Crystal methamphetamine and sexual sociality in an urban gay subculture: An elective affinity

Adam Isaiah Green, Perry N. Halkitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper draws on 49 qualitative interviews to explore the contextual antecedents of methamphetamine use in a sample of gay and bisexual Manhattan men. The paper distinguishes itself from the public health literature on crystal methamphetamine use in this population by shifting the analytic focus from individual-level factors of drug use to the role of social context. While individual-level factors - including self esteem and social awkwardness - are related to methamphetamine use, we argue that these factors arise in and are exacerbated by interactional pressures attendant to Manhattan's gay sexual subculture, which revolve around the expectation of peak sexual performance. Because methamphetamine is associated with increased self-esteem, increased libido, greater sexual endurance, diminished sexual inhibition, and a higher threshold for pain, the drug is used strategically by gay and bisexual men to negotiate sexual sociality and increase sexual pleasure. Hence, we suggest that there exists an elective affinity between Manhattan's gay sexual subculture and the particular pharmacological effects of methamphetamine - whereby the former strongly favours the latter as a systematic pattern of response. In turn, this relationship is linked to unsafe sexual practices or the social conditions that put gay men 'at risk of risk' of HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-333
Number of pages17
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2006

Fingerprint

Methamphetamine
sociality
subculture
self-esteem
endurance
qualitative interview
social factors
drug use
pain
Self Concept
public health
drug
Libido
Pain Threshold
Pleasure
Social Conditions
performance
Sexual Minorities
Pharmaceutical Preparations
HIV Infections

Keywords

  • Drug use
  • Gay men
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Methamphetamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Crystal methamphetamine and sexual sociality in an urban gay subculture : An elective affinity. / Green, Adam Isaiah; Halkitis, Perry N.

In: Culture, Health and Sexuality, Vol. 8, No. 4, 07.2006, p. 317-333.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Green, Adam Isaiah ; Halkitis, Perry N. / Crystal methamphetamine and sexual sociality in an urban gay subculture : An elective affinity. In: Culture, Health and Sexuality. 2006 ; Vol. 8, No. 4. pp. 317-333.
@article{07263193f4884a39be3cdf1f53dd7a2f,
title = "Crystal methamphetamine and sexual sociality in an urban gay subculture: An elective affinity",
abstract = "This paper draws on 49 qualitative interviews to explore the contextual antecedents of methamphetamine use in a sample of gay and bisexual Manhattan men. The paper distinguishes itself from the public health literature on crystal methamphetamine use in this population by shifting the analytic focus from individual-level factors of drug use to the role of social context. While individual-level factors - including self esteem and social awkwardness - are related to methamphetamine use, we argue that these factors arise in and are exacerbated by interactional pressures attendant to Manhattan's gay sexual subculture, which revolve around the expectation of peak sexual performance. Because methamphetamine is associated with increased self-esteem, increased libido, greater sexual endurance, diminished sexual inhibition, and a higher threshold for pain, the drug is used strategically by gay and bisexual men to negotiate sexual sociality and increase sexual pleasure. Hence, we suggest that there exists an elective affinity between Manhattan's gay sexual subculture and the particular pharmacological effects of methamphetamine - whereby the former strongly favours the latter as a systematic pattern of response. In turn, this relationship is linked to unsafe sexual practices or the social conditions that put gay men 'at risk of risk' of HIV infection.",
keywords = "Drug use, Gay men, HIV/AIDS, Methamphetamine",
author = "Green, {Adam Isaiah} and Halkitis, {Perry N.}",
year = "2006",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1080/13691050600783320",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
pages = "317--333",
journal = "Culture, Health and Sexuality",
issn = "1369-1058",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Crystal methamphetamine and sexual sociality in an urban gay subculture

T2 - An elective affinity

AU - Green, Adam Isaiah

AU - Halkitis, Perry N.

PY - 2006/7

Y1 - 2006/7

N2 - This paper draws on 49 qualitative interviews to explore the contextual antecedents of methamphetamine use in a sample of gay and bisexual Manhattan men. The paper distinguishes itself from the public health literature on crystal methamphetamine use in this population by shifting the analytic focus from individual-level factors of drug use to the role of social context. While individual-level factors - including self esteem and social awkwardness - are related to methamphetamine use, we argue that these factors arise in and are exacerbated by interactional pressures attendant to Manhattan's gay sexual subculture, which revolve around the expectation of peak sexual performance. Because methamphetamine is associated with increased self-esteem, increased libido, greater sexual endurance, diminished sexual inhibition, and a higher threshold for pain, the drug is used strategically by gay and bisexual men to negotiate sexual sociality and increase sexual pleasure. Hence, we suggest that there exists an elective affinity between Manhattan's gay sexual subculture and the particular pharmacological effects of methamphetamine - whereby the former strongly favours the latter as a systematic pattern of response. In turn, this relationship is linked to unsafe sexual practices or the social conditions that put gay men 'at risk of risk' of HIV infection.

AB - This paper draws on 49 qualitative interviews to explore the contextual antecedents of methamphetamine use in a sample of gay and bisexual Manhattan men. The paper distinguishes itself from the public health literature on crystal methamphetamine use in this population by shifting the analytic focus from individual-level factors of drug use to the role of social context. While individual-level factors - including self esteem and social awkwardness - are related to methamphetamine use, we argue that these factors arise in and are exacerbated by interactional pressures attendant to Manhattan's gay sexual subculture, which revolve around the expectation of peak sexual performance. Because methamphetamine is associated with increased self-esteem, increased libido, greater sexual endurance, diminished sexual inhibition, and a higher threshold for pain, the drug is used strategically by gay and bisexual men to negotiate sexual sociality and increase sexual pleasure. Hence, we suggest that there exists an elective affinity between Manhattan's gay sexual subculture and the particular pharmacological effects of methamphetamine - whereby the former strongly favours the latter as a systematic pattern of response. In turn, this relationship is linked to unsafe sexual practices or the social conditions that put gay men 'at risk of risk' of HIV infection.

KW - Drug use

KW - Gay men

KW - HIV/AIDS

KW - Methamphetamine

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33746406768&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33746406768&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/13691050600783320

DO - 10.1080/13691050600783320

M3 - Article

C2 - 16846941

AN - SCOPUS:33746406768

VL - 8

SP - 317

EP - 333

JO - Culture, Health and Sexuality

JF - Culture, Health and Sexuality

SN - 1369-1058

IS - 4

ER -