I am going to share a story about a one night stand I had, how this person dealt with me having HIV and most importantly, how I handled his reaction.
Before I get into it, I’d like to talk about what a one night stand is and how I view them. The definition of a one night stand is, “a sexual relationship lasting only one night.” I am open to one night stands but I don’t have them often. Not because of HIV, but because I look for respect, attraction, and a connection. Finding all 3 doesn’t come by often.
I used to not be open to them because if I was sleeping with you, I had a connection with you, and that means we have to date now right? But, now, I am realistic. I only allow myself to grow in love with people who fit my life and mesh with me in all areas. We can have so many beautiful connections and attractions to people, but it doesn’t mean we should date, spend our life together, or even sleep together. There’s levels to this ish. It’s all about thought control and knowing what you want. Elaborating on this topic is definitely for another blog.
Ok, let’s get to the juice.
As some of you may know, I love to dance and if you don’t know, now you do.
When I go out alone, usually one of three things happen.
I’ll either see someone I know, make new friends, or have had a great time alone. I actually enjoy traveling and going out alone, because I almost always meet new people and when you’re with friends, you usually don’t make new ones.
On this particular night, I walked into the dance club alone and went straight to the bar to order a tequila pineapple with a splash of grenadine, and some cherries.
I didn’t even have my drink, before this beautiful man walked up to me. Creating conversation with me, my first thought was to say, “no thank you, I am not interested.” I am used to aggressive men bombarding me, but the energy I felt from this one, was gentle and sweet. Plus he was gorgeous, so I gave it a chance. We were all smiles and giggles and in no time, found ourselves on the dance floor. I had an instant connection to him, and we both just vibed. We were cupcakin like we had known each other for years.
Fast forward, we’ve been hanging out and dancing for a couple hours now. He had a group of friends with him at the club, who we ended up linking up with toward the end, having a group dance party. MY FAV! Well, this is where it gets interesting.
His friends and I began to exchange instagram accounts and here we all are on the dance floor, checking out each other’s pages. Now, I am open and public about having HIV on all of my media accounts but I was so caught up in the moment, I wasn’t even thinking about HIV and if they were going to see it. I don’t predict the future, I just live. Let what is meant to happen, happen. If they see it, then I deal with it. If they don’t, I keep dancing and enjoying.
I stopped looking at their IG pages and I began to dance again. Shortly after, I looked up to see my guy and his friend, whispering to one another. I saw shock and surprise in their faces. Although I could not hear him, I saw the friend’s lips say, “AIDS.”
This was a new experience for me. Having someone find out, along with their friends, without me telling them myself, right in front of me, WHILE at a club and we can barely hear one another!
What a disaster waiting to happen right? You would think, but no. It doesn’t have to be a disaster. What happens next, all depends on how I handle it.
While pulling up my imaginary boot straps, I thought, “welp, here we go.”
I walked up to both of them and I lightly said, “What are you guys talking about?” I wanted to create an open space to talk about it if that is what they wanted. The friend replied with, “just guy stuff.” My guy then says, “can I talk to you?” “Of course,” I said. As we walked over to a more private part of the club, I thought to myself, well, this is good. He wants to talk at least. He could have said nothing to me, walked away, or even dogged me with mean words. But, he didn’t.
As soon as we reached privacy, I immediately told him nonchalantly, “I was born with HIV and I am undetectable, which means I cannot pass the virus at all.” I fully educated him and told him everything he needed to know, to feel at ease. He didn’t say much. He just kept looking at me with sadness and confusion in his eyes and his energy matched. Sometimes even looking at me, and then putting his face in his hands. Seeming to me as, disbelief. But, I didn’t want to assume, so I let it be. I let him, come to me.
He was not expressing how he was feeling or what he was thinking. For about 30 mins, we stood in silence. Although, I was still lightly dancing next to him while he was processing. I wanted to keep my energy, and not join him in his. This is an important factor. He still reached out to hold me, and danced with me a bit. I could tell he wanted me, but he was also hesitant.
After the 30 mins, he physically opened up a bit more. Still no words, but we ended up dancing for another 30 with his friends. I had two drinks over a few hour period. I am not much of a drinker, but when I do drink, I make sure I can drive home. I like to stay in control, and I don’t like other people driving me. My guy on the other hand, had been at the club long before me, and he enjoys drinking, so he was pretty loosee goosee at this point. He said to me, “hey I need to go to sleep, can we go?” I told him I would drive him because he had taken a Lyft.
We walked to my car and got in. I asked him if he wanted me to take him home or to my place. He looked at me, looked forward, looked at me, and looked forward, dropping his head in his hands mumbling, “I love you.” I just chuckled. He then said, “your place.” Now, what I got from that I love you was, he was really into me sexually and he enjoyed me as a person. I did not take it to heart. Plus he was drunk.
He ended up falling asleep the moment I drove off and slept the whole drive. About 20 mins. When we got to my place, he went straight to the couch and knocked out. So, I showered and got ready for bed while he slept. When I was done, I sat next to him on the couch, gently waking him up. I told him, “you’re more than welcome to come join me in my room for a comfy sleep.” He asked “why?” I replied, “to sleep. We don’t have to do anything. I am not going to attack you. I just want you to be comfortable.”
He just closed his eyes and didn’t say anything. I got up and went to bed, leaving the bedroom door cracked. About 5 minutes later, I hear creaking, and sure enough, here comes this beautiful sweet man. He crawled in bed and like magnets, we instantly cuddled. Our sexual energy and attraction was on fire all night, and at this point, had only grown. We cuddled for a while before he said, “I really want to have sex with you but is there anything I need to worry about?” I reassured him, “there is not. Here is how little you need to worry. I do not have to wear a condom, because there is nothing to pass. The virus is not detected in my body. So, WITH a condom, you really don’t have anything to worry about.”
And then…. We hit a home run. What a success right!? For those who don’t know what a home run is, we had sex.
We had a wonderful time and the next morning, I drove him to where he was staying. We had about an hour car ride, so we were able to soberly talk about everything. Including, re-educating him about HIV.
He ended up telling me he was a little scared originally, but he was more concerned about my quality of life. Isn’t that the sweetest thing ever!!? He thought I was miserable and basically, going to die. And he felt for me. Which is why, he was looking at me with sadness. Sadness I could have assumed as disgust and lack of desire, creating a story not even true for him. When really, he was a man with empathy.
Fast forward to today. We are still friends and the reason why it was a one night stand, is because he does not live in my state. Otherwise, we would share space more often.
Now, this night could have been a total disaster. Right? There were a few turning points where I could have assumed the worst, left crying feeling embarrassed, thought he was a douche bag and adopted the thoughts, “having HIV sucks, no one wants me, no one will ever want me,” and the list goes on. But I didn’t, and I want to share with you my thought process, through his process.
First things first. Our thoughts create our physical experience. We’ve all heard, what you think about, is what you bring about. Here’s how. Our thoughts create feelings and then we act on how we feel. This is why they say, “the relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship.” How you interpret, think, and feel inside will reflect out in your actions.
After I educated him, and during his process on the dance floor, I was in my head taking care of myself. Sure this situation was a bit uncomfortable with all the unknown, but I didn’t show my discomfort. I let my positive thoughts over power my discomfort. If a negative thought pops up, I replace it with a supportive positive thought and I don’t feed the negative one. This is called, challenging negative thoughts. I change the attention and direction of my thoughts, to prevent me from going down a negative thought spiral.
I make a conscious choice everyday to choose peace over suffering, self love and acceptance over judgement, and self power over fear, because I WANT emotional freedom.
From the moment I realized they knew I had HIV, I began to support and uplift myself. Thinking loudly, “I am ok and I will be ok no matter what happens.” When he began to look sad and become distant, I said to myself, “it’s not about me. It’s not about me, it’s not about me. I am going to focus on dancing and having a good time while he processes. I have said everything I can say, and now I wait.” I didn’t make it about me, because it is about him and his process. I also understand, it is probably not easy wrapping your head around liking someone, and then all of a sudden, they tell you they have a, once upon a time-life threatening virus.
Would it be great if he hugged me and immediately said, “It’s ok. I still like you. Moving on?” Definitely. But, this isn’t realistic for everyone. This is where I come in for me. I cannot depend on others to accept me. I must love myself fully and not put my worth in the hands of someone else.
Not everyone is educated and everyone processes differently. Which is why I didn’t take his reaction personally. Nothing anyone else does is ever about us. Understanding creates freedom. I know the truth. I have nothing to feel bad about. I just have an auto immune virus which is under control and can’t hurt me or anyone else. And that, is the energy I wanted to transfer while he was processing.
When my guy went straight to the couch and fell asleep, I immediately challenged my thoughts. My first thought was, well this sucks. Which is connected to the thought of, he doesn’t want me. But, I reassured myself in the moment immediately, with supportive loving thoughts of, “He’s just tired, he processed something heavy, and he’s just sleeping. No extra meaning to it.” And just like that, I felt ok again.
When I asked him to come to bed, and he asked why?, I could have told myself he doesn’t want me, went to bed and cried myself to sleep. But I didn’t. At this point, I was ok and secure with what was happening. Based off his, why? he was obviously a bit worried still, but I didn’t adopt/attach/hold onto that thought, because I didn’t hear those exact words from him. I let it be, surrendering to what is, all while placing no judgment on the situation. Which allowed me to be at peace.
It is really easy to take a situation like this and make it about us. If we already have a belief of, I have HIV and no one will want me, we will then use the event to validate our belief. If I have a rooted belief of, I am not good enough, the event will validate my belief, I will feel I am not enough and then I’ll act on it. Creating my belief to come true. We call this, unintentional self-sabotaging.
“He fell asleep instead of hanging out with me, loving me, talking to me, he obviously doesn’t care or want me. He’s over it.” BUT, this is not the case. It’s important to go off of what people tell you. Not a story made up based off what you see. This is called, confirmation bias. Whatever we feel about ourselves or the world, we will seek validation around us, to confirm these beliefs. Most of the time, we create our experiences. Unpleasant or pleasant, by the thoughts we choose to feed.
Here are 10 Keys I have come up with for disclosure.
Keys when telling someone you have HIV.
1-Yourself needs to be educated about HIV. This is so you can confidently relay the information to others. This is the most important part. And doing so, lightly and nonchalantly. Would it be nice and easy if everyone was already up to date and educated about HIV? Yes! But, that is not where we are yet. So, we as positive people, pun intended, somewhat have a duty to end the stigma by educating and being our BEST SELF. We are the movement.
2-Identify and replace your own stigmas. Self acceptance comes when you remove your own stigma and judgements about what it means to have HIV. Once you identify what YOU think it means to have HIV and you replace it with truth, love, and support, you will rise above self hatred and be met with self acceptance. The most powerful super power in the world.
3-Do not make disclosing about you. They need us to be there for them. To set the foundation and hold the confidence. Do not take anything they do or say personally. Not their distance, their questions, their quietness, taunting words, their faces, falling asleep on you, not anything. JUST BE with what is, without judging it. Their reaction speaks about them, not you.
4-Challenge your negative thoughts. Here are a few methods to do so.
-The what if method. Ask yourself, what if he doesn’t want me? What is the worst thing that is going to happen? One person isn’t interested?
-Change self talk method. Instead of saying, I am not lovable, say, “I am lovable. This just isn’t the right person for me. Thank you for the experience, learning, and opportunity to get tighter with myself.” Gratitude is magical.
-Alternative interpretation method. Maybe he’s just tired or maybe he needs more time. Then, after you challenge, tackle yourself with number 5.
5-Self love- affirmations and BELIEVE you are worthy. Believe Begin Become. What you believe either negative or positive, you will act on, and then you will create. Positive self talk as it happens. Build yourself up. “I am worthy. I am wanted. I am beautiful. I am ok. It is NOT about me. I got this. If he isn’t interested that is ok. I will go about my night and shift my attention to my next move.” (this is change self talk). Become your best friend. Speak to yourself how you would speak to family and friends.
6-Focus on the bigger picture. You are not a threat. U=U. Undetectable equals untransmittable. You are loved by many. And this is one person out of almost 8 billion people.
7-Be understanding and patient. Let them have their process. Everyone’s will be different. Understand, a lot of people are still living in the death area. (Which we’ve long exceeded 15 years ago.) Or, they are uneducated and caught in the stigma. Again, it is not about us.
8-Dont make assumptions. Don’t assume what they’re thinking after you’ve told them. Let them tell you what they think. Decide your next move based off of their words and actions. Not yours and what you THINK they’re thinking or feeling. Dont mind read, and don’t try predict the future. This creates unnecessary suffering. Let it be. Spend your time building yourself up in your head.
9-Perception. Choose to have a good time no matter what is happening. We get to decide the impact the situation has on us and we get to interpret what it means about us. Think LOVE.
10-Your worth, your choice. Remember, your worth is not based off someone wanting to date you or sleep with you. Everyone wants different things and everyone is in different emotional and physical spaces. If someone reacts negatively, you get to decide if it devalues you. YOU get to decide your worth. Do not give the power to anyone else.
I understand my experience is not how it always goes down. But, confidence is everything. The more confident you are in sharing, the better the outcome. They will vibe off of your energy.
I’d say 99 percent of the time, your energy is the foundation of the outcome. And you know what, if someone doesn’t want to get to know you, have sex with you, date you, or even be your friend because of HIV, that is ok! It is not about you, it is about them and what is good for them. You will find someone who is perfect for you, and loves everything about you. Even you having HIV. Focus on people who are sweet, open, receptive, understanding, and willing to be educated. Let the rest go.
If someone is not interested or you are struggling with self acceptance, it is ok to cry and it is ok to feel sad. My advice would be, let yourself feel it out, but don’t replay the experience or negative thoughts over and over in your head taunting yourself. This won’t change what happened, it only creates needless suffering.
Don’t feed those negative thoughts. Even if you did make a mistake. Learn what you need to learn, take notes, and try again! Leaving it where it happened, all while building yourself up emotionally.
Where others fall short in loving us, we must full throttle love us. Remember, one person does not make a statement for all. Don’t forget it.
Now go out there, and share yourself with the world!