut short my relationships due to misunderstandings and unreasoning panic.
I'm not the only one. I'm just keenly aware of my limitations (therapy has helped), and I am actively working to get past the damage, and to keep an open mind. Old attitudes that became locked in because of a frantic instinct for SURVIVAL have caused me (and my generation) to freak out about sex, inhibitions, intimacy and ecstasy. We've got serious hang-ups, but we are so close to it, we simply can't see the extent. Please forgive us - It's social PTSD.
If we as a culture are going to get better, we are going to have to TALK about sex, as it is, right now, rather than dragging around old decisions and attitudes that have become obsolete. If better days are going to come for us all, it's time that we start a whole new conversation.
Here is where it starts.
I have another hero, and his name is Mr. San Diego Leather 2012/American Leatherman 2013 Aaron Duke, otherwise known as "Leather Oprah" :->
His style is to initiate DEEP, meaningful and substantive conversations on Facebook that move the ball forward for the Leather/Kink/Fetish culture.
These online discussions can get contentious, and emotions can run high, but nobody gets outright mean, because they respect Aaron so much. He asks the questions that need to be asked, in order to bring about meaningful change in our culture's attitudes, traditions and expectations.
Like Oprah, he has an easy, warm and welcoming style. He is NOT a perfect example of a human being (have you ever met one?), and he lets it ALL hang out, without shame or pretense. He embodies "What You See Is What You Get". On one hand, this can mean that his opinions or reactions may discomfort you. One the other hand, you can TRUST that what he says is what is truly so for him. His stock-in-trade is his deep authenticity.
Every once in a while, I like to dive deep into one of the more contentious, LONG discussion-threads. In fact, Aaron's virtual salon is the only place on Facebook where I do so.
If you crave much more from our Tribe than you are normally getting, this is a great place to start.
I have another hero, and his name is Mr. San Diego Leather 2014 James. He has bravely come out publicly, telling his truth about his struggle with PTSD. Please watch his newest video, and you will find every reason to love and trust him, as I do. It takes a mature, masculine man to shed his tears without shame.