Above: Photography by fashion and beauty photographer Jamie Nelson.
On the dance floor, the guy you’ve been pawing presses his thumb to your ear to muffle the music and shouts, “DO YOU WANT A MOLLY PILL.” You nod. Yes.
This is how it starts. The night ahead may be frightening or mind-blowing, depending on the roll. Some guys like uppers, some like downers, some like losing control, others prefer to retain it. Despite our long history of drug use, some gay men never touch mind-altering substances — but most of us, in my experience, will dabble in them.
Sex drugs are invariably part of our world, so it would be a disservice for me to say “Don’t do drugs” and let that be the end of it. I am not sweepingly anti-drug, although I believe certain substances — heroin, meth — should be avoided. Drugs come with a plethora of risks all on their own. They can lower your ability to fight infection, may diminish the efficacy of your antiretroviral medication, and can obviously cause severe addictions along with a slew of harmful side effects.
If you want more tips on better bottoming, check out the full article! Here on Beastly, I will expound more on sex drugs, because after the slideshow ran last week, I received a few messages asking for more info. The first one read: “Saw your article. First I wanna say I miss you. Second I want to explore some kink. I wanna get fisted this year.”
Okay, rule number one. Extreme sex acts like fisting, kinky play, and BDSM should be done sober, particularly if you’re a beginner.
Kink and BDSM are about pushing your mental and physical limits and playing with the wide range of sensations, both pleasurable and painful, that the body can feel. Drugs can limit your ability to perceive pain, meaning you might push yourself too far and get hurt. Never play with a Dominant, Sir or Master who is drunk or high, because his ability to read your body language and your breathing will be impaired, and he can hurt you.
As far as fisting is concerned, again, if you are a beginner, never get fisted high. The same caution applies. Drugs will lessen your ability to detect pain. So while a good hit of Tina (crystal meth) might relax your butt, your ass may not be ready, and you can get badly injured. When a millimeter difference can mean intense pleasure or intense pain, you want to be able to feel his hand slowly (slowly!) stretching out your ass with a clear, sober head. Again, never get fisted by someone who is drunk or high — this should be obvious.
Fisting is one of the most intense and amazing and erotic experiences you can have with someone. Going a little slower and being sober will not diminish the mind-blowing sensation once he finally gets his hand in your butt. The excellent book Fist Me! The Complete Guide To Fisting, written by Stephan Niederwieser, is one I highly recommend for anyone with fisting aspirations in your future.
These rules about playing on drugs should be taken seriously. Even if you do not always follow them, they exist to make your sex life better, not worse. I have not followed them perfectly and I’m not proud of my slip-ups. I have been tied up and used more than once under the influence of drugs, and I have been fisted high several times. And I say this with utmost seriousness: I have been very, very lucky. There is no doubt in my mind that I have skirted injury and come close to a hospital visit. The only injuries I have gotten to date are pesky anal fissures, which every cock-loving bitch bottom will get at least once in his life. (Anal fissures are pretty common. They are small tears of the rectum that will typically heal on their own without a hospital visit. Consuming fiber and taking a break from bottoming will speed up the healing process).
Other harm reduction tips: If you take drugs at a dance club/circuit party (as most everyone will be doing), have someone there who you can check in with regularly. As with alcohol, never get in a car with a high driver behind the wheel. Forget Grindr — Uber and Lyft are the must-have party apps for circuit queens. As far as specific drugs go, you should steer clear of injecting anything into your body — injection drugs invite Hep C infection, which can result in lifelong, chronic liver disease.
The longterm effects of Tina (crystal meth) are worse than the short term effects. I say this as a recovering crystal meth addict. Over time, the drug will permanently rewire your pleasure receptors, commandeering your sex drive while simultaneously destroying your ability to have sex. Tina has a long history of ruining sex lives, lives, and livelihoods, so while the high might be amazing and the sex awesome, the lows and the longterm affects aren’t worth it.
This is no small statement, since Tina is the gay drug. It makes the fantasy of having rough, marathon sex for days a reality. While these fantasies are totally hot, your body has natural limits which are easy to overstep (or ignore) on meth. If you must do it, avoid injecting the drug, and set reminders on your phone telling you to drink water (a good rule of thumb with most drugs), eat, and brush your teeth and use mouthwash, since meth’s most common side effect is severe dry mouth, which can lead to gingivitis and tooth decay (not to mention really, really bad breath).
Never combine GHB (or simply “G”) with alcohol. The results can be fatal. This is a well-known fact that astoundingly many guys seem to still not know. In general, it is unwise to combine drugs. Some guys swear that certain drugs aid and enhance each other — GHB and Molly (MDMA, Ecstasy) is a common pairing, as is Molly and ketamine — but the fact remains that you never know how drugs will interact with each other, so there is always some risk in combining them.
A good bottom knows to clean slowly and gently. This is especially true when you are horny and high and might want to hurry. Even when you are high, remember to go slow and clean your ass gently. Doing so will reduce your risk of injury and will typically result in a more thorough clean.
The drug I have the most experience with is Ecstasy/MDMA. Many people today call it “Molly” and claim that the little pills they are popping is a purer form of MDMA without the cut (other, speedier substances mixed in). I have skepticism about the claim that there is any real difference between E and Molly, mainly because it is a synthetic drug, so you truly have no idea what you’re taking.
MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly, E, XTC, X) is an empathogenic stimulant that releases the brain’s natural stores of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are neurotransmitters that regulate empathy and arousal. The result? Unbridled horniness, intense feelings of empathy and understanding (which can lead to some beautiful conversations), and typically some hallucinogenic effects — brighter colors, richer sounds, and a heightened sense of touch.
Different people claim the different adverse health effects of E. These discussions are easy to find online, so I will not rehash them here. As I wrote in my slideshow, E/Molly will act as an accelerant (as will most stimulants), meaning that unless you have done a thorough cleaning and have fasted beforehand, the drug will probably make you poop, and require you to douche again before sex.
After all this drug talk, many homos will angrily shout, “Just don’t fucking do them!” These same queens are probably the ones shaming me for barebacking. Despite their opinions, here is a fact: humans do things that are not healthy. Our animal desires often trump our most basic impulses, like our inherent need to survive.
Here is another fact: harm reduction saves lives. Since people are going to do things that are unsafe, even when their better faculties say “no.” We must teach harm reduction methods that will keep everyone safer than if we just spread the message to just stop doing unsafe activities altogether. Clearly those messages don’t work.
Harm reduction — not Nancy Reagan’s disastrous War On Drugs — is how you keep your friends safe. They are doing drugs, and you probably are too, so rather than laugh at guys spun out on the dance floor, go up to them and make sure they are okay. Regardless how you feel about mind-altering substances, shaming the ones who enjoy them saves no one. Making sure they get home safely does.