Staying Negative aims to emotionally engage, inspire and facilitate imagination in sexual health practices. The campaign profiles the real life stories of gay, bisexual and trans men who have sex with men (MSM). Men talk about all aspects of their life from coming out, relationships, sexuality and a broad range of other topics. While HIV and safe sex is an important part of all stories, it is not the exclusive focus.
Prior HIV prevention campaigns have traditionally focused on providing gay men with information that will encourage them to adopt safe sex behaviours. In reality, safe sex practices are influenced by a whole range of environmental and cultural factors. The campaign also provides an opportunity for HIV positive men to talk about their lives and discuss how their strategies to staying HIV negative were not successful. We understand that there is more than one way practice safe sex and adopt healthcare seeking behaviours, so let's be creative about it!
There are no real criteria for participants other than that they are MSM and happy to have their stories appear as part of the campaign. In addition to the personal stories, the website provides information on HIV/AIDS, sexual health, relationships and broad of the other relevant topics including domestic violence, drugs and alcohol and depression.
Consent should be simple – yes or no, but it’s not always that easy. It is a moment-by-moment gift, regardless of what occurred earlier in the night. It doesn't matter that you bought dinner, or bought the drinks, you need to make sure you and your partner are on the same page. Read their body language, this can be a good indicator of how comfortable they are even if they’re not actually saying no. Be aware of anything they may have consumed, if they have taken drugs or are drunk then they’re probably not in the right state of mind to be making decisions.
Make sure they get home ok, give them your number if you’d like to see them again. That way, if you do see each other again, there won’t be any awkwardness and they will respect you more for it. As always, no means no, even if your partner has previously said yes; if they say no at any point, that’s it. Respect their boundaries and back off, it may not mean no forever.
This goes for you as well, if things are getting steamy and you don't feel comfortable saying no, it's probably best to reconsider and walk out sooner rather than later. Make sure you’re clear to your partner about what you are and aren’t comfortable with; they are no more of a mind reader than you are.