domingo, abril 27, 2008

Sunday Meditation: Oral Sex & Death

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Up, Down.

Probably get myself X rated by the nerds at Google for this ... oh well. With all the porn on the internet you might think there would be more variety of images, even some quality, but I have not found much that's very good for my purpose here.

I did not know that oral sex was an HIV 'transmission behavior', and the weasel words from CDC still leave me with quite some doubt about the degree of risk - could be vanishingly small, they aren't really telling, more like threatening.

"While no one knows exactly what the degree of risk is, evidence suggests that the risk is less than that of unprotected anal or vaginal sex."

Can I get HIV from oral sex?, CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Yes, it is possible for either partner to become infected with HIV through performing or receiving oral sex. There have been a few cases of HIV transmission from performing oral sex on a person infected with HIV. While no one knows exactly what the degree of risk is, evidence suggests that the risk is less than that of unprotected anal or vaginal sex.

If the person performing oral sex has HIV, blood from their mouth may enter the body of the person receiving oral sex through:
 - the lining of the urethra (the opening at the tip of the penis);
 - the lining of the vagina or cervix;
 - the lining of the anus; or
 - directly into the body through small cuts or open sores.

If the person receiving oral sex has HIV, their blood, semen (cum), pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), or vaginal fluid may contain the virus. Cells lining the mouth of the person performing oral sex may allow HIV to enter their body.

The risk of HIV transmission increases:
 - if the person performing oral sex has cuts or sores around or in their mouth or throat;
 - if the person receiving oral sex ejaculates in the mouth of the person performing oral sex; or
  - if the person receiving oral sex has another sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Not having (abstaining from) sex is the most effective way to avoid HIV.

If you choose to perform oral sex, and your partner is male, use a latex condom on the penis. Studies have shown that latex condoms are very effective, though not perfect, in preventing HIV transmission when used correctly and consistently.

If you choose to have oral sex, and your partner is female, use a latex barrier (such as a natural rubber latex sheet, a dental dam or a cut-open condom that makes a square) between your mouth and the vagina. A latex barrier such as a dental dam reduces the risk of blood or vaginal fluids entering your mouth. Plastic food wrap also can be used as a barrier.

If you choose to perform oral sex with either a male or female partner and this sex includes oral contact with your partners anus (analingus or rimming), use a latex barrier (such as a natural rubber latex sheet, a dental dam or a cut-open condom that makes a square) between your mouth and the anus. Plastic food wrap also can be used as a barrier.

If you choose to share sex toys with your partner, such as dildos or vibrators, each partner should use a new condom on the sex toy; and be sure to clean sex toys between each use.

"Not having (abstaining from) sex is the most effective way to avoid HIV."

I started off yesterday reading what seemed to me a poor biography (the one by John Ayre) of Northrop Frye, and discovered that he was born on July 14, an important date for me - a surprise!

Then dreaming old-man dreams of brown skinned girls in Tahiti and came upon Paul Gauguin's Manaõ tupapaó (she thinks of ghosts), aka The Spirit of the Dead Keep Watch, 1892.

Gaugin wrote, "Tehura, immobile, naked, lying face downward flat on the bed with the eyes inordinately large with fear ... Never had I seen her so beautiful ... The intensity of fright which had dominated her as the result of the physical and moral power of her superstitions had transformed her into a strange being, entirely different from anything I had known heretofore." Other paintings of Tehura include Silence (1891), Faaturuma (1891), Woman with a Mango (1892) [interesting that it does not look like a mango at all but like a mamão/papaya instead] and Teha’amana has Many Ancestors (1893).

(A good selection of Gaugin images, and the source for the quote above)

Gaugin died of syphilis at 54 - the obvious connection here.

Isis, Bob Dylan, Desire, 1976. 
I married Isis
On the fifth day of May,
But I could not hold on to her
Very long.
So I cut off my hair
And I rode straight away
For the wild unknown country
Where I could not go wrong.

I came to a high place
Of darkness and light.
Dividing line ran
Through the center of town.
I hitched up my pony
To a post on the right,
Went in to a laundry
To wash my clothes down.

A man in the corner
Approached me for a match.
I knew right away
He was not ordinary.
He said, "Are you lookin'
For somethin' easy to catch?"
I said, "I got no money."
He said, "That ain't necessary."

We set out that night
For the cold in the North.
I gave him my blanket,
And he gave me his word.
I said, "Where are we goin'?"
He said, "we be back by the fourth."
I said, "That's the best news
That I've ever heard."

I was thinkin' about turquoise,
I was thinkin' about gold,
I was thinkin' about diamonds
And the world's biggest necklace.
As we rode through the canyons,
Through the devilish cold,
I was thinkin' about Isis,
How she thought I was so reckless.

How she told me that one day
We would meet up again,
And things would be different
The next time we wed,
If I only could hang on
And just be her friend.
I still can't remember
All the best things she said.

We came to the pyramids
All embedded in ice.
He said, "There's a body
I'm tryin' to find.
If I carry it out
It'll bring a good price."
'Twas then that I knew
What he had on his mind.

The wind it was howlin'
And the snow was outrageous.
We chopped through the night
And we chopped through the dawn.
When he died I was hopin'
That it wasn't contagious,
But I made up my mind
That I had to go on.

I broke into the tomb,
But the casket was empty.
There was no jewels, no nothin',
I felt, "I been had."
When I saw that my partner was
Just bein' friendly,
When I took up his offer
I must-a been mad.

I picked up his body
And I dragged him inside,
Threw him down in the hole
And I put back the cover.
I said a quick prayer
And I felt satisfied.
Then I rode back to find Isis
Just to tell her I love her.

She was there in the meadow
Where the creek used to rise.
Blinded by sleep
And in need of a bed.
I came in from the East
With the sun in my eyes.
I cursed her one time
Then I rode on ahead.

She said, "Where ya been?"
I said, "No place special."
She said, "You look different."
I said, "Well, I guess."
She said, "You been gone."
I said, "That's only natural."
She said, "You gonna stay?"
I said, "If you want me to, yes."

Isis, oh, Isis,
You're a mystical child.
What drives me to you
Is what drives me insane.
I still can remember
The way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May
In the drizzlin' rain.
 one night not long ago he is drinking too much with some guys at Palmas on Silva Paes close to the corner where the boys-dressed-up-as-girls hang out, the women who run the place obviously want to close up but they stay on

a girl starts passing back and forth on the other side of the street, the guys say, "that's not a girl," but he says, "yes she is." and eventually staggers over to find out for sure, she is wearing a short macramé skirt and no panties, she lifts it up with a smile to prove the point

he takes her home, she takes off her clothes and flops back onto the bed, she wants 30, he gives her 50, she is enthusiastic and says, "I can cook too," he says, "come back tomorrow then, what should I buy?" she says, "we can go shopping together."

she calls and comes over early the next night with creased pictures of her baby folded up and tucked into some invisible pocket, she sees his wallet on the table and quickly robs him, she robs him politely, Brasilian style, leaving the small bills and his ID, he doesn't even notice, when she says she is going home to get more pictures he waits on the doorstep for almost an hour but she never comes back

they live in the neighbourhood, he sees her on the street, he sometimes drinks at the barzinho on the corner, she comes in for smokes and soft drinks once in a while when he is there, the bartender gives her an approving look when her back is turned

he almost doesn't look and is afraid to say, "hello."

"So I knelt there at the delta, at the alpha and the omega, at the cradle of the river and the seas. And like a blessing come from heaven for something like a second I was healed and my heart was at ease."
     Leonard Cohen, Light as the Breeze.

no sex without condoms was bad enough (note the double negative) ... but really now, no oral sex without Handi Wrap (?!) ... ai ai ai!

I remember her, taken by Alzheimer's, all capacities gone - even speech, till at the end she lay curled and sleeping in the sun like a foetus in the womb of the world.