Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sexual Compulsives Anonymous article

Aiming at Sober Sexuality

"I was swept away in the gay sex revolution of the late '60s and '70s where the more sex you had the more liberated you were. The way you proved it was having sex with 10 people in a backroom."

So said Sol, 64, one of the three founders of the Twelve-Step program called Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA), a largely gay network of meetings started 25 years ago here in New York.
The organization celebrated that milestone at a weekend conference at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center earlier this month.
Sol - identified here only by first name as are the others interviewed, in accordance with the tradition of anonymity in Twelve-Step recovery programs - described spending an inordinate amount of his money on street hustlers back in 1982 when he was approached by another gay man who said he was started a group for sexaholics. This group would become SCA and began in imitation of Alcoholics Anonymous, founded in 1935, which codified the traditions of simple meetings with Quaker-style sharing, mutual support by members each struggling with a compulsive behavior of some kind, and a suggested guide for spiritual development based on twelve steps of action.
While other so-called fellowships have evolved, including Gamblers Anonymous and Debtors Anonymous, there are four other Twelve-Step programs that address problems with intimacy and sexual behavior - Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Sexual Recovery Anonymous, and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
In 1982, perhaps not coincidentally when what would be called AIDS was first coming to be identified, two gay men in New York simultaneously began small meetings to address what they viewed as their problematic behavior. One of the founders, Frank, was meeting with others in his apartment, while Bill met with a few people at St. Jean Baptiste Church on the Upper East Side. Soon they heard about each other's meetings and decided to integrate. Their sense was that other pre-existing programs focusing on sex had homophobic language in their pamphlets.
SCA was envisioned as a sex-positive group that affirmed homosexuality and allowed people to define appropriate sexual behavior for themselves. For some that would mean sex only in the context of a monogamous, committed relationship, but for others it might mean no longer having unsafe sex or hiring hustlers, or it could mean waiting until the third date to have sex with someone. Each member would define their own "bottom line" in sexual sobriety.
Many of the gay men who have embraced SCA report finding relief from patterns of behavior that they say kept them isolated and alone.
Paul, 44, has been in recovery in SCA for more than 15 years. Before coming to SCA, "most of my sexual behavior took place in public restrooms or parks and was with people I didn't know," he said. "I put myself in danger, being in parks late at night and got diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea."
Allen, 43, remembers "getting out of bed in the middle of the night to go to a porno theater in Times Square where it was completely dark. It was seedy, it was shaming, and I couldn't leave."
In fact, regular attendance at SCA meetings has done for many gay men what will power and therapy alone could not - allow them to moderate self-destructive sexual behaviors.
"There is already such stigma in regards to sexual orientation, in addition to the stigma around compulsive sex," said Paul. "That's one of the powerful healing features of the program, because it creates an accepting environment that helps remove or lessen those stigmas."
The group's proliferation is testament to its success in addressing concerns apparently shared by many gay men. There are now more than forty SCA meetings each week in New York City as well as chapters throughout the United States.
"We now have meetings in Canada, France, England, Thailand, and in South America," said Sol.
Meetings are open to people of all sexual orientations although SCA still remains primarily attended by gay men.
SCA has not been devoid of controversy over the years. Internally, there have been struggles to define what is appropriate language during group sessions and whether the specific names and locations of sex venues should be mentioned.
For people outside of SCA, but who feel they might have problems they could address there, there is often worry that joining means making the change from a libertine into a prude.
"Some people thing SCA is puritanical," said Sol. "But we're more like Mother Theresa than Larry Kramer, since each person sets their own boundaries for acceptable sexual behavior for themselves."
For more information about Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, visit http://www. .

©GayCityNews 2007

Jim Nicola Interview

Beyond Rent

James C. Nicola is the artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop, a position he's held since 1988.

This June, Off Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) turns 25. Known as an incubator for new and challenging theater, often with a decidedly queer bent, the theater's major hit has been the musical "Rent," which is to NYTW what "A Chorus Line" was to the New York Shakespeare Festival, a high water mark in terms of mainstream and artistic success and an ongoing presence on Broadway.

NYTW has also been an artistic home for the most talented theater artists working today, many gay, including Tony Kushner, the Five Lesbian Brothers, Doug Wright, Charles Busch, David Greenspan, and Paul Rudnick, to name a few.

James C. Nicola, the artistic director of NYTW since 1988, is the organizing intelligence behind the theater's success. Although originally founded by the philanthropist Stephen Graham, the son of the late Washington Post publishers Katharine and Philip Graham, as a sort of producing entity-cum-foundation to support the work of specific artists, Nicola's impeccable nose for talent and technique has set NYTW apart.Nicola cut his eyeteeth as a casting associate for Joseph Papp at the Public Theater in the late '70s. But since going to NYTW, his role has been as shaper of seasons and high priest of artistic marriages, bringing together writers with directors to generate creativity and sometimes conflict.

CHRISTOPHER MURRAY: What's new at New York Theatre Workshop?

JIM NICOLA: Our upcoming season. There's a new music theater piece by Rinde Ekert, a wonderful play by a Palestinian-American playwright called "The Black Eye," then Moliere's "The Misanthrope" with our frequent collaborator from Sweden, director Ivo van Hove, and his American muse Elizabeth Marvel.

Later JoAnne Akalitis directs Mikhail Baryshnikov in short works by Beckett, a new play by Naomi Wallace about race and the American Communist Party in the 1930s, and finally the Elevator Repair Service's take on Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury."

CM: How does that compare to what the theater was doing 25 years ago?

JN: I like to think of it as the logical growth out of the original ideas upon which the theater was founded. It was always to be a resource for artists. The most important idea I take from that is the theater's structure shouldn't precede an artist's need, it follows and is dictated by it. Most places, artists have to follow grant deadlines and other stuff, we try to the extent we can to follow the dictates of the artist.

CM: How has the theater grown to do that?

JN: A good example is what happened with Jonathan Larson's "Rent." We had never done a major musical. When I met him and responded to his work, we needed to figure that out. We learned that when you do a reading of a musical, you need a piano in the room. We knew how to Xerox a script, but not copy musical scores. We learned in response to an artist we believed in. That's the idea, we don't always live up to that.

CM: Doesn't that mean you spend a lot of time fucking up?

JN: Of course!

CM: Don't you think that's a bad way to run a theater?

JN: I think that's the way you learn. It's another way we take a cue from artists who know the best thing is to be lost, not to follow received wisdom. Failure is a very creative place.

CM: Ten years ago you told me conflict is a creative force.

JN: Conflict and chaos and being lost and a failure are all creative. Being a staff member at NYTW is a special challenge because they have to deal with the demands of the outside world, like a development director needing something specific for a grant application and I might not have the information to give them that immediately. They need to exercise tremendous patience and trust that the best answer isn't always the first answer. We spend a lot of time on process.

CM: That makes me think of lesbians. NYTW has a special relationship with the Five Lesbian Brothers and with many queer theater artists.

JN: I would describe the work we generally do is trying to connect an individual's experience to a larger context. A lot of gay work does that, too. In Tony Kushner's work, a strong gay sensibility is his lens to larger concerns and issues.

CM: Where is NYTW going?

JN: We are in the middle of planning and thinking about that and I do think it's ready to take another step of transformation. Twenty-five years ago the theater did transform itself from a foundation into a theater workshop. I think we are looking for another moment like that. Our next round of discussion will be how to interface with the community in better, bigger and louder ways.

CM: What does the theater generally give you as a gay man?

JN: It was my salvation as an adolescent. Around 10 or 11, I saw and ad in the newspaper that a Manchester theater was starting a children's unit. I knew somehow in a deep and profound way that I needed to be part of that. I don't know where that comes from, but it was true. From then on there was never any doubt about where I was heading. That was the Little Theatre of Manchester, Connecticut. They did "Alice in Wonderland" and I played the Mock Turtle.

CM: I'll bet you were a brilliant Mock Turtle.

JN: I was terrible. I'm not an actor. It took me until college to figure that out. The theater is my point of reference for life, though. How I know what I know about the world is from following my passion for the theater.

CM: Many gay kids who grow up to work in the theater remember some iconic performance. Do you?

JC: The theater was always a window on a larger world for me, not a white suburban world I didn't fit in to and where I didn't see anyone like me. It made me realize that there were many big, important stories out there, not only in the present but historically as well. Probably Rodgers & Hammerstein had the biggest impact on me as a kid. Those stories about Anna and the King of Siam and about the prairies of Oklahoma. These were political stories. I didn't experience them that way originally, but they were social dramas of a simple kind, but they were the only ones I knew. "South Pacific" with its theme about race and tolerance is the best example.

CM: When you think about a gay theater audience in New York City today, what do they need?

JN: It's what I needed as a child, to connect my experience to others, intellectually, emotionally, historically. I think that is what's unique about that essential human impulse in the theater. Its medium is other people, not paint on a canvas. It's other people acting in concert. When I go to the theater now, I spend a fair amount of time watching the audience.The first performance we did at NYTW after 9/11, you could feel how important it was for those people to be there together, behaving together spontaneously, laughing together, clapping together. It's a whole sequence of events that is an essential communion.As we progress technologically, we are getting fewer and fewer of those kinds of opportunities, and providing them is the hope of the theater, it will be our selling point in the future. The theater has always been the way for me to feel part of community when I felt so outside it. It still does that for me, as a gay man and as a New Yorker in 2007.

New York Theatre Workshop will present Rock The Boat! an anniversary fundraiser aboard World Yacht Cruises on Monday, June 4 with John Fugelsang, Charles Busch, Frenchie Davis, Judy Gold, Lisa Kron, and Doug Wright. Information at

©GayCityNews 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Jocker Review

A CurtainUp Review
The Jocker
By Christopher Murray

(left) Michael Lazar as Shakespeare, (right) Jason Alan Griffin as Bama (Photo: Carol Rosegg & Peter Lau)

One sunny day in the month of May, a jocker he came hiking,He come to a tree and 'Ah!' says he, 'This is just to my liking.'On the very same month on the very same day, a Hoosier's son came hiking.Said the bum to the son, 'O, will you come to the Big Rock Candy Mountain?'
— Alan Lomax's Folk Songs of North America.

The set for the Wings Theatre production of The Jocker, a heartfelt new drama by Clint Jeffries looks like it could do double duty for a Samuel Beckett play. A chain link and barbed wired-topped fence divides a hobo camp strewn with detritus: broken barrels, rusted tools, dented washtubs, stacks of old railroad ties and an empty liquor bottle or two. The theatrical landscape is one of broken down and discarded domestic fragments. Echoes of Godot intensify by the arrival of a stern-faced, unshaven vagrant in a piss-elegant dusty bowler hat and his cringing helpmeet scampering behind him.
Like the iconic Estragon and Vladimir, Biloxi Billy (Stephen Cabral) and Nat (Nick Mathews) are an odd couple thrown together by the vicissitudes of fate into an abusive marriage of inconvenience. It's 1931 near Flagstaff, Arizona and various drifters are congregating near the railyards in the hopes of finding work on a nearby spur. Billy is scheming to achieve a windfall by knocking over the Pinkerton security agents, or bulls, who guard the payroll coming in on the timber truck.
So, the Beckett landscape morphs into a Dashiell Hammett-esque grifter crime tale of the Depression. But wait, the abusive Oliver Hardy smacking around the shivering Stan Laurel story changes yet again when Billy places his meaty hand inside the patched overalls that barely cover Nat's pale boyish body. It becomes clear that Billy and Nat are a jocker and his punk, one of those strange sexual couplings that occur when groups of men are separated from womenfolk by dire economic circumstance, or perhaps by predilection as well.
The Jocker admirably tries to rescue some of the little known pre-Stonewall mythology of gay life from the dustbins of history. Three male couples are thrust together to exemplify the sort of relationships that men who would most likely identify as gay today might find themselves in back then.
In contrast to the almost master/slave dynamic between Billy and Nat, Bama (Jason Alan Griffin) and Shakespeare (Michael Lazar) have built a genuine partnership based on mutual attraction and support. Dodger (David Tacheny), proudly showing off his wedding ring and speaking lovingly of his wife back home, nevertheless finds comfort for a time with Lucky (Stephen Tyrone Williams), an African American man who has resorted to prostitution to survive.
The fate of the three couples becomes intertwined with tragic consequences when Nat's desire to escape Billy's abusive yoke runs afoul of the poorly planned robbery. The obvious melodrama of the plot, with Biloxi Billy an almost moustache-twirling villain, somewhat clunkily serves the writer's purpose of excavating forgotten homo history and to comment on the still physically and emotionally perilous lives of gay men.
The Wings Theatre run on a shoestring, pulls off a minor miracle in producing a year-round season of new plays and musicals, a sizeable proportion manifestly about the gay experience. The all-volunteer company's passion for its work is obvious and evident in the work of Artistic Director Jeffrey Corrick and his team. A precious matchstick placed in the band of a thriftstore fedora is a telling detail of L.J. Kleeman's period outfits and you can almost smell the sun-baked dust of William Ward's set and feel the heat courtesy of Eric Larson's lighting.
The actors for their part demonstrate complete commitment to their hardscrabble characters. Jason Alan Griffin's slanting, mistrustful eyes and flat Alabama drawl rings true, as does David Tacheny's wiping the mouth of a mason jar half full of moonshine after sharing it with his newfound black friend. Shiny-eyed Nick Matthews playing younger than his age is required to approach near hysteria several times during the action and will likely gain more technical facility as an actor over time, but deserves credit for finding and revealing the desperation in his character's situation. Stephen Tyrone Williams' Lucky is preternaturally smooth and philosophical given the character's circumstances, but appealing nonetheless.
The Jocker comes to the Wings with a prestigious history. It won First Prize in the John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Awards and was also a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writer's Conference Competition and in the South Carolina Playwrights' Festival, as well as a semi-finalist in the Bloomington Playwrights' Project.
Clint Jeffries dialogue is full of authentic period slang (like "gay cat" for someone not used to riding the rails, or "slave market" for labor agency) , but it's the way he shows how easily relationships can tip from nurturing to exploitative and how frequently the roles of dominator and submitter can flip, that packs the punch here. Some of the simplest moments in the play are the most moving.
As affecting as The Jocker often is, the prochronisms, meaning those elements that could not credibly have existed at the time portrayed, tend to rankle a little. Some of the characters' talk about their situation smacks of our therapized age more than 1931. even so, The Jocker, is a powerful story compellingly told.
THE JOCKERBy Clint JeffriesDirected by Jeffrey Corrick
Cast: Stephen Cabral (Biloxi Billy), Nick Matthews (Nat), Jason Alan Griffin (Bama), Michael Lazar (Shakespeare), David Tacheny (Dodger), Stephen Tyrone Williams (Lucky), James Bullard (Shakespeare- Understudy).Sets: William WardCostumes: L.J. KleemanLights: Eric LarsonRunning Time: 2 hours includes one intermission Wings Theatre Company 154 Christopher Street 212-627-2961 www.wingstheatre.comFrom 5/11/07 through 6/9/07; opening 5/21/07 Tickets: $20. Reviewed by Christopher Murray based on May 18th performance

Friday, May 18, 2007

It’s no drag
By Christopher Murray
for The Brooklyn Paper
May 18, 2007

Victor/Victoria,” the Blake Edwards film that starred Julie Andrews, Robert Preston and James Gardner, remains beloved for its cross-pollination of zany hijinks and charming songs charged with contemporary sexual politics and gender bending.

The musical version of the film is being presented with panache by the stalwart Gallery Players in its first New York revival since the original Broadway run ended almost exactly 10 years ago. Ostensibly about the complexities of love, the current production reveals the show more as a celebration of friendship. The juice, abundantly provided here by a cast with ample energy and style, comes from the connection and conflict between pals.

Victoria Grant — an unemployed chanteuse down and out in Paris — is transformed by her new best buddy, Toddy (a gay song-and-dance man), whose brainstorm — presenting Victoria as Victor, a Polish count slumming as a fabulous drag performer — takes the cabaret world by storm. John Blaylock’s droll manner and lived-in face as Toddy provides a perfect foil to Christine Paterson’s dulcet voice and sincere enthusiasm as Victoria.

The real star in this production, though, is the company of actors and dancers that plays supporting roles as various Parisian types and moves with agility and zest while doing the can-can and the Charleston or taking swings and dodging chairs in the slapstick fight scenes. Each actor’s eyes are alive with enjoyment and a sense of fun caroming around Michael Kerns’s versatile set in charming costumes by Samantha Fromm.

Choreographer Stacy Moscotti Smith and director Matt Schicker should get the credit for the style and zing of this production, and for keeping the cast grounded in the reality of the relationships while providing endless invention in comedy bits and telling pieces of behavior. Standouts in this regard are Allison Guinn as a dippy gangster’s moll and Patrick Field as a deadpan bodyguard. They are the yin and yang of this production, creating comedy together and confirming the signature line from the song “Trust Me”: “All you have to do for the dream to come true is go out there and be what you are, and we’ll make you a world famous star!”

“Victor/Victoria,” will run at the Gallery Players (199 14th St., between Fourth and Fifth avenues) through May 27. Tickets are $18, $14 for seniors and children under 12. For information, visit

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mormon and Gay

Gay Mormons And Homophobia

Mormon author and playwright Carol Lynn Pearson is working to educate and enlighten those of her faith that coming to terms with homosexuality is a family affair.

Facing EastPlan-B Theatre CompanyAtlantic Stage Two330 W. 16th St.May 25-Jun. 17$40; 212-279-4200
Mormon writer Carol Lynn Pearson's new play, "Facing East," beginning performances in New York following a sold out run in Salt Lake City, takes as its subject a married couple's graveside encounter with their dead son's partner. The searing family confrontation concerning the gay son's suicide would make compelling drama on its own merits, but has a particular resonance given Pearson's personal background.In 1978, Pearson and her husband Gerald divorced, after a decade of trying as a devout Mormons to manage and come to terms with his homosexuality.

Six years later, she would nurse him on her couch as he lay dying of AIDS. Her writing career was initially championed by Gerald - on their honeymoon he suggested publishing her first book of poems and their $2,000 investment would lead to sales of more than 150,000 copies - and later it became her way of processing his death.Her book, "Goodbye, I Love You" (Random House) became a bestseller. Since that time, in addition to more than 40 books of poetry, on women's issues and spirituality, Pearson, 68, has been a tireless advocate for religious families struggling to deal with homosexuality. Without every breaking ties to the Mormon Church, she has sounded a clarion call for a reevaluation by the Latter Day Saints on gay issues. Her most recent book, "No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around Our Gay Loved Ones," is a collection of stories about gay Mormons and their families.
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY: Why did you feel compelled to write this play, "Facing East?"
CAROL LYNN PEARSON: I seem to have a calling in my life to address this subject. I was married to a gay man for 12 years and it was a wonderful experience for both of us and terrible, too, as we were struggling to figure out why and what to do. Gerald, my husband, said, "We are in this thing to do something really important and I'm sorry it's so difficult for us both."In the 20 years now since I published "Goodbye, I Love You," about our relationship, I've been privileged to be the repository of hundred of stories, especially those of Mormon gay people and their families.We know that the intersection of religion and especially conservative religions and homosexuality is one of the huge painful arenas that has to be addressed. As Gerald was going through his enormous struggle, the anguish was between his love of the Church and what he felt was the Church's condemnation of him. For his own sanity, he withdrew from the Church, which is the case with most gay Mormon men I know of.
CM: You remain part of the Mormon Church now?
CP: Yes, in fact I'm fourth generation. My grandmother, Sara, walked across the Plains as an eight-year-old girl. My friends have been extraordinarily loyal, as has my family. It brings up enormous questions about my relationship to the Church, but I have no complaints about how I've been treated by the Church. My ecclesiastical leaders have been nothing but kind to me.
CM: How have you remained such a passionate advocate about this for such a long time?
CP: In the current political climate, tensions have increased. The issue of homosexuality is central to so many of the dominant political points of view right now.But, in the stories that come to me, there's a lot of enlightenment going on. Sadly, Utah has the highest rate of suicides among young men between 15 and 24. That's unacceptable. It should no longer be business as usual for the state or the Church until we find out how to do better.
CM: So as in movies like "Ordinary People" or plays like "Angels in America" or "Facing East" now, the moms get hit pretty hard as characters reluctant to change their views about their children.
CP: For a playwright there's no subject matter more fraught than this confrontation between one's belief system and a family's love for a person they feel they must protect by insisting they be what they are not. But actually, in most families I've encountered, it seems the mom is one who is least willing to reject a child.In my play, the mother really struggles and I don't know if I was deliberately working against stereotypes, but there was something appealing to me about this father who has a high status position in the Church being the one to have a breakthrough on this issue.With Mormon women, though, it's true that in some ways their whole existence is getting their families back to God. They will do it by hook or by crook. Not that men don't feel that, but women feel it singularly.
CM: What was the reception to the play in Salt Lake City?
CP: We sold out every night. Our director said 'Who would have thought this would create such a commotion?' But I knew that if I built this, play people would come. I knew the pain that exists among Mormons around these issues. I watched the audience with such emotion in my heart knowing that few of them came just to go to a night in the theater. Most had a story that brought them there. Honestly, you could hear a pin drop.
CM: What change do you want to see in the Mormon Church around homosexuality?
CP: I'd like to all of us to say, wait, we seem not to be doing this right. What are we missing here? Let us look again at scripture, at our own personal history. Let us invite in gay people and their families to tell us their stories. Let's open up new avenues of thinking on this, because there is still so much pain and we aren't where we need to be.We're still not in the Promised Land.

©GayCityNews 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


May 1, 2007
Loosening Meth’s Stranglehold

By Christopher Murray

Overcoming Crystal Meth Addiction:
An Essential Guide to Getting Clean
Steven J. Lee, M.D.
Marlowe & Company, 2006

Darryl does New York City’s Black Party every March. The 32 year old cutie flies in from his Midwestern home town for a long weekend, gets a hotel and basically stays in chaps for seventy two hours, dancing his pretty little toochis off. This year, though, he never even made it to the party because he spent the whole weekend with his new girlfriend, tina, otherwise known as crystal methamphetamine.

“I had done tina before,” Darryl said, (using meth’s camp diminutive, drug dealer shorthand lingo: crystal became christina, became tina). “But it was mostly just here and there, but this time, it scared the shit out of me.” Darryl had only snorted the potent stimulant before, but on Black Party weekend he smoked it out of a glass bowl that one of the men who he hooked up with online brought over to his hotel room. “What really freaked me out was when one guy took out a needle,” he said, referring to injecting the drug, or “slamming.’

For Darryl, his lost weekend was a warning to stay away from Tina, its potential to erase normal boundaries too intense for him. Darryl not only never made it to the Black Party, but he also had unprotected sex. “Frankly, I’m comfortable giving a blowjob and taking a load here and there. It’s hot, everyone I know does it, even if they don’t talk about it. But I let a guy fuck me with out a condom and I fucked another guy without one.”

Even though Darryl paid for one of the pricey viral load tests to determine that he remains HIV negative, the whole experience freaked him out and he’s decided to part company with Miss. Tina for good.

It’s become kind of a truism that methamphetamine has darkened the circuit scene since the millennium approached, turning feel-good all night grooves into edge-y, teeth gnashing marathons. And most gay men on the coasts know more than one close friend who has crashed and burned on meth, moving too fast from just trying it to missing work and brunch or finding addiction or an HIV diagnosis.

Unfortunately, meth, as a cheap, fast and long-lasting high that intensifies sexual scenes and dulls concerns about sexually transmitted diseases is probably going to be with us for a while. So, for those who have crossed a line, or are concerned about someone who has, the best new resource in print is New York-based gay psychiatrist Steven Lee’s Overcoming Crystal Meth, accurately subtitled An Essential Guide to Getting Clean.

Lee’s book, though not exclusively targeted toward gay men, spends a lot of time laying out the groundwork for what attracts the homos to the drug, noting how it puts people in a kind of sex zombie zone where they aren’t feeling any inhibitions whether bad ones like traces of internalized homophobia, or potentially good ones, like sensible boundaries on rougher sex.

Overcoming Crystal Meth has chapters on the nature of the drugs itself, on how addiction works, how to figure out if you have a problem and get off meth, and once off, how to stay clean. The book recognizes that a lot of people have gotten tripped up on meth, but isn’t preachy or prudish.

Meth “gradually became a party drug for certain middle- to upper-middle class gay men in urban communities, who used it to fuel their energy in all-night, dance parties called circuit parties, in which some people would dance for twelve to eighteen hours,” Lee writes. Hmm, guilty as charged. But he goes on to say that the “favored drugs at these events enhanced the profound emotional experience of bonding and freedom,” that is, until tina showed up. He notes that 90% of guys at circuit events use anywhere from one to seven drugs according to studies and that the “highly addictive nature” of meth led to it’s quickly taking over as a problematic compulsion for many men.

The book also has a valuable section on so-called “special topics,” including how to deal with relapse, crystal and HIV disease and helping a loved one who’s all messed up on the drug:

-Stopping meth is in some ways like quitting smoking, in that many people fall off the wagon before they give it up for good. Lee teases through how to proceed in the event of relapse, without setting yourself up for one, noting that “high hopes are not the same as impossible expectations.”

-Lee acknowledges that for many gay men, the specter of HIV has made sex a high anxiety event. For those who have the virus, Lee explains the ways that partying with meth can really run down the immune system and how to lessen the impact of continued use by putting limits on how long you’ll stay up or simply staying hydrated and remembering to take your medication.

-If you suspect a friend or lover is fucked up on meth and slip sliding away, the book also has good advice for what to do, (consult a professional or check out a group like Al-Anon for advice on setting boundaries), and when to broach the subject, (probably not when they have been up for three days and are completely tweaked out).

Overcoming Crystal Meth is a soup-to-nuts guide that lays everything about the drug out in a clear easy to read format. It has an extensive resources section to follow up if people need to consult with a local gay health organization, or find help on the web or check out drug treatment options.

So if Miss. Tina has overstayed her welcome and your DVD player broke from all the Crisco on the disks and you haven’t taken that dildo out of ass in two days, or you’re concerned about becoming a load-seeking cum dump and getting HIV or some other nasty bug, give Overcoming Crystal Meth a read.

Private Practice and Freelance Writing

I'm pleased to announce the expansion of my private practice as a therapist and my work as a freelance writer focusing on issues related to psychotherapy, the lesbian and gay community and arts criticism.

I will be posting articles and information about my practice on this webpage. For more information, please feel free to contact me at Thanks!