It’s been over two months since I contributed a new article to the Life Guide column in Out & About Newspaper! Wow. I really didn’t have anything to write about, and even this article is kind of filler. But it does raise some valid points about the way people manage their money.

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There’s no denying the price to fill up your gas tank is having an impact on your wallet. That’s a given. While we all agree something needs to be done, in the mean time, what can we do to accommodate this added expense?

Perhaps we can adjust our spending to balance things out. Let me give you an example. I have friends who grumble when the price of gas goes up 10 cents. Those same people will walk by a dime on the sidewalk and not pick it up. “Why don’t you pick it up?” I ask them.

“Oh, that’s just 10 cents. I don’t have room for loose change in my pockets,” they reply.

I see. Well in a debit card world, I’m not surprised to hear that. Debit cards are great. I’m not arguing that point. But isn’t 10 cents the same, whether on a sidewalk or on a gas station sign? Is there a new conversion formula I missed out on?

Click here to continue reading.

My newest article for Out & About Newspaper discusses the pros and cons of sharing your partner in an open relationship.

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Question Submitted:

My partner and I have been together for two years and now, suddenly, he wants to have an open relationship. I don’t like the idea of him being with other guys, but I love him and I want to make this work. He says I’m being stubborn and possessive. Maybe I am. What should I do? Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. It sounds kind of hot. Should I agree to it?

Nathan’s Response:

Let’s start with an analysis of what open relationships are really intended to be, and then come back around to the specific situation at hand. The short answer is yes, open relationships can work. But the problem is they often don’t work.

The technical definition of an open relationship is when two people who are already in a relationship agree that they can participate in sexual encounters with other people without guilt, shame, jealousy, or resentment. In order for this to truly work, both partners must fully and completely accept that their partner will be intimate with someone else.

Click here to continue reading.

My newest article for Out & About Newspaper addresses the topic of politics and who should run our country. My personal blog clearly reflects support for Hillary (despite some of her tactics, she’s still my choice). But in this article, I take a more neutral approach and focus on the fact that we Democrats need to be united, regardless of our pick.

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I’ve received several requests to discuss my thoughts on the Democratic Presidential nominees, so for this article, I’m going to look at both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The Positive Points

Let me start out by saying I really and truly feel proud of both of our nominees. They seem to have very optimistic and exciting plans for the future of America. The fact that the citizens of the United States have been so vocal and actively involved this year is proof that we really are dedicated to moving forward in this country. We want to get involved, we want our voices to be heard, and we’re pushing for a better country where everyone receives the same basic human rights.

Click here to read the entire article.

The newest article for my column in Out & About Newspaper deals with having a plan to ensure success. All goals, whether they are personal or business, require a path from start to finish.

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A man was speaking to a small group of people, and he asked how many would like the chance to win a diamond. Everyone volunteered. He put out 50 diamonds on the table. Forty nine of them were fake and one was real. Each person would get 60 seconds to examine them. If they found the real diamond, they got to keep it. A magnifying glass was also provided so they could inspect each one.

Each person examined the diamonds and none of them were able to discover the real one. Once they were finished, the man started the timer to give himself 60 seconds. In just 55 seconds, he lined them all up. With five seconds to spare, he said “This is the real diamond” and held it up.

How could he tell the difference? Since the fakes were all identical, they all looked perfect and flawless. The one real diamond had a small imperfection in it because natural stones do. Once they were all lined up, it was obvious to the naked eye.

What’s the moral of the story? A whole group of people tried to find a diamond, and they couldn’t. Why? Because they didn’t have a plan. The speaker did have a plan, and because of his plan, he was able to execute the action swiftly and successfully.

Click here to continue reading the article…

Before we get into this week’s article, I’d like to thank the wonderful readers of Nathan Exposed. My column on Out & About Newspaper’s website has consistently ranked highly in the “Most Read” articles section. On most days, I’m even at the #1 spot. I have no doubt that you guys have helped put me there by clicking over to my column through this blog. Your support really means the world to me, and I am so grateful for your loyalty.

This week’s article was a doozy. A straight man wrote in to tell me he was having sex with his friend’s wife, and the condom broke. He was scared he’d been exposed to HIV. This is a very real situation, and I had to think carefully about the advice I gave him. Not only did I need to address his concerns, but I also needed to get him to re-consider this awful situation of having an affair. The hard part was realizing this is not just another name in my e-mail box. He’s a real human being and there are consequences for everything.

All I can do is give it my best, and I do hope my advice is helpful.

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Question Submitted by Reader—

I had protected sex with my friend’s wife, and while we were having sex, the condom tore. She has two kids and she says she doesn’t have HIV. What should I do? Will I get HIV? I’m a little afraid.

Nathan’s Response—

Starting from the top of the list, it’s good that you were using a condom. Safe sex is very important every time. Unfortunately, condoms can break. When this happens, action needs to be taken and it needs to be taken quickly.

The first thing you should do is get to a doctor, and it’s ideal that you go within four hours of possible exposure. You’ll need to discuss this at length so you and your doctor can determine if you need to start taking medications. If you do, this is called PEP (post-exposure prevention), in which you will be given a series of anti-HIV medications. The meds are very strong and can make you sick. You will have to take it for a full month. Because of the strength of this medication, doctors only recommend it in emergency situations.

Continue reading this article on Out & About’s website.

All the major gay meccas in the U.S. have seen a dramatic shift in culture. Some of the most famous and historic hotspots are shutting down, and the dividers between gay and straight community seem to be blurring.

My most recent article in Out & About Newspaper deals with this problem on both a local and national level. But the question remains — what can we do to restore gay culture, or does it even matter anymore?

Click here to read the entire article.

The newest entry of my column for Out & About Newspaper has been published. The article deals with the topic of how to stop the increasing rates of HIV infection, particularly with younger gay men.

Here was the reader submitted question:

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Hi Nathan,

I’m a 50 year old gay man that has been HIV+ for over 22 years and I’m alarmed at the news reports that I read about the rises in new HIV infection rates/diagnoses around the world. I know these stories are not fabrications to scare people as I have worked within the HIV/AIDS Service sector as a gay men’s health advisor and I know these statistics to be a reality.

There are lot of reports recently about rises in new HIV infections especially in young gay men; what, if anything, do you think it will take to get this whole new generation of young vibrant gay men to listen to these reports and as a result of that listening getting them to:

1) focusing a little more on their well being by having regular sexual health check-ups (at least once a year) which will include testing for all STI’s (Sexually Transmitted Infections) not just HIV

2) start wearing condoms and learning how to make using condoms sexy and fun even if they feel that using them lessens the pleasure of intimacy or that they ruin the heat of the moment and

3) learn how to negotiate the disclosure of their sero-status with their sexual partners and hopefully at the same time also find out the sero-status of their partners so as to negotiate safer sex practices. Hopefully by addressing these few points we just might be able to make a small dent in this growing rise in new HIV infections?

Read My Response Here

Life Guide

Feb 26, 2008 / Filed in Life Guide / 6 Comments

I’m happy to announce that I’m now writing articles for the online edition of Out & About, which is Nashville’s local GLBT newspaper.

The column is for advice on life, and all aspects of it. The title is “Life Guide” and it’s a play on the name Nathan West (guide = compass = west), which some of you know is just my blogger last name, and not my real last name.

Today the first article went live, and can be viewed at http://www.outandaboutnewspaper.com/article.php?id=2422.

You can also find me featured on their Homepage, and on the left navigation sidebar under “Life Guide”.

The column is open to all readers, not just Nashville ones, so if you have a question, feel free to write into nwest@outandaboutnewspaper.com. You can rest assured that your true identity will be kept strictly confidential and if your question is published, your identity and e-mail address will be protected.

I hope to see you there!

About Nathan

I'm a happily married gay man, writing about my life as a new father and sharing our adventures with a side of snark.
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