10th January 2018,
Gay Men and Addiction
One of the most challenging aspects of getting clean after using party drugs like Crystal Meth and GHB and even Amyl Nitrate is: starting the process of learning how to have good and exciting sex again drug free.
One of the most challenging aspects of getting clean after using party drugs like Crystal Meth and GHB and even Amyl Nitrate is : starting the process of learning how to have good and exciting sex again drug free. For some gay men first there was sex and then there was drugs and then there was the ‘having’ of sex with the taking of drugs together. The ways of taking the drug become more varied and in some cases extreme, then the kind of sex became extreme, or it could also be called adventurous. And that does not only mean the way you have sex but it also includes the extreme amounts of sex partners a person may have or the succession of days a person continues hunting for and having sex.
In any case, what has happened in the end for some men is that the sex and the drugs become ‘fused.’ This means that one cannot be had without the other. One of the other issues that can occur after a period of time is that the capacity to really connect with a sex partner becomes diminished. Robert Weiss interviews a subject in his book ‘Cruise Control’ – Understanding Sex addiction in Gay Men.’ This man says that “there’s no love, no caring, no emotion involved. I don’t even care who they are, or even what their names are.” And so gay men in this situation build themselves into a pattern of trying to find intensity and intimacy in a fashion that basically offers only the opposite of real intimacy. It’s a false kind of intimacy, and there may be sexual intensity and maybe even a connection for the period that the two people are high but soon after when the drugs wear off the connection becomes difficult to maintain. This is because ‘real’ intimacy has not been built on the principles that support in a deep rich and grounded way the qualities needed for such a connection.
So now we have established that a ‘fusion’ has happened between the sex and the drug. Next or usually at some point in a moment of clarity a person then becomes aware that they are in an addictive pattern of hunting out and repeating these same fused behaviours. After a while the pattern can become, especially in party season about going hard on the weekend, going to work feeling terrible on Monday and Tuesday (or not even getting to work) and then making it to Friday before getting ready to do it all again.
So how do you undo the fusion when you have decided that you have had enough, and that you actually really want a healthier and more rewarding connection with others?
First of all, you are going to need some faith that sex can be good again without drugs. If you have been in this cycle for a few years you will have to face the fact that it may take months if not a year to re-establish the old organic excitement and passion.
The good news is that it is absolutely possible. In my experience it took longer than a year, although initially I just believed that it was not possible. I got clean through rehab and then stayed clean using support groups, a counsellor and other people. After 18 months of doing work on myself and staying away from drugs I met a guy who I fell for and we took things slow.
Starting to have sex with him was like discovering my sexuality all over again. I would even say it was almost as exciting as the first time I had sex. I felt my nervousness and I felt my excitement (not drug induced.) I knew this guy’s name and I was totally attracted to him. The kissing was slow and sexy and I could feel his hands and his body and his breath on mine. I was able to hold his gaze and it was GREAT. And I was present and aware for the experience.
Suddenly I had proof that sex could definitely be good without drugs. From here on in it got a lot easier. What I felt most wonderfully then was relief. I believe that this process is the key for undoing ‘fusion.’ Because as Albert Einstein said: ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results. ‘To ‘undo’ fusion you need to be willing to take time off using drugs – however you go about it. Then work on your self esteem, stay single for a while and get to know yourself and become robust and self aware. Then make conscious decisions to have sex with guys that you are really and honestly attracted to.
This process requires you to take time, be patient, take calculated risks in doing something different to what some other people may be doing, and most of all, it’s about having faith that ‘fusion’ can be undone.
And it can.