September #94 : Boy Talk

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Standing in the Shadows of Love

The Great Doctor / Patient Face-Off


Boy Talk

Girl Talk

Name Recognition

Dynamic Duos

Work That Visit!

It Takes a Villager


Devil in a Blue Dress

U.S. Armed Cervixes

Cell Culture


Class Act

Good Book

Rape OutRAGE

It Happened in September

Hitting the Switch

Missed Doses


Count Down

Tailgating HIV


Potty Mouth

Booty Call

London Calling

Test Drive

Aid for Medicaid

Editor's Letter

Lei'd in the Shade

The Wings Beneath His Wind

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

September 2003

Boy Talk

Isn’t condom sense their job, too?

It’s hard enough talking about sexual health with teenage girls—what about their hormone-happy male counterparts? “I try to reason with them,” says Robert Michael Johnson, 31, a high school counselor in uptown Manhattan’s working-class Washington Heights. “They have their girls on the side and they have their ‘wifey,’” Johnson explains, “so they use protection with the girls but not with ‘wifey.’ There’s no real sense of responsibility.” He attributes that partly to the pressures of racism and poverty. “These boys are used to dealing with constant hate and violence. You may never get them to change their minds completely but you can plant speed- bumps in their road so...they’ll stop and think.”

One of Johnson’s success stories is 19-year-old “Damon,” who says he’s been completely monogamous with his girlfriend for two years—“’cause I don’t wanna catch nothing”—and they’ve always practiced safer sex, even though, he confides, “plenty of people aren’t.” Back in his bachelor days, he says, he’d insist on the latex only to hear girls balk “What’s the matter? Do I look sick?”

Damon’s not alone—not in Brooklyn, at least, where most informally surveyed black teenage boys said they dutifully rolled down a rubber “every time.” Then there was 17-year-old “Freddy,” a strapping, caramel-colored grocery clerk who said he hated condoms; called girls bitches, ho’s and heifers; and dismissed any talk of personal responsibility, HIV testing, his health or his future. “We’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it,” he said. “It don’t matter ’cause I don’t play that freak shit.”

Such nihilism doesn’t surprise Johnson. “There’s this phrase I hear from kids all the time,” he says. “‘If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen.’ [These boys] come from such chaotic households, there’s nothing to look forward to. The trick is to help give them vision for the long term.”

Freddy, meanwhile, has his hands full: “I got three ladies going at any given time. They don’t wanna see [condoms]. They’ll think I’m foolin’ around.”


[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.