Drug Fucking The Weekend Away Part One: History Repeating

Guest Guyd
Authored by
Guest Guyd
Have a story to submit? Email connor@guyspy.com
November 14, 2013
5:55 a.m.

GMFA is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to gay men’s health. “Slammed: Drug Fucking The Weekend Away” looks at how the growing trend of ‘PnP’ (party and play) is damaging the London scene and contributing to the rise in HIV transmission.

Part One looks at the history of sex with drugs.

Stuart Haggas writes:

There’s nothing new about taking illegal substances to get a party started. It’s a phenomenon that’s existed for centuries. Go back to the 14th century, and you’ll find that opium was used as the first recreational drug in the Ottoman Empire, and in China a century later. Historians acknowledge that even then this recreational drug use was strongly associated with sex.

Opium had spawned a lucrative international trade by the 17th century but, with addiction becoming an increasing global problem, it was prohibited in many countries during the early 20th century. Prohibiting the recreational use of opium didn’t solve the problem; it simply forced dealers and users to go underground. The pattern of illicit production, smuggling, distribution and using that followed can be considered a precursor for the underground recreational drugs scene of today.

Although the infamous opium dens of Limehouse in east London now exist solely in the novels of writers like Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, there’s always some drug or other in vogue and some sex and drug-fuelled subculture to sample.

SONY DSC

Today, those drugs are crystal meth, G and mephedrone, and are used in scenes such as chem-sex (a sex session while on drugs like crystal) and slamming (taking crystal or mephedrone intravenously) – but is it a case of different drugs, same story?

“Epic orgies have been enjoyed by gay men since the dawn of time,” says writer, editor and DJ Stewart Who? “Read Larry Kramer’s Faggots — it was just the same in the 70s and 80s. But meth is addictive in a way that LSD, Quaaludes, ecstasy and even coke, never could be.” Journalist and author Paul Burston agrees, adding: “The ‘old highs’ like ecstasy aren’t as reliable any more. By the late 90s, people were no longer popping a pill and dancing all night. They were combining E with other drugs like coke and ketamine. When G first arrived it was marketed as ‘liquid ecstasy’, although it bears no relation to ecstasy.”

The gay club scene normalised party drugs like ecstasy – but the wholesale replacement of these with more dangerous and more addictive drugs like crystal meth, G and mephedrone is creating something genuinely worrying. In fact, many claim they’re destroying the gay scene. “I’m from the Trade generation,” says GMFA’s Matthew Hodson. “A core group would go out every weekend and get completely trashed and ecstatic. Back then there was no effective treatment for HIV, and the government was hostile to homosexuality, so it’s easy to see the appeal of the blissed out, mindless hedonism. At the time many people said that ecstasy was destroying the gay scene, just as they now say about crystal, G and mephedrone, so the same pattern seems to get repeated with each generation, but each wave of drugs seems to be more perilous than the last. “Reports from the US and Australia talk about the devastating impact that crystal had on the gay scene there.”

Matthew continues. “It seems that in those regions crystal use has peaked, but in the UK it looks as though usage is increasing rapidly. The signs suggest that it’s going to get worse here before it gets better.”

Part Two: The Whys, Truths And Consequences, coming soon.

You can read GMFA’s “Slammed” in full, here

Find out more about GMFA from their main site: http://www.gmfa.org.uk/

 

Comments



No comments yet