World Sexual Health Day September 4, 2017

“Love, Bonding & Intimacy” is this year’s campaign from World Association for Sexual Health WSHD who’s mission it is to make this day an annual, global event to raise awareness of the differences and beauty there is between people in love, embracing, and how intimacy doesn’t always have to include sex.

Starting in 2010 the WSHD called on all their member organizations and all NGOs to celebrate September 4th and every year thereafter as World Sexual Health Day in an effort to promote a greater social awareness of sexual health across the globe. The intent of the day is to promote healthy sex, intimacy and love whether a person is GLBT, Inquiring, Straight, Queer, male, female or somewhere in between, sexually active or not, are a person of any Color, race, religion, morals, values, education, position, status, office, or anything else. None of these matter when it comes to love, bonding & intimacy.

Just to be Clearer

    Bonding is used here as the act of joining one to another in some way for instance, body, mind and/or spirit much like the bond that might exist between a parent and a child.
    Keep your mind open to new definitions of the words intimacy and love as you read on-too. New ideas create new understanding, and can lead to changes in ones perceptions and effect their future actions in healthy ways.

Here is the recommendation from their web site

Start Quote–
It is a big opportunity to talk about the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) and its wide-range of members as well which represent a variety of professions across the globe. This is WAS’s invitation to the public as well as professionals to join this global association which is committed to promote sexual health, wellbeing and rights for all.

Suggested Activities:
A. Discuss how emotions and affections are related to Sexual Health. Find ways to help people differentiate between love and infatuation. Discuss ways to show you care about your loved ones to enhance sexual health considering the different countries and cultures mores and integrating all the conditions people may have (age, sex, religion, sexual orientation, skin color, socio-economic level, cultural and educational level, disabilities, etc.)

B. Organize a literature contest for short stories or poems or stages about love and intimacy as a Sexual Health matter in each culture.

C. Ask people to do a vlog answering:

  • Have you been in love with someone? How does it feel?
  • Do you need to be in love with someone to experience sex with them?
  • Do you have to have sex with someone to show that you love them?
  • How do you show you care for someone?
  • What is the place of sex in your intimate relationship (s)?
  • How your emotional expression of love relates to your Sexual Health.
  • How your emotional expression of love relates to the Sexual Health of your loved ones.
  • What is NOT a healthy emotional expression of love?

—End Quote
Lily&Q’s say…Hey, a day just for thinking about how love, bonding and intimacy occur and over-play on each other throughout one’s lifetime…Cool, right?
Except when I was pondering the list of 9 items that ask one to think(blog) about how love, intimacy and bonding played or didn’t play a part in the person’s life,
it started me thinking about the relationships in my past, and about my first love, my first sexual experience, and how my parents, religion, values, and future goals played a part in my firsts as well as impacted my choices in the years following.
And then came HIV.
Now, everyone HIV+ probably has a “well meaning” or NOT family member who has said or whispered to someone else something like, “Well if they wouldn’t have done THAT, meaning SEX, then they wouldn’t have THAT, meaning HIV…” or “Freddy won’t ever know what ITS (SEX) like since he’s old now, and has never even had a girlfriend, poor Dear…”. Maybe Uncle Freddy is the wise one here. We could also make some other assumptions about what SEX IS for THE FAMILY MEMBER and might not be for Uncle Freddy, Wink, Wink!
Disability might have been the nicest word you might hear once you heard the words “You got AIDS”, but it also made you an untouchable, and I mean AIDS, not the “Disabillity” word.
So for me, I stopped getting hugs from family members, being invited to dinners or parties, and stopped getting “set up” with the other’s friend, uncle or any other male that was/is single that they knnew.
I guess they think I gave up on love, bonding, Intimacy, family and friendship, too.
Whether I wanted sex or not, holding hands, hugging, and cuddling on the couch until I’d fall asleep is still on my mind….Maybe crave a littele?
We need to start another kind of conversation about sex and intimacy now that we are living way longer and healthier with HIV than ever before. Thanks to HIV meds and PrEP we can again enter into intimate, loving and sexual (if we want it) relationships.
First though We need to get over being “shell-shocked” from the years we battled HIV medicines, treatments and stigma.
We also need to begin understanding what happened to our relationships with lover(s), family members, and friends and how HIV impacted our ability to give or receive love, bonding and intimacy with all of them over the last several years.
HIV doesn’t kill people like it used to, but what does that mean for those of us who have outlived lovers/spouses?
Are we ready to take another chance and trust again? Can we even trust ourselves? How about trusting the HIV meds?
Okay…Enough is enough…Just give me a kiss on my forehead, and a hug already!