Harm Reduction in Honolulu

Honolulu community outreach workers give advice to avoid celeb-style overdoses. See link

Michael K. Williams died of accidental overdose that included fentanyl, cocaine

In Honolulu “Harm Reduction” is the controversial policy

Harm Reduction concedes the impossibility of harm prevention

According to my inexpert understanding, “Harm Reduction” is a policy based upon the theory that people are going to do what they want no matter the danger, no matter the educational efforts, no matter how bad it is for them. No one knows why people do things they know will hurt them–why do we start in the first place and why don’t we stop? Even if we do stop why is it so very difficult? What we know is people engage in behavior that is pleasurable but risky, as d when continued changes from merely pleasurable to compulsive and destructive. We cannot stop people. Therefore society might as well help them do what they do safely bc bad outcomes in one segment of society will effect everyone. One controversial point is: harm Reduction is not the same as encouraging people to do something, but accepting the inevitable reality of free will being the most important factor in behavior. What does this policy look like in action?

It means teaching teens how to obtain birth control bc no matter what anyone says they will not all be abstinent until marriage (is anyone?).

Honolulu Harm Reduction

In Honolulu Harm Reduction means stationing outreach workers in a van downtown on most weekdays for the purposes of exchanging, but NOT, distributing clean needles to iv drug users, giving away free condoms, passing out informational pamphlets, etc…. Everyone thought diseases like AIDS would stay confined to the population that did things society opposes–promiscuous gay sex, shooting dope, prostitution. But AIDS did not only target the “bad” people. It turned out, to everyone’s genuine surprise, that people do t necessarily have complete double lives. Sometimes they just dabble in something. They step into the scene then step out, real quick, so they are barely there. They are not full time gay, they are men, who now and again, pick up a transgender sex worker. No one would ever guess that the forbidden thing that almost never happens is actually the norm. Hence, diseases that are spread by doing something, whether it is once or as a lifestyle, these diseases travel from “them” to “us.” We don’t care about them–let the addicts kill themselves. But we care about ourselves, and it turns out we have addicts in our midst, or we engage with addicts working the street now and then. Disease outed people more than any shift in society’s attitude could have.

No one would ever guess that the forbidden thing that almost no one sees going on is actually the norm. Plenty of publicly “normal” people do the “abnormal” just a little , privately. I write this blog to show people they are not alone.

Caroleena’s purpose for the blog as it relates to harm Reduction.

People Use drugs alone–and die

Because if the stigma attached to using drugs, people do it in secret. If they overdose these us no one there to help them. They die needlessly. Articles about celeb drug overdoses, like the one linked to this post, do not say if the person was aline but they must have been bc there is always a mystery about why they were found dead. Later, the truth, or what we are told us true, us revealed. In Honolulu outreach workers have a stated goal if getting the anti overdose drug to as many people as possible, users or not. If anyone happens upon a scene where someone has collapsed and us not breathing, a good Samaritan can administer the drug as a nasal spray and simply save a life. Certainly the people hanging out with users can do the same.

Don’t use drugs alone.

Honolulu Community Outreach workers

The controversial summary: people will use drugs no matter what. Surprisingly, everyone is affected because disease does not stay within a boundary. What’s more, you might think you don’t know anyone who goes to sex workers (fir one example). Little do you know, you are probably wring, many times over. Caring about “them” means caring about ourselves.

Do I believe all if this? Would I say, rapists are going to rape anyway. We might as well help them pack a quality rape kit (the name of the supplies assailants carry with them) so that the plastic ties are not too abrasive to the skin of the person bound and gagged. What about giving burglars gloves to keep them from being cut when they break glass to force their way into a house or car? Are these extreme examples very different from giving condoms to middle schoolers? We could not do this bc harm prevention us, kind if, saying, we approve, albeit reluctantly. We would not give the arsonists fire proof gear so he can escape unburned. Would we? There are no easy answers, except one: Harm Reduction really does reduce harm.

Do we want that?


Hookers have something people envy

The common perception about prostitution is that men pay women they find attractive for sex, possibly because these men are such losers the only way women will have sex with them is with a financial incentive. A less common, but still persistent belief is that the women are so incredible anyone would have to sweeten the offer by adding money to his proposition. My research indicates that these perceptions are not the usual reasons men pay. Men pay women to avoid wasting time on courting when he wants simply sex–right now. No strings. Men pay women bc these women won’t get attached and ruin his steady relationship by demanding more. Brief participation in the hidden and forbidden side of life always titillates. Let’s not forget, at least in Hawaii, men’s common, uber-secret, desire to be with men dresses as women who do not pass for women. In other words, prostitution is not necessarily about a woman’s beauty.

However, people believe a person must be sufficiently attractive to get a man to pay. At the very least,  a would-be provider must have enough self-confidence to hit the local “ho stroll” or promote herself on one or more of the internet sites. To me the internet has become a place the Bible warns about–where people can be lovers of themselves. It’s one thing to say “look at me” but a whole other level to say “choose me over the others and pay me.”

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A Real Life List of Amazing Reasons Used by Straight Clients and/or TG Working Girls To Make Doing It Ok

How does a straight guy have a homosexual encounter? Certain things must be said and I have listed what I have heard when I ask people about their adventures. Guys often told me they didn’t realize “she” was really a “he.” It was important for a lot of guys to let me know that they never intended to go with a dude, it just happened. By accident. Hmmm….I’m skeptical of that claim that when they initiated the hustle it was all about “punani” or flower, which is colloquial for female genitalia. (Am I a nerd or what?) Well, sometimes people have to tell themselves something to get them through life and below I have a comprehensive list of the justifications I have heard. By the way, it is not my contention that justification is necessary. Consenting adults should be able to do what they want without guilt, but that is not our life.

Is it ever really a surprise that she is really a he? I think I can always tell, but if I have been fooled obviously I don’t know it. If I had been a guy maybe I would find myself in a room, surprised by what I reached down and found on the other person. And what would I have done in that situation? Here is what people have said who found themselves in situations where sex was on the agenda but society put doubts in people’s minds that had to be overcome by the reasons put forth by the working girl or by the client himself (to himself, inside his mind)

  • It’s just this one time
  • It’s the first time
  • It’ll be the last time
  • No one knows we are together
  • No one will ever know about this
  • You’ll never do it again
  • You’ve got to try it just once
  • Let’s see where this goes
  • I want to know for sure I am not gay so I’ll see if I can do it
  • As long as porn is on that shows women while we do this, it’s cool
  • This is experimenting, nothing serious.
  • There’s no such thing as sexual orientation. People are attracted to people.
  • You want me or you want fish?
  • I am only young, nothing I do can be taken seriously
  • This doesn’t count
  • I have a girlfriend for real
  • You’re not a man until you’ve been in a man
  • As long as you’ve never been in a man you’re not gay
  • If you close your eyes, touching is just friction and anybody could be doing it to you, male or female
  • Every straight guy I’ve asked says yes as long as it’s a secret. Every straight guy, every time. It’s not just you.
  • I can keep a secret.
  • I’m already keeping lots and lots of secrets and you don’t know about those so you can trust me to keep your secret.
  • I can’t say anything because no guy will ever trust me or go with me in secret again, so you know I won’t tell
  • The d**k is the only part of the guy that I like, nothing else, so I am not gay. There’s no emotion, no attraction.
  • If we don’t cross swords or touch swords, it doesn’t count.
  • If he is dressed like a girl it’s the same thing as being with a girl.
  • The female hormones keep him from getting hard when I s**k so it’s like being with a woman.
  • I have relationships with women and sex with men, there’s no emotion.
  • If he does me, and I don’t do him, it’s not the same as a homosexual encounter
  • Hookers aren’t really people, it’s just dealing with a piece of flesh, not a person so it can’t effect my identity.
  • Sex is not an identity it is an activity.
  • I’m trisexual. I will try anything once.
  • I don’t gossip like a b***h.
  • Gay for pay or gay for the stay isn’t truly gay.

Yes, I have heard each of these statements and I did not invent any of them myself.

The secret between the legs is fascinating
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One Unappealing Reason Women Want Threesomes

Someone I know spearheaded the search for a woman to add to her long term relationship. The guy said ,”Sure, whatever you want.” No surprise there. I got involve with them for my own motives. You see, my friend, the one who was more gay than straight, he had a crush on the guy. The guy prostested (perhaps too much) that he did not want anything to do with another man in the bedroom. I wanted to pique my friend’s interest in me, because his interest waxed and waned. I wanted to keep his interest in me steady, so I joined that couple, with the intention of telling my friend about the guy. He always said he would love to hear the details. And, I had never been with a woman before, maybe this would be a good introduction and I could share details of this exploration with my friend. But guess what? Something that promised to be full of intrigue and excitement wasn’t really enjoyable. The reason is pretty obvious when I think about it now. I wasn’t in the threesome because I was interested in those people. If I am going to be brutally honest with myself, I was just using them to get someone else’s attention. And as far as me interacting with the other female–it never happened. Why not? She had no interest in the threesome either. She just wanted to control her man’s access to other women. Her rule was he had to include her in all in his interactions with other women. So she could watch. Like a hawk. Nothing participatory about it. A total let down, in the moment. And how about my plan to share the details with my friend so he could live vicariously. There I was paying close attention to everything that happened, blow by blow, so I could tell a good story, only to discover that he was more jealous of me than he was willing to admit so he refused to hear the stories, they bothered him. Say what?

The problem was we all had large goals that we tried to reach with this interaction by using other people to get what we wanted. We didn’t care about these other people or what they wanted and that’s why none of the plans came to fruition because we all pretended we were into it but we weren’t:

Josie–she was using me to present a woman to her man who was in love with someone else and therefore not after him. She did not want to have anything to do with me, in fact, she secretly resented me. She never looked my way during the whole interaction. That was time she spent watching her man like a hawk.

Jonathan–was using me under the pretense of giving his old lady (the phrase they use in Hawaii for girlfriend or wife) what she wanted. He simply wanted someone new. And like the typical guy (yes I said it), he wanted to break rules. The only rule he was supposed to follow was to include Josie so of course he pursued me relentlessly, sneaking around Josie, and irritating me because my mind was elsewhere

Caroleena–I was using the two of them, especially Jonathan because I wanted to pique Ken’s interest only to find that he was a habitual liar about his feelings. He didn’t even know the truth of what he felt and I bet he was as surprised as I was to feel distressed when I tried to tell him the story of sex that didn’t include him but that he had claimed would make a great story.

Ken–was using me to pass the time until he could find the man of his dreams. He died before he found that man of his dreams. He didn’t expect to be attached to me, especially since I was introduced to him as a hooker. I didn’t expect to be attached to him because I realized he was gay within an hour after meeting him and gay men were irrelevant to my life, and I admit, I looked down on gay men at that time. I just didn’t know gay had so much wiggle room. It was within this wiggle room that we got attached to each other, while defiantly and unsuccessfully trying to show each other that we could pursue other people–so there!

The threesome, in a nutshell, was two twosomes, as each of us took turns with the guy all the while she watched her boyfriend to make sure she got more attention, and I watched her boyfriend to make sure I had details to take back to Ken. Both of us did what women have done since forever, waited for it to be over so we could get back to doing what we really wanted to do.

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What is the difference between mahus in Honolulu and transgender women in the mainland United States? *Again, my unsupported opinion with lots of generalizations

When I was on the street I stayed in Downtown Honolulu, on Kukui Street. Men knew that was the place to go to find women and mahus who did sex work for cheaper rates than Waikiki women. Mahus aren’t simply men dressed as women. (I will find out if the term mahu has been replaced. I mean no offense.) They self identify as women and everyone else uses “she” and “her” when referring to them.


Transvestites on the mainland, from what I understand, crossdress secret part of their lives. They are usually heterosexual and the crossdressing is a secret and separate part of their lives. On the mainland, public transvestites are exclusively sex workers in some capacity. They often dress in very sexually provocative ways, which makes sense to me bc heterosexual men would like women who put their sexuality out there for all to view. Yes, I know, a big generalization. Transgender people want to become the other gender, in fact they believe their brain is actually wired to be a gender their body doesn’t manifest. They don’t necessarily want to be in the sex trade and don’t push their sexuality on the public. They just want to be like everyone else in their chosen gender.


In my humble opinion, mahus totally want to stand out. They are very aggressively hypersexual, almost charicatures of women. This aggression strikes me as very masculine. It would not be unusual to see one on Kukui Street wearing a bikini with a blond wig, a fake feather boa around her neck and a parasol (a mini umbrella) in hand. Publicly, over the top. At any time of day or night. They hang out downtown in small groups when they’re not working. Like every other working girl, they put like 30 feet of distance between themselves and the next female so cars can pull over for the specifically desired girl. They may or may not be pursuing sex reassignment surgery and they date men, either as tricks but also in real relationships. I’ve never heard a man who’s girlfriend was a mahu call himself gay or call the significant other anything other than “my girlfriend.” That’s not to say all mahus are sex workers. I have seen bus drivers, cashier’s, bank tellers. But from what I have seen, a mahu isn’t a man trying to pass as a woman. Mahus are in their own category. And it’s a public life choice, not a secret.


Now that I think of it, I don’t see a lot of white mahus. They’re predominantly Samoan but they can be any race. There’s a story, maybe urban legend, that in Samoan families, if the last born is a boy he is raised as a girl, dressed as a girl and assigned traditionally female housekeeping tasks. Someone once said that when Hawaiians went to war against each other, before whites came, warriors killed all the males in a conquered village but not mahus. I have no idea if this is true but I do know it’s far more accepted in Hawaii, even in high schools and middle schools where mainland kids suffer if classmates think they are gay.


It’s not taboo to be a mahu but it is taboo for a straight guy to admit interest in mahus. From what I observed on Downtown Honolulu streets, there are many straight men with secret desires they want to secretly indulge. These men come downtown and say:

I like dick but I’m not gay.

I know what was said because men often said it to me, a woman through and through. Interestingly, my commitment to physical fitness put me right in the middle of men seeking men.


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“All Men Are Gay”

That’s what one of my associates said. “All men are gay,” Mandee would reiterate when telling stories of her past. She was an adriot storyteller, so it was always fun to listen. I like the word associate, because it is more accurate than the word friend. In Mandee’s case I liked her but she didn’t reciprocate the affection. She didn’t mind my company so when I came around she’d talk and I listened to learn stuff. Even without pre-existing barriers to friendship, there appears to be a distance between women, especially providers. It is very rare to find working girls who are friends with each other rather than rivals. I look at the sites that encourage discussion among men about different providers, and they are very popular with men. Men can help each other get laid. But it seems that women cannot assist each other in a common cause. I wonder if it because it is because it is true that all men are gay.

Mandee believes the bond between men is based on a shared secret that they all know but never say, not even to each other. Mandee said every man she knew had had sex with other men, and they reveal that fact in private to working girls no one would believe even if they tried to tell. Mandee explained the process. It starts when they are young boys, like pre-teenagers. and they don’t have access to women so they play with each other. It’s never talked about outside of the locker room (or wherever) but it certainly does happen. When they grow up they get with other men, who might be dressed as women, and therefore they don’t really count it as homosexual. Or they have encounters with men who are definitely dressed as men and they both consider themselves heterosexual. Since they both call themselves “straight” the sexual contact doesn’t “count.” As for sex with mahus (pronounced MA hoo), my former associate’s belief is that men embrace other men dressed like women as a type of rejection of genetic females, a way to say, “there’s nothing you do and nothing you have that we can’t improve upon.” Yes, there is the issue of reproduction, but if you consider how much sex a person has, it is relatively rare that people really want pregnancy. Therefore, the true need for heterosexuality is mostly irrelevant.

I did some research on the subject of the hidden world of men having sex with men even though all of them self identify as straight. I have to say that it is much more common than I ever imagined. If I hadn’t fallen in love with a man who was bisexual I never would have considered male homosexuality. Like Mandee he did not reciprocate my affection for him, but for a different reason, lol. I started exploring this hidden world because I was looking for a loophole, a way into his heart. I didn’t find one but I will share my adventures with you over time.

I went for an HIV test here in Honolulu. The person giving the test was what they call a mahu. I hope that term mahu is not derogatory, and if I learn that it is, then I will substitute the proper word instead of mahu, just so you know. Well, as we wait for the results of the finger prick test to come back the person asked me how many men have you had sex with that you believe have had sex with other people. I thought about it and I responded “I cannot say that everyone does everything. But based upon my research I have to say most of the men I’ve had sex with other men.” She looked at me with total surprise. And I say “she” because here in Hawaii if a person self-identifies as a mahu who everyone else follows suit. Compared to mainland United States, defining oneself according to one’s own preference is practically accepted. She looked at me with amazement and replied “you are a wise woman.”

More on this popular subject coming soon.

Caroleena Renee, January 20, 2019 10:20 p m. Hawaii time