Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Sex nice but....

This morning I went into Kingstown wearing a "Got it Get it" t-shirt. Sex nice was emblazoned in bold letters across the front followed by a smaller print that read "but the aids thing". From the older man in the bank who remarked "these young people and sex eh", to the disapproval in the eyes of others the reactions were as illuminating as they were puritanical. Very few saw beyond the bold print headline and rushed to cast judgement on me for what they saw as overt sexuality. How dare a young woman proclaim to the world sex is nice? my male counterparts wearing a similar t-shirt would not have encountered the latent hostility to which I was subjected.

For the life of me I cannot fathom the prevailing attitudes to sex. Many of my acquaintances for whom every other conversation is loaded with sexual references or details about their sexual practices were uncomfortable with my "boldness" in publicly wearing the t-shirt.This even though they knew I was heading to conduct a theatrical presentation on HIV/AIDS education. The reactions encountered further highlighted the need for persons to have adult discussions about sex. As I stopped to top up my phone two young girls struck up a conversation based on the words on the t-shirt. The older who I judged to be about 11 to 12 years old and the younger about 9 told me my t-shirt was bad. According to them sex could not be nice if it gave you AIDS and belly/baby. Never one to miss a teachable moment I began explaining that HIV could be prevented if condoms are used effectively. In quick time, the older girl shot off questions ranging from female condoms to the strength of male condoms. At this point, the mother berated the girl for her "womanishness" and told her to shut up. Meanwhile an older woman whose distaste for our conversation was evident decided to go elsewhere to purchase credit for her phone.

As I walked away with a wry smile on my face it hit me that HIV education has to overcome so many prejudices. The reluctance to talk about sex in a holistic way forces the young and not so young to accept myths as the gospel. Next week my group's topic will be HIV/AIDS discrimination. I plan to wear a custom made t-shirt that says in bold print "I am HIV positive" with "will you have lunch with me?" in smaller print. I can already see the incredulous looks and hear the collective gasps from passersby. I may even be briefly stigmatized but unlike the persons living with AIDS it would be fleeting. Well a girl can only hope

Abeni, nice blog. However,not that I am telling you what to wear,[would not dream of such a thing] but if your point was to highlight or bring awareness to the issue of HIV...why then wear such T-shirt where the caption "sex nice" so conspicuously written on the T-shirt rather than the specific issue that you claim you want to bring awareness to? [I take it that you bought this T-shirt?]

I think your T-shirt is self-defeating in its intent or should I say its supposed intent; your T-shirt is more for shock effect, than enlightening. And I am far from being a puritan...but I will definitely have lunch with you...where shall we meet?
Hi Saadiss good to see you again.Lol,the shirt was given to me by Planned Parenthood. No,the tshirt was not for shock value at all but to reinforce to the group that sex is nice but it brings responsibility.Coincidentally, at the presentation the session on prevention was well received.The thing is you can't or shouldn't approach it from the view that sex is evil and hope it "scares" the youth into flying right.

Who's paying?:)
It amazes me that we talk about shock value when the numbers of AIDS victims and pregnancies of mothers with AIDS are only increasing but when faced with the act that causes these societal challenges we label it "vulgar" "inappropriate" and attach terms such as shock value.

However, I think that since you have an obvious passion for this issue, wearing such a shirt places the duty on you to continuously educate those who view you, so that the aim is accomplished rather than risking being the subject of the ridicule.
I DO NOT BELIEVE ANY PLANNED PARENTHOOD ORGANISATION SHOULD BE MAKING SUCH "VULGAR" "INAPPROPRIATE" PROCLAMATION. It is not the business of such an organisation to render unsolicited opinions. I just do not see the worthiness of this T-shirt to the cause of Planned Parenthood...maybe I am a puritan after all.

@SVG epiphany...So you don't think the t-shirt is vulgar? Maybe a T shirt that reads SEX KILLS, protect yourself...would reinforce the precise point you are making in your opening paragraph, What you think?

@Abeni! "How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince's daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman’s hands. Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies. Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus. Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel. Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses. How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love, with your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, "I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit." May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine. May the wine go straight to my lover, flowing gently over lips and teeth."

How can I be so bold to offer to pay for your meal...I am not worthy...please allow me to dine at your feet.
Firstly, I recognize the phrase "Sex Nice, but the Aids Ting" is from a Frisco Kid dub song from a few years back. A song that was breaking down our air waves on the Joy-ride riddim from Jamaica. I didn't get the sense that many people back then (young people especially) were offended when Frisco Kid sang "Me want a jook offa Jacqueline, but me haffi draw fi mi rubbers,Sex nice but the Aids thing would mek yo die like flowers, die out like flowers." Frisco Kid was drawing attention to the importance wearing protection and I think that is what the Planned Parenthood is trying to do with these T-Shirts. During Carnival shows I saw people wearing them and the "Sex Nice" part serves the purpose of grabbing the eye, then when you read on you get the message in its entirety. So I believe it works. Plus there is a context.
We have been profoundly shaped by our Judeo-Christian backgrounds to view sex as secretive and shameful even though sex is such an important part of or nature as humans. I think the discomfort the shirt elicits is a symptom of the fact we are not prepared to speak openly about sex and maybe the shirt confronts our hang ups in this way. In the Netherlands they run very frank sex ed courses (that include talks about sexuality) in their schools. I wonder if that would ever happen here?
Here is the Frisco Kid track:
Silly T shirt
Stupid teeshirt
Well said @empath
well looka you being bold and controversial!

I think "but the Aids ting" should be written bigger cause people will just see the sex nice part and miss the real message.
an dat was a wicked Frisco Kid track. Joyride was a nice rhythm!
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