Crystal meth is here to stay and as it appears its effects have brought to life again the madness and frivolity of the past cocaine decades. Long and exhausted sex marathons without safety controls, collective conspiracy among its users to perform the dance of loneliness until their bodies are rescued by other users who want to explore their wild sides regardless of the rational norms that otherwise would prevent them from putting their lives at risk, and finally, a general sense of false well being capable to create an atmosphere where personal problems disappear leaving a space for emotion-free relationships (The night that won't end)based on the dictatorship of a highly addictive substance are some of the few experiences which Crystal meth users or tweakers enjoy when they are introduced to this drug also known as Tina. Similarly to cocaine users, tweakers realise that all their body and mind empowerment enjoyed while high was due to the drug and as such they begin to need more longing for more false liberation of their senses.
In an article published on the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy Dr. Jeffrey Guss explains that stimulant drugs like cocaine and Tina are attractive to gay men because they increase their confidence levels destroying the barriers of internal homophobia. Cocaine and Crystal meth help to destroy the trauma and stigma of the invisible body and denied sexuality. In words of Jim B, a Crystal meth addict, Tina made him “feel invincible, powerful, sexy, uninhibited, libidinous and, most of all, careless” (Quicksand). Jim’s experience is not unique, because when sex is added to the effects of the drug powerful and reciprocally experiences occur. Fears of rejection or overwhelming reactions to rejection are diminished and as a consequence tweakers find the opportunity to cruise for sex much easier and make contact with another person. The same article continues explaining that having sex for 6-12 hours become a realistic and predictable event and that users always admit that Tina helps them to perform better sex in ways that would not be possible without her.
And it is precisely that sense of over the top sexuality what has made Tina dramatically famous because all the excesses committed in the name of pleasure are taken without a rational evaluation of the risks involved. Crystal meth has returned the levels of highly irresponsible promiscuity to gay scene prior to the AIDS years, sex clubs/bathhouses and chat rooms internet hook ups devoted to “PNP” (Party and Play) an identifier for sex-seeking crystal users encourage wild and unprotected sex. The story of this (Curiosity killed this cat) Mexican living in Dallas who became HIV+ after having bareback sex one night ,while high on crystal meth, with every single customer in a bathhouse suffices to illustrate how more than 20 years of safe sexual education can be thrown away in just one instant. The need of sex, the rule of transcending senses imposed by Tina is such that even when her excess produces sexual dysfunctions like erectile dysfunction (known as crystal dick) the tweakers recur to other drugs such as Viagra to continue releasing their necessities.
Tina’s addictive power is immense and it can be snorted, swallowed, smoked, injected (slamming) and body booty bumped (rectal administration) a form which brings the high almost instantly. According to John (Train wreck), who like many other addicts became hooked in a record time, the way in which the drug is taken can make a difference on the high and the effects. In all the cases it implies tragic consequences. Another article published on the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy by Donald McVinney lists some side effects of the drug like sleep deprivation, severe paranoia, hallucinations (particularly auditory ones), dissociative trance states, and “Meth Bugs” (paresthesias often described as bugs crawling under one’s skin). James’s experience from Sydney describes how he became paranoid thinking that people were out to get him and believing the walls could talk and that there were cameras hidden all over his home. As a result of this paranoia James really thought of a conspiracy to kill him and he reached a point where the only way to silent those ideas was to consume more and more crystal meth (People in the walls)
In definitive Tina is a risk and a bad experience. Gay men should think beyond the short-term pleasurable profits of the flesh and move beyond narcissistic attitudes towards a more responsible behaviour. The fantasy of the perfect shag is OK only as long as it can be remembered as a positive experience when sober. And Tina constitutes a bad practice because it transgresses all limits leaving no space for returning or remembering. For that reason the in extremis hedonism, cause and consequence of the crystal meth phenomenon, eventually will lead to the destruction of a subculture whose only reason of existence is the evasion of the reality and the destruction of true human feelings based on the real knowledge of the self. Because if it is true that at some point in their lives gay men try to find in drugs a way to come to terms with their sexualities, it is also true that when that stage was reached the peace and calm achieved was enough to keep them free and happy without the need of trying other enslaving realities like Tina.