Cassie rated the Halloween frights

Boo, y’all! It is that time a year again. Some call it gay Christmas but to most of the world it is Halloween. I love this time of year — cooler weather, menzez dressing up all slutty and of course candy. What’s not to love? I also love the flood of horror movies out at the theater and on TV.

I was so looking forward to the new Halloween movie with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode, Michael Myers’ nemesis, hell-bent on destroying the killer once and for all. I didn’t hate it but it really fell short of being a “killer” movie. The best part of the movie was the foul-mouthed little boy that seemed like the only smart person in the film.

The theme from Halloween has been my ringtone for five years, so you know I am a fan, but if it wasn’t for some of the horrific kills and great gore I would probably change my (ring) tone. The whole girls kick ass part of the film fell short. I wanted more of a Sarah Conner from Terminator 2 badass chick moment but got more of a Sarah Conner from Terminator 1.

The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix has everything you want in Halloween chills and more. It is a retelling of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 classic book but has been updated brilliantly, tackling the subject of mental illness and addiction while still delivering great scares and a spooky feel. I haven’t even finished all 10 episodes yet, but I am blown away by the writing and acting. The first episode started a little slow but as you watch it builds, and each episode seems to get better and better.

Mike Flanagan, the writer and director, also did the Netflix adaptation of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game using many of the same actors in Hill House. I am now obsessed with him and will watch anything that has his name attached to it. Seriously, give Hill House a watch. It will feed that human need for being safely scared and if you see something you think might scare me, let me know. We dark souls need to stick together.

If you like haunted houses, I strongly suggest Dark Hour in Plano. We went recently and I can honestly say it is one of the best haunted house attractions ever. The level of detail is incredible. The scares range from elaborate and horrifying to over the top gore to sometimes corny. We were almost eaten by a bed with teeth. The use of lasers make this haunt a definite 10. It is a full 360 degree experience. I loved it!

Now let’s help some of the spirits in this realm.

Dear Cassie, One of my best friends just recently tested positive for HIV. He is very freaked out and upset so I am trying to be there for him and be the best friend I can possibly be, but let me tell you a little of his history. My bestie is a self-proclaimed slut. His Grindr profile basically said for random guys to come over and “dump their load” into him. I knew he was into barebacking but I figured he was on PReP or something. I actually thought he was already HIV-positive and that’s why he didn’t care if they used a condom.

I know many people who are HIV-positive live happy, healthy lives but he is depressed and feels like his life is over. Part of me just wants to hug him and tell him everything will be okay but another part of me want to yell at him and say what did you think was going to happen? I am torn, what should I do? Thanks for your help, signed, Ralph.

Dear Ralph, A true best friend can do both of those things. Be there for him, volunteer to go to see the doctor with him, help educate him, introduce him to your friends that are HIV-positive and willing to talk to him about what to expect now that he is positive. But also read the fuck out of him for thinking that being a cumdump with no protection of any kind would lead to anything other than a STD. What the hell was he thinking?

You should have Cher-in-Moonstruck-slapped him and said “Snap out of it! Use a condom! Get on PReP! Do something!” Or did your sex talks not happen till he tested positive? Look, the truth is, being positive is not the death sentence it once was. Some of the strongest people I know are HIV-positive. Some of them found that being positive made them stronger and made them more aware of their health so they live better more active lives.

Make sure your friend goes to a doctor and stays on his medications. If he can’t afford his medications or doesn’t have insurance, Texas has many great resources he can use to help. There is an entire network of people whose sole job is to help people that have recently tested positive. There is so much help out there for your friend or anyone that tests positive and is freaking out.

You can’t go back in time to prevent him for being exposed to HIV but you can encourage him now to live a better life and not to expose anyone else he sleeps with to HIV. We live in a culture that, if you watch porn, tends to glorify barebacking and unprotected sex. The results of that are more people testing positive for HIV and other STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise. And let’s be honest, there is nothing sexy about a pus-drippy dick or ass warts.

As a best friend, you need to keep it real but you also need to help him out. Don’t tippy-toe around the subject. Be his shoulder to cry on and the kick in the ass he needs. Stay strong for him in his time of crisis, let him know that it will get better as long as he sticks to the plan laid out for him by a doctor. Hopefully this helps you, your friend and anyone who reads this that might be doing the same kinds of unsafe practices.

Remember folks, if you insist on being a cumdump, please get on PReP and get yourself tested for everything, and do it often. Or even better, get on PReP and still use condoms — why take a chance on a lifetime of medications and possible health problems? Live a smart life.

Sorry if I come off a little preachy, but I grew up in a world where if you didn’t practice safe sex, you died. I lost so many friends that it is hard for me to wrap my head around young folks not caring about their sexual health until they have to. Safe sex can still be hot sex. Take care of you!

Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova.