Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Cocky Asian

I’d been messaging with a European guy a couple of months ago, with him planning a trip to Manila in May. Physically, from pictures and descriptions, there was chemistry. And it was mutual, too. He liked me and I liked him. Sexually, we were a match. When the time came that I was convinced that he indeed was coming and that it wasn’t just a prank, I had to tell him that I was HIV-positive. Well, okay, I didn’t have to tell him, but I wanted to, so he could take that factor into consideration. I was prepared for any response. But I was hoping for the best.

I won’t deny that I’ve done it with men of different nationalities. I may even be too proud. I remember, during my pre-test counseling, that was among the questions asked… what the nationalities of my sex partners were aside from Pinoy. I listed them down proudly, from Asians all the way to Caucasians. Hell, I didn’t care about being thought of as a global slut. At least I told the truth, right?

So far, with my non-Pinoy conquests, the Caucasians in particular, I’ve had a pretty good record in the sex-to-HIV field. It just really seems that they’re more open-minded about the issue. A couple of them were okay with it, even if we had unprotected sex prior to finding out I was HIV-positive. They even made it known that they still wanted to have sex with me. Hmm, haba ng hair...

I think the worst reaction was from one American guy who went into panic. What if I am sick?, What if lose my job?, and I’d rather die! were among the hysterics that he gave me. He pushed me away. But shortly after, he made his presence felt again, apologizing and revealing that he was actually in a long term relationship with someone who was HIV-positive, too. I never did figure him out.

Even now, I still touch base with a number of foreigners who find me online and who still look forward to meeting, mating and more with me, even after disclosing my HIV-status. Potential meets and mates in the future. And knowing me, right now single and all, I’m game.

And so... back to my story. Last week, I was in touch with my European guy, as he shared his itinerary with me, laying out the days we could possibly meet. And finally, last weekend, the fateful day came. Would it push through? Or would it fall through?

I had to work overtime last weekend, a one-to-sawa meeting that was to taunt my pending date. With just half an hour to spare before our agreed time, I was off. I rushed home to freshen up, and zoomed off into the night headed for the guy’s hotel. I was so fast that I left my mom wondering what could cause me to pop in and out of the house with such speed.

Already late, I took a cab straight to my destination. I got there and asked the receptionist to buzz his room. He asked me to wait, he’d fetch me at the lobby. So I sat and waited. Odd. I wasn’t nervous. I usually am on first meets like this. Really odd.

I heard steps coming down the stairs, and there he was, the same as he looked in his pictures. He led me up to his room, stepped in, as we both plopped onto his bed. He offered me a drink as we got to getting to know each other. And as casually as we were talking, so did our hands start groping. One thing led to another... and another... and another.

Indeed, the virtual chemistry we’d established chatting, messaging and e-mailing were expectations we did live up to, kink and all. And with that, I added one more to my list of nationalities. Yes, I had my German sausage. The issue of safer sex was addressed by the fact that he was mostly into oral... making it relatively safer... and he was an oral-inserter at that, meaning he preferred to be the one getting blown... making it relatively safer again. Take note, I use the words “relatively safer”, as oppose to being absolutely safe.

But as if that wasn’t enough, he surprised me again when he performed some oral on me as well. I appreciated it, but before long, we turned back to our preferred roles. Soon, the scents of steam, sweat and sperm filled the room, and we were spent.

As we cooled off, we got back to talking... about everything under the sun. From work, to family to our motherlands, to his Philippine experience, and other stuff. Of course, we touched on my HIV experience as well, and he expressed how appreciative he was of my honesty with my status, and I expressed my appreciation of how open-minded he was. After over an hour of conversing, we were both ready to call it a night. So I showered and headed on home.

The following day, we were still in touch, and there were plans to meet that night again. The plan didn’t push through though, because we both took the time to rest for our big tomorrows… him for his early flight home, and me for the start of another work week. But at least the desire to meet again was there. Argh, the sex... ahh, I mean the chemistry was that good!

Was it the fact that he was Caucasian? Well, probably not that in particular. I’m not particularly what they'd call a Potato Queen. I'm just a cocky Asian. Hehehe. Although, I do remember an American friend of mine tell me that I was the type who matched well with Caucasians, himself included. Because I’m open-minded? Maybe. My dry humor? Possibly. Hmm, wait... mukha ba akong katulong? Just kidding... let’s call it... exotic. Hahaha.

So once again, I proved that HIV-positives can still have sex. Safer sex, but hot sex nonetheless. And I do believe it factored in significantly that I was not burdened by the need to be carrying my HIV baggage at the back of my head the whole time, and that we were both completely consensual to everything that happened that evening.

So there. Disclosure of my HIV-positive status isn’t exactly damaging my sexlife. Not even with those who are negative. Just the way it should be, with Caucasians or otherwise. That’s what safer sex is for. Hopefully more Filipinos will follow suit. Let’s prove that this kind of knowledge, power, acceptance, openness and awareness isn’t something that only Caucasians are capable of.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mr. Mouth Down South

It was a typical Friday. A hot, humid, but thank-God-it’s-Friday Friday. I got to work early, and was texting with one of my “kids”-to-be. We had been in touch, and I first met him when I invited him for my birthday dinner earlier this month. I had promised to bring him to RITM to be registered, a promise that became urgent Friday as he told me he had a bad cough, a high fever, and was throwing up what he was eating. I was, of course, worried.

So I texted Ate, telling her about his condition, and asking for advice. She told me to bring him in ASAP, so he could be checked and medicated properly, and to make sure he wasn’t getting dehydrated. Okay. Considering it as an emergency, I left work early and met with my newest “kid”-to-be to take the trip to Alabang. It was late afternoon already, and I needed to text Ate that we were on our way, requesting for her to wait for us.

Getting there, we got first dibs with Ate. Seemed like everyone who went for check-ups were done already. The only other people there were those who were going to join the out-of-town for Doc’s birthday. I had no plans of going, first, because I was going to be on call for work this weekend due to an urgent account, and more importantly, a friend was in town from Germany, and we had agreed on this weekend to meet up and...

While my “kid” was in session with the doctor, I was chatting it up with one of the pusettes – female pusit? – someone who I really didn’t know well or talk to a lot, but to whom I made a mark when I gave her what condoms I had the last time I saw her, since she had plans to do “it” with her boyfriend. Hehehe. Funny, she put me on the spot about what happened to me and Papi, something that I myself couldn’t say and didn’t know. So I just told her to ask him herself.

So anyway, another group of guys was in the room, those who were going to Doctora’s birthday thingy. And then it started. I got asked if I was going. And then I got asked why I wasn’t. No, I wasn’t asked, I was attacked... by Mr. Mouth. When Mr. Mouth talks, he... really... talks. Ears bleed.

With a screech of a voice, Mr. Mouth was attacking me about why “we” aren’t participative, asking why “we” were letting off an exclusive and elusive vibe. We? We?! He, of course, was referring to my little pozzie posse. And even as I denied that “we” had any issues with “them”, he just wouldn’t stop badgering, going as far as saying “Eh, baket may chismis?”

Rumors? Oh please, grow up. My eyes rolled into the back of my head. He was getting on my nerves already, and I couldn’t stop myself from saying, “Eh kasi chismosa ka, kaya siguro may chismis.” I was half joking, but half just putting him in his right place.

At that point, I knew I didn’t need to defend myself. I was there to accompany my newbie and nothing else. And if not for this newbie, I wouldn’t even be there on that day and at that time in the first place. I would be working. So I focused on my newbie and just let the freakish voice go in one ear and out the other.

Our group? My pozzie posse? What’s the issue? While our “group” is a group, we are individuals. We are not clones of each other. We each have a mind to make decisions. We do not need to conspire about who and what we like. Each is entitled to his own opinions. Now if we just happened to not be at a certain event at the same time, or not be particularly drawn to the same person, it’s all coincidence.

The truth was, I did know that at least two of us were going, E and my eldest pozzie kid. But, again, I didn’t need to defend myself with that fact. The same way he didn’t need to insinuate his baseless accusations.

So just shut the hell up, Mr. Mouth. And as for the intrigues, cut your crap. Get a life... a life of your own. Consider this: the world does not revolve around you. If you think we have issues with you or whoever, then that’s your issue. You deal with it.

Wow, I was amazed. This person actually had the gall to show that he thought everything was about him. I won’t even hope that his “group” thinks the same way, or that he was speaking on their behalf. Everything was just about him, and “his group”. Amazing, amazing, amazing. So maybe that’s the problem? Is it just me, or does anyone else have issues with attention whores?

Anyhoo, from there, I managed to escape the clutches of Mr. Mouth. Away from the south, and away from the mouth, my new bunso and I headed off back north. He was just advised to stop what medication he was taking, try to rustle up a nebulizer in the meantime, and go back this coming week for his baseline tests.

As for me, I purged the negativity that I got showered with at the RITM, and just focused on staying positive for my newbie. And as for Mr. Mouth, I don’t look forward to seeing him again... or hearing him again for that matter. Here’s my foot... shove it. Oh, on second thought, EWWWWW. I wouldn't want to get my foot dirty. He can use his own.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

High in the Viral Sky

As if health and well-being aren't huge enough concerns for someone living with HIV, somehow, the potential to go places is also a concern to many.

Yes, were talking travel here. Aside from exploring the leisure and adventure that lie beyond the Philippine shores, for some, it is the chance to work abroad and graze the greener pastures that may be bigger concerns.

Personally, I'm not too alarmed by the possible restrictions this virus may have on me when it comes to travel. But thanks to a new friend, who is himself awaiting confirmatory results and raising such concerns, I decided to revisit the stuff I'd read about HIV travel restrictions.

So prepare for information overload. Here's what I found...

There are no restrictions for Albania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Ireland, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

There are no restrictions for/on entry for Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Cambodia, Chile, Georgia, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Kosovo, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malawi, Maldives, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey, Uruguay and the Virgin Islands.

There are no entry restrictions for people living with HIV for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Senegal, Swaziland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

There is currently no information for Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana and Slovakia.

Below are the travel regulations for other countries with more specific stipulations:

No restrictions for entry, but HIV test mandatory if applying for residence permit.

No restrictions for entry, but HIV tests required for all foreigners applying for work or residence visas.

Although there are no restrictions on entry, foreigners in the country who are found to be HIV-positive may be deported.

No restrictions on entry, but HIV testing is required for intending immigrants.

No restrictions for entry, but HIV tests required for foreign nationals who wish to settle in Austalia. HIV tests are required for foreigners who want to immigrate permanently to Australia.

No restrictions for tourists, but pre-employment HIV tests for foreign workers.

No restrictions on entry, but deportation possible if a person if found to have HIV whilst in the country.

No restriction for tourist visits of under three months. All persons staying longer than three months must produce evidence of their HIV status.

No restrictions for entry, HIV tests required for those seeking work or residence permits.

No restrictions for short-time tourist stays. HIV testing required for work or residence permits.

No restrictions for entry or residence, but HIV tests required for intending immigrants.

No restrictions for entry. HIV testing required from students beginning their studies.

No testing for short-term tourist stays, but people with HIV are not permitted entry. HIV tests are required for those seeking work and residence permits.

No restrictions for entry, but HIV tests required for foreigners who wish to stay longer than 30 days.

Burkina Faso
There are no entry restrictions for HIV-positive persons. However, in order to obtain an entry visa, foreigners must be vaccinated against yellow fever, a live vaccine which is not recommended for those with compromised immunity.

No restrictions for HIV-positive people. Proof of yellow fever vaccination required.

No restrictions for entry, but yellow fever vaccination certificate required.

No restrictions for short-term tourist visits. Mandatory HIV testing of all prospective immigrants occurs.

The situation is unclear. China has said that it will remove entry restrictions for people with HIV, but in the summer of 2008 random checks were still being conducted. HIV tests required for a work permit.

No information for short-term visits. A medical certificate is required for those who are applying for a long stay visa, work permit or residency.

Costa Rica
No entry restrictions for short-term visits.

No restrictions for short-term visits. HIV tests required for students seeking a scholarship in Cuba. HIV tests required for renewal of residency permit.

No restrictions for short-term visits. HIV test required for residency, work and study.

Dominican Republic
No restrictions for entry, but HIV tests is required for residency.

No restrictions for entry. Those applying for a long-term residency are normally requested to test for HIV.

No restrictions for short-term tourist visits. HIV tests required for study and work permits.

No reliable information about entry for short-term visits. HIV tests required for visits lasting over five months.

No restrictions. However, a residence permit may be denied to a foreigner thought to be a threat to public health.

No restrictions for entry, yellow fever vaccination required.

No restrictions for short-term visits. HIV tests required in some states for stays lasting over three months.

No entry restrictions. Sex workers wishing to work in Greece are the only group tested. If positive, a sex work permit will be refused, but free HIV treatment will be offered.

No HIV testing on entry.

No restrictions for short-term tourist stays. No HIV testing on entry. An HIV test is required for anyone who wants to stay in the country for more than one year. Additionally, some employers may require their staff to undergo HIV testing.

No restrictions for European nationals visiting for tourism or business for under three months. Foreign nationals intending to work in Iran or to stay for more than three months must produce an HIV test certificate.

HIV tests are required for those wishing to visit for more than ten days.

No restrictions for entry. Migrants from endemic countries must have an HIV test, as must migrant workers.

No restrictions for stays of 30 days or less. HIV tests required for stays of over two months or for work or residence permits.

No restrictions for short-term visits, but HIV test required for work or residence permit.

No restrictions for entry, proof of yellow fever vaccination may be required.

Korea, Democratic People’s Republic
There is no legal provision regarding the entry of people with HIV. Not everybody is requested to present a medical certificate or a specific document of an AIDS examination when entering the country. However, if a person’s HIV-positive status becomes known, he/she is sent back to his/her country of origin. The reason given for this is the lack of experience with HIV and the lack of treatment options.

Korea, South
The South Korean government has announced that entry restrictions on the basis of HIV status have been lifted, effective from January 1st 2010. Prior to this development, “People with HIV are not permitted to enter the country. However, for a stay of up to three months, it is not mandatory to prove one’s HIV status (for those visitors who do not require a visa). There are controls at the border regarding the HIV status. If a person’s HIV-positive status becomes known, he/she is expelled.”

No HIV testing is required for visitors or business travellers. The visa application for a long-term stay requires a doctor’s certificate. In the case of an HIV infection, no visa is granted.

All foreigners excluding diplomats staying more than one month are required to provide evidence of their HIV status.

No restrictions for short-term visits. Anyone planning to live or work in Lebanon must undergo an HIV test.

No restrictions for entry, but HIV test may be required for applicants for permanent residence permits.

No restrictions for entry for short-term visits. HIV tests required for some workers.

No restrictions for entry, but yellow fever vaccination required.

Marshall Islands
No restrictions for short-term visits, but HIV test may be required for visits over 30 days.

No information about short-term visits, but it is thought that there are likely to be few problems. HIV test required for foreign nationals who want to work in Mauritius or who apply for permanent residence.

No restrictions for entry. Anyone staying over 90 days is required to undergo an HIV test.

No information about short-term visits, but few problems anticipated. Tests required for longer visits or work, residence or study permits.

Foreign nationals who are HIV positive are not allowed to enter Moldavia. A medical certificate is required on entry, although tourists are exempt. In addition, foreign tourists need to pass a health exam conducted by the Moldavian Health Authorities. Such a certificate is also necessary if a foreign national wishes to get married in Moldavia. HIV testing is required of anybody wishing to stay longer than three months.

A test result is requested on entry. However, this law is apparently not applied. Foreign students must have an HIV test on arrival, repeated several months later. Foreigners staying longer than 30 days may also be required to undergo testing, though this is not an official law and is only selectively applied.

No restrictions for entry. Foreign nationals, including university students who are applying for or renewing work or residence must produce a negative HIV certificate.

New Zealand
No restrictions for stays of up to three months. From early 2005, New Zealand started undertaking HIV screening for migrants. The full set of changes, including screening for HIV, and a wider and updated set of tests for other expensive-to-treat conditions, was implemented for people seeking to be in New Zealand for longer than twelve months.

No restrictions for short-term stays. For stays of more than three months, the residence permit has to be extended by the immigration authorities. In this case, the presentation of a medical certificate is requested. Extended residency will only exceptionally be granted to HIV-positive people.

No restrictions for entry, but HIV tests required for foreign nationals seeking to marry citizens of Niger.

No restrictions for entry. Persons who stay in Norway for longer than three months are offered a tuberculosis test and an HIV test, in order to arrange for any necessary treatment as quickly as possible.

No HIV test required for tourists. HIV tests for work or residence permits.

No restrictions for short-term visits. An HIV test certificate is required of foreign nationals wishing to stay for more than one year.

Papua New Guinea
No HIV test required for short-term visits, but required if applying for a work permit.

No restrictions for short-term visits. HIV test required for residency.

No entry restrictions. Those wishing to obtain a Peruvian marriage certificate are required to take an HIV test.

No restrictions for short-term tourist stays.

No restrictions for short-term stays. Mandatory HIV tests for mothers or babies suspected to have HIV and who wish to stay for three months or longer.

No HIV testing on entry. However, people whose HIV-status is known to the authorities are refused entry. Applicants for a work or residence permit must present a negative HIV test certificate (the date of the certificate must not be older than six months).

No restrictions, but HIV test required for a marriage license.

Russian Federation
No restrictions for entry for stays up to three months. Students and foreign employees staying longer than three months must have an HIV test.

There are no restriction entries to people living with HIV. However in the case of serious illness permission can be refused.

St Kitts and Nevis
Foreign nationals seeking permanent residence, undertaking study and those applying for work permits may be asked to undertake an HIV test.

Saudi Arabia
Very likely to be no problems for short-term visits, but HIV tests required for long-term work permits.

No restrictions for tourist visits. HIV test for work permit.

No restrictions for short-term tourist stays lasting up 30 days. HIV testing for longer stays.

Solomon Islands
Entry can be denied if it becomes known, that the person in question has an infectious disease.

South Africa
No restrictions for tourists with HIV.

No restrictions for short-term visits.

Sri Lanka
No specific entry regulations for people with HIV. No questions asked about HIV on entry. However in cases in which an HIV infection is suspected, foreign nationals may be denied entry.

Officially, people with HIV are not granted a visa and are not permitted to enter Sudan. A negative HIV test result must be presented at a Sudanese embassy or at Khartoum airport in order to obtain a visa. However, these regulations are unlikely to be carried out.

Foreign nationals applying for work permits and foreign students must undergo an HIV test at one of three specified centres in Syria. A foreigner wishing to marry a Syrian national is required to take an HIV test.

No restrictions for short-term visits. HIV test required for individuals aged 15 - 50 who require a residence permit or to settle in Syria.

No evidence of HIV testing to entry. HIV testing is required for stays of more than 90 days.

No short-term restrictions. An HIV test result must be presented by anyone wishing to stay longer than 90 days or applying for a residence or work permit.

No restrictions for short-term visits, but HIV test required for visits lasting five months or more.

Trinidad and Tobago
All foreign nationals applying for residence or to stay more than one year must undergo a medical examination. Those found to be HIV–positive will be refused permission to stay.

Turks and Caicos
No restrictions for short-term visits. All foreign nationals applying for work and residence permits must have a medical examination on arrival, including an HIV test.

No restrictions for short-term tourist stays. A positive test result may, however, lead to deportation.

No restrictions for short-term visits.

No restrictions for short-term visits. HIV tests required for foreign nationals wishing to remain beyond three months.

United Arab Emirates
HIV tests are required for entry, but short-term visits are possible because there are no checks at borders. HIV test required for residence.

United States of America
The long-standing US HIV travel ban has ended, with effect from January 4th 2010.

No restrictions for visits of up to 90 days. HIV-negative certificate required for visits over three months.

No specific entry or residence restrictions for people with HIV/AIDS. However the Vietnamese law requires HIV positive people to report to the health control authorities on entry.

Entry will not be granted if the authorities are aware an individual is HIV-positive. A negative test result has to be presented for stays of more than one month or applying for residence.

So there. If you really think about it, it's not like being HIV-positive leaves you tied to your motherland. A lot of possibilities still remain at your fingertips. For more information, visit the websites of NAMLIFE and HIVTravel.

So indeed, it may seem that having the HIV bomb dropped on you may feel like someone clipped your wings, but really, you just gotta realize that you still can soar, and soar high.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Hot Weekend

Fine, my birthday is over. But was it over when it was supposed to be? The truth is, unlike any other in previous years, my birthday this year sort of got an extension of sorts. I mean, yeah, I did have a "celebration" somehow on the day itself, but the celebrations didn't end there. It leached on into the weekend. The hot weekend. The hot birthday weekend.

For the first time ever I think, I had a day blocked off for a birthday treat. I mean back when I was still in school, my birthday didn’t count because it would always be summer vacation. When I started working, there would always be birthday leaves set aside. And for other persons in my life, there actually came a time when I’d hibernate for the whole day and just be by myself.

I know it sounds pathetic, but I’d disappear, stay unreachable, and just space out. It wasn’t that I was lonely, I just really loved being alone. Plus, the fact that I hated attention. The worst that I had done on a birthday? There was one year that I left the house early, checked into a motel for a whole day, and in a series, watched porn, jerked off, showered, slept, and repeated. Till the night crept in and I headed home. Needless to say that was one draining birthday.

This year would be different. Thanks to LuckyTrese who almost never let a day pass without asking when and where my birthday blowout would be. Fine. A blowout once every 32 years isn’t bad at all, right?

So Saturday was the day, and it was to be a pozzie day. I met with BFF at the MRT, and headed on south in the afternoon heat. We made a stopover to pick up a newbie who I was to be meeting for the first time. And from there, we headed to Mall of Asia.

One by one, people showed up. My pozzie grandkid, a couple of my pozzie kids, my pozzie parent, and pozzie bloggers LuckyTrese, E, APositivePointOfView and RecordBreaker. All generations well represented. Sounded like we were a lot but had everyone invited showed up, we may have just doubled in number. Agh.

We had dinner. Italian, because I said so. A tomato based penne, a pesto spaghetti, and a couple of pizzas, bacon cheeseburger and double anchovy. Yum. Of course some of us got their fill just eyeing all the hot boys in the resto. Shameless, shameless, shameless. But allowed. Hehe.

From there, we took a stroll back and forth down the baywalk. Not realizing that no one had any idea where we were going. Finally, our gala boys decided to head to Malate. We left E behind, who was heading out of town that same evening. I was really glad he showed up, late but nonetheless. Oh and E’s gift, a little figurine with my picture and the words “Sexy Star” on it? Priceless. E... such an a-hole. Hehehe.

With his spot quickly filled by a new negative friend standing in for his unconfirmed-pozzie friend, we were off to Malate. We were conveniently approached by a driver who offered to take all ten of us. Considering the long queue for taxis, we took it. And this driver was something. We weren’t conscious about getting all homo with him, but amazingly, he was riding along. Type ni manong si Derek Ramsay! Tarush!

Malate. A nice, cool, chill bar served as our refuge, as we made the most of the final hours before the upcoming election’s liquor ban kicked in. I just had a couple of bottles of Red Horse. Others had their own concoctions. A couple stuck with non-alcoholic drinks. And almost all quenched their thirst with more eye candy. Hot stuff. Hehehe.

I think it was before midnight that we hit a fork in the road. One group would go on partying into the wee hours, and the other would head home. I, of course, headed home. ARVs, two bottles of beer, and going way past my bedtime did it for me. Slept like a baby.

Sunday was no rest day. I had lunch with the extended family. Nope, not for my birthday, but a combination of Mother’s Day and my mom’s 60th birthday. Wow, 60. Senior citizen. She now qualifies as my dependent. I wonder if she’d be comfortable being a dependent of someone who would also technically qualify to have a disability? Hmm.

Anyhoo, again, several generations were there, from my grandmother to my cousin’s daughter. I made the most of the buffet lunch, chowing down on four platefuls of such viands as lasagna, tempura, baked potato, and sushi. Worth it, except when, at the end of the meal, a cousin asks me why I seemed so thin. After eating all that? What was I supposed to say?

The rest of the day, I declared too hot to move. Didn’t even want to go to the mall. Just stayed home and slept. Ran a few errands as the sun set. And a quick go-see with BFF in the evening. I needed to save my energy for the next day. It was, after all, going to be election day.

Woke up early the next day. I was ready, actually excited, to vote. My mom and I took the two minute walk to the polling precinct thirty minutes before it was set to open. Credit that for my being number 7 to vote. We beat all the lines, and were done in about 5 minutes. All went well, except for the more than generous amount of indelible ink I got. Indelible AND incredible. And then it was hot again.

But surprisingly, something got me to brave the heat. I got a text message at around 10:00 am, from someone saying he was horny and asking if I was free. This was an old buddy, who I’d been successfully avoiding during the time I thought I was in a relationship. Now that I was single, what was to stop me?

So in fifteen minutes, I was off on a short walk to his place. It may have been a year since I last saw him. Sat down, talked a bit, caught up, and then the clothes came off. I was almost sure I was going to enjoy with this guy, because I did every time before. It was always fun, with no inhibitions nor strings attached, and we were just such a perfect sexual match. Both the bottom and the cumeater in me were always happy. Teehee. I know, TMI.

And with a Wham! Bam! Thank you, man!, I was outta there in less than an hour. So I was bad. I was really bad. But it was good. It was really, really good. Another good drizzle to end an 8 month drought. A good, long, hot, sticky drizzle to cap off the hot weekend.

I... had... sex. Gasp. Right now, I just consider it as one of my birthday gifts to myself. Having safe fun... being carefree... giving in… for now. But at some point, I will really need to take a good look at myself and decide where I’m taking this.

Right now, I can feel the old B.I.T.C.H. creeping in. Pre-HIV. The B.I.T.C.H. who enjoyed sex a lot. The B.I.T.C.H. who could handle 6 guys in one session. The B.I.T.C.H. who had as many as three separate sessions in a day. The B.I.T.C.H. whose record was having 100 guys in the span of 4 months. I amaze even myself.

I could go back there. But do I really want to? Do I really need to? Think, think, think.

I’m not saying sex is a no-no. I’ve always said that even HIV-positives can have sex... safe sex, or course. But if I just really needed to release the sexual tension, my right hand is always on call, right? I just don’t want to find myself using sex as too much of an escape. I don’t want to catch myself playing with others’ emotions. A predator, I refuse to be. An opportunist, I am not. Pure evil, far from it. But an angel, I am not either. I still absolutely love sex.

And with that, my long, busy, hot birthday weekend came to an end. Hot. Really hot. Till next year. Maybe it’ll get... even hotter.


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Blowing Candles

Parties and presents. Cakes and candles. Greetings and gifts. Yes, it was… my birthday. It was my 32nd birthday. Yes, 32 years on the face of the Earth. I’m not ashamed to say I’m 32. Not one little bit. Not at all.

But with my birthday always being strewn between several other occasions, like Labor Day, the elections, Mother’s Day, both my parents’ birthdays, and several others, it was never really a big deal. And I liked it that way. Was this year any different?

Before, it’d be easy to get greetings personally or via mobile. But this was my first birthday post-Facebook, where Facebook takes all the work out of trying to remember everybody’s birth dates. So, though supposedly expected, I am astounded that I got tons of greetings. Yes allow me some room for pride, but I was absolutely amazed!

Of course, family. I was happy to hear from my sister who I haven’t talked to in a while. Then there was my pozzie posse and other pusits who shouted out. There were old friends from school, even way back elementary... oi, history. Some greeting from those who were more than friends, from former fuck buddies, guys I dated, crushes, ex-boyfriends, and lo and behold, even an ex-girlfriend! I know… GASP! Hell, even Cebuana Lhuillier greeted me... I used to frequent Cebuana when I used to send cash to Baby Nathan and others who needed help. Hehehe.

The day itself was not meant to be a biggie. Because there was no longer such a thing as birthday leave for me, I was at work. I wasn’t planning on a blow out or anything, but my gurl friend in the office arrived with a cake in hand with my name written all over it. Aww... both the cake and the gesture… sweet. So sweet.

Over lunch, I got asked what I had planned for the day. Nothing really. No dinner, no nothing. They had to cheer me on though. “Birthday sex! Birthday sex!” Hahaha. Not that I was pressured. But I wish. I wish.

I had been texting earlier with the guy I had been dating this past week. Initially, he suggested we’d celebrate together Saturday night, but I’d already made plans with the pozzie posse. I asked him what he was doing that evening. He said he was free. I took a leap. “Then you’re mine tonight.” Was that me? Was that me?

Figuring out where to meet, we decided on somewhere halfway between our respective workplaces. But the meeting area being near his place and his offer to take me home after just didn’t make any wholesome sense. Gulp. I know my logic was rocked, but oddly, I was still a go.

So we met at Shangri-la, and like the heavens were on my side, we got there within minutes of each other, and actually bumped into each other without having to agree on where exactly we’d meet. From there, it was dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. It was penne for me, ravioli for him, and focaccia between to two of us. Absomalutely yummy. Agh. Both Italian boys we are. We are.

Frozen yogurt was next. Coconut for him, New York Cheesecake for me. Still felt sinful for yogurt. And with that, there were loads of calories to burn. He took me for a walk. A couple of blocks in, I knew I wasn’t heading home. I put my arm around his shoulder, my way of telling him I had no fear. No fear. And a couple of blocks more, he held my hand in the dark of the night. That told me, we’re okay. We’re okay.

We got to his place and settled into his room. All sweaty from the walk. Both of us. I love a guy who sweats. Because I sweat. A lot. Sitting down and cooling off, he stripped down to his skivvies. He said it was hot. Yeah, right. And although we’d been flirting a lot in recent days, I still needed that cue. That cue. That cue.

Okay, just to make things clear, this was someone who knew about my HIV status. Hell, he knew so much about me there wasn’t much left to hide. So he knew exactly what he was getting into seducing me into bed. And to me that’s hot.

It was hot indeed, so I took my shirt off. We hugged. We sat facing each other. He leaned over and we kissed. And two hours later, we were plopped on the bed, spent. Both spent. Two hours?! I know...

We both washed up, dressed up. He drove me home, and dropped me off as we kissed goodbye. I believe I got home around 11:00 pm, the only time I drank my ARVs since I ignored my alarm when it rang while we were in the middle of things. And with that I basked in what he calls a post-coital glow that was expected to last a good three hours.

I know some of you might think it’s just sex. Just sex. But sex is a huge thing for me. I have absolutely no qualms about having it on a first date. So this time, three wholesome dates before getting it on was quite different. Quite different.

Sex. It’s usually a make or break thing for me. But it’s not like I want a certain type of guy or expect certain sizes or demand certain acts. I mean, yeah, I have preferences, I have preferred roles, I have my fetishes and kinks, but they’re not carved in stone.

It’s more on chemistry for me. The comfort. Someone who knows what he wants? Great. Someone without hang-ups? Perfect. Personally and sexually, I’m really more of a pleaser. It ain’t about me getting pleasure. Having my partner drowning in ecstasy does it for me. Satisfying someone satisfies me. Part of the masochist in me, I think. I think.

For a first time for us, it wasn’t bad at all. Yeah, of course we did have to figure each other out somehow, and getting there after a single sessions is a lot to ask for. But our still keeping in touch even after the deed seems like a good sign. A good sign.

And for a first time for me in what... eight months?! OMG eight months without sex?! What kind of life is that to live? Hehehe. Well it was a choice for me. And for this kind of a birthday milestone to break my sexless streak... rigid candles blown till the hot wax flowed... not bad at all. Not bad at all.

So there, that was my looooong birthday day. Too bad it fell on a Thursday, otherwise I could’ve extended it into the early morn. Of course I needed to go to work the next day, albeit hungover not from alcohol but from a lack of sleep… and of course, basking in that afterglow. That afterglow. That afterglow. What a gift. What a gift. The afterglow of candles blown.


Monday, May 03, 2010

Missions Accomplished

It’s been another busy weekend. A long weekend, but a busy one.

May 3rd is a holiday here, a resched of labor day. But like a three-day weekend wasn’t enough, I decided to take the day off from work Friday.

So it was a really long weekend. A really long weekend, but a busy one. Missions abound.

E was planning to go to the RITM April birthday bash, and bugged me to go as well. You see, he doesn’t go to gatherings like this much. And if he’s like me by virtue of being my friend, having a comfort zone of familiar faces there makes it much easier. I was to be one of those familiar faces, I assume.

So three birds with one stone. Socialize, of course. Possibly considering have this nagging cough of mine checked up. And was also going to leave with Ate the stash of Neurobion and Celecoxib meds for the pusit who needed help. Thanks Myke and Moi!

I got a haircut, took the MRT to Ayala Station, and with my share of the potluck, Malabon’s pride sapin-sapin, took a bus to Alabang. I successfully bypassed having to wait in line for a minivan to RITM, only to realize I wasn’t late after all.

Walking into the back office, I didn’t recognize anyone of the handful already there. I sat down to cool off, and texted PositiveEqualsRebirth. I hadn’t met him yet, but have been chatting with him for some time now, and he said he was planning to go. Soon the door opened, one of my “kids” walked in, RedAppleBlackMark, practically screaming my name.

Embarrassing as that was, good enough as well. It turned out that PositiveEqualsRebirth had apparently been in the room the whole time, and upon recognizing my name, stepped up to introduce himself and his partner who was with him. Finally we’d met. And because, as evident in our online chats, we do share some wavelength, this should be a first of many.

In a while, more familiar faces arrived. Fellow positive bloggers E, LuckyTrese and ImNotDyingImLiving, another of my kids, Little Jenny a.k.a. Jeje, Papi with his friend, and several others I knew. So really, I did have a comfort zone there, and I believe I was less of a wallflower this time. I think… you tell me.

The food was fine: chicharon, pansit, donuts, and a huge cake. The ambience would’ve been okay, if not for one older pusit whose stories of choice dealt with who AIDS killed, who died when, what the person died of, who died next, who’s next in line, etcetera. Who is this a-hole anyway? And he actually claimed to be part of a support group?! Supporting what? Did his support group not teach him that no one dies of AIDS per se?

It would’ve been considerate of him to note that there were relative newbies in the bunch. And yes, we needed to do damage control after. Thanks a lot. Nakikain ka na nga lang, nang-nega ka pa?! I would’ve rather he shut up and started digging his own grave. Agh.

By mid afternoon, the group thinned and it was time to go. I hitched a ride going north, braved an odd summer storm and got stuck in horrendous traffic. Fortunately, we got “forced” by the weather to have dinner as a group, with BFF catching up with us, and having a bit of coffee as a nightcap. Not a bad way to end a long day.

The next day was not to be less “positive”. E invited us over to his place. Oh, no. More like he badgered us. He had been counseling a newbie for some days now, someone still waiting for his HIV test results, but was already sulking in paranoia and being haunted by suicidal tendencies. And E needed reinforcements, lest he get fed up and give the kid a list of ways to take his own life. Yes, patience is not one of E’s strong points. Hehehe.

So O, BFF and I headed there for lunch, picking up newbie and his friend along the way. My eldest “kid” was there too, as well as LuckyTrese. A second batch even arrived after we finished lunch.

So from the trip throughout lunch, we were really showing newbie that life will and does go on. He and his friend were actually in the medical field, but it was a classic case of knowing too much but lacking real world experience and not understanding it all, leaving them just paranoid and negative. So they fielded as much questions as they could, and later on I noticed that they were both lightening up, even immersing themselves in the okray mood of our little group.

From there, we left E around mid-afternoon. I was going to Shang. I had a date… a date with a friend and fellow advocate, so yes, he did know about my status. And BFF, newbie and his friend decided to stalk us. Argh. There wasn’t much to stalk. We weren’t planning on getting busy… just going to hang out over some coffee and stuff. After a couple of hours chatting, my date needed to go and rest after starting his day early, aside from a lack of sleep. Cool with me.

He brought me to the MRT station, where we hugged and headed our separate ways. Shortly, I learned BFF was still in the area with the kids, so I ambushed them at another coffee place. They of course didn’t let me pass without ribbing me about my date… about not being able to wipe the smile off my face and about having an afterglow. Wahaha! Toink!

But seriously, I think it helped newbie boy to see that, yes, we can still have a dating life, even with negatives! During that hour more of us hanging out, it was clear that he was in a more positive mood. And he knew that whatever happens, he wouldn’t need to go through it alone. He had us.

From there, we headed off into the night, BFF and I together. And because BFF and I always have the most perfect dates together, we did not call it a night. We did some catching up and evaluated the weekend together over some dinner first, and then headed home.

Sunday was spent just home, for a change. I was really dead tired already from the past two days, but it was all worth it. A good end to April, and a great start to May. And it wasn’t even all fun and games. Missions accomplished.