FS Magazine Takes a Look at the Consequences
Drink, drugs and sex might seem fun, but mixed together they can have serious consequences. In the latest issue of FS magazine from GMFA, the gay men’s health charity, three guys tell how being under the influence led to them taking risks that they later regretted.
Dougie, 22, from London, reveals how too many drunken nights led to catching an STI: “I’ve always been a heavy drinker. At weekends I sometimes get myself into a terrible state, where I act sexually irresponsibly. I have drunken blackouts and don’t even know whether I’ve had sex or not, never mind whether it’s been safe. Last year I found a sore on my cock. I had infectious syphilis which came as a huge shock to me.”
Simon, 27, from Kent, explains how a night of drinking led to him being attacked by a cab driver: “When I’m completely pissed after a night out and I don’t have enough cash to pay for my taxi home, or I don’t want to spend the money, I sometimes offer to suck off the driver instead. I really wish I’d been sober on the night of my attack. I wouldn’t have put myself in such a vulnerable situation. I still can’t believe I was raped.”
Simon, 24, from London, tells how risky sex in saunas after clubbing on drugs led to him getting HIV: “I don’t know the specific occasion when I contracted HIV, but I’ve no doubt it was in a sauna or a darkroom. I’ve been f**ked too many times to remember, and I know in most cases that condoms were never used.”
Matthew Hodson, Head or Programmes at GMFA, comments: “Getting drunk or wasted can make people do things that they probably wouldn’t do when sober, and that includes taking sexual risks. Learning how to control alcohol and drug-use, and always carrying condoms and lube, puts us in a much stronger position to stick to safer sex and take care of ourselves.”
The article includes tips on how to be smart when you drink, including: decide how much you are going to drink before you go out and practice sticking to the target; avoid top ups so that you can keep track of how much you are drinking; and avoid rounds. It advises: “If you are dedicated to using condoms when you are sober, chances are you will be more likely to use condoms when you are wasted. Don’t let alcohol or drugs be an excuse for making choices you will regret later.”
To read the full article, ‘Risky Business’, as well as other features including ’21 Things to do this Summer’ and ‘Six Things to Pack for Holiday’, look out for your copy of FS, issue 118. It’s available for free in gay venues and GUM clinics across the UK or can be downloaded at www.gmfa.org.uk/fsnation.