Ballroom Dance – the Male Headspace Game Changer

Ballroom Dance for All

I went to a Christmas afternoon do of the kind my mother used to tell me about –  a basket, ballroom dance party…probably one of the best fetes I’ll go to for the Season…courtesy of the Port Antonio amateur ballroom dance group led by a former Arthur Murray instructor.  Knock out, drop dead pool terrace venue overlooking the Rio Grande (Jamaica) Valley.  All sectors of society present, including the more unusual and happily becoming more usual social cross section.

So let me tell you the value of ballroom dance in changing headspace…one member is female, a tiny, fit, 61 yr old new entrepreneur who has just left a soul killing 22 yr relationship…she now has what the Spanish call and absolute RABIA (route word ‘rabies’ :)) for her newly learned dance skills.  Three males are young men from humble beginnings, trained in IT and out of work for now.  The little lady decided she’d found a way to keep them out of trouble…AND HOW…  To see these boys now is awe inspiring…we still have to work a bit on dress and grooming to acquire the polish of the ballroom but the head space and skill is there!  This is a good, solid intermediate group of lads who can look a dance partner squarely in her Tango eye and lead her.  They see themselves as male, accomplished and leaders…oh happy day…the key ingredients to the healthy male psyche.  Check out the younger men, older women pairing…nothing to it and they call her Auntie, but ‘it don’t look like no Auntie/Nephew business’ when we cut the rug, I can tell you.  There is a healthy element of fantasy that translates –  switces the headspace into believing you can be and do more, be bigger than you are…and we, tangoed, waltzed, merengued, jived, congaed and socaed!!!

I kind of dropped into the party by accident because of my mile long reputation of having a rabia for dance in general and my experience of it.  Weeeellllllll…there stood I on the fringes of the dance floor when one of these lads spotted me and raised the traditional macho ‘come here’ hand beckon.  I looked at him out of one eye and asked who he thought he was and admonished him to note that ballroom dance required manners and etiquette…he swept me into the circle and informed me the Tango was a man’s dance…I raised my eyebrows in amused disbelief and warned the lad not to ‘fly past his nest’.  It is a rare thing to see Jamaican marginalised males ‘step up’.   This little phrase and movie title is really what dance is all about for men.  It is a legitimate way to elegantly lead the female sex without threat to her modern ego and absolutely play to her biologically programmed wish to be led by a man.  It is ‘safe sex’ allowing not just physical but the more erotic mental interaction many women crave and to which few men pay attention.

The men who vociferously poopoo ballroom dance are the same ones who become intensely jealous of those who want to dance with their women…dance is inherently sexual and we all know it consciously or unconsciously…the more comfortable you are with sexual identity the more easily you ballroom dance.  Jamaicans’ history with ballroom dance is an exact metaphor for our sense of self, especially our men…we were avid dance partners till the late 60’s/early 70’s…now that skill has disappeared…we are fractured mentally…and though it used not to be, homosexuality is a new terror to us as well…all part and parcel.

So my advice is, if you want to improve your mental and physical health…find a ballroom dance groups.  It:

Is great exercise, re calories and improving coordination (grace, Usain is graceful is he not?!)

Usually ends up getting you to clean up and be nice to be near (grooming)

Is safe sex

Teaches men they can lead by guidance and not force

Creates a safe environment in which women enjoy being led

Gives the brain new learning work

Opens up your social circle, etc., etc.

Don’t just go and jump into any and every group, find a style and group that matches your personality like you would find a friend, doctor, etc., etc.  One size never fits all so go watch a few sessions of groups you’re considering joining FOR FUN…

Are they laughing and chatting and getting on together?

Are they happily bumbling through mistakes?

Is everybody equal and treated with respect?

Is it a level you can manager?

Is everybody HAVING FUN?

Don’t make the mistake of taking on sessions in a studio oriented to pros if just plain old fun is your aim…the atmosphere in these venues is RADICALLY different.  So get out there and shake a leg…!!!  Long live The Dance…!  If the world does end, I’ll die happy doing it :)!!!

(Of course that cap would have to come off as we progress :))


The Continuing Paradox of HIV – the Midwest Caribbean Assoc HIV/AIDs Awareness Day Points the Way to the Next Stage of the Challenge

HIV has always hit where it hurts the social conscious most. It runs parallel, like no other health condition, to the ills of society and our personal lives. My association with it has been an odd one – an issue that circles back into my consciousness at regular intervals.

I first knew of it when I was studying nursing and the school did a great job defusing the bomb – it was an illness that was more likely to cause us to do harm to our patients than they would likely do harm to us. I was involved in the first research for HIV nursing policy for the NYC Health & Hospitals Corp. Barrier nursing and move right along… so I never had a morbid fear of it, just respect. Then I had a boyfriend in New York who had a crack addict brother and in those days (late 80s) they were still sorting out the dangers of tears and saliva so I decided to get tested. The lab personnel back in Jamaica wanted to know why someone like me would want to get tested…apparently this still happens in some places even today. Next, I took on the HIV education of our surgeons in training at the request of their consultant. Then I left it behind a while …until med school. Before entering, I went to a convent to pray about the rightness of my decision to take up medicine rather belatedly. Kneeling in front of a statue of Mary (the Catholic representation of the ancient goddess archetype), I got this message, clear as day, “The generative force of the universe has been bastardised”. I knew it referred to HIV, STIs & abortion, but what was I supposed to do with this knowledge? I still don’t know. Then …the day…as a senior student helping out a nurse suffering from ‘short-staffedness’, I stuck myself with an IV needle while trying to canalise an obtunded patient with AIDS. I had forgotten one part of my universal precautions and recapped a needle. I remembered the rest; bleed, wash with soap, get on therapy within 2 hours, draw baseline blood, report to consultant. Fear and the ART nearly killed me, inflamed kidneys, dizziness, nausea, starlights in my abdomen, yeast…at day 11 (the earliest theoretical day seroconversion could occur), having talked to 3 mentors and returned to the convent, I made my peace with God and discontinued the therapy I should have been on for 1 month. I tested at 3 mons., 6 months and the year. Negative. To date, Jamaica has had no conversions from needle injuries. I left it behind again and then almost by luck of the draw, got invited to the Chicago Midwest Caribbean Assoc.’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to present the Jamaican situation. I thought I’d seen and heard it all… but not like this.

First of all, I recalled Carolyn Myss’s book, Anatomy of the Spirit …HIV is a disease of victim mentality…is her thesis. There it was, the population that day was a range of full Caucasian to full Negro and everything in between and we were American Negro or Caribbean immigrant any and everything. A minor representation of American Caucasian in positions of power matched and superceded, in this forum, by non-Caucasion people in power and no Australoids or Mongoloids. Mongoloids present a paradox. One group, the Asians, were not present because their social structure is strong enough to preclude high rates of HIV and another group, the Native Americans was absent because it is so marginalised that it was not represented at all. Therefore, a near exact ethnic map of maginalisation was manifest. The main speaker of the day made the essential connection. To live with, beside or inspite of HIV, you have to take the chains off your brain. All ignorance, intolerance, prejudice and judgementalism has to die first…which led me to the real eye-opener.

The degree of interracial, interethnic, international interaction; tolerance; candour and live-and-let-live is something I’ve never seen the like of before. Personal horror stories are the norm, rites of passage are inescapable, ‘overcomings’ are astounding. There was mild and gentle side by side with militant and wild, each had its role and place. The interpersonal discomforts were acknowledged by some and put aside by all in the name of the cause. Everyone had sacrificed time and money to be there.

I saw and heard who had been cheated on, who born with it, who had had wild sex, who had come from the gutter and jail to the pastorship and married heterosexually on the way, after having a years long same sex relationship…all the dirty laundry of our real lives was on parade with forgiveness and acceptance. Previous rape, incest, abuse and addiction of the challenged was the common path. An entire generation has now grown up with HIV/AIDS and our national experiences are as similar as the details of these experiences can be stunningly different. Women are getting the short end of the stick everywhere, but IV needles will never play a part in one country. The more Negroid the population in the Americas the more HIV, but where any ethnic or racial group live in marginalized circumstances, rates are comparable with the exception of the Australian Australoids…they are blessedly and paradoxically marginalised enough that they have no extra exposure and virtually aren’t represented in any forum.

…So is this what HIV is here to teach us…? That we are more/better than the physical manifestation of our beings? …And what a comment that we needed such a lesson…  Furthermore, suffice it to say, when I get a new diagnosis to deal with, should they need it, I automatically give them 3 months sick leave for medication adjustment time.

As the Midwest Caribbean Assoc points the way to the next stage of the HIV challenge, this is how I symbolize the transition and some interesting connections I made:





The Midwest Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Town Hall Meeting-Chicago

A complete Franco-Hispano-Anglo Americas Caribbean Panel
HIV Town Hall Chicago on CAN TV

The wonderful Franco-anglo-hispanic panel I sat on

My panel is ‘four videos long’ on my Youtube channel, OnlineJamaica.
With the kind assistance of the Midwest Caribbean American Association, I was here on a panel to bring a perspective directly from one of the English Caribbean territiory’s governments and its foremost learning institution, The University of the West Indies.

Two of the the day’s events were documented in seven 15 min videos on Youtube and below is the 4th in the series – the first pertaining to the panel in which I took part. It was such a good feeling being part of something so universally Caribbean – I’d never been to a forum in which all the Caribbean’s base cultures were represented – GREAT LEADERSHIP on the part of the Midwest Caribbean Assoc.  We need FAR more of it, in every sphere & walk of Caribbean life!  The other play list documents David Robertson’s presentation (3 videos long) – a quite remarkable young  man & HIV/AIDS survivor. He got me, first and foremost proving to me, Carolyn Myss’s theory that HIV/AIDS is a disease of victims…this young man has left the victim role…and most look like him once they’ve turned their barks on the victim role…sometimes it takes a long time and some never make it…but those who do, laugh, smile are smart & warm & reach out way beyond themselves. And we uninfected people really buy into the victim business because I remember being stunned at what those who were leading happy, fulfilled lives looked like despite the expected percentage who succumbed to the cushingoid habitus.  There was even a happy-go-lucky little fellow who was 23 and diagnosed at 2 years…it’s with us People, we could as well all ‘get with the programme’!  Real love and respect and safe sex…




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New Book – Erotic Literature

The Brown Phoenix: An Erotic Dialogue from The Indies



I have recently edited what I believe to be some of the most beautiful and psychologically valuable erotic writing I’ve read in many years.  If you are more reserved re your sexuality, this book is not for you.  However, if you would like to partake of a very honest and explicit spiritual, psycho-sexual self analysis, this is a beautiful book written equally by a man and a woman.

This is my foreword and book cover below that.

This writing is cathartic and intensely erotic.  It is excerpted from 10 years of a couple’s personal correspondence.  During my sessions with the man, this ruthless self-expose was revealed to me and it was evident that the catharsis had ascended the realms of Art.  He expressed an interest in publishing as will be seen during the discourse. When asked why, he said he believed it would help other people come to terms with their own psycho-sexual spiritual selves and, tongue in cheek, he claimed he has exhibitionist tendencies.

I was convinced to assist because I think he is right on all counts.  It has been a privilege and challenge to edit, and still leave intact, the raw power of this naïve, erotic art.  Great Art has many levels and no one person can say art is great, that determination is made by a ‘mass’ of perceivers, but I can say that this art is between good and great.  I determined to help push it up the ladder and add an element common to all great Art, the ‘abstract’.  I have not created the story between X and Y or a literal, chronological correspondence.  Hopefully, the abstract envelope in which I have set this work allows access to tiers of readers – the purely sexual and the Erotic.  People are born one or other and I’ve found my role seems to be that of easing erotic people through life because their journeys are often more challenging – they ‘think-feel’ more.  I hope I have done this folio justice.

Men certainly feel intensely and deeply, but few I know have all four of the other prerequisites for producing stuff such as you are about to experience – the inspiration, the gift of expression, the ability to transcribe it and the will to manifest it.  The partner has gifts of her own; she is the man’s love and together they have created art of more than one kind.  I believe writing like this is committed by writers who have no option but to commit it.  And Art inspires Art.  The fourth piece, ‘After 50 Years’, was inspired by the woman’s re-telling of an excerpt from Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things”.  Shades of Scheherazade…

In the ‘developed world’, the work also exposes a paradox for western popular culture because although the dominant voice is male, it is not the controlling entity.  That role belongs to the female half of the partnership whose permission to publish was granted.

The Sexes appear as they do in nature, opposite and complementary with roles and attached social mores sometimes blurred.  As with all such writing, expect to see/enjoy/ recoil at your own emotional life as you read this relentlessly honest mix of poetry and prose.  Any evolutionary advantage of such emotions is still largely a mystery… and tell me you don’t recognise Kali in the epilogue.

S. Lowe

Original Cover Photography: “The Phoenix” by Vojko Kalan
Copyright © Vojko Kalan @PublicDomainPicture

Your Sexual Orientation – ‘Finding Your North’

Yes, about your sexual orientation…quit killing-up yourself over it…YOU ARE NORMAL…just ‘minority normal’…or in scientific terms ‘a standard deviation’…and ‘deviation’ here has nothing to do with depravity; it’s a scientific term that means you don’t fit under the bell of the bell curve, i.e., you are the ‘outliers’ of what is NORMAL! You are to the heterosexual population what left-handers are to right-handers…91% right-handers, 9% left-handers. We now know they’re not aberrants and not to try and change them over…they’re a normal ‘variation on a theme’…for you musicians…(and did you ever notice that among left-handers & homosexuals there is a disproportionately high number of geniuses?) Unfortunately, approach to sexuality is the reverse. Being homosexual was never a big deal until the mid 1800’s.  In fact, lesbian cohabitation was called a ‘Boston Marriage’ in this city in the US at around this date.  Nobody was trying to change over anybody. Then something happened around the time of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment and nothing has been the same since. Great shame, really…

Now we have EVERYBODY flaunting sexuality like it’s some forbidden fruit given us by aliens. Just find some place on the planet where you’re comfortable with yourself and live your life however it makes you happy without hurting yourself or others. Did you read that last sentence?  Good…just as with heterosexuals…you are not allowed to go converting fence-sitters or those who have yet to find ‘their north’ OR involving minors in your affairs in today’s day and age. Yes, yes, I know…up to the 1600’s they weren’t minors; menses meant adulthood…not so today…so accept this fact. The mind is taking longer to mature because there is simply way more stuff that it has to process on the road to adulthood! Furthermore, hetero-, homo- or crossexual; unless you are aberrant; you cannot possibly need more than 3 lovers! It was the rare cave man that had more…and (s)he was Mankind in its most natural state. AND I DON’T GIVE 2 FARTHINGS WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY… USE A CONDOM!!! JUST AS THE YOUNG ARE NO LONGER SOCIALLY VIABLE AS ADULTS AT THE ONSET OF MENSES AND VOICE CHANGE; YOU CANNOT GO AROUND WITHOUT A CONDOM…END OF STORY…DON’T ARGUE WITH ME!!

At any one time, fully 5% to 10% of the world’s population is homosexual (don’t ask me where my old psych. prof. got this stat.) and then there is another bunch of ‘facultatives’ (like a right-hander who has to learn to use his left-hand if the right doesn’t function…he’s still a righty by birth). These people move ‘back and forth’ … the relationship can override the sexuality.  Sexuality is actually a continuum of orientation…anywhere from heteros who have homo fantasies to homos with hetero fantasies and everything in between, further clouded by hormonal and genetic issues including brains that don’t match bodies, frank hermaphrodites…etc. Look here, nature is NORMALLY full of variation, there are exceptions to every rule…THIS IS LIFE! So for God’s sake don’t sweat what you THINK you are…find someone to talk to who can help you find your little place in the sun that doesn’t harm you or others. True, harder in some places than others…

Update 24/9/18

I never knew how right I was!!!  They taught us rubbish in med school about human sexuality!   It really is a continuum to the point where some populations make room for homosexual/heterosexual shift as a normal right of passage.  Once we start boxing and pigeonholing that’s when the extremism comes out.   I’ve learned more about this in dealing with HIV clients that anywhere else and unless the world’s public health systems start taking into account the true nature of sexual variation we will contine to ‘dig horrors’ with HIV.  Imagine the facilitator of a  Health e Foundation seminar cutting off an HIV seminar guest who was asked to explain the medics how he viewed his own fluid sexuality “because it wasn’t the time/place/ point of the seminar’!!!!… It’s late people and the night gets darker …. wake up!  Fluid sexuality is not about depravity… it’s about finding ‘your true north’…where your soul is at rest.

Sexual Techinques & Fun

Mail & Guradian Online
India teaches the Kama Sutra to combat HIV
 NEW DELHI  – Aug 07 2003 14:20

Officials in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal are teaching sex workers the traditional Hindu treatise on sex, Kama Sutra, in an attempt to check the spread of HIV/Aids, a report said on Thursday.

The courses are being conducted by the state government’s Aids Control Society at Sonagachi, the red light area of the state’s capital Calcutta. It is being backed by India’s Institute of Social Development (IISD), a non-governmental organisation, the Indian Express newspaper reported.

The courses are aimed at teaching the prostitutes how to use Kama Sutra techniques to help their clients derive sexual pleasure without actually engaging in sexual intercourse. IISD chief Rajyashree Choudhury said the techniques would help sex workers whose clients refuse to use condoms.

“The prostitutes have to give in or lose the customer. This increases the risk of spreading the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among the girls if they give in and also to men when they find someone who will agree to unprotected sex,” she said.

“Since 88% of HIV/Aids cases come from unsafe sex, the various ways laid down in the Kama Sutra can be resorted to by prostitutes to help their customers achieve pleasure. The girls are quite responsive,” Choudhury said.

Last year, West Bengal reported 1 137 new HIV cases and so far this year 603 new cases have been reported.

India has about four-million HIV/Aids cases according to the United Nations Aids control organisation UNAids. – Sapa-DPA

Catholic Kama Sutra


The correct Roman Catholic sexual position is not, as many might imagine, missionary, infrequent and with the lights out, but “saucy, surprising and fantasy packed”.

The bleak traditional view was St Paul’s injunction to the Corinthians: “It is better to marry than to burn with passion.” However, a Polish priest who has written a best-selling sex manual dubbed the “Catholic Kama Sutra” believes it is better still to marry and burn with passion.

The first edition of the book by Father Ksawery Knotz, a Franciscan from a monastery outside Krakow, titled Seks (in very large letters) and “for married couples who love God” in rather smaller type, has sold out and is being hastily reprinted in Warsaw.

“Every act — a type of caress, a sexual position — with the goal of arousal is permitted and pleases God,” he writes. “During sexual intercourse, married couples can show their love in every way, can offer one another the most sought-after caresses. They can employ manual and oral stimulation.”

His book has the blessing of the Polish Catholic Church and follows the orthodox line in many ways: he firmly addresses only married couples and discourages the use of any form of contraception, saying it can “lead a married couple outside of Catholic culture and into a completely different lifestyle”. But within those confines, couples are urged to let rip.

“Some people, when they hear about the holiness of married sex, immediately imagine that such sex has to be deprived of joy, frivolous play, fantasy and attractive positions. They think it has to be sad like a traditional church hymn,” he writes. Calling sex a celebration of the marriage sacrament raises its dignity in an exceptional way. Such a statement shocks people who learned to look at sexuality in a bad way. It is difficult for them to understand that God is also interested in their happy sex life, and in this way gives them his gift.”

If not shocked, some readers might wonder what a celibate priest knows about the subject. Conceding that a priest writing a book about sex is seen as sensational, he insists that his experience may be second hand but is extensive.

“I talk with a lot of married couples and I listen to them, so these problems just kind of sit in my mind,” he said. “I would like for them to be happier with their sex life, and for them to understand the church’s teachings so there won’t be unnecessary tension or a sense of guilt.” He has also run a website offering sexual advice to the devout for the past year.

Warm, fulfilling discussions are ongoing about translations into Slovakian, Italian and English. The publishers are in ecstasy. — © Guardian News & Media 2009

Interstitial Cystitis

So…what about this preventable plague…standard medical practice sees interstitial cystitis as a morass of germ cause, inflammatory response, poor personal and sex hygiene and biological susceptibility and is stumped for offering  any standard cure.  With natural alternatives, treatment is also tailor-made. Prevention is really best. And don’t kid yourself…men and women can get it, men more often get the urethritis and women the pelvic pain of bladder affliction.  Both sexes can be carriers…not a single symptom or none recognisable as anything sinister …while the unfortunate partner becomes a mess. Beware what women always think is yeast, the prickling may not be in the ‘orifice of first guess’ and if the source of the prickling is the urethra it’s a good chance of being urethritis.  Urethritis/IC, depending on the pathogen, can affect any combination of the three/two orifices.  And, no ladies, you are not mad; the sacral ache and joint pains might all be part and parcel of this genitourinary misfortune.  The pestilential complication is urethritis in both sexes. Think about it; the bladder is a collector so urine and remedy/medication can sit in it and bathe its walls, but the urethra is a conduit, it has direct interface with urine and any rememdy, only seconds at a time, a relatively few times per day…so if you’re going to tackle the IC that is combined with urethritis, you will likely need an overnight urethral instillation introduced after the bladder is emptied and the carrier substance is going to be a key issue, needs to cling to mucosa a bit.
You got cystitis?  Try to make sure it’s only the once!  Hit it hard, fast and accurately any way that really works. YOU MAY NOT HAVE TOO MANY CHANCES BEFORE IT CONVERTS TO INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS! Which really means the germ alters itself for or is already prone to cohabiting with your genitourinary tissue in a parasitic relationship.
And if you are cured, you might have been lucky or have received a miracle and it’s ‘no skin off your nose’, so to speak. The more likely scenario, which will of course depend on the pathogen itself, is that you will have to treat one, two or all three orifices AND can expect that since the pathogen likes you so much that it now cohabits with your tissues; when you’re ridding yourself of it there will be complaints…pain, sometimes severe, bleeding from the bladder and/or urthra, lapses that feel worse and worse the more the system decreases it’s tolerance of the microbe as the bacterial load decreases, some extraordinary odours and detritus in the urine, AND, depending on how long you’ve had IC/urethritis (anywhere from a few months to 20 years because of missed diagnoses, wrong/ineffective prescriptions, etc, etc.), you must prepare yourself for the long haul…a month to a year in some cases.
You can ask me for additional knowledge, insights and references.