Sep 13, 2009

Is drug use really a part of the PLU scene?

One thing that has perplexed me is the way the illegal drugs subculture is seemingly a prominent part of the gay culture. I thought that this was just an American thing but I have to admit that it was only through the local PLU scene that I encountered drug use firsthand. (No, I don’t take drugs and will never do.)

In the local PLU scene, I’m guessing the most abused illegal substance is MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or colloquially as E. Abuse of this substance is inextricably tied to the clubbing culture since the effects of ecstasy is best experienced with good thumping music. (And I must note that this is not exclusive to the PLU crowd.) I have a good friend that I met in BED and he’s the one that exposed me to ecstasy use. It was through him that I learned such terms like “parteee” (taking ecstasy), “journey” (feeling the euphoric effects of the drug), and “good vibes.”

Before it closed down, Club Government was where ecstasy use was most rampant. I witnessed several people “journeying” there for myself and it’s one of the reasons why I disliked going to that place. It’s sort of an open secret that drug use was extensive and even slyly tolerated in Government that I was not surprised when a blog sprung up last year denouncing Club Government, the people who frequent there, and the drug use in that club. I won’t link to that blog anymore since it’s too negative (a la Brian Gorrell vs. DJ Montano), but you can probably find it if you have enough Google skills.

Going away from the clubbing scene, another drug that I’ve seen used is poppers. A guy I had sex with in Club Bath inhaled poppers to enhance the sexual pleasure he felt. I was definitely weirded out that time.

To be fair, I think the vast majority of PLU people do avoid drugs. But you have to admit that it’s hard to avoid the stereotype shown by the American gay culture of rampant drug usage (think Queer as Folk) and wonder how it translates to the local scene. Anyway, I’d like to point you to this really eye-opening blog of a Pinoy PLU who used to do drugs but is now trying to live cleanly, especially after he was diagnosed with HIV.


Knox Galen wrote on September 14, 2009 at 4:39 AM:

You know how it feels like to be under the influence of poppers? Imagine heightened sensations even when it's just a skin-to-skin contact: The head was electrifying and so is the screwing.

I have this philosophy of trying anything once - especially when it comes to drugs. Nevertheless, me thinks that drug use among PLUs isn't that rampant.

Most of them would still prefer spending their money on vanity rather than on these kind of stimulants.

rudeboy wrote on September 14, 2009 at 7:47 AM:

I eschew drugs primarily because I already have an addictive personality and getting into substances would almost certainly lead to abuse.

That said, I agree with Knox regarding trying most things once, especially while one is young and can afford to be stupid.

Someone made me sniff poppers once and my heart palpitated so wildly I actually thought I was going to die. I agree that E is the party pill du jour, and while I am no fan of it, I won't begrudge anyone else using it to heighten their clubbing experience.

As with all mind-altering substances, I think "caution" is the key word. Drugs - like love -are meant to enhance your reality for a short while. It's when you make it your reality that you're screwed.

Vince wrote on September 16, 2009 at 8:31 PM:

Knox, I, on the other hand, have no such policy (trying anything once). I'm an admitted goody-two-shoes sometimes. :-P

rudeboy, you have an addictive personality? That I gotta see. Hehe. And what's with equating drugs with love? It seems someone is jaded. :-)

rudeboy wrote on September 16, 2009 at 11:29 PM:

But love IS a drug, Vince. One that people crave and seek constantly.

It makes people high and then makes them low. It makes them act crazy yet keep coming back for more. As far as thrills go, it can come cheap, or cost you dearly.

If you could put love in a bottle or a pill, you'd be a billionaire.

Vince wrote on September 17, 2009 at 11:49 AM:

rudeboy, hmmm, I'm not used to thinking of love as something dangerously addictive like illegal drugs. I'd ascribe that more to sex. Now that is something addictive. Hehehe.

rudeboy wrote on September 17, 2009 at 4:43 PM:

Vince, people often confuse one for the other. Love vs. Lust, that is. Two four-letter words that begin with "L".

Maybe it would be easier if we remember what Woody Allen once said : "Sex relieves tension. Love causes it."

Vince wrote on September 17, 2009 at 9:16 PM:

rudeboy, I like that Woody Allen quote. :-)

reijiro wrote on September 19, 2009 at 12:32 AM:

personally, being one of those heavy users in the past, it was an okay experience for me. i'm talking circa 2000 - 2006 when not everyone used to do this.

it wasn't just because of us being gay, but it was more of the philosophy surrounding it at that time (the "i love you and you and everyone else feeling"). plus our good relationships with other clubbers, str8 or gay, that made the experience truly enjoyable.

Now that I've stopped doing this and I see people doing it flagrantly, i guess it's their choice, isn't it? i just don't understand how people have sex while on e. probably with viagra (another drug)

i'd like to think there's two outcomes. the good outcome (not letting it rule your life), or the bad one (eventually ending up so deep in debt it ruins your life). just like alcoholism, if abused, it tends to really become a black abyss.

so my point is, based on my own experiences, you can do it, but don't overdo it. and please go have a checkup first and see if ur heart is healthy enough to stand the assault of those chems.

Oh. and i like poppers too sometimes. use moderately, as always. i don't like the intense headache that some poppers give. that's enough to make me not use it heavily.

BTW brazil gay culture is also heavily into ecstasy. the bouncers don't even police these guys. but they all behave very well in the clubs. which is really what the clubs want.

Vince wrote on September 19, 2009 at 12:14 PM:

reijiro, thanks for sharing your point of view. I personally won't try drugs myself, but I won't begrudge others wanting to do it.

The problem I see is that I think we should intervene when we see a friend slipping into drug abuse but at what point?