Featured Faces: Dangerous Lee
Interview by Theresa Roach

Lei "Dangerous Lee" Langston, the author of Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down, says there is not enough education about HIV and AIDS. The Burton resident said that over the years she has discovered that regardless of numerous education programs and infomercials, many people are confused on the facts about HIV and AIDS. Not enough people are discussing the issue and if they are, it isn't sexy, which is exactly why Lee decided it was time to write her own tales of safe sex.

Theresa Roach: What is Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down about?

Dangerous Lee: Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down is six erotic tales of safe sex with an emphasis on HIV education.

TR: Erotica? What do you say to people who think a book about HIV and AIDS being erotica is an oxymoron?

DL: [Laughs] Oh. It's definitely erotica. Anybody that's familiar with erotica will know. It's raunchy and sexy, but the issue of HIV and AIDS plays a back story to the stories in the book. It's not hitting you in the head with the information, but it's part of the story, and why shouldn't it be? If you break it down, there are people with HIV having sex right now.

TR: Why did you want to write this book specifically about HIV and AIDS and not about any other sexually transmitted diseases?

DL: This book was something I was working on before I started working at Wellness [AIDS Services of Flint], but having worked there and speaking to people on a weekly basis about HIV and AIDS opened my eyes even more. People still think you can get HIV from a kiss.

I chose to stick with HIV because at this point in America, it's an African American disease. I wanted to focus on that because, obviously, we weren't getting the information. I definitely wanted to get it out there. The stigma is just crazy.

That's why I had to write this book: People love erotica. You can be educated and “eroticized” with this book.

TR: There are people who are uneducated about HIV and AIDS. How do you make sure the readers understand the medical information in the story since it's not a textbook? If the characters are “talking shop” so to speak, how do you make sure your readers understand the medical terms?

DL: There are facts and fiction in the back of the book. I definitely didn't want to use all these terms and have all this information in the stories and people saying “What is that? What does that mean?”

TR: And how did you learn all of the terms? Was it from your work at Wellness AIDS Services?

DL: I knew quite a bit before, but I learned a hell of a lot more, and I'm still learning.

At Wellness, we reach out to high-risk groups and try to get the message out. We have venues set up ahead of time, but sometimes we get people that call and ask us to come out and talk. We go in and do HIV 101—talk about the ways the virus is contracted, how to reduce your risk and talk about the facts and the misconceptions.

There's so much information out there and with the different advances in technology and medicine, there's more to learn all the time. To do what I do [at Wellness], you have to go through certification. Training is always going on with this job; every couple of years you have to get certified, so I'm constantly learning.

TR: So how can we buy this book?

DL: You can buy the book online at www.pantiesupskirtdown.com through CreateSpace, an Amazon.com company that helps self-published writers. You can read the whole first chapter for free at the website.

© Theresa Roach, 2010