Florida Swinging: Let’s make STD testing fun!

The Out of the Closet Thrift Store and clinic in Fort Lauderdale's Wilton Manors.

The Out of the Closet Thrift Store and clinic in Fort Lauderdale’s Wilton Manors.

My partner “Van” and I have an open relationship.

And since I have a job back at home in Maryland and he has the condo in Florida we are separated for weeks at a time. So of course being red-blooded same-gender-loving men we are going to have sex with others.


Sitting in the waiting room waiting to be tested.

We were hanging out in Fort Lauderdale’s very gay Wilton Manors neighborhood last week thrift shopping with a friend of Van named “Rodrigo.” I’ve only known Rodrigo a week but love him already — he is a handsome little dark-skinned shorty of Haitian and Dominican descent and is a blast to hang out with.

The thrift shop we visited — Out of the Closet — uses it proceeds to fund the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. They also offer free STD screenings on Tuesday afternoon.

My doctor gave me a clean bill of health in late November and we practice safe sex. But Van thought it was a good idea to get tested again since we were playing with others while apart.

Rodrigo is pretty sexually active too and thought it was a good idea. Plus he knew some of the volunteers at the clinic and they told us to come a half hour early or so to make sure we were first in line to get tested because the place gets crowded.

Posters in the waiting room.

Posters in the waiting room.

So we decided to make a little bit of a party of it. I ran down the street and got hot dogs with chili from the Dairy Queen and we sat in the waiting room chatting up the other folks waiting to get tested and sharing snack food.

I was surprised who showed up. There were older gay men who looked like they were in their 70s, this hot looking young black girl with coppery eyes who shared her Gummi Bears with me, and even a mother bobbing her infant in her lap.

But hey. We were all there to make sure our health is okay and we are not spreading something nasty to others. So be responsible, practice safe sex, and get tested too!

22 thoughts on “Florida Swinging: Let’s make STD testing fun!

  1. Hi Immanuel. Thanks for this post. Your holiday sex romp photos were titillating, but then I thought, some of your and Van’s additional, outside sexual partners might have something either of you might contract. Other sexual partners might not even be aware they have something (STIs) because they are asymptomatic. There is ALWAYS the chance of this, if your relationship is not sexually exclusive. It is nice that you followed up, the Xmas sex romp with a message about getting tested and being safe. Good job.

    • No problem. We get tested every three months. Anyone who is sexually active should. And I’m on PReP. I highly recommend to friends that they consult their doctors and get on it too.

      • Its good that you have open conversations about sexual transmitted diseases and preventing HIV in your social circles, because it is never fun to the UNPLEASANT Surprise of an STI. Yes, sure, some STIs are treatable, but others you simply keep. A New York Times article said that is not a question of IF black gay men will get HIV, it is a question of WHEN. While young, at mid-life, or when older. (What a terrible thing to publish, eh?). Many Black gay men of all ages feel that sexual fulfillment is important, but so is our health and need to keep that latter in mind, at least somewhat.

  2. Sounded like fun. I get tested every 3months I was in a relationship with someone for bout 5 years , only one sex partner no condoms broke up now I gotta be safe for me. I use condoms from now on no matter what.

  3. FYI: AIDS Healthcare Foundation isn’t some little local outfit that runs a cute “Out of the Closet” thrift-shop with a testing service in the back. The Los Angeles based non-profit has revenues of over a billion dollars a year, $10 million of it derived from the thrift stores.

    They have become quite politically active in California too, using a (allegedly) closeted state senator (who lost his race for a congressional seat in November) and spending millions and millions of dollars to push statewide ballot propositions that would require porn actors to wear rubbers (which lost), a bill regarding prescription drug prices that was designed to financially benefit AHF (which lost) and now, they’re the chief financial supporter of a Los Angeles anti-development “Neighborhood Integrity Initiative” that has nothing whatsoever to do with their stated mission and which will hopefully lose at the ballot box in March, 2017.

    There must be a place down there in Florida that can do a better job of supporting the local community and offer testing services than AIDS Healthcare Foundation does. AHF just takes your money and ship it to California for use in support of boondoggle ballot measures that go down in flames.

  4. With the incoming administration and the inevitable decrease funding in HIV/STI prevention from all the 19th century religious conservative bigotry coming in, we’re going to have to double and triple private efforts to get these messages out in light of government dereliction of duty. And kudos, bruh, for pointing out the range in ages and backgrounds for testing. A lot has been written about increases in STIs among the young, but a lot of older folk think they’re invincible too.

    • Yeah, or gays could simply exercise sobriety in sexual behavior. Lack of regular condom use, random sexual partners of unknown status, sex parties, sexual activity in open relationships, and drug and alcohol use and abuse up the chances of all us contracting something unwanted. My point is, WE all have some control as adults whether we put ourselves in risky situations. The conservative Right does not push us into such situations and encounters.

  5. So the latest losing political campaign that AIDS Health Care Foundation sunk millions of dollars into appears to have lost. This was a redevelopment issue – it had nothing whatsoever to do with health care.

    How is it that a non profit can burn through tens of millions of dollars on campaign like this and still maintain their non profit status?

    Donate your funds to local orgs who spend your donations in your community and boycott those that don’t.

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