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(Above is a photo of some of the pieces about to be mounted for our exhibit.)

As I was busy preparing for the male nudes photo-exhibit that will be opened today, Sunday, July 8, I received the following message from Facebook:

Hi Sir, I admire your work in pushing for HIV awareness and prevention. However, I find it strange for your group to feature/hold an exhibit that excites people sexually. Sex is the major contributor of HIV epidemic, most notably among gay men. Personally I find it ironic to hold a fundraising activity that contradicts the effort of pozzies to shy away from sex. It’s like adding insult to injury. Aren’t there any other creative methods to raise funds?

I was kind of taken aback with the thought that there was an assumption that the solution to the HIV epidemic is to shy away from sex. My first reaction to the above note was, well, sex is indeed a major contributor to the HIV epidemic, much as food is a major contributor to food poisoning — should everyone then shy away from food?

I am interested to know what your thoughts are on this, dear MGG readers. What do you think?

Comments (25)

  1. Blue Asturias said on 03-08-2012

    Contrary to the ironic observation of the person who remarked, this exhibit opens a great avenue for us to discuss our sexuality and the precautions we have to take as we act on it.

    With the images, it draws the mind to assess how and where they are in understanding themselves. Thus, one will try to seek for ways to not only statisfy their sexuality but more importantly, be safe in the process.

  2. Mike said on 27-07-2012

    like you said, we don’t stop eating just because we don’t want to get food poisoning. there have been many scientific studies that point to the failure of abstinence in preventing HIV transmission.

    many people who push for abstinence can’t help themselves from having sex so why should we?

    the difference is knowledge on what aspect of sex leads to HIV transmission. it’s knowing one’s sexual risks. it’s knowing what measures to do to minimize these risks.

    ‘shying away from sex’ will not protect you from HIV, guys. however, shying away from knowledge will probably will.

  3. Henry said on 16-07-2012

    Migs has a point for using creative media as a marketing tool to attract high risk individuals at least. Yes I agree, the method is a stimulus to arouse sexual fantasies toward men but can’t we all agree that this is the topic that we need to be liberal about. Please let us not avoid sex here. Let us open our minds that unsafe sex is the major problem with HIV, not to mention the other modes of transmission. AWARENESS IS THE FIRST STEP IN PROBLEM SOLVING. Let us be aware of SEX so SAFE SEX practices can be addressed. . As a creative teacher by profession, I see this as a good point of conversation where ideal sexual behaviors can be promoted. Migs, you just need to include female models as well. HIV is not gender specific. Let’s help all parties.

  4. Priscilla said on 14-07-2012

    Seriously I was at the exhibit and looking at the nude torsos and other portraits, and the way it was presented, I would say that it in no way promoted promiscuity and having lots and lots of sex.
    Its actually very artistically done & suffice it to say that I highly appreciated it and I was not in any time that I was looking at it that I got aroused and had the urge to hump somebody.
    I also disagree that just because a person is HIV positive he cant not have sex anymore. that’s why safer sex is being promoted because there are ways to prevent the spread of HIV at the same time living a full life even with the disease.

  5. jeboi said on 14-07-2012

    pupusta ko imaginary boobs ko, these people who say “creative” pag tinanong mo ng suggestion sasagot sayo “white party” or “black party”. ganyan ka creative ang mga bakla ngayon, promise.

    pasensya na sa sarcasm. naiintindihan ko ang point ng lahat kaso anong point ng mag HIV awareness kung ang iimbitahin at pupunta rin lang naman sa event ay yung mga taong “aware” na.

    Simple lang naman, kung hindi kayo yung tipong bakla na mahilig sa sex at hubad na lalake, wala dapat kayong problema sa ganyan. in the first place, hindi kayo high-risk. although im sure you are more than welcome to come to the event, Im also sure the event was not organized for you guys. yung mga high-risk, which is exactly what this exhibit would probably attract, are the ones who need to attend the exhibit at ng makausap tungkol sa HIV.

    on a kinder and nicer note, cguro ang magandang analogy is, if you want to talk to a friend about something sensitive, gagawa ka ng paraan. ilalabas at dalhin kung san nya gusto, kung type ni friend ng kape, dalhin mo sa coffee shop, tapos doon mo sha kakausapin. its not exactly trickery, but we do this because one, youre a civilized human being, and two, you empathize with your friend and gusto mong maintindihan ng kaibigan mo na hindi mo sha inaatake. this is exactly that. the organizers are empathizing with men who love sex with men and at the same time, walang pasikot sikot. ok lang makipag hadahan but be safe. ganun lang. dadaanin pa ba natin sa moralidad to? hayaan na natin simbahan gumawa nun.

    • Arrr said on 14-07-2012

      yes, i agree. It’s a very bitter truth. Pictures of naked men as bait. Oo nga naman. Walang pupuntang mga bakla kung walang nakahubad.

      The irony and paradox of them all…..

  6. Jij'Z said on 13-07-2012

    Yes! food and sex are both needs base on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs under Physiological aspect but then food and sex are apart form each other, coz we need to eat three to even five times a day and sex is not!But in dose not mean that we refrain form having sex. The bottom-line here is we should discipline our self in terms of sex. Since we know that sex propagate HIV!! one partner at a time.

    And about the exhibit, I can still say that it’s still nice and wholesome as art in concern even nudity is the concept plus male models (try mo female next time) . It is only how you interpret the art. That’s why audience should be given emphasize….

  7. Edgar Portalan said on 13-07-2012

    I must agree with the letter sender. The photo exhibit seems promoting sexual fantasies and innuendos specifically by gay men . Marami pa namang ibang photography subject na puwedeng maging theme ng exhibit huwag lang yung my mga tema na pang sekswal. Salamat !

  8. Meldrick said on 12-07-2012

    Hi Migs!

    I’m an avid fan of this space but I must agree with the message sender. Further it appears that your analogy about food and sex is actually beside the point and yes, even fallacious.

    He didn’t mention that shying away from sex is the solution to HIV epidemic. what he did point out, which I strongly agree is that your further tickling even encouraging people’s vulnerability to sex. I, myself can see a vague connection from the theme of the project to the sexually suggestive subject of your photo exhibits. With the pictures, it sending me message that your have targeted your audience specifically for “gays” only. Isn’t it that HIV affects everyone as what MCvie upthere pointed out.

    Migs, you’re a very good photographer and surely, you can come with a subject/s that addresses everyone and not just confined to the “sexual fantasies” of gay men, that is if awareness and education is really your utmost concern 😛

  9. nelya said on 11-07-2012

    I completely agree with the commenter. There are other ways para makapagraise ng funds. While I don’t see anything wrong with this kind of art, parang hindi xa masyadong swak sa cause.

  10. peter said on 11-07-2012

    Although everyone here does have a point regarding HIV and all.. I take it from another point of view. If you examine the context of the fund raiser being about awareness and all.. my question is, why do the photographs have to be of nude men alone? By not including the female body single handedly makes it for the benefit for gay awareness when it should be non-gender related. Further, why does it have to be photographs of the nude bodies in the first place? What happened to families? scenic landscapes? people laughing? children?

  11. Alas said on 10-07-2012

    The problem with HIV lies not only in having sex. It goes beyond that. Lots of risk factors come into play such as not using protection during sex, promiscuity, male homosexuality (yes, its a bitter given fact), illicit drug use, etc.

    A point I strongly agree with the person who emailed Mr. MGG, is trying to excite the people sexually. We are just humans, having a strong innate need that is sex. The need is already there, we don’t need to repress it and it wouldn’t hurt if we don’t try to fuel it up with sexy naked muscular men posing as if to tell us to go home tonight and have more sex. Aren’t the internet and media enough? It creates sexual frustration that may lead to promiscuity. More sex means more transmission, be it with a condom on or not.

    I find myself a liberal person. And i hope most of us here are. Aren’t you tired of the media playing with our desires and needs? Pushing our limits sometimes to engage in unprotected sex. We are vulnerable beings. And this vulnerability should be supported not encouraged. I’m not saying to you Miggs and your partners in this project that you are wrong. But i think there are better options to follow that would clearly get your point through.

  12. macjazz said on 10-07-2012

    the guy has heart but i think he totally missed the point. this is a fund raiser. for people to come, you have to give them something they want. also, its an HIV awareness campaign. the people you’d want to come are those who are at sexually active, ergo, pictures of naked men. creativity is for parties, this one needs logistics.

  13. dane said on 09-07-2012

    That analogy of yours is beside the point. Someone who’s obese shouldn’t shy away from food. He just needs to moderate his eating regimen. Someone who has the virus doesn’t need to shy away from sex. He has the option to, and he also has the right to continue having sex, but he should be safe.

    If you’re not promoting safe sex, then don’t promote sex. Like those commeneters above, there are a lot more ways of raising funds.

  14. Albert said on 09-07-2012

    Migs,

    Food is a basic need, sex is not.

    You won’t die if you refrain from doing it (sex).

    • McVie said on 10-07-2012

      HIV affects both homosexuals and heterosexuals. So if homosexuals and heterosexuals refrain from sex, there goes our species.

      • Closer2Fame said on 10-07-2012

        @McVie

        I just want to inform everyone based on what you mentioned:

        “if homosexuals and heterosexuals refrain from sex, there goes our species.”

        In clarification of your comment, HIV positive heterosexual MEN can then pass on the virus to their female partners if they commit unprotected sex to procreate. While,HIV positive heterosexual WOMEN can pass on the virus to their fetus whenever they get pregnant.

  15. jack said on 09-07-2012

    The whole point of HIV Awareness is to educate everyone about safe sex, the dangers of using drugs and sharing needles. Addressing it through sensual photography is actually going directly to the point.

    Abstinence is great, but if you can’t, then do it safely. Bear in mind that it’s HIV prevention not sex prevention.

  16. Kevin said on 09-07-2012

    we can’t help it. Sex is part of us. It’s exciting, and amazing.

    My partner (for 2 years now) is an HIV positive person and we have sex A LOT. Safe sex always.

    We shouldn’t shy away from sex; we should shy away from meaningless sex with strangers. This is just my opinion. But I think many SHOULD agree. That’s how my partner (and almost all gay men) contracted HIV after all, sex with anybody who’s willing to have sex.

  17. rommel said on 09-07-2012

    I think it’s ok , you promote safe sex and awareness, not to promote shying away from sex. In every aspect you cannot please everyone. If you feel this fund raising event is not right then they do not go, but I believe there’s a huge group of people who would find it enjoyable and at the same time contributing to the cause. This is why we enjoy freedom and democracy.

  18. Johannes said on 09-07-2012

    Hi. Im a pozzie nurse and partnered for a year now to an HIV negative teacher. 🙂 I have a very strong opinion on this. Being HIV positive doesnt necessarily mean you can no longer have sex. We know our responsibilities. You dont have to rub it in. We know how to satisfy our biological imperatives through safe sex. The sender is depriving us, pozzies, of our right to express our desire to another person, or even our right to express our love. Now, the virus might be spreading not because of HIV pozzies intentionally infecting others but because of people who just enjoy their ‘biological imperatives’ who also happened to be infected (without their knowledge) with HIV. As a person coming from a serodiscordant relatioship, i dont think we have to shy away from sex. We have to shy away from unsafe sex. It is also our right to love. right to feel this feeling and express this feeling to someone else as a form of communion (better translation in Filipino: ‘pagiging isa sa mahal mo’)

    For the fund raising activity, i think it’s fine. I dont think having an exhibit (or an art whatsoever), can really push people to be engaged into unsafe sex. Nonetheless, I think, there’s something wrong with the title. How do I love thee should be something about love, something about human desire, or men’s desire. Not just about torsos. Or perhaps, I dont have that cretaive eye on looking on those things. teeeheee.

    • Priscilla said on 17-07-2012

      Precisely swak ka jan, And as mentioned I was at the exhibit and I guess if the observer does get off on headless naked torso then we do have a problem there. And may i just point out that the venue is actually the love Yourself Hub wherein one can get all the info one needs about HIV/AIDS at the same time can get tested for HIV/Hep B/Syphilis & other sexually transmitted infection. So in a way the exhibit does serve its purpose of education and art appreciation. I just don’t get it that some gheys here are actually indirectly advocating for pusits to just stay in a cave and die. I mean seriously you guys should come to the venue and see it for yourself and be enlightened that an hiv positive person can still live a full life without the risk of spreading the disease.
      And super funny naman yung comment to do an exhibit on landscape and children . Yeah right Gays would definitely come in droves LOL Peace

  19. jon said on 08-07-2012

    Perhaps the guy who messaged Migs is HIV-positive. I think it is wise to seek a pozzie’s opinion.

  20. Say said on 08-07-2012

    yes my point din sya. meron nga naman bang ibang creative methods to raise funds. thou di ko naman sinasabi na that was totally a mistake.

  21. george said on 08-07-2012

    hi, yes the commenter has a point. i read that that “The theme of “How Do I Love Thee” focuses on the ideals of The Love Yourself Project by propagating ideas and practices that encourage loving one’s self — to DARE to be oneself, to CARE for oneself, and to SHARE oneself as a way to multiplying joy.”

    but that’s quite vague. aside from glorifying the male form what are the advocacies: safer sex, fidelity? is it discovering creativities, or asking: “what is your passion, turn it to action?” – fashion, photography, the arts?

    i suggest that aside from providing an a venue (and excuse) for stiff cocks and tickling fantasies and imaginations – there has to be a subtle agenda for concrete positive change.

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