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Condom Sales Declining, Rawdogging On The Rise

Even in the age of HIV/AIDS, studies show that several people still aren’t using protection. According to research by Ian Daly, a Details magazine writer who penned "The Death of Safe Sex", condom sales in the United States are getting lower, syphilis is making a comeback, shooting up by 43% between 1994 and 2004, chlamydia cases have doubled in that same time span and since 2001 new cases of HIV have been spiking.

Daly interviewed several professional men (mainly physicians and lawyers), some of whom were married, for the article and his findings were astonishing:

“The only disease I ever got was crabs,” says Mike, 35, scanning the banquettes of women in too-short-for-Casual-Friday dresses, “and that was worth it!” This delights his friends, Evan, 37, and Alan, 43. Handily one-upping his pal, Alan recalls a wild night in a Miami swimming pool. “She ended up giving me Chlamydia,” he says. “And the sick thing is, two or three weeks later I saw her at a party and told her what happened—but she looked even better! So, dude, I took her home, and I got it again!” They all burst out laughing. 

These men are a microcosm of what seems to be changing attitudes toward safe sex among the masses. According to doctors interviewed for the article, more people are starting to view STD’s as nuisances that can mostly be cured and in the cases of HIV, herpes and HPV, they’re seen more as chronic conditions like diabetes, which can be managed. People are also still believing that STDs, especially HIV are more of a homosexual male problem and that because they don’t know anyone infected with the more serious diseases, that they will be fine.

“It keeps us in business. It’s across the board, heterosexual and homosexual. I’m talking about a tremendous rise in Human Papilloma Virus [the cause of genital warts] and Chlamydia in the heterosexual population,” says Dr. Steven Berman, a Manhattan urologist who’s been in practice for 20 years. “People don’t want to be bothered. There’s a tremendous number of people with multiple partners now who might use a condom on the first contact but then frequently drop using condoms quickly afterwards. Even populations who are at risk—patients I’ve treated before for STDs—some men are resistant to using condoms. It’s not sinking in—the message is just not clear.”

Another contributing factor for people’s ignorance discussed in the Details article is that abstinence education has way a substantial amount of resources from sexual education programs that have been proven to work better. The federal government spends twice as much on abstinence programs as it does on the Division of STD Prevention at the CDC—the department that managed to quell outbreaks of gonorrhea and syphilis among soldiers after the Second World War. According to doctors, by displacing those funds you put people more at risk.

The bottom line is, fellas: It’s not just women like Kat Stacks you need to look out.  Ladies: Although the Details piece focuses on men, it’s also a woman’s responsibility to make sure her partner wraps it up because unplanned pregnancy isn’t cute either.

Do you agree that people are taking STD’s less seriously these days? Why aren’t people wrapping it up? —Starrene Rhett (@GangStarrGirl)

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Chris Brown Confirms Summer Tour With Nicki Minaj

Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj are hitting the road. The duo will team up for an upcoming U.S. tour set to kick off this summer, Brown confirmed via social media Friday (April 19) after Variety reported that the tour would begin in the fall.

A potential Sept. 13 concert at New Jersey’s Prudential Center was added to the venue's website and later deleted. The site listed Brown as the marquee act, while Minaj was a featured performer.

Besides going on tour together, Minaj makes an appearance on Brown’s newly released single “Wobble Up,” which also features G-Eazy. The track is the latest music collaboration from Brown and Minaj who have worked together a few times over the years.

News of the joint tour comes a day after it was reported that Minaj parted ways with her longtime management team. The “Gonja Burns” rapper was originally billed to hit the road with Future for the North American leg of her Queen tour but the jaunt was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. The Queens native recently finished up her European tour with Juice WRLD as her special guest.

Last Sunday, Minaj took the stage as a surprise guest for week one of Ariana Grande’s headlining set at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music Festival. It’s unclear if she will hit the stage when Grande returns to perform for week two of Coachella on April 21.

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Adele Separates From Husband Simon Konecki

Adele and her husband Simon Konecki have separated after seven years together. A rep for the “Hello” singer confirmed the split in a statement to the Associated Press Friday (April 19).

“Adele and her partner have separated,” the statement reads. “They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.”

Adele, 30, and Konecki, 45, share a 6-year-old son. The former couple reportedly began dating in 2012 and wed in 2016. Though she tends to keep quiet about her personal life, Adele confirmed her marriage to Konecki during a Grammys acceptance speech in 2017 thanking her husband, manager and son.

Since wrapping up her most recent world tour a few years ago, the British star has been mostly out of the spotlight. In 2017, Adele announced that she may never tour again after being on the road for more than a year.

Last month, she treated a lucky group of fans to an impromptu performance at a New York City gay bar. Days later, paparazzi spotted Adele walking into a New York City recording studio. Rumor has it that her long-awaited fourth studio album will drop sometime this year.

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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
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Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas State University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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