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I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013


A new study suggests that gay men generally have “significantly fewer” sexual partners than they did 10 years ago.

Comparing data from National Surveys of Family Growth in 2002 and between 2006-10, the study shows a consistent decline in sexual partners across most ethnicities and age groups, particularly men under the age of 24.

Condom use, or rather, the sad lack thereof, remains unchanged.

Key findings include:

* Between 2002 and 2010, the mean number of sexual partners among men who have sex with men (MSM) fell from 2.9 to 2.3
* Among men under 24, 2.9 to 2.1; among men 35-44, 3.0 to 2.2
* Among men with incomes under 150% of the US federal poverty level, 3.0 to 2.1
* Among men living in suburban metropolitan areas, 3.2 to 2.1; the number of sexual partners remained the same among men in city-center areas, 2.6
* Among white men, 3.0 to 2.5; among black men, 2.4 to 1.9
* In 2002, 57% of men had not used a condom the last time they had sex, compared to 58% in 2006-10
* Among MSM who also have sex with women, 46% had not used a condom the last time they had vaginal sex in 2002, compared to 67% by 2010
* MSM who had had female partners also decreased from 38% to 25%
* Fewer men reported transactional sex (sex for money or drugs), down from 15% to 3%
* Fewer men said they had injected drugs or had had sex with someone who had injected drugs, down from 12% to 5%
* In 2002 and 2006-10, 41% of men said they had had an HIV test in the last year; 38% reported having an STI check-up in 2002 and 39% in 2006-10.
* The proportion of men who had never had an HIV test fell from 25 to 15%.

Researchers claim “gay men appear to have taken steps that could reduce their HIV risk by using a method that has received little emphasis in HIV prevention programmes for gay men – reducing their number of partners – while not increasing condom use, which has received the most emphasis.”

However, HIV prevalence and the incidence of STIs increased in gay men despite the decrease in numbers of partners and other sexual risk behaviors indicate the influence of “network factors,” particularly among young black gay men

According to the study:

Factors about partners that are not captured by the individual risk behavior focus of most studies. For instance, some studies have found that black gay men tend to restrict sex to partners of their own ethnicity and are also more likely to have sex with men a number of years older or younger than themselves. Both of these would tend to concentrate HIV infection within the black gay community.

Meanwhile, one factor that could explain the pruding-up/settling down of MSM America could be the legalization of same-sex marriage. Massachusetts became the first state to adopt gay marriage one year after the first set of data was collected.



The final episode of a season of RuPaul’s Drag Race always fills me with so many emotions. There’s the obvious anticipation as I hope hope hope that my favorite will win. (Please don’t let it go to the bitch!) There’s the agony of knowing that in 90 minutes, once that crown is handed out, I’ll have nothing left to look forward to until this whole process starts up again in eight months. This time around, I had the added pressure of wondering what the hell I’m going to write about, given that half the show was just a bunch of female impersonators sitting on uncomfortable stools.

Luckily, there’s one thing that makes it all better: GIN. If you haven’t already, please drink some right now. It’ll make the rest of this article so much yummier. And yes, I’m aware that my column typically gets posted before noon on a Tuesday. That’s happy hour as far as I’m concerned.

Since Ru has a 90-minute time slot to fill with the announcement of a single name, she’s padding it out like Latrice Royale in a Rent-a-Center dress. Before the festivities begin, the girls deliver a pageant routine that was apparently choreographed by a chimpanzee who had a lot of other things to get done that day. Seriously, I perform a more complex routine getting ready in the morning. Everyone gets a runway moment (I’ll review their looks in a minute), and then BAM: Ru emerges to show them who’s boss.

She’s heavenly in her white, wispy wonderwear, and all is well in the world, until… that’s not… it couldn’t be. Oh, I get it, they’re playing “Can I Get An Amen?” as a joke. No, stop the presses, this is serious. We’re going to sit through this entire song. The sad part is that no one, even the once-and-always drag superstar herself, musters so much as a whiff of excitement about the process. The contestants resume the raising and lowering of their arms with new levels of listlessness, while Ru delivers a lip sync so tragic she could probably take pointers from Vivienne Pinay.

And then it’s on to the interviews. The responses are uniformly either heavily scripted or heavily edited, so I won’t spend much time on them. I’m not even going to comment on each individual contestant, because who even cares about Honey Mahogany’s new wig? Let’s just take a quick glance at the highs and lows.

The most impressive transformation comes by way of early sashayer Penny Tration. Her conceptual look has the artsy flair that Serena ChaCha only wishes she could execute. Smarter still, she showed off a sleek silhouette in a leotard made from the same fabric as her elimination dress, basically doing the first challenge over the way you might turn in a revised paper in college for a higher grade.

Lineysha also delivers dramatic fashion with her winged creation. It’s so disarmingly beautiful that it erases Ru’s knowledge of U.S. history and geography. (You can’t call immigration on someone from Puerto Rico, honey. It’s part of our country. You may as well threaten to deport Alaska. Or an Alaskan.)

Whatever Jade said, it must have been extremely bitchy or extremely incoherent, because her segment is choppier than a YouTube video on your mom’s dial-up connection. Truthfully, it’s nice that someone else took the time to ignore her so that I didn’t have to personally.

Ivy Winters wins the Miss Congeniality prize, mostly because she’s the only one who was eligible. Her red frock is unremarkable, but her Julia Child impersonation makes me want to build a time machine. Like, sure, preventing genocide would be great and all, but imagine if we could right the cosmic wrong of her dismal Marilyn Monroe performance!

The Coco/Alyssa feud is briefly discussed, but the part that really resonates with me is when Ru shames Santino for his “worst dress ever” judgment with basically a verbatim transcript of my Award Awards callout from episode 10. Do you read these recaps, Ru? Because I’m available to write for season 6.

In a look that all but literally says “I should have been in the final three,” Detox delivers a monochrome presentation so flawless that it could make you check the settings on your television. Her interview, like the others, is mostly filler, though the look of genuine horror that creeps across her face when the “Peanut Butter” twerkers swarm her is priceless. (Over on the other side of the stage, Lineysha is grinding so hard on one of the Andrew Christian models that I worry whether her tuck will hold.)

At last, the final three take their seats, vamping to fill the next half-hour with expected tales of family reconciliations and apologies for their snappish behavior and appreciation for their drag superstar husbands, yadda yadda yadda. Nobody cares, just call me when Jinkx gets crowned.

And Jinkx gets crowned! MonSWOON.




Kicking off the Summer movie season this weekend, Iron Man 3 lived up to sky-high expectations with an estimated $175.3 million haul. That ranks second all-time behind last year's The Avengers ($207.4 million), and is way up on the previous Iron Man outings. The movie also continues to do phenomenal business overseas, and is on its way to earning well over $1 billion worldwide.

Iron Man 3
's $175.3 million debut is a huge leap over Iron Man 2's $128.1 million. That's a remarkable achievement given the dodgy history of three-quels—nearly all of them decline from their predecessor—and Iron Man 2's questionable reputation. The main reason for this is simple: audiences viewed Iron Man 3 more as follow-up to The Avengers, which is almost universally beloved, than as a sequel to Iron Man 2.

The Avengers
 was a cultural phenomenon, though, and it took an exceptional marketing effort from Disney to retain so much of that movie's audience. The centerpiece of the campaign was the destruction of Stark's Malibu home, which managed to up the personal stakes while also showcasing some impressive action. The marketing also emphasized Stark's conflict with the elusive Mandarin, which is typically a good strategy with superhero movies (a hero is most interesting when juxtaposed against a strong villain). Add in a marketplace devoid of competition, and this was a perfect recipe for a blockbuster opening.

It's worth noting that the other Avengers follow-ups (Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) aren't going to earn anywhere close to this—from a box office perspective, Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man is the cornerstone of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the entries that don't feature him are going to gross noticeably less.

Compared to The AvengersIron Man 3's audience skewed a bit older (55 percent over 25, compared to 50 percent) but was about even gender-wise (61 percent male vs. 60 percent). 3D ticket sales accounted for 45 percent of the weekend, which is noticeably lower than The Avengers (52 percent). Thanks to an increased screen count, though, Iron Man 3's $16.5 million IMAX haul was a slight improvement on The Avengers.

While some fanboys aren't thrilled about the movie's twists, general audiences dug it, giving it an "A" CinemaScore. From here on out, if Iron Man 3 performs like Iron Man 2 it will close with $427 million; if it holds up like The Avengers, though, it could earn over $500 million. While word-of-mouth will be more Avengers and less Iron Man 2, a particularly competitive May could keep it closer to Iron Man 2.

The box office was all about Iron Man 3 this weekend—it accounted for over 82 percent of the Top 12's business—and the rest of the lineup suffered as a result. In its second weekend, Pain and Gain tumbled 63 percent to an estimated $7.6 million. Through 10 days, director Michael Bay's poorly-received bodybuilder thriller has earned a modest $33.9 million.

Jackie Robinson biopic 42 had a decent hold, easing 42 percent to $6.2 million for a new total of $78.3 million.Oblivion, on the other hand, got obliterated by Iron Man 3: the Tom Cruise sci-fi adventure plummeted 67 percent to $5.8 million. To date, the movie has earned just $76 million, and it's on track to be Cruise's latest outing to fall short of $100 million.

The Croods
 rounded out the Top Five with an estimated $4.2 million, which is off 37 percent. Through its seventh weekend, the DreamWorks Animation hit has earned $168.7 million.

After an awful start last weekend, The Big Wedding dropped 49 percent to $3.9 million in its second frame. Through 10 days, the poorly-reviewed wedding comedy has earned a terrible $14.2 million.

 expanded to 576 locations and took seventh place with an estimated $2.15 million. With $5.2 million in the bank already, the movie appears on pace to earn at least $10 million by the end of its run.

Around-the-World Roundup

While its domestic debut was the big story this weekend, Iron Man 3 is doing even better overseas so far. The movie added $175.9 million from overseas markets, and in just 12 days has already earned over $500 million.

Since opening on Wednesday, the movie has amassed an incredible $63.5 million in China; that's more than recent comic book movies The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man earned in their entire runs. Other top territories for Iron Man 3 include South Korea ($42.6 million), the U.K. ($38.3 million) and Mexico ($35.8 million).

Iron Man 3
 should be in for another good outing next weekend, though Star Trek Into Darkness could provide tough competition when it opens in the U.K., Australia, Germany and Mexico. Still, a final total north of $800 million seems like a guarantee now, and it could even match The Avengers ($888 million) eventually. 


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