Monday, December 31, 2012

LifeLube blog and website have come to the end of their road.

LifeLube blog and website have come to the end of their road

Dear LifeLubers,

It is with mixed feelings we announce that after 7 fabulous years, the LifeLube blog and website have come to the end of their road. Our last blog post will be on December 31, 2012.

We are profoundly grateful to  AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), and the organizational partners of Project CRYSP and the Sexual Health Xchange and all of our fabulous LibeLube readers/followers/friends who have been with us for all these years. During this time, LifeLube has been a platform for ongoing discussion and debate that has informed and promoted the overall health and wellness of gay men and the broader LGBT community. Some of the special initiatives we are very proud of have included the development of a community-led Gay Men's Health Agenda,  our friendly gay men's health avatar "Peter Pointers" , the internationally recognized "How are you healthy?" campaign, and the "first booty" tale of anal health reported via "Andrew's Anus."

And we hope you enjoyed "Friday is For Faeries", "Woof Wednesday", and other bits of sexy, fun, whimsy and queerness we tried to weave throughout everything we presented.

We thank all of our fabulous blog contributors including (but certainly not limited to) Sister GloPistol Pete, D'Ontace, Mark Hubbard, Justin, Chris, Charles, Sebastino, and Ed Negron for the Work-insand the many amazing folks who shared their personal, creative, and inspiring efforts at staying healthy  - physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And finally we give big thanks with hugs and kisses to the person who made LifeLube possible the lovely Jim Pickett, Director of Prevention Advocacy and Gay Men's Health at AFC.

The content on both the LifeLube blog and website is going offline, but will be archived. Should you wish to access content that was featured on the blog or website, you may send us an email request at and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Although, the LifeLube blog and website are being retired, our efforts at raising public awareness and promoting a healthy community for gay and bisexual men - and the broader LGBT community - remain important and will not end.

We invite you stay connected with us by visiting the following sites:

AIDS Foundation of  Chicago
International Rectal Microbicide Advocates

You can also continue to follow the daily motivational messages from Ed Negron’s Work-ins at

With great appreciation,
The LifeLube team

The BEST of Lifelube - "Whole Milk - Never Blend In" From Friday, November 14, 2008

Whole Milk - Never Blend In

Chris Bartlett reviews Milk
[opens nationwide November 26]

Read more from Chris on LifeLube here

I went to see a pre-screening of Milk, the new feature film about Harvey Milk's life, with Sean Penn in the lead role. The movie was fantastic. I was in a theater full of Philadelphian queer activists and allies who represented all generations of our movement. There was the lesbian who helped found Giovanni's Room (our still running fabulous gay bookstore), many of our key political figures, AIDS activists who have been fighting for decades, fired-up youth, people of color, transmen and transwomen. That set the perfect scene for the movie itself-- a celebration of the power of gay communities at their best.

I started crying within the first two minutes of the film. The opening scenes (I'm not giving anything away here) show 1950s era bar raids-- police pushing hapless gay men into paddy wagons; the look of fear and resignation among the gays; and a wonderful moment when one angry queen throws a drink at the camera (go Sister!). Director Gus Van Sant from the very opening paints a picture of the tremendous gains we have made in queer organizing since that time, while also ironically noting that we are fighting many of the same battles of the 1970s. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, and the movie is a remarkable reminder of what has often been forgotten by our gay movement.

It seems almost odd that this film could come out at this time. The ongoing battle against Proposition 8 so mirrors one of the major dramas of the film: Milk's spearheading the efforts against the infamous Briggs Initiative (Proposition 6), which sought to ban gay teachers and their allies. Watching all of the protest, marches, and advocacy was a very spooky deja vu for me. Perhaps the most telling example of this deja vu is a marvelous moment when Supervisor Tom Ammiano, playing himself (as a teacher who confronts Briggs), shouts "you're trying to take away my job!" But it is spooky to see that Ammiano's hair is gray, and that he has not been made up to look 20something. He is the adult version of himself transported by time machine back to the Briggs Demonstration. The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's bittersweet, almost, to see that the organizing against the Briggs Initiative succeeds-- it makes a critical viewer wonder what we are doing wrong nowadays.

Delightful moments include the wonderful portrayal of Cleve Jones (of AIDS Quilt fame) by Emile Hirsch. Hirsch brings out the sweet combination of Cleve's youthful bravado, ageism, and love for elders. When Milk first attempts to get Cleve to join in the gay liberation battle, Jones calls him "Old Man" and laughs in his face. But by the end, you can see the beautiful mentorship between Milk and Jones... and you can see the ways that Milk's lessons would live on in Jones' future organizing. It's all there.

Penn as Harvey Milk is really incredible. Milk protégée Anne Kronenberg reported many a double-take during the filming-- they just look so much alike! And Penn also brings out the wonderful paradoxes in Milk's behavior-- the flirtatiousness, the naiveté, the seriousness, the genius, and the bullying. And Penn plays Milk as I always had imagined him-- a mensch on a mission. There is such a sense of self-awareness and destiny. It's also possible from viewing Penn's performance to see what it means to be a leader-- the commitment that is required, the cost to relationships and family, and the charisma and charm that is required to generate a Tribe.

And to me the main story of the movie is the power of Tribe-building. Harvey does it with genius-- including all of the folks who, until the 1970s, had largely been outside political power networks. In the film, we see Milk's deft ability to build a coalition of progressive people-- gays, people of color, elders, union rank-and-file, youth, and others. Though he was a gay leader, he was far greater than that. As he says, he is there to lead "all the people".

The portrayal of the dramatic events leading up to Milk and Moscone's assassination is compelling and direct. I had hoped for a complex portrayal of Dan White (the assassin) by Josh Brolin, and I think he did a not bad job. We get a little picture into his life: the pressures, the conservative background, the police influence. In the end, the senseless assassinations seem unavoidable.

I've seem the documentary "Times of Harvey Milk" numerous times in my life, and there were moments when I felt transported back to that telling of the story. Both films are beautiful and different-- I recommend seeing the documentary before the movie to give you some background that isn't available in the feature. Notably, Van Sant omits the part of the story that occurs after Milk's assassination-- the trial and the dramatic White Night Riot. I was glad that my friend Micah had told me this ahead of time-- so I wasn't disappointed to miss the drama of police cars burning in the night. But I think Van Sant (and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black) were smart to omit the post-Milk trial and tribulation-- because really this story is focused on Harvey-- and when he is murdered, a new story begins.

The BEST of Lifelube - "Dating and Mating with Alan Irgang" From

Dating and Mating with Alan Irgang [Threesomes and Groupsex]

Ask Alan about love, romance, and relationships (and anything) else here! *All private information is kept confidential

Dear Alan, I am 37 years old and I am starting to date a guy who is 38. We met online, then we met in person two times. I like the guy, (and he likes me too) he is smart and sweet, also good looking and sexy BUT, I just noticed that in hisprofile online he states that he is up for threesomes and group sex. That "ain't" my cup of tea and that is making me doubt him. Will I be enough for him? Is this a recipe for disaster? Do people with that kind of behavior ever settle down and want to have a family? Does this behavior suggest a cheater? Should I run or stay put? Should I ask him about it? Any advice / guidance in the matter would be appreciated. Thank you, Stephen

Dear Stephen,

I imagine you are disappointed in discovering your new romantic interest's sexual proclivities. The first thought that occurred to me is if you met him online, did you not see this part of his profile indicating what he likes sexually? I often find that it is very common for people who so intensely want to find a mate to exhibit what's called "selective attention" when they are seeking out potential partners. In other words, there is a tendency to ignore red flags and only focus on what the person looks like, and other attributes that are highly desirable. So the important lesson here is to pay attention to the whole package and be honest with yourself about what is important to you in selecting a mate and sustaining a relationship.

OK, so now that you are paying more attention to this part of who he is and what he likes to do sexually, you have lots of valid concerns. You are asking very important questions about what it all means about who he is and his capacity to be in the kind of relationship with you that you want for yourself. My best advice for you is to sit down with him and have a long talk about what you have learned from his profile. Ask him all of the questions on your mind, as well as about his past experience with these behaviors. Let him know what your concerns are and see how he responds. Do not judge him for having interests that are different than your own. Yet it is important that if you hear anything that is of concern for you to be honest with yourself about that and be willing to let him go. It will be hard at first but you will avoid much greater heartache down the road. You will also avoid condemning yourself for making the wrong decision about staying with him, having known of his sexual interests from the beginning.

I wish you the best in sorting this out and encourage you to let your inner guide lead you.

Alan Irgang, LCSW is a psychotherapist and “dating coach” in private practice in Chicago. He is also on the faculty of the Loyola University School of Social Work where he teaches graduate level courses in Human Sexuality. Alan has been in private practice since 1998 and has been facilitating groups for singles about dating and relationships for seven years.Check out his website for more information about his practice and his upcoming seminars for singles.

The BEST of Lifelube - "Transmen - body, sex, identity and more" From Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What are Transmen's HIV Prevention Needs?
via Youths 2gether Network (Nigeria)


Accurate information about the diversity of transmen’s bodies is not widely available. Transmen have different types of bodies, depending on their use of testosterone and gender confirmation surgeries (which may include chest reconstruction, hysterectomy, metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, 1 etc.; seewww.ftmguide. org for further information) . Transmen use a broad range of terms and language to identify their sex/gender, describe their body parts, and disclose their trans status to others. For instance, some transmen are not comfortable with the terms ‘vagina’ and ‘vaginal sex’ and may prefer ‘front hole’ and ‘front sex’ or ‘front hole sex’, although this is not true for all transmen. This diversity creates unique needs and barriers for negotiating and adhering to safer sex practices that are not addressed by current HIV prevention programs.

Read more.

Great resource - check it:
Primed: The Back Pocket Guide for Transmen and the Men Who Dig Them

The BEST of Lifelube - "How is Sanford Gaylord healthy?" From Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How is Sanford Gaylord healthy?

One of the best things that I have done in keeping healthy is to realize that I am a work in progress; maintaining my health and staying healthy is an ongoing process.

How am I healthy? That is a good question. I think realizing that I was not healthy for awhile and deciding to set goals and take the steps to be a healthier person is one of the best things I could have done for myself. As they say, “acceptance is the first step.”

I have learned, that it is easy to fall into a rut and isolate, so that means turning off the computer, picking up the phone and talking instead of texting. I try to see friends and family in person and find things to do outside of the house as much as possible.

I also try to find the joy in life and laugh as much as possible. Finding joy keeps me healthy mentally. The arts have always brought me joy. As an actor and I recently was able to perform again after a long hiatus and am lining up future engagements.

Being a “grown up” is not easy; it is full of stress. I try to find some form of physical activity to deal with stress instead of my vices. I take walks and ride my bike to the park or the lakefront path. When I drive, I park a few blocks away from to my destination. I have learned to use portion control and moderation when it comes to food and vices.

I believe that I am fortunate, even blessed to have gone from testing positive for HIV in my youth and reaching middle age. One of the best things that I have done in keeping healthy is to realize that I am a work in progress; maintaining my health and staying healthy is an ongoing process.

The small steps you take can lead you to the big goal. After years of procrastination, I will be joining a gym this month to continue those small steps in maintaining my mental and physical health.

-- Sanford Gaylord

How are you healthy?

Ed Negron's Daily Motivation 12-31-2012

Monday, December 31, 2012
Today's Gift

Fun becomes fun, love becomes love, life becomes worth living. And we become grateful. —Beyond Codependency

Wait, and expect good things - for yourself and your loved ones.

When you wonder what is coming, tell yourself the best is coming, the very best life and love have to offer, the best Higher Power and Their universe have to send. Then open your hands to receive it. Claim it, and it is yours.

See the best in your mind; envision what it will look like, what it will feel like. Focus, until you can see it clearly. Let your whole being, body and soul, enter into and hold onto the image for a moment.

Then, let it go. Come back into today, the present moment. Do not obsess. Do not become fearful. Become excited. Live today fully, expressing gratitude for all you have been, all you are, and all you will become.

Wait, and expect good things.
Today, when I think abut the year ahead, I will focus on the good that is coming.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©

Read more Daily Motivations at

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The BEST of Lifelube - "The “Work-In” - First installment!" From Thursday, December 11, 2008

The “Work-In” - First installment!

It will take dedication. You get out what you put in.

Brought to you by Ed Negron, a former drug user, turned gangbanger, turned drug dealer, turned own best customer, turned addict, turned recovering addict(still there), turned activist, turned business manager, turned student, turned Substance Abuse Counselor, turned better and happier person, turned some who can love and be loved (Love you Patrick), turned blogger.

In the GBLTQI community we focus a lot on our outer appearance. How’s my hair? How do I look in this outfit? Does my make-up look good? I’m I too thin, or too fat? We can spend hours at the gym working out without any hesitation. But when it comes to working on our inner being, our soul, we tend to avoid it like the black plague. Many of us don’t even know where to begin.

My hope is that this post will help you figure out how to begin your “Work-In” program. Yes, just like a workout program at the gym, it’s going to be challenging. It won’t be easy. It will hurt like hell at times and will really suck at other times. It will take dedication. You get out what you put in. Lastly, it’s going to take some time to see/feel some results. Patience is a virtue. As a result of all your hard work you will see life in a much different way. You will feel so much better about yourself and the world around you.

Recreating, reinventing or revising who we are is what will keep us stronger than our sorrows; which can lead to unhealthy addictions. I always hear people say “I just want to go back to the way things were and the person I was before I started using drugs or alcohol.” Well I sure the hell don’t want to. What these people don’t realize is that the ways things were, and the person “I” was, is what got us using in the first place.

For most of us in recovery, we were given a second, third, fourth (and so on…) chance at life. Yet we try to do the same things over and over again expecting a different outcome. That, my friends, is the definition of insanity.

Our first lesson is: Accept Change

(Quick Disclaimer: The suggestions on this blog are just that “SUGGESTIONS.” My words cannot heal your pain and or addictions. Only you can. “Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness." -- Shakti Gawain)

"We cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life's morning; for what in the morning was true will in evening become a lie." -- C.G. Jung

Life continually evolves. We’re always moving into new experiences, new possibilities. This constant change unsettles the personality, which finds security in stability. But with life always in flux, that security is an illusion. We experience pain by trying to hold on to things that are not solid.

Life becomes joyful when we can open to the constant flow and ride freely with it. This requires us to let go of the need to control. We need to learn to trust.

"Can it then be that what we call the ‘self’ is fluid and elastic? It evolves, strikes a different balance with every new breath." -- Wayne Muller

"We’re never the same; notice how you’re called to write something entirely different about a topic you responded to weeks or months ago." -- Patrice Vecchione

Personal growth can be a long hard journey. At Higher Awareness you are never left alone. From The Inner Journey (C) Reproductions Permitted:

Read more Daily Motivations at
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