How does crystal meth participate in the continuing experience of HIV among gay men, and how have responses to HIV shaped gay men’s crystal meth use and surrounding practices? The topic recurs with surprising regularity in gay community discourse: We’ve had a number of excellent community forums on this issue in Australia in the last few months alone – and seen the production of some useful resources locally and internationally – yet some of the themes, findings and positions taken in these forums have persisted for a decade if not more.
Exceptional Sex was an attempt I made in 2007 to make sense of the evolving construction of “the Tina epidemic”, or whatever you’d like to call it – #WiredPlay, #Chemsex, #PNP, the “double epidemic”. Each of these terms have tried to do the work of naming, in different geographical contexts, what nevertheless seem to be some common patterns and emerging forms in urban gay scenes internationally.
I’m sharing Exceptional Sex here because I think the analysis if offers remains topical, but the text itself is hard to access in electronic form. (You can always buy the book – hint hint – Pleasure Consuming Medicine (Duke UP 2009), where the essay was later published).
But I’m also curious – what’s changed? what’s stayed the same? what’s missing? where do we go from here?
What can we make of this issue?