Since 1998, a generation of MSM in the US has emerged whose lives revolve around the next crystal high and unimaginably exhilirating, boundary-less, anything goes sex.
When consumed in sexually-charged environments such as dance parties, at sex clubs or at home alone cruising online, the focus on sex can become compulsive and create an urgent sense of hyper-sexuality, imbuing the user with an ultra-sensually erotic edge of confidence that emboldens him to approach anyone they desire, and enables him to have sex for hours, even days, or till he has exhausted his dopamine levels. The effect can be so overpowering that sexual taboos like barebacking and unrealised desires that would normally be considered depraved are eroticised under the influence of meth.
Sex on crystal is an illusion, because although many users believe it helps them feel "connected" to others - and while the wild, aggressive sex may have made them feel physically conected - it was the meth and the sex that they were really emotionally connected to. The person they were having sex with could almost have been anyone, such is meth's influence on the brain's chemistry to make most anyone seem appealing.
Meth's compatibility with furiously hedonistic, no-strings sex combined with an increased libido, prolonged duration of arousal and delayed ejaculate, paved the way for intensive, non-stop sex marathons with multiple partners lasting up to several days at a time. For many, crystal-fueled sex parties and orgies at private homes became the recreational norm, emptying social venues and resulting in a fractured community spirit.
Meth induces passive desires in many users due to erectile dysfunction, the disintegration of inhibitions, heightened sensitivity of nerve-endings around the sexual organs and an overwhelming desire to explore beyond established boundaries. Sworn "tops" can become insatiable "bottoms", while bottoms often become receptive to large sex toys and other objects. Prior to the meth epidemic, "fisting" was a relatively rare phenomenon practised mainly among older MSM, but hospitals in some cities have reported higher admissions of younger men, some in their teens, with serious injuries resulting from fisting and the lodging of various implements in their rectums.
Because meth ultimately disconnects the user emotionally and anaesthetises the natural free-flowing exchange of feelings, sex on meth is often aggressive occasionally verging on the animalistic with little or no consideration given to the other person's needs or desires. "Binge partying" - where the abuser is typically awake for four days, crashes the following three, then starts over again - is driven by his compulsive hunger for sex, which in turn is driven by his craving for crystal meth.
"Gay men are perceived by some as sexual outlaws. If you have already broken a social law simply by being yourself, where's the incentive not to break some more? No wonder some of our sexual behaviour is extreme."
~ Paul Bakalite [Positive Nation]
During a marathon stint of binge partying, the abuser's ability to stay high will eventually become severely diminished, regardless of the amount of crystal he consumes.
As he crashes, he becomes irritable, irrational and unpredictable, suffering bouts of paranoid delusions and vividly disturbing visual and audio hallucinations. Plummetting energy levels during this stage of the crash, known as "tweaking", renders sex cumbersome and mechanical. Where only one participant is using crystal, his need to tap into and feed off another power source will drain his partner/partners' energy levels. Eventually, the tweaker will try to sleep the condition off, sometimes over several days, before invariably commencing the process over again.
Because crystal/Viagra-induced sex is more aggressive and sustained than drug-free sex, there is an increased risk of abrasions and sores developing around the sexual organs, boosting the chances for HIV infection. Crystal also decreases mucus secretions, leading to rectal tears during receptive anal intercourse, especially during marathon stints. Even practised safely there is a compounded risk of friction tears to the protective shield, prompting each competing lubricant manufacturer to boast in advertising aimed at the gay market that their product Stays wettest longest!
Due to crystal's anaesthetising effect, users may be unaware of serious damage they are inflicting on their sexual organs. "I had been fucking for damn near six hours straight and it was not painful," describes an LA user, "but my dick was like the hunchback of Notre Dame. Another time I had a cyst on the shaft of my dick removed in the doctor's office!"
The stench excreted from the body after hours of crystal-fueled sex is an acrid combination of industrial toxins and body odour. In 2005, a recovering meth addict told The Advocate how his appendix ruptured, resulting in "toxic shock" from the slurry of chemical poisons that had accumulated inside his body. "I almost died," he said. "It took six gallons of fluid to clean out my innards. I was in hospital for four weeks!"
Because the user thinks that any mode of behaviour - from the most considerate and productive to the most harmful and taboo - is acceptable under the influence of crystal, there are seemingly no sexual limits some users will plumb. "I can't keep my hands off my dick," says Tom. "On Tina you outlast everyone at the baths. But eventually you get so horny you'll pick from the slimmest of pickings, even if it's someone I'd never normally fuck."
The association between meth and sex becomes so intertwined that former abusers have great difficulty readapting to meth-free sex.
The bottomless pit of the abuser's addiction means his hunger for endless, detached sexual encounters can't be satisfied, no matter how many partners he preys upon. His sexual obsession and compulsion fuels the quest for ever more partners, and renders him a progressively desensitised vortex of desperation hurtling blindly towards impotence and, unless he awakens to the hole he is digging ever deeper for himself, oblivion.
"After you've been using [meth] about six months or so, you can't have sex unless you're high. After you have been using it a little bit longer you can't have sex even when you're high. Nothing happens. [Your penis] doesn't work."
~ Dr. Mary Holley [Mothers Against Meth]