Gay & Bisexual Intimate Partner Violence, Homophobic Incidents & Crisis Communication

Crisis communications

Crisis communication is not intended to answer all questions or fill all needs it is just a basic outline of options you might consider if and when you are in the midst of a crisis and need help.

Crisis is any situation that threatens the integrity or reputation of your company or NGO, usually brought on by adverse or negative media attention. These situations can be any kind of legal dispute, and misrepresentations that could be attributed to your company. It can also be a situation where in the eyes of the media or general public your company did not react to one of the above situations in the appropriate manner. This definition is not all encompassing but rather is designed to give you an idea for the types of situations where you may need to follow a plan.

For purposes of this post the omission of same gender loving women in large part is not intentional or meant to exclude them but as there are hardly any documented records of such instances but more so on the side of MSM in my archives, men who have sex with men in the broader context. Exploitative same sex relational matters do often result in some injury from an unconfirmed standpoint when the grapevine system gets wind of them but when jealousy is the reason those conflicts tend not to often lead to a murder, it seems that there has been a preoccupation with more powerful or middle class victims whose cases are used to legitimize homophobia as if only such persons suffer same.  A discussion of sorts has carried on in response to a Gleaner letter some days ago where the writer implored LGBT persons to report incidents to predominantly JFLAG while trying to differentiate intimate partner violence from genuine homophobic cases.

There is more than enough evidence to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt homophobia in Jamaica

Here is the letter firstly: Gays Should Report Violent Encounters

THE EDITOR, Sir:

One of the more unnoticed effects of living in a heteronormative society is the lack of information on, and services for, victims and perpetrators of violence in gay relationships.

This issue is almost as taboo in the (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) LGBT community as homosexuality is in the wider society. There are already so many negative stigmas attached to gay couples that no one wants to publicly voice that there are instances of violence in many gay relationships.

In the same way that men and women abuse each other in heterosexual relationships, they abuse each other in gay relationships, too. Such violence has come to be known as intimate partner violence (IPV) and is defined as physical, sexual or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse.

Due to the nature of gay relationships, especially in Jamaica, many victims and perpetrators of such violence are reluctant to seek help or report incidents of violence in their relationships to the police. IPV can have devastating effects on LGBT people who are already prone to other types of violence at the hands of homophobic people, especially in conservative societies. Many are also reluctant to speak out about it because of the lack of shelters for victims, the general negative sentiment towards gay people, and for some, the fear of being ‘outed’ as gay.

counselling

While this fear is understandable, it is important that victims report incidents of violence, and that perpetrators seek help through counselling to reduce and eliminate IPV. I am encouraging all LGBT people to report all incidents of violence, whether as a result of bullying or IPV, to the police as well as to Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG). And I want to use this opportunity to reiterate that J-FLAG does not condone any type of violence against any person regardless of their sexual identity.

The LGBT community and allies need to be a support system for those in need – both victims and perpetrators – and encourage people to speak out against all types of violence, both in and out of relationships.

P. ANDREW, pgjen_13@hotmail.com, St James

Sadly it seems as implied in this letter a fall in reporting from persons affected by homophobic violence or is JFLAG now finally trying to get its act together when it comes to proper data collection and archiving with evidence of same. I have been openly critical of the incident reporting mechanism they had when I went there as Admin Finance Officer doubling as Crisis Intervention and the poor record keeping of files and incomplete reports of some serious incidents at times, I had to do some major overhauling of the forms and files at the time, examples include persons with injuries yet no photos, police station reports (even rejected visits or cop service number and times) or supporting pictures or documents such as receipts from clinics or prescriptions for injury treatment or dressing and drugs added to the file to make it substantive, the follow up visits that the form calls for at the end before the file is closed or handed over to the relevant person is often blank for many cases. This poor recording keeping or data collection has had and seems to continue to have a serious dent on the all important crisis communication when it comes to public advocacy.

Crisis communication is such as important piece for Jamaica LGBTQ advocacy and more details of cases (barring names or use of pseudonyms) must be brought forward. Nearly 80% of the clients I interviewed who came into the JFLAG office to file reports the session(s) were recorded on audio, unfortunately those were lost as my successor I gathered did not monitor the files and the systems crashed with the files lost forever, so much for simple good administration.

The cynicism and disbelief from anti gay groups, religious fanatics and even legislators is clear over the years with support from media, public commentators and even the police high command dismissing prominent cases as lovers’ quarrels and these major cases are used to justify dismissing any others that have a homosexual involved while not taking into account every case on its own merit. The deceptive use of non homophobic cases by some LGBT lobbyists over the life of the struggle has not helped any either as it only seeks to reinforce the resolve by anti gay voices as we are viewed as liars when such public agitation takes place. Uncompleted court cases for example that of the John Terry matter from 2009 though the stalling at the preliminary hearing level has already revealed some familiarity with the accused and the deceased despite a note was left suggesting death for homosexuals, alleged used condoms were also said to have been found in the home, whether they have evidence of the persons therein is still unclear. The Dean Moriah matter as well sadly who was murdered earlier this year yet long before the investigations were completed some overseas based advocates rushed to judgement and paraded the matter as a homophobic incident even as the trial creeps in our court system, by the time the police high command responded the blanket dismissal of homophobic killings was the subtext of the response hence implying dishonesty by LGBT advocates and a feeling that Jamaica has been falsely labelled as homophobic.

see: September 18 for Dean Moriah Matter 

The mistrust of local advocates I fear still seems to exist in some 7 reports I have received by phone, social media and through other groups when persons are asked to engage JFLAG for example persons simply refuse and even go as far as to label the group as classist and not interested in assisting certain types of persons or feeling that their matter won’t be dealt with as they think it should. This mistrust challenge has been a concern from long before my time at the entity as while there I had a serious task gaining the trust of persons to release their inhibitions and make their reports, this leads to gross under-reporting. This is where our same gender loving sisters come in where there is a feeling that JFLAG is only for males and hence many women who are the subject of abuse, violence (corrective rape) and increasing forced evictions do not come forward.

Exploitative same sex relations as hinted above are also of significant import as men who do not identify as “gay” in the Jamaican context as “bad man” feel threatened in some way as the description (fear of feminization of any sort) for some and power differentials that obtain in this unions of sorts played out in violence for purposes of control. A constant in most of the cases over the years is the class issues right before us, there is usually a middle to high income or relatively comfortable gay man who ends up being the deceased versus a hyper-masculine type from the lower socio economic classes who often do not take any personal items of the victim after the fact and sometimes ends up using the gay panic defence strategy to suggest some sort of implied sodomatical attack to justify the self defence response to kill the person. These same hyper-masculine types have a real fear of exposure in their own class or community so the relations with other more powerful or resourced men is crucial which is also pegged on the belief gay men are more resourced and will pay for such sexual relations.

There maybe is some truth to that as to maintain stealth/secrecy some exchange may occur but the misogynistic view pegged to masculinity by Jamaican standards men do not want to feel subservient to another or in a weakened position so when something changes in that union riddled with a constant power struggle (the so called monied or resourced gay man controlling the union or sex versus the masculine prowess of the hyper-masculine brother maintaining his ground) leads to some violence as the lower resourced man responds the way he knows how that is violence as we are well taught in Jamaica so to do. Any form of disrespect is often met with a violent reaction and seeing that gay men aren’t seen as real men by general social standards the aggressor feels justified in carrying out the attack even using homophobic slurs in doing so despite the intimate familiarity between the parties. These types of cases have factored in the public domain more so than others especially owing to the fact that the victims are prominent citizens or foreigners such as UK Consul John Terry or local Ambassador Peter King, Julius Nelson (son of oppositions spokesman on National Security Dwight Nelson),

Philanthropist, community legend and party promoter Michael Melbourne victim of a trick by a hyper-masculine type
Philanthropist, community legend and party promoter Michael Melbourne victim of a trick by a hyper-masculine type

Micheal Melbourne (community influential) murdered at his apartment on Worthington Avenue or Brian Williamson whose killer “Wingee” was a part of the MSM population who also died in his own apartment. The Brian Williamson case though the motive turned out not to be a homophobic one directly the response from the public is where the evidence is strong of the homo-negative feelings that run in the Jamaican psyche, persons literally rejoiced the morning outside the building as the undertakers and police cordoned off the area to collect the body and process the crime scene. Most of those cases above have remained in the public domain for so long while not having direct homophobic causations that they inform how members of the public judge new cases as non homophobic matters.

“Steve” Lenford Harvey matter just ended with sentencing shortly but the motive is still a bit unclear as robbery seems as the original causation but upon discovery of photos on a laptop it morphed into something else with an added homophobic feature. Also see: 2 Found Guilty Of The Murder Of AIDS Activist, Steve Harvey, Sentencing September 26

Gully Queen
Transgender murder victim “Gully Queen” whose case was labelled as a homophobic case …. misdirected homophobia towards a gender non-conformist should be the correct sub-text in describing this one I suggest

also see: Female cisgender imperative thwarted: 17 year old pre-op transgender woman murdered

The Dwayne Jones murder mistmatch in its reporting has not helped either as (s)he was a transwoman but mistakenly took for a gay man crossed dressed in  a public space with a deceptive motive to trick straight males at an outdoor entertainment event in a rural district. Some activists said he was gay and used that to justify the public advocacy while others said the correct gender identity which confused some folks so some Jamaicans and public commentators simply dismissed the whole as a another gay deception with a satisfactory outcome believe or not.  The outrage that was to have been displayed was not evident except by sections of the LGBT populations.  A recent television special one year since the murder shows up the carelessness frankly of Gully Queen herself and friends that faithful night but who is going to say it openly? that in a sense she gave her own life away in a sense as they clearly thought they understood how to “pass” in public which clearly they didn’t.  See that documentary HERE …….. Host Dionne Jackson Miller takes a look at the issues of the murder of Dwayne Jones aka Gully Queen one year ago and some other related issues to do with homelessness, displacements and forced evictions of LGBT youths with guests, issues to do with passing in public, honesty & integrity about one’s real gender scream for attention in this presentation which warrants better programs from LGBTQ advocacies & interventions specific to transgender individuals navigating public life in Jamaica as misdirected homophobic violence can lead to more incidents such as the tragic murder of Gully Queen,

Other genuine cases also having persons of lesser ilk have not been put to good use to prove the active homophobia in Jamaica when it occurs in more meaningful ways, the cross dresser beating in Trelawny have been overplayed that it has no impact anymore in a sense, the JFLAG listing of cases it did some years ago only show numbers, no outcomes in terms of which were solved. There are several other cases that can be made to help the public to differentiate genuine crimes with a homophobic motive versus crimes of passion as the others are called by detractors.  Cases such as the Manchester mobbing in January 2008 comes to mind complete with photos I took of the victim when I took the report, the lesbian picketing matter in St Catherine some years ago also has photos, the stabbing incident of a transman in Half Way Tree in full view of persons is also another with strong evidence. He now resides in Canada.

LGBT History - Hated to Death Report 2004, Human Rights Watch
Now deceased man who was chopped in Trelawney in November 2002 and featured in the Human Rights Watch Report “Hated To Death” 2004

There are several points reports can be made:

The Police in some instances do take reports the problem is there are still old feelings of hate and stereotyping in the force that needs removing.

Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica catering to lesbian, transgender and bisexual persons but does engage MSM via crisis intervention and has aided persons in resolving matters.

GLBTQ Jamaica of which this blog is apart continues to receive, engage persons and make referrals to those who make reports or know of incidents for the past 7 years via yours truly, Tel: 1-876-813-4942

I still recommend JFLAG despite their issues.

Quality Citizenship Jamaica, QCJ which is a lesbian, bisexual women entity more so for advocacy but they do some crisis intervention.

Peace and tolerance

also see more crisis communication related posts from sister blogs:  So Dean Moriah’s murder was NOT a homophobic killing ……. ethical issues in advocacy arise yet again

Gay Lobby May Have Lost Potential Allies (Gleaner Letter) Indeed

NO GAY RAGE – Homosexuals Are Not Targeted For Violent Crime, Say Experts

Gleaner claims new backlash towards the gay lobby due to MSM homelessness in Kingston

Jamaica Observer deliberately aiding the further discrediting of the remaining LGBTQ credibility in public advocacy……

Police crack College of Agriculture, Science and Education lecturer murder

Betty Ann Blaine on the big gay lie ..

Betty Ann Blaine on Poverty, children and the Buggery Law …. and that awful confusion of homosexuality with pedophilia 

Questions on murder/buggery case in court

The failure to address or tweak the crisis communication aspect of public advocacy is what has slowed our progress greatly in public advocacy that could have been made.

H

19 yo gets tense reprieve …………………

A nineteen year old gay male who for some time has been expressing concerns about his security of a shelter over his head has been given a temporary reprieve of sorts with his mother insisting he can remain at the family home whilst counselling interventions take place but his father who resides elsewhere after a breakup angrily is against it in the strongest opposition, the story has been developing from as early as March of this year but with the young man pursuing courses preparing himself for pre-university studies he feels derailed by the issues that were presenting themselves. A similar near displacement story was carried on sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch some years ago but was resolved with counseling suggested by the mother as well of another young male who was also traumatized as his parents were going through a bitter divorce. The family who were of the Seventh Day Adventist faith also had to grapple with the religious trappings that came with denomination and his father strongly opposing his continued stay in the home, first counsellors from the church were suggested and used but left the young man at the time further confused as the reparative therapy route was continuously suggested and attempted to change him from his “evil ways” the matter was resolved via counselling from a non denominational and non religious affiliated counsellor who painstakingly encouraged dialogue between all parties involved as the divorce issues were prominent in that case helped to reach an amicable settlement at the time.

Cases such as these hardly make the news for another side to the issues of homophobia and displacement or possible disruptions but are usually solved via some private interventions afforded by the families involved or simply self financed alternatives by the would be victims themselves in the middle soci economic classes who can afford such buffers or simply relocating to a friend’s or going independent. The particular problem for this nineteen year old commenced when an incoming phone call which was answered by his mother on his own cellular instrument was suspected by her, the male voice on the other end insisted on speaking to him and when she queried what were the pressing reasons the caller rebuffed her in the strongest of terms, unbeknownst to the 19 year old she monitored his movements and calls ever since and arrived at a conclusion that this relationship was more than a passing friendship, the young man said he often saw her observing him occasionally when he was on his phone or on his laptop around the house so much so he started to restirct his usage of the devices in her presence and only in his bedroom, she however related the matter to his father as he still has an active role in the home that of financial support, the young man’s younger sister resides with the father both cross visit with the parents alternately. The issue simmered until an argument during one of the cross visits led to the pronouncements by his father that he wanted no battyman around him or his sibbling and he went further to suggest that he may have had AIDS in one heated exchange. The relationship between father and son based on the exchange we had on the issue were already strained prior to this as his father was not pleased supposedly due to his son’s academic failures in terms of not successfully achieving the expected passes before departing high school and with this unceremonious outing by his mother in the initial stages has added more heat to the mix. Some time before also the break down of the mother father relationship was a factor leading to the tense atmosphere between the two. Another argument followed during the independence period and as he prepares to enter a new institution coming September. This led him to reach out to persons he felt he could trust and my contact with him.

The young man’s mother called a family meeting to address the situation where the reprieve was suggested as she said she will not leave her son to be thrown out of the original family home and that he should be allowed to continue his studies until he is able to fend for himself, juxtapose all that to the tolerance ads that the young man mentioned that he also brought up as his own defense in trying to find middle ground and with the whole discussion of homosexuality in the public domain his father also is hitting out that gays are trying to force their lifestyle on everyone else and that he never thought his own son who should provide grand children for him to admire will be “f**ckin men” As we know all too well not all family scenarios similar to this end up resolved violence free or with some level of understanding being brought to the table.

Psycho emotional bond

However that psycho emotional bond between mother and son or in other words as they say mothers always know seems to have helped yet another case of near displacement not to get out of hand, mothers usually seem to be the ones who arrive at some amicable settlement in these tense moments regarding sons and vice versa regarding lesbians or same gender loving women. Let me not forget to thank our friend for allowing the story to be shared as we try to shed some more light on issues affecting the community at varying levels.

Some additional reading on the Attachment theory

Attachment Theory and the Importance of the Parent-Child Emotional Bond

There are few subjects in modern psychological theory that provoke as immediate a response as the struggle to understand child-parent relationships. The consensus and pervasiveness of “mother issues” dominates psychological self-help topics and parental anxiety about how we will “shape” our children drives the multi-billion dollar child-development media industry. There have been a plentitude of theories about what children need in order to thrive, feel confident, develop a strong sense of self esteem and form healthy relationships. Yet, while theories about the child-parent bond and its impact on child development have remained plentiful throughout the last century, until the past three decades nothing could be said with scientific authority about almost any dimension of the child-parent relationship and its effects, whether good or bad. A clearer picture has emerged since John Bowlby developed his theory about attachment and Mary Ainsworth began to test its premise. Today, the principles behind attachment theory have spawned an enormous amount of research and provided great insight into the previously much discussed but little understood impact of the child-parent relationship, though it is not without its controversies and detractors.

Let us hope during this reprieve the young man can regain his self-confidence and move on to the vital studies due to commence in September also he was referred to a psychologist who is a member of the community as well for follow-up sessions. I will try to provide permitted updates where needed on this case.

Peace and tolerance

H

Down low life in the Gleaner: Is my fiancé gay?

pic from http://chroniclesofdownlowbrotha.blogspot.com/

Question

Doctor, I am a 32-year-old woman and I recently met a wonderful Jamaican man. But I would like your medical opinion about him. I am foreign by birth, but have lived here for several years.

He has now proposed to me, and we plan to get married later this year. We are talking about having three children, and having a marvellous life together. Sex with him is great, though he does not seem to want it as often as I do.

I am currently having a wonderful time making arrangements for the wedding, and inviting relatives, etc. He tries to help me, but he is very busy, particularly in the evenings.

What worries me is that he has quite a lot of male friends, who don’t appear all that friendly towards me. He was talking to one of them on thephone the other day, and I am almost sure that his friend made some sort of derogatory comment about me.

Also, I heard him say ‘I’m looking forward to being “down low” with you,’ or something like that. Later, when I asked him what ‘down low’ meant, he just laughed and would not tell me.

But my main concern is his lack of sex drive. Do you think I can help him increase it when we are married?

Answer

No, I do not. Women often think that marriage will somehow ‘change’ a man in some way, but it rarely does. Certainly, there is no likelihood that getting married will ‘pep up’ his sex drive, and make him more enthusiastic about having intercourse with you.

Another point that concerns me is this. You heard him use the phrase ‘down low’ to his male friend.

Presumably you are not aware of this, but in some parts of Jamaica, and indeed in the United States, the phrase ‘down low’ has a special meaning. It refers to the situation where a man marries a woman (or perhaps lives with her) in order to achieve ‘respectability’, but secretly sees other men for sex.

So ‘down low sex’ is a homosexual activity practised by a married man who is pretending to be heterosexual.

Now I do not wish to be unfair to your fiancé. It is just possible that he used the words ‘down low’ to mean something else. After all, those two words could refer to a meeting place that is further down a hill, or something like that.

But we must take into consideration the fact that he apparently doesn’t have much interest in having sex with you. Also, he seems to have a lot of male friends who don’t like you very much. And it sounds as though he spends his evenings with them. All of this appears to add up to potential trouble.

Therefore, I do not think you should go ahead with this wedding until the two of you have seen an experienced marriage counsellor. And maybe your first move should be to ask your fiancé to tell you honestly whether he is going in for ‘down low sex’.

ENDS

Notes:

This letter writer sounds too simplistic for me to be a real write-in query but be that as it maybe or not the media is at it again on gay issues since the recent Charter of Rights uproar and the ignoring of discrimination of sexual orientation coverage from the document which is to replace section three of the constitution.

The response seems guarded at first but the speculation that the male friends may be a problem in the future without any further particulars provided is too speculative for me, after all Jamaican men in general are homosocial, if she even had a problem such as what is purported here why would she write to a newspaper column about this just like that? couldn’t she have consulted her family and so on or a trusted friend or a private consultation?

I always doubt these letters as presented to us sometimes in the press with these simplistic queries that don’t add up in some cases and even more far out responses.

What you think?

Peace and tolerance

H

How to Turn Suffering into Joy

By Judy Kinney, Lesbian Life Coach

I have said it a zillion times- joy is our natural state of being. Still, I understand that joy can seem illusive or disrespectful at times. Recently, people have asked me,

How can I be happy when there is so much suffering happening in my own life and in the world?

How do I create my own life, be sensitive to those around me, AND help create this world of ours?

Central to this question is our ability to be sovereign beings in relationship with others. I believe that joy may be our conduit to developing this essential skill. Feeling good is a very personal experience, yet I believe it may be impossible to feel joy and feel isolated from life and all its glory.
 

Feel joy and be connected or be connected, and feel joy.

This idea may be easy enough to understand, but now, let’s reconnect to this issue of suffering and distress.

First, let me say that I believe that it is our reaction to the event, not the event itself that creates our suffering. I sometimes struggle with this belief, but it still guides me.

You may have seen this for yourself when two people experience the same event and have completely different reactions. I am seeing this a lot these days. Some people lose their job and are happy, others are miserable. I have read that some people in Japan are experiencing an increased sense of connection, community and power since the recent tsunami. I am sure that you have read of people facing incurable diseases who are happier than they have ever been in their life.

Still, while suffering is a part of our common human experience, it never feels good. You know as well as I do-feeling bad because someone else feels bad only creates more bad feelings. Within each of us there is the desire to connect and be apart of something bigger than our self AND a fundamental desire to feel good.

A lot of people are feeling lost in a chasm between joy and distress these days. Intellectually, joy may sound good, but how do any of us make a discernible difference?

I have developed a practice called iJoin, that helps people turn sorrow into joy. This practice helps heal the sorrow and the distress you are experiencing or perceiving in the world.

iJoin is an adaptation of the Buddhist idea of sympathetic joy. Sympathetic joy, or mudita, is joy in the fundamental goodness of all beings, especially the pleasure that comes from delighting in rather than begrudging others’ well being

There are a couple ways to work with the practice of iJoin. You can use iJoin when you want relief from your own despair, frustration, or hopelessness. You can also use this practice as a form of prayer for others who are suffering.

How it works.

  1. Identify the related joy
  2. Join or align with the joy.

For example, rather than ranting, feeling powerless or ignoring the US entering into yet another war, I find the joy that I am seeking-peace. Rather than praying for others to change, I say this statement of prayer before going to bed or as I come across war-related news.

I join with ALL those who are committed to peace.
This statement aligns my energy with the millions of people who also value peace. Note that I am not engaging in a conversation about the right or wrong way to obtain peace. Instead, I am tapping into and feeding a common human desire for peace. As I express my iJoin statement, I feel connected to MILLIONS of people. I am directing my energy to expand peace in my life and in the world.

When I get nervous about my coaching business, I say,
I join with ALL those who are thriving while courageously creating their life.

And suddenly I feel a surge of confidence. As I think about other people’s suffering, I also imagine their joy.

For my friend who has a lot of job worry and despair, I say,
I join with Sara in her desire to have a vibrant, welcoming, and well-paying job this year.

For those living in Japan, I say,
I join with ALL those who are creating an ever more vibrant Japan.

For those who are afraid of change and take it out on others, I say,
I join with all those who find their powerful heart even in the midst of fear.

iJoin is a form of prayer, but instead of fixing something or feeling hopeless, you tap into the goodness, joy, and power that already exists in your heart and in each of us.

 

That special perfect one…..

Here is a take on the quest for a relationship as many LGBTQI persons seem to be on especially at this time of year, the questions and commentary in chat rooms and social pages are ever increasing on the issue of profiling, persons offering information on themselves and seeking dating partners towards a relationship or at best some long term cohabitation that involves the proverbial “spirit tek” which includes obligation to offer sex often enough to keep or consumate the union .


The Emotions – What Do The Lonely Do at Christmas

The seemingly endless search for that lover in our life is on many folks minds these days, the scene seems filled with persons asking to be introduced to someone and of course stating the pre-requisites for meeting the individual in the first place.

  • Are we too pre-occupied with this Mills and Boon or Harlequin romance typed lover perfect for all our human intercative wants that we fail in the pusuit to find such?
  • Are we blocking our own progress in finding this “perfect one” by insisting too much on what we wish to have and ignoring the realities that we may never in our lifetime find that one?
  • Are we prepared to avoid consumating the much sought after union with sexual intercourse as most persons do thus not really knowing the person we wish to cohabit with for the rest of our lives just living for the fun, nothing more?
  • Are we so desperate to find that person to match the heterosexual construct of intimacy and relationships in order to “fit in?”
  • Why do we go for sex more to justify that we are worthy to be intimate with someone or we do we seem to confuse romance and intimacy with sex?

Many persons nowadays are trapped in some way as hinted in one or more of the questions above, the frustration is seems even more glaring when it comes to the seasons such as Christmas where companionship needs seem to rise ever so high for romance and love. This search sometimes lead to depression for some folks and probably reckless and promiscuous sexual behaviour in the search for solace.

The inability for some folks too to accept people as people without restrictions and rigid guidelines to enter into a friendship hinders one as stated before thus advancing the feeling on loneliness and self worth more and more to desperation I fear.

With the absence of proper counseling services for LGBTQI persons at this time of year I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw serious psychological fallout as happened some years ago when a friend of mine attempted suicide after his parents divorced earlier in that year then his lover of four years left him for another man. Death maybe not present in many of the seekers minds but certainly loneliness as many of us do not know how to be alone sometimes and require a person present to fulfill us as we feel empty.

This is not tosay we must not have ideals about who we want as a partner sure one can be discriminating in a sense but if we become more accepting of each other and not let outside influences cloud our judgement sometimes we may overcome the blockages we place on urselves in the search for love.

Why not let love come to you? but as we are socialized in Jamaica as “spirit tek” most persons overall in so called relationships are not in love come to think of it and more just because it’s convenient to live together and sex is the icing on the cake, then no wonder people cheat as boredom sets in with the existing partner I fear. Don’t get me wrong the issue of seeking the perfect one is not relegated to LGBTQI people but we will stick to us for now for purposes of this post.

There aren’t any relationship skills interventions present anywhere here at this time which bothers me a bit, to find a professional these days costs and arm and a leg as much as $JA8,000.00 a session which most cannot afford, most of them from what I have gleaned do not go into same sex intimacy and relationship issues so maybe what one has to probably do is enter these sessions addressing ones partner as a member of the opposite sex and as we are not a reading population books won’t help most as the material may be too heavy for one to digest given the search is more important than reviewing the information that will assist.

What to do in the meantime?

The conversations in the chat rooms and social networks help some as they may deflect the descent into depression or senseless decision for sex as a distraction, the hookups ting don mek it. Hopping from bed to bed to avoid ones own struggle with loneliness doesn’t help.

Talk talk talk I say this is one time where it may just help someone.

Peace and tolerance

H

Lady Switch Hitters & the Boyfriends who complain … (cross-post from blogger)

This post was developed on the strength of two recent complaints of threats of two separate butch females who were threatened in some way by the boyfriends of the partners they were seeing at the time.

Switch hitters here is not used in the sporting sense that of baseball or cricket where ambidextrous participants can manipulate the ball used or bat with both hands but it refers to persons who are for the most part innately bisexual or those experiment at best sexually speaking with both sexes. The problem of men in Jamaica who react negatively when who knowingly or unknowingly have their female partners who also have lesbian relationships on the side seems to be a growing. It is hard to say whether these switch hitters are innately lesbian or bisexual and for now there are no known studies locally to help us analyse the practices involved but the trend exists.

There seems to be another trend within this new major trend in that the men do not seem to mind as long as the “lady partner” to their female love interest is not “butch” or masculine looking or acting, the proverbial butch dynamic. There have been cases where the men who are aware of their lady loves who have lady lovers or who are knowingly bisexual allow these unions to occur alongside their own and some even entertain sexual liaisons much sometimes to the upset and disgust of those of whom the requests are made, stories of requests made by men who want to be voyeurs watching the ladies have sex or participate with sex toys are not uncommon. The practice of men who attend exotic entertainment clubs who request this group sex lesbian activity is also common in some parts of Jamaica as I recall my days working in the HIV programs with exotic dancers and commercial sex workers who relate their experiences at times.
The aforementioned ladies who have complained have now decided not to date bisexual women and insist on asking their love interest about their preference. This mistrust of bisexual women and bisexuality in general adds to the biphobia that exists out there either by default through ignorance of the issues they face or persons stigmatizing them as unsatisfied and frustrated sex addicts or nymphomaniacs. One of the cases in question the partner who she was dating at the time did not disclose she had a boyfriend and it so happened that he burrowed his love interest’s cell phone to make a call when he pounced upon stored messages as it turned out from a female name stored in the phonebook he proceeded to call the number and had a heated exchange which as described to me by the butch lesbian were not kind. He demeaned the perceived sexual activities between women and said he will move to another town to avoid her seeing his woman.
The other case was more harsh but threats were also made by the male partner of the woman involved, she however did inform her “butch partner” that she had a boyfriend and he was apparently aware that she was a practicing bisexual.
So why the insecurity from the brothers?
Maybe there is a feeling the woman would be more good at satisfying their women thus causing them to drift or leaning more to lesbian sex, given how highly sexualized we are as a nation with sex used to consummate many unions gay or straight more so than personality and other human traits any “other partners” are viewed with great skepticism. Bisexuality is not a matter that is discussed with any regularity either from the advocates or nationally as homophobia and by extension the country abhorrent attitude to male homosexuality takes centre stage more than anything else related to LGBTQI issues.
How can we begin to deal with these problems?
If you have any suggestions share them but more and more cases are coming forward and as many folks literally get into homosexual and lesbian activities while having heterosexual common law or married unions due to the long held perceptions that there is money and improved lifestyles to be had from being involved in gay sex will we see more of these intersections causing more social problems in the future?
Are identity issues a part of the problem as well as many do not really know who they are and just struggle with what society says versus their own urges and feelings?
There was a case some time ago where an alleged lesbian couple were murdered and it was surmised that the boyfriend of one of the girls was the culprit he also was said to be familiar with the lesbian partner of his girlfriend. One of the ladies was described in the article as “progressed from being a bisexual to an outright lesbian” as if they can detect orientation or maybe they were trying to suggest she was practicing lesbian sex only but texts like that can be very misleading.
Here is the article from the Star News: “They Were Lesbians” or HERE

Let us continue to watch this though and see if we can continue the discourse on this issue.
Peace and tolerance
H

The Art of Erotic Biting

In modern American culture we are familiar with love bites characterized by the neck hickey, a red, discolored spot or bruise resulting from biting or pinching with the mouth. Among young teens the hickey is almost a rite of passage, a badge of honor symbolizing sexual maturity and success at winning a lover. They become a somewhat subtle way of saying “I got laid last night”. Among younger children the hickey is sometimes given without much sexual involvement as something of a love game from their earliest attempts at serious kissing. We have heard of cases of older boys pinching “virginal” girl’s necks (creating a false hickey) to embarrass them before their parents and other youth. Of course kids (especially boys) quickly discover they can fabricate their own false hickeys to win admiration or envy of their peers.

Some gay and bisexual men are aroused by slight bites on the buttocks, the crotch area, the spinchter opening of the anus and the balls (slight nibbling)

Erotic biting has long been a part of serious sexuality. The Kama Sutra devotes an entire chapter to it and like other chapters has a complete taxonomy of forms and styles. “Local customs should be consulted” since the practice varied widely. In some cities the practice was offensive (even dangerous) where in other places it was a honor to one’s lover and even expected. The women of Koshala for example loved violent biting and “dildos are much employed”. The author(s) warned “One should not be led by a state of excitation into performing acts that are considered unfitting”. These practices “if lightly performed, arouse desire and provoke sighs”. Biting and scratching is observed “in all species” and the main goal is excitation prior to copulation. In some women this can produce a true orgasm.

All parts of the body were considered suitable except the upper lip, tongue, and eyes. The forehead, lower lip, neck, cheeks, chest, breasts, sides, crotch, ear, feet, armpits and genitals were favored. Attention to specific erotic zones in the woman was essential. The writer advises that “kiss marks on the ear, as well as scratch marks on the cheeks are considered ornamental”. These ancient lovers of sex also left fingernail marks in conjunction with bites.

The major types of bites are as follows:

Discreet: gentle bite to the lower lip, leaving only short-term redness. Today we might call this a love nip.

Impressed: firm bite to the lower lip or cheeks, leaving lasting redness.

Pointed: a tiny piece of skin is bitten by the teeth and pulled.

Coral Jewel: a spot is squeezed several times between the top teeth and lower lip, leaving a dark rose mark in a jewel shape.

Necklace of Gems: coral jewel (larger) marks left in a line along some part of the body. They were favored along the neck in two lines, down both sides of the torso, or near the sexual organs.

Necklace of Dots: pointed (smaller) marks left in a line or two on the body.

Scattered Cloud: small teeth marks arranged in an irregular pattern (ie. cloud shapes) on the body. Leaving these marks below the breast is mentioned.

Chewing the Wild Boar: Closely spaced bites over a wide area “forming a red center” below the breasts. Due to the swine association this term is best avoided in modern times!

THE FOLLOWING ARE MODERN VARIATIONS NOT FOUND IN THE KAMA SUTRA:

Initialing: bites form the initials of the lover’s name. These variations serve as a type of short duration tattoo and denote a type of “ownership” of the lover’s body.
Symbology: bites form a symbol of a group, gang, or organization. Shape of a heart is also very common in symbol of general love. We have heard of one fraternity who bit females from a sister sorority with a Greek letter.
Circling: bites form a circle around an object such as the naval, nipple, tattoo, piercing, or male glans. The Necklace styles are generally a line rather than a circle and do not ring a specific landmark on the body.
Vampire: two small bites (perhaps Pointed type) on the neck to resemble the two punctures of vampire fangs. This was a Halloween pastime among a group of swinging friends.
The practices of erotic biting varied in their violence according to the type of lover, their tradition, and personality. In some cases the Indian man would bite the woman with a necklace. He/She would return the favor, giving him a necklace “as if she were in anger” or “like a madwoman”. In some cases the hair is grabbed and light bondage is involved. For instance “she bites wherever he had bitten her and rejoices in his efforts to free himself”.

Like scratches these bite marks were considered “a souvenir of sexual relations”. They were also marks of adultery and might serve as legal evidence. Necklaces were considered proof the woman have consented for an extended period of a time with her lover. Recent, visible bite marks also told others that a man or woman had a current lover and might be unavailable. It was also a sort of advertisement of the lover’s erotic skills. If the lover was known others could admire his or her skill in this important erotic artistry or lack thereof. This is why some bites were done on visible places (neck, arms) vs. hidden places (below breasts, pubic area) to be either public or private knowledge. But in our modern beach culture with skimpy outfits few such protections are possible.

H

How to be a Great Lesbian Lover

By Felice Newman, Somantic Coach & Sex Educator

How do you cultivate a quality of touch that makes your partner feel like you’re really seeing them? No one wants to be thought of as merely going through the motions. Nor does anyone want to be seen as a “slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am” hit-and-run driver. Whether you are touching your partner with your hands, your mouth, or a sex toy, what are the qualities that will have your partner feel that they have been touched by your spirit as well?The first quality is presence. Presence is the physical embodiment of your you-ness.

It’s that quality that lets someone feel your aliveness in a room before they can see or hear you. Your presence can be felt by others as open, curious, listening, playful, sparkling, seductive, outpouring with love, or full-bodied with deep resonances. It can also be felt as laser-like in single-minded focus, scattered, shut down, collapsed, angry, untouchable, defensive or intractable. To some degree, you can shape your presence by your intention. You can pause before a first kiss, touch, or entry: Who do you want to be in this moment? What quality of your you-ness do you want your partner to be met with?

Next is the quality of extension. Extension is sending our presence outward. We are great energy transmitters, continuously beaming our selves into the world. Some of us have a quiet presence that’s felt as a gentle stirring in the air. Others of us are said to have a “big” presence that’s felt as a great gust of wind enlivening the atmosphere.Extension is how you transmit your intentions. You can extend your presence so that your partner “feels” your touch powerfully—regardless of how gently you may press, squeeze, caress, or thrust. Imagine your sexual energy as a force moving through you, one you can direct. Imagine your finger or your penis as a hose through which energy flows. Now imagine directing that energy, and specifically, directly the quality of that energy. Do you want to produce a gentle healing presence? Do you want your energy to hit hard? Are you wanting to create new sensations or intensify sensations that are already there? You can extend vigorously without overreaching or overwhelming your partner. You can cultivate extension by consciously observing how others respond to your presence.Next comes receptivity. Remember when popular sex guides referred to the “active partner” and the “passive partner”?
That tired notion was laid to rest by the Good Vibrations Guide to Sex more than a dozen years ago. Receptivity is anything but passive. Receptivity is an energetic quality—it isn’t necessarily about who’s doing what to whom.In fact, you even can be receptive while you are touching your partner. How? Well, you can open to your partner, listening for her responses, which will speak to you through pulsations, changes in temperature, muscular contractions, and release of bodily fluids.In receptivity, you practice being with yourself while being with another, which is the basis of intimacy.
When you are receiving touch, you can meet your partner’s presence with your own. Imagine locating your “self” just under your partner’s touch, in the soft folds of your labia and clitoris, in the cool expanse of skin on your buttocks. Energetically, you can reach out toward that touch, just as you physically reach out by moving toward the source of pleasure. There is an element of extension in receptivity. You can cultivate receptivity by being open and inviting of the pleasures of the senses.

As appearing on http://lesbiansanddating.blogspot.com/ visit for more interesting Lesbian articles

My sistas – 7 Reasons Why You Might Lie to Your Partner (REPOST)

By Richard Nicastro, psychologist and relationship coach

Most people lie to their partners or spouses at least occasionally. Since lying (especially when it becomes habitual) can have such a detrimental impact on your relationship, it’s important to understand the reasons why you might lie and how to overcome the need to lie.

7 reasons why lying can creep into your relationship:
1). Self-esteem lies.
Some people lie to bolster feelings of self-importance. In this case you might lie to your partner about your achievements and accomplishments. Your goal is to look good in the eyes of your partner (and others). At its extreme, deep-seated feelings of inadequacy can lead you to become a chronic liar.
2).Avoidance lies.
The motivation for this type of lie is to avoid your partner’s reaction– such as disappointment or anger. You may feel that it’s easier to lie rather than experience/endure your partner’s emotional reaction. You may be someone who has considerable difficulty tolerating any perceived negative reaction. At its worst, your deceit is self-serving and hides relationship-damaging behaviors (e.g., an affair).
3).Self-denial lies.
People lie to themselves all the time. It’s a form of denial–refusing to accept a reality that is too painful. All you have to do is watch American Idol to realize that this kind of self-deception is alive and well. People with absolutely no vocal ability refuse to accept the judges’ critical (and often harsh) feedback. Instead, they proclaim that they are excellent singers and will someday be wildly famous. Self-denial lies stand in the way of the openness needed for intimacy to grow in your relationship.
4).Hide-and-Seek lies.
The impetus here is to hide parts of yourself from the world. Painful life experiences have caused you to feel unworthy of love to such a degree that you feel it is necessary to lie about yourself or your experiences. When you feel exposed, feelings of shame overcome you and act as a powerful motivator to hide from others (including your partner).
5).Saving-Face lies.
While closely related to avoidance lies, saving-face lies are created to help you cover up your original lie. When it starts to become apparent to your spouse or partner that you’ve lied, you concoct a web of more lies to avoid the embarrassment and repercussions of having lied in the first place. This is one reason lies can quickly multiply.
6).The Compassionate lie.
Sometimes the motivation to lie is altruistic–you don’t want your partner to get hurt. In this instance, you’re not protecting your partner from something that you’ve done that might be hurtful to him/her. Rather, you’re trying to shield your partner from something you discovered (e.g., you overheard a neighbor say he doesn’t like your wife) or an opinion that you believe would be upsetting (your wife asks if you like her new haircut and despite her uncanny resemblance to one of the Three Stooges, you respond with a definitive, “I love it!”).
7).The Spiteful lie.
In this case lies are used as weapons to hurt someone. Schoolchildren often do this, fabricating rumors that are designed to put down others. In social settings such as school this is sometimes done to ostracize someone from a peer group while solidifying the liar’s position in the group.
When this occurs in a marriage or relationship, it’s usually when anger is at an all-time high or the relationship is being dissolved. It’s less common for this type of lie to occur while the couple is committed to a future together, although some couples do report “fighting dirty” and saying hurtful, untrue things while they argue.
If you’ve lied to your partner recently, feel the urge to lie, or if lying has been a problem for you in general, begin to question your motivation for spinning these tales. Check your reasons with the list above to gain further clarity. It’s obviously best that your relationship be built on a foundation of honesty.
Honesty is the backbone of trust–once trust is compromised, your relationship can begin to spiral out of control. But the reality is that many partners do end up lying to one another, and while your motivation to lie might be benign, lies seem to have a viral-like capacity to spread. Have you ever noticed that once you’ve gotten away with a lie or two, it seems to get easier to lie in the future?
Be aware of that fact and of the reasons you may lie, and you take the first important steps toward a healthier, more honest relationship.

Gay couples ‘are better at communicating’

By V King Macdona

Recent studies indicate that same-sex couples have greater levels of satisfaction in their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts due to better communication.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studied couples of the same sex and opposite sexes and discovered that, contrary to the beliefs of some, the relationships are very similar.

These findings will help bridge the gap between society’s generalised views regarding the longevity and strength of gay partnerships, researchers believe.

Glenn Roisman, researcher and author of the study by the University of Illinois, told The Desert Sun: “If one is basing one’s world view that same-sex couples are fundamentally different than opposite-sex pairs as being of an inferior quality, one is mistaken.”

In a three-year study of civil unions taking place in Vermont, Esther Rothblum, a professor of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University, discovered that same-sex couples resolved conflict better than opposite-sex couples in committed relationships.

“Compared with heterosexual married participants, both types of same-sex couples reported greater relationship quality, compatibility and intimacy and lower levels of conflict,” the study reported. Those in same-sex relationships were found to balance out the responsibilities of both partners in their work and home life.

It was also found that conflict resolution skills are of utmost importance in a long-lasting relationship, and without the gender difference of an opposite-sex couple, a gay couple’s ability to resolve their disagreements may be greater. The tendency to dismiss conflicts due to fundamental differences between the sexes is not an issue, so gay couples may be able to tackle their fallings-out in a more practical way.

Nick Warner, an experienced counsellor and clinical psychologist based in Palm Springs, said: “In a gay relationship, they tend to look at each other’s differences as something interesting that they want to understand more.

“Guys tend to dismiss what they disagree with. In a same-sex relationship, there wouldn’t be as much of that of course because you can’t dismiss someone because of their gender difference.”

Same-sex partners could be construed as having an advantage over straight couples, in that their shared gender gives them a greater understanding of each other. But whether a relationship is same or opposite-sex, according to researchers, the idea of embracing each other’s differences which is the key to success.

Rothblum summed up the findings, saying: “I think the take-home message for heterosexual couples is to try and understand the gender culture of your spouse.”