Drug Use @ The Baths: Part 1
Drug Use @ The Baths: Part 1

There are a variety of reasons as to why drug use is so rampant. Peer pressure and the need to feel acceptance from the gay community are an obvious reason. Especially in young gay circles where drug use is fashionable among the social fabric of being young, out and gay. By consuming these drugs a high is achieved that is so great, you literally feel that you can dance all night long. But there are other men who use drugs for the opposite reasons. They are still in the closet, and do not feel like they fit in to the "gay community". On the one hand they carry this huge sense of isolation with them. And on the other hand, they are very horny for another guy. By getting high, these men can temporarily feel good about becoming intimate with another man without the anxiety, self-questioning, or guilt. It is just a temporary escape from the pain and misery. For the rest of the drug users, it gets them in contact with other users. And a small community of users is born, most of who are homeless.

The heavy drug use at the baths usually happens very late at night. The groups in this scene are the Twinkies (younger gay men) who party hard and into the night. They begin the night taking a hit of some GHB or Special K. That seems to be the general rule; you cannot start the evening off without a buzz. Then they club hop and visit the bars. They meet up with other friends and continue to kick back more booze and drugs, and dance the night away. By the early morning hours the bars close, and many of these gay men wind up crashing at the baths. But they are not at the baths to sleep it off. It is a post-party, albeit a risky, explicitly sexual post-party. To recreate that club feeling, many baths will turn the music on full blast. Hearing that loud, gyrating dance music seems to get everyone in the mood to continue the party. By this point, these men are so high on drugs (in different combinations) and alcohol, that high-risk sex is not so unusual. Crystal meth and Cocaine will do that to you. By taking these drugs, you feel such a sexual sense of euphoria, that you cannot imagine having sex without taking a hit. Being that high seems to liberate a lot of gay men from the heavy weight of safe sex. At that moment they can re-create the freewheeling days of the 60s and 70s. Having sex anytime with anyone, without making a mental checklist of what is safe and what is not.

Even with all of this freewheeling sex going on, you may occasionally see men taking a hit of GHB or K out in the open. (GHB makes you HORNY as hell!) They are feeling high and do not care what people think. By the early morning hours, you will often see guys bouncing off the walls high on GHB or passed out on one of the lounge chairs. Or you can hear scores of men having group sex, locked away in their rooms. The bathhouse staff really cannot monitor what is going on. They are to busy checking people in and cleaning rooms, as the demand for rooms and lockers gets bigger and bigger. After 2AM is the busiest and best moneymaking time for the baths. When the bars and clubs close the party has to continue somewhere else. You may ask why a bathhouse will let these intoxicated men in. Well, the desk attendant generally refuses entry to a person that is clearly intoxicated. So to get around that rule, these Twinkies take a different approach. They purchase a room, before going out to party. That way they cannot be refused entry when they return, as they have already per-paid. Plus they need not to worry about getting a room, if the bathhouse becomes booked solid later in the evening. By pre-paying they have secured their spot.

The 2 AM crowd also consists of men who struck out at the bars. These men have been hanging out at the bars all night long looking to pick someone up. If they fail to take someone home by closing time, they just trot down to the baths to get off with someone else. So the crowd at 3 or 4 AM consists of the Twinkies who club and take drugs and the middle-aged bar type man who needs to get laid. No wonder why there is always a line up that stretches around the corner at 2AM every morning.

After all of the partying and non-stop sex, these younger gay men finally crash in bed (hopefully in the room they purchased) and sleep it off. They wake up in a stupor at around noon. It is not unusual to wake up and find someone in your bed, that you do not recognize. It is even worse if there are four or five guys in your bed, and you have no clue how they got in there. Even though these Twinkies are tired, sore and strung out, they are ready to do it all over again. Now most of these hard-core party guys know their limits. They have jobs, pay rent, and know they have some responsibility. By Monday morning they are so wiped out, that they need the rest of the week to recuperate. Why does it take a week to recover from a weekend of partying? Long-term use of E affects the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a critical neuro-chemical that regulates mood, emotion, learning, memory, sleep, and pain. E injures serotonin neurons causing a variety of behavioral and cognitive consequences as well as impairing memory. In short, on Monday and Tuesday after a weekend of partying and kicking back drugs, you are still in somewhat of a daze. The drugs have fried the serotonins in your brain. Although these can re-grow, they do not grow back normally and might not grow back in the right location. So many of these young gay men restrict this type of partying to the weekends. But for some, it has gotten out of hand. This is the dark side to the baths and it is the next essay Drug Use At The Gay Baths Part 2.

9 thoughts on “Drug Use @ The Baths: Part 1”

    1. Straight people use motel rooms. The baths are much more advantageous because those rooms are much cheaper, and some baths have dealers roaming the halls. It is hard to police in a bathhouse environment.

  1. I saw a married guy start trying Meth at a club house. Over the next few weeks, I’d see him there every time I went. He was quickly losing weight. I talked to him once. Said his wife knew he was bisexual but didn’t know he was at the baths. She also didn’t know he was doing drugs. Don’t know where that ended up but it couldn’t have been good.

  2. I think this is among the most important information for me. The website is wonderful, the articles are truly excellent. Good process, cheers!

  3. After reading the articles you’ve written (all of them), it seems people with questions pose them here in your guestbook.

    I am considering trying a bathhouse and that prospect doesn’t trouble me terribly. Polite refusal until I have the lay of the land is within my abilities. What I am concerned about, and hoping you can speak to, is that I believe my bi-curiosity emerged only as a side effect of my struggle with amphetamine use. Have you heard anything similar? More importantly, since the bell can’t be unrung, what’s the best approach to explain my… uncertainty… when I do select a partner and activity?

    Thanks for the answers and for maintaining this site – I did not have a safe and sane plan for understanding my new side – now I believe I do.

  4. Is very true what u said about the bathhouse. But don’t generalize all bathhouses and all gay people. And u have mistake in un letter and contradiction about the drugs and effect and consequence . Bathhouses is not the only place people doing drugs.

    In USA all people (gay and str8) use drugs in every night club, bar ,and parties. And the only responsible for drug addicts,,, is the government ,,because , in TV never should any especial programs about this. EDUCATION and orientation everyday in TV and RADIO is the best to save our community.

    Gay people and str8 people using drugs in the same level and % in every state and every country. . I have a friends he is an addict and he was looking for help ,,,,And never any institution give him HIN,, because he don’t have insurance ,,And Crystal Meth (Ice) addict ,,Is impossible ,,Doing out patient doctor’s appointments. Addicts need special attention and big help.

  5. Really appreciated the stuff on drugs. Living in So. Cal, you see so many thin people. I exercise and eat right, but will always have this little punch which I’m pretty cool with since I’m in my early 30’s. But you see so many sticks and you know they’re doing something illicit. I often forget the lengths people will go to so they can look “beautiful”. Thanks for the reminder.

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