Hot monkey sex
I thought as a break from writing about stigma, I would write instead about the experience of blogging on this website.
Think doing forty-three posts about HIV stigma has been hard? Truth be told, it hasn’t. It’s no coincidence that the two of us who’ve been most prolific here - Brian and myself - are no strangers to the blogosphere; we both blog regularly elsewhere, in fact. I also know both of us think like bloggers, always tuned in to something - anything - to write about. It’s a way of life. Have that mindset and writer’s block seldom becomes an issue; things to write about just seems to appear. So it hasn’t been necessary to revert to this book (yet) . . .
Over the long haul, though, daily blogging can get challenging. Now I don’t exactly live in the fast lane, but rather a rural backwater I call Nanookville in my own blog. So that journal, with six-years of entries (2,132 in all) and a cadre of 526 readers, isn’t immune to descriptions of what I’ve had for lunch that day. Or pics of my pets; you do what you have to do. (For the morbidly curious, it’s on LiveJournal, and it’s here: http://ruralrob.livejournal.com/ ) Of course, I’ve threatened to post pet pics on HIVstigma.com too, as a diversion from more heavy topics, but I’ve only reverted to that tactic once here. So far. And no descriptions of my lunch here. Yet!
It’s amazing, though, how many people don’t get blogging, don’t see the allure, don’t understand why anybody would want to share their thoughts, or even their life, in such a very public way. Mostly it’s because we know there are people out there - lots of them - who are curious about how we live our lives, even mine. So our stock in trade is life. We hide what we want to hide. We share what we want to share. Just like real life, really.
I’ll share something with you about the stigma website. You may not realize it, but some posts and responses to comments have been carefully crafted and pored over, sometimes after discussing the content with others working on the campaign. Once we even talked to a lawyer. Personally, I’ve always felt a sense of responsibility to say the right thing here. Having said that, it’s been a great chance for me to soapbox, to share my own take on life, love and HIV, hopefully not too obnoxiously. I’ve pulled relatively few punches, though, because that was our brief - to speak our mind, with few constraints. I hope I haven’t hurt anyone in the process - or lost too many friends.
Were we noticed? Nowadays, HIV-flavoured blogs are, of course, all over the net. Ours have been unique, I think, in their positioning as an integral part of a large-scale prevention campaign. That approach hasn’t been tried before, certainly not in Canada, or perhaps even the world. So that’s exciting. But if there’s a problem with using HIV-flavoured blogs as a prevention tool, it’s that, by and large, we’ve learned they attract mainly poz readers. It’s a generalization, I know, but neg guys aren’t always interested in reading about HIV. (I sure wasn’t when I was neg.). So I’m thinking that to attract a neg audience, or a poz audience that thinks they are neg, and to somehow engage them in talking about HIV, perhaps you have to come to the subject from a different angle. Like sex. Most everybody is interested in reading about sex, arent they? Hot monkey sex, even better. Maybe we need to get dirty.
Still, I think blogging about prevention issues has huge potential, and we’ve made a good start in demonstrating that. Now I can’t deny that I see things here we could have done better, but I’ll save those for the evaluation. Unless you want to give me feedback on that.
Anyway, enough of this blog induced navel-gazing. How about a pet pic instead? (I knew it would come to this.) This, my friends, is my beloved chocolate lab Dougall, and our dumb but much-loved basset hound, Dudley.
What did I have for lunch today, I hear you ask? Well it’s too early for lunch - ask me later. Last night’s dinner? Roast turkey with mashed potatoes, gravy and broccoli. And chocolate cream pie. Any more questions?