Drug Use @ The Baths: Part 1
The following is a true story. The customer in Room 316 was on overtime. REAL OVERTIME. He checked in at 8 PM the previous night, and now it was approaching Noon, just in time for the lunch special. He purchased a room for 12 hours, which was not so unusual. Men who purchase 12-hour rooms generally sleep over. For every customer who is running on overtime, a grace period of an hour or so is given. But the occupant of Room 316 had been in that room for 16 hours, four of which were on overtime. The desk attendant on duty repeatedly announced throughout the morning, via the loudspeaker, that Room 316 was on overtime. So he should either checkout or renew. For hours there was no response to the frequent announcements by the desk attendant. Nor was there any response from the repeated knocking on the door by the floor attendant.
Finally the floor attendant decided it was time to burst in and wake up the tardy customer. It is not so unusual for customers to be on overtime that long. The occupant of Room 316 was probably still sleeping off his hangover from the previous nights partying. Having a 12-hour room, gives a customer in and out privileges. So he could have gone bar hoping, before returning to the baths to crash. The floor attendant knocked one last time, announcing that it was time to check out or renew. Hearing no response, the floor attendant inserted his master key and tried to open the door. But it would not open. Thinking the door was jammed the floor attendant started pushing and to his horror, realized the door was not stuck at all. But a body was slumped against the door. The occupant of Room 316 had overdosed the result of injecting cocaine. The autopsy report later stated that overdose happened at 10:00 PM. This meant that the customer was lying dead in that room for 14 hours. Considering that he was found slumped against his closed door seems to suggest that he was making a feeble attempt to save himself. And there he lay dying, while scores of guys were having sex in rooms around him.
What this little vignette illustrates is the reckless drug use that is so prevalent in the gay community. Drug use seems to be such a part of the mainstream gay culture. It is as common as having that cup of coffee in the morning. As a gay man you see drugs being consumed at clubs, in bars, and at private parties. So why anyone should be so surprised that drugs are rampant in a bathhouse setting as well. To their credit, bathhouses generally prohibit the consumption of any type of recreational drugs to be used on the premises. You walk into any bathhouse in America and you will see a sign that reads, "The use of Alcohol and Narcotics are strictly prohibited". But how is the staff going to monitor what goes on behind closed doors. It is not like you get strip searched upon entering a bathhouse. Gay Saunas are all about privacy, and that is to be respected. Plus half the staff uses drugs recreationally in their personal lives, so who are they to judge if someone else is using. But when a bathhouse has to call the paramedics every Saturday night, due to a perceived overdose, then you know there is a problem. These two essays will take a comprehensive look at the whole drug and alcohol scene at the baths and it is not a pretty picture. It is a world that consists of drugs, alcohol and mindless sex. Remember the baths are a fantasy world, where gay men can do whatever they want. Within those walls, nothing is sacred.
Of all of the drugs consumed at the baths, Marijuana seems to be the least serious of them all. It is deemed so minor by gay men, that it is not unusual to see the staff share a joint while on duty. And it is not uncommon to walk into a bathhouse and be hit with the scent of marijuana. Even walking down the halls, you can smell the odor coming from inside certain rooms. Some couples, after a three or four hour marathon of sex, will relax in the afterglow by sharing a joint. There are even some gay men that smoke a joint before going to the baths. It helps to loosen them up, so they do not have to feel inhibited. They do that, or they kick back a few shots of alcohol.
Very rarely have I seen someone so drunk at the baths that they are bumping into walls and furniture. A drunk at the baths is a liability to business, as it will drive customers away. If someone shows up that smashed and wants to get in, the desk attendant will likely turn him away. The consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited, as many bathhouses do not have a liquor license. So guys drink alcohol at the baths very openly, but discreetly. I say that because you will not see guys holding a vodka bottle or can of beer while walking up and down the halls. But you will see guys carrying plastic bottles containing not soda, but alcohol. The plastic bottle is not clear, so you cannot tell what type of liquid is being consumed. And there is always more alcohol in the customer's locker, so the soda bottle can be re-filled when it gets empty. On the whole, a majority of gay men who drink at the baths are able to hold their liquor. But over the years I have seen some men passed out in the lounge or the whirlpool obviously drunk. Or you will see men drunk, sitting in the lounge talking gibberish to anyone who will listen. But that type of behavior is only seen at bathhouses that prohibit liquor on the premises. Some gay saunas do have a liquor license, and allow liquor to be consumed. But only in the bar area and the customer is not allowed to take liquor into their rooms.
But by far the most popular minor drug consumed by gay men is Amyl Nitrate better known as "poppers". Poppers are inhaled to enhance sexual pleasure. So you can see why it is extremely popular in the gay community. They have a reputation for both enhancing the intensity of an orgasm and helping relax the anal area while you are having sex. This is great if you are an exclusive bottom. So you can see why men love their poppers, and do not want to leave home without them. Some men will even wear the small bottle of poppers on a chain around their neck, as a necklace. With the amount of quickies that take place at any given time at the baths, you have to be prepared. A quickie encounter may take place when you least expect. In fact I see more men carrying around poppers than condoms! Poppers are technically illegal without a prescription. But you can find them for sale at many bathhouses and sex stores. You can even purchase them on-line by typing "poppers" in the search engine. What should be pointed out is that when you mix poppers or other drugs together, it is a lethal cocktail. Poppers mixed with Viagra, can drop blood pressure to dangerously low levels. But that is nothing compared to mixing that with Crystal meth.
Now we get to the serious drugs being consumed at the baths: Crystal meth, GHB, Ecstasy, Special K, Speed and Crack Cocaine While marijuana and poppers are consumed openly at the baths, these hard-core drugs are consumed much more discreetly. And they are taken in combination with each other, which is even worse. But to get back to Viagra for a minute, you may ask yourself why Viagra is so popular in the club scene? After all it is associated with older men, and these young twinks certainly do not need the help. Apparently long-term use of E (ecstasy) kills a person's sex drive. So to get in the mood, Viagra is taken along with the E and the rest of the club drugs. E (ecstasy) is the most popular of all of the club drugs out there. E can be taken in combination with other drugs like G (GHB) and K (Special K). How do the drug users keep everything straight in terms of what is safe to mix and what is not? When taking club drugs you can mix a vowel (E) with the consonants (G & K), but you NEVER mix the consonants (G & K) together!
It is generally younger gay men (Twinkies with 5% body fat) who are into this scene. Ever wonder why so many young gay men look anorexic? It is because many of them are taking E. This is a drug that speeds up a person's metabolism, as it is an amphetamine. As well, if they are taking GHB, that apparently stimulates the release of growth hormone, acting as an anabolic steroid. So they are able to have a primo body without ever working out. But exercise is the furthest thing on many twinks minds. At the top of many their agenda are circuit parties and club drugs.
See below to go to page two of this story