The glorious, chemically fuelled sex that I was having half a decade ago changed my life and my HIV status. Looking back on my sex life, not much has changed in the intervening period between my diagnosis and today.
I’m certainly more careful, but I still love sex with drugs (and rock-n-roll in moderation). I don’t buy into the overhyped media reaction to gay guys using ‘Tina’ and ‘Gina’, and the responses that seem to inform any online discussion these days are a quagmire of fear based on misinformation.
Drug use has been a strong theme woven throughout my life and it certainly hasn’t been the end result of trauma, pain, or any other negatively associated trope. Substance use was a key that unlocked a higher dynamic range of pleasure than I ever thought possible.
From the early days dancing all night at Hand in Hand parties through to the intense emotional and physical pleasure of engaging in sex with other men and being high as a kite while at it, had all the magnificent intensity I wanted! Of course it’s not a lifestyle that is for everyone, and it’s certainly not something I suggest everyone try.
Injecting crystal was something that I started doing over a decade ago, and I was lucky to have been shown and taught how to do it safely. In today’s more instant gratification offered by Scruff, Grindr and other social media cruising apps, there is no reason why harm reduction can’t be part of the language of hooking-up.
It’s not hard to take care of yourself when using drugs with sex and staying safe when injecting. Transmission of any blood borne virus can happen with more activities than just through butt sex. Use new and sterile equipment every time, and try to keep the areas where you’re mixing up as clean as possible and free of lube. Wash your hands before you inject, and always swab.
One thing that has now changed substantially is my life outside the bedroom. These days I’m more connected, caring, associated with community, and far happier.
I have found sincerity in being genuinely interested in the health and welfare of my poz mates who I have surrounded myself with. And for me? That’s a huge positive!