woman that you don’t need to take precautions. It’s one thing to inadvertently kiss a woman while out partying with your girls at the club. It’s entirely different when you’re alone and clothes begin to fall off after a romantic comedy goes off. Maybe you two were watching girl-on-girl adult films and begin to feel “inspired” by what you saw to try new things. You should still discuss recent STD tests and HIV status, and you should definitely consider using barrier protections.
For African-American men who have sex with men, the risks are even greater and you absolutely should take precautions, especially if you’re still experimenting and not settling into a monogamous relationship just yet. There’s a dangerously pervasive thought that using a condom while having sex with a man somehow makes you “more gay.” Let’s put an end to that right now. Wrap it up, fellas!
While stigma lingers, particularly in the Black community (and especially among men), there are safe ways to explore your sexual fluidity. Understand that it is, in fact, fluid, and you’re not locked into any one identity. When you’re 18, you might feel like you prefer the opposite sex; at 21 you might prefer the same sex; and at 30, you might find yourself dating all kinds of people as your decide who makes you feel the best, regardless of sex.
All of this is normal and you should feel no shame. There will always be someone who will be against what you do, so you can’t sweat that. Just be open and honest with yourself, first and foremost, and remain true to who you are.
Feminista Jones is a sex-positive Black feminist, social worker and blogger from New York City. She writes about gender, race, politics, mental health and sexuality at FeministaJones.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FeministaJones.