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Coping with the Gay Scene
 by: Michael Knell

For newcomers to the gay scene there can be a "Wow!" factor like no other. The scene has a lot going for it, and they can feel like the cats that got the cream. The intention of this article is to make sure that cream doesn't turn sour.

Along with all the excellence, the gay scene is notorious for illicit drugs, sexual promiscuity, and for ruining relationships. It is a place where it is all too easy to go just that one step further than you intended - a step that you may later regret. To enjoy the gay scene safely, here are just a few things you need to be fully aware of:

Predators:

There's no denying sex is fun and, providing you always insist on safer sex and are not too blown out of your mind to ensure that it happens that way, you can have a great time finding sexual partners on the scene. However, you will need to ensure that they are the ones that YOU want. And, if this is not for you and all you want to do is to enjoy the drink, the music, the dancing and have a chance to meet people socially - you do need to be aware that there are a few people out there that will stop at nothing to satisfy their desires.

There have always been predators, they are nothing new, but what is comparatively new are the cheap chemicals easily bought over the Internet that some of them now employ. No longer do they have to soft-soap you and buy you expensive drinks all night whilst still risking rejection at the end - now it can be just a few drinks, an additive, and an absolute certainty.

Very few victims of "date-rape drugs" will remember anything of the night, and ANYTHING could have happened to them. The next morning the subject easily believes that he just drank too much and probably had a good time. But unfortunately it doesn't end there. Many will suffer after effects of heart palpitations up to three days later - a terrifying experience. In 2004, taking one such victim to hospital, one who was convinced that he was about to die, I was informed that he was the twenty-second case they'd seen following the weekend. In some places spiking drinks is all too common an occurrence. The predator may see it as fun, but the victim is left to worry about what actually happened to him, with whom (others might have been involved), and whether safer sex was practised throughout. And he may well keep on worrying until the results of a subsequent HIV test prove (hopefully) negative.

It can't be said too often: Never take a drink from anyone you don't know, or can really trust, unless you've seen it poured. Never go back to a drink that you've left unattended. It takes but a split second to spike a drink - keep your drink in sight at all times.

Relationships:

The gay scene can be very hard on relationships, especially if you are frequently on it. As easy as it is for a relationship to start on the scene, it's just as easy for it to end there. In the happy-go-lucky atmosphere, and under the influence of alcohol (or something else), with the music, the lights and all those gorgeous people having a good time, often gyrating half-naked on the dance floor, and sometimes catching your's or your partner's eye, it can be all too easy for either one of you to see your prince out there. A mere look, a touch, a smile - even just a sniff of the poppers passing by - and your life may be about to change. It happens, such is life, and you do need to be prepared for it if you continue on the scene once in a serious relationship.

Some couples avoid the scene, perhaps only visiting it on special occasions once they are serious about each other. Others, knowing of the threat or actually appreciating it, decide on having an "open relationship" where both of them are allowed to sleep around providing they always come back to each other. And there are even other couples who are happy to jointly share each other's fantasies in a one-night three-some, or sometimes a more-some. All these kinds of relationships can work, and all of them can fail. If you are in a relationship and on the scene it can help if you get some ground rules that you are BOTH happy about set up with your partner.

Drugs:

A lot of gay people take a lot of drugs, and there's always a lot of drugs on the gay scene. For this reason any new to the market drugs usually appear in gay circles first. Be very careful if drugs are your scene - some like the Crystal Meths recently appearing in the UK (2005) can be very harmful.

If drugs are not your scene but you are tempted, then read up on them first (there's plenty of information on the Internet) and if you do decide to use them it is advisable to set yourself a level you are DETERMINED you will NEVER exceed. If you get into needles then you are already in trouble - seek help.

Some people can manage recreational drugs, hold down a good job and lead an otherwise normal life, but for others they can be the beginning of a downward spiral as they lose job after job. Be aware of your limitations and accept them.

With just a few precautions you'll find there's nothing like the gay scene for giving you a good time. Nothing comes even close. Respect its few rules and it'll respect you. Have fun!

This article has been written with UK laws in mind. Look out for other gay articles: Am I Gay?; Safer Sex is Much More Fun!; Gay, and Coming Out of the Closet.

About The Author

Article by Michael Knell. - A gay man, out to all for most of his lifetime during which time he has been a supporter of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, a (committee) member of National Council of Civil Liberties (now Liberty), a founder member (positions of convener, editor, committee member, and a columnist over twelve years, then remaining an avid supporter) of the Swindon Gay Community Organisation, a (committee) member of the National Gay Community Organisation, a member of the Thamesdown Voluntary Services Centre, an active member of the Swindon Project for Aids Counselling and Education, a (committee) member of the Swindon Gay Men's Health Project, and co-owner of Bona Discos which later became the Junction 16 Roadshows and Entertainment that raised much-needed money for worthwhile causes both gay and straight.

©AstaBGay 2005. http://www.astabgay.com

This article was posted on November 28, 2005

 

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