Episode 72: Choosing the Better Option

March 14, 2019

At long last we finally get an interview with Rae, who manages support groups in Austin, Texas for women living with HSV under the Instagram handle: @positive.results.atx

We talk about support groups and a little bit about what managing them may look like for someone considering doing so. We bring up the healing power we receive in giving, and of as the title says, "Choosing the Better Option".

"Rae is a ray of sunshine" is a cheesy understatement when she herself embodies the sun itself with her presence. A Sister Servant and amazing friend to have, I'm so honored to have been able to share your story on this platform to help people.

Connect with Rae on IG @positive.results.atx and check out some of the amazing work she does uplifting the Sisterhood she represents to the fullest!

Stay Positive!

Episode 71: Vibrantly Mindful Self-Compassion

March 6, 2019

Vibrantly Mindful owner, Arielle Abramzik Travelstead, spent years of self criticism and internal chaos until she found her yoga practice which influenced her mindfulness. Learning to increase her own mindfulness and self awareness she's able to demonstrate to us how we can approach life circumstances with more compassion towards ourselves in a way that lightens the world and how we feel about ourselves.

We discuss self compassion and its application towards a positive diagnosis or anything that occurs in life.

I'm on social media @honmychest

Stay Positive!

Episode 70: Mental Masturbation and Celibacy

February 28, 2019

Fellow HANDS (Herpes Activists Networking to Dismantle Stigma) member Ana Pelaez shares her experience continuing a relationship with an HSV diagnosis after his disclosure to her. This conversation brought out some of my mommy/daddy issues, we use mental masturbation as a placeholder for mind fuck which is exactly what we do to ourselves often after a diagnosis, and we discuss the using our sexual energy in a way that works for us.

Ana is on Instagram @ampm_coach

Check out www.waxoh.com to see some of the blogs I submit on topics revolving around helping destigmatize STIs and a little bit of my own experiences as well.

Leave a review if you like this content and Stay Positive!

Episode 69: Nice

February 21, 2019

Answering all the questions we got in for this solo episode and addressing the unhealthy attachment I found myself to have with recent rejection.

Info for Laureen HD's project we all can get involved with:

  • Laureen HD partnered with Stevi Sesin to create a special edition of her art project ‘The Art of Loving Your Selfie’ called ‘Under My Skin’.

  • The project will be an art exhibition running in Berlin, Germany featuring art pieces of people with STIs reclaiming their outlook on their body. The aim behind the project is to not only show the world that having an STI doesn’t make someone unattractive, but more importantly to push the conversation around body positivity to include people with STIs.

  • They’re recruiting any person who has been diagnosed with an incurable STI - can be herpes (genital or oral), HIV, HPV - whose diagnosis has affected their relationship with their body. This person needs to be willing to be public about their diagnosis and be 18+.

  • For the stories selected, the project will involve two things:

      • sending a picture showcasing the level of nudity participants are comfortable with, which will then be turned into art in the style of The Art of Loving Your Selfie.Check our Laureen HD’s instagram to see what that looks like.

      • sending a voice note of you telling your story.

If you are interested, send an email to tellmemorelaureen@gmail.com with a paragraph of 150words max talking about how comfortable/uncomfortable your STI diagnosis made you feel in your own skin. DO NOT SEND A PICTURE OF YOURSELF YET.

Stay Positive!

Episode 68: When Everybody Knows, No One Can Find Out

February 14, 2019

What would you do with the freed up energy you've given to you HSV diagnosis? Have you been obsessed with thoughts in your head about keeping your secret safe from the world? Are you living in fear of what would happen if anyone found out you were living with genital herpes? Would you be bored and restless or would you find another thing to give energy to in your life? Maybe something you can change?

Our guest, Aaron Sager shares his experience and how opening up led him to his current partner who at the time was HSV negative. This acceptance couldn't have happened had Aaron not owned his truth in order to make himself seen by those who are meant to be in his life. Stop hiding and apply your restrictive energy to something more useful.

Please leave a review if you enjoyed this episode or want to hear more from Aaron. Connect with him on Instagram @AaronSager_.

Dating Positives is a supporter of #SPFPP. Check out their blog WAXOH.com for some of the blog contributions I've made about my personal experience living with HSV.

Stay Positive!

Episode 67: Challenge Your Assumptions With Experience

February 7, 2019

Showing support to someone opening up about their positive HSV status is a challenge on both ends. The person who chose to disclose to you feels safe doing so. Many times they may not NEED anything from you but to listen. They just may need to say it out loud. The best thing you can do is allow them to say what they have to say. Be present with them. And as someone disclosing, allow the other person to have their feelings about it as well. Herpes disclosures are awkward on all sides because we just don't know how the other person feels about it so we have to gauge emotions in that often awkward silence, and that's okay. 

This episode is useful to anyone who may not have had anyone disclose to them yet, or recently someone has disclosed to you and you are seeking guidance to navigate the conversation. The person disclosing fears judgment that their character is now that of the stigma. Assure them they are not the stigma by encouraging them to challenge their beliefs about the stigma to their experience. Destigmatizing herpes starts with the people who have herpes.

Stay Positive!

Episode 66: Everybody Needs a Good Scare

January 31, 2019

A good scare creates space for empathy. Think of all the times fear drove you to seek knowledge. Fellow HANDS member, Carlee and I discuss her experience after her HSV diagnosis and how she's managed it and been able to be so open about it in order to help others.

Rate, review and subscribe to this podcast to show your support and help us get more amazing guests who are open about their diagnosis and help others find the emotional aftercare necessary after a positive diagnosis.

Carlee is on Instagram @itscarleefit and I'm @HOnMyChest

Stay Positive!

Episode 65: Don’t Stigmatize Yourself

January 25, 2019

Erin Devost hosts the Herp A Derp Podcast whose purpose is to empower the community to break the herpes stigma. She shares her experience that led her to openly discussing her experiences after her HSV diagnosis in hopes of assisting others in navigating their own experiences. Having never been in a relationship, now having to disclose gave her less hope of being in one. Here's how she got to where she is now.

Listen to Herp A Derp Podcast on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvDpnhUVksIxQhYFj2SgPPQ

Follow the Herp A Derp Podcast Facebook page and Erin is on Instagram @herpaderppodcast

I'm on social media @HOnMyChest!

Don't forget to let Dating Positives know the most awkward conversation you've had about sex either by DM on their social media handles @datingpositives or by calling 1-833-YAS-LOVE

Stay Positive

Episode 64: Believe Survivors Part 2 - Justice Served

January 22, 2019

*Trigger Warning - We are continuing the discussion with Genie from Part 1 of episode 64, Understanding Abuse. In this episode's conclusion, we see how justice was served for our survivor who used her HSV-2 diagnosis as fuel to get out of a bad situaltion. 

Thanks to Sex Positive Families for providing useful resources to help us navigate challenging conversations around sex especially with our families and youth. A useful resource on this is: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-talk-to-kids-sexual-abuse_us_5c3fac5ee4b027c3bbbdb667 Please follow @sexpositive_families on Instagram for much more info.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline's website: https://www.thehotline.org/help/help-for-friends-and-family/

Please if you are a survivor of domestic/sexual violence/abuse DO NOT feel like you have to listen to this episode or part 2. It was important that this be easy to listen to and that we see an example of a survivor coming forward and having justice served.

I'm on social media @HOnMyChest!

Stay Positive!

Episode 64: Believe Survivors Part 1 - Understanding Abuse

January 21, 2019

*Trigger Warning - This interview was bumped up in light of the Surviving R. Kelly documentary. @VRFreeny shouted out the podcast on January 5, 2019 just saying for people to check it out. I haven't watched the documentary nor do I plan to. Genie, (this guest) and I had been talking about setting up a recording for after the pending episodes have been posted, but she and I both felt compelled to get together as soon as possible.

Part 1 of this episode helps us understand Genie's abuse. Part 2 is where we see justice served.

Thanks to Sex Positive Families for providing useful resources to help us navigate challenging conversations around sex especially with our families and youth. A useful resource on this is: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-talk-to-kids-sexual-abuse_us_5c3fac5ee4b027c3bbbdb667 Please follow @sexpositive_families on Instagram for much more info.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline's website: https://www.thehotline.org/help/help-for-friends-and-family/

Please if you are a survivor of domestic/sexual violence/abuse DO NOT feel like you have to listen to this episode or part 2. It was important that this be easy to listen to and that we see an example of a survivor coming forward and having justice served.

I'm on social media @HOnMyChest!

Stay Positive!