Addiction Drug Use Meth Print Myths and Realities of Gay Meth Use By Elizabeth Hartney, PhD Updated May 04, 2019 Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician More in Addiction Drug Use Meth Cocaine Heroin Marijuana Ecstasy/MDMA Hallucinogens Opioids Prescription Medications Alcohol Use Addictive Behaviors Nicotine Use Coping and Recovery There has been a lot of concern in the addiction research field about the so-called epidemic of gay meth use. Some gay men may even be feeling peer pressure to use meth and to "party and play," to be part of the gay scene. But research tells a different story — it turns out that meth use is not necessarily part of a gay lifestyle. In fact, only a minority of gay men use meth. 1 Myth: All Gay Men Take Meth Hinterhaus Productions/Taxi/Getty Images Reality: Studies have been carried out in the U.S. and Australia showing as many as 40% of gay men use meth. However, even these estimates range from 10-40%. And in other countries, the rates of meth-using gay men are lower — about 4% in the UK (up to 13% of gay men living in London, particularly among those who are HIV positive). This means that of the gay men who have been studied, the number using meth is consistently less than half, and in some places, the vast majority of gay men, around 85-95%, do not use meth. 2 Myth: Meth Is the Drug of Choice Among Gay Men Reality: Studies show that among gay men, the use of many other drugs surpasses that of meth. For example, in a study of gay men in the UK, 90% use alcohol, 40% use inhalants, and 28% use cannabis, compared to only 4% of the sample who use meth. Research also shows that most gay men attending parties where meth is available neither intend to take the drug nor feel pressure to do so. 3 Myth: Meth Is the Drug Most Associated With Unprotected Anal Sex Reality: There are many drugs that are associated with high-risk behaviors, such as unprotected anal sex, including alcohol, cannabis, poppers, cocaine, amphetamines, and Viagra, as well as meth. Steering clear of all of these drugs is an important part of staying safe from HIV and hepatitis infection. If you need to use drugs to enjoy anal sex, perhaps you should ask yourself whether you are really comfortable with this activity at all — it isn't compulsory! 4 Myth: Meth Makes Gay Sex More Enjoyable Reality: While getting high on meth has been reported to be associated with extended and enhanced sex marathons, meth can also cause impotence, and for some men, ruins the sexual experience when not on meth. In fact, the effects of meth are extremely unpredictable, and may not put you in the mood for sex at all. And the detrimental effects that meth has on people's appearance and mental functioning take its toll on your attractiveness. Unfortunately, meth users in recovery report that these negative changes to their appearance are often not perceived by meth users themselves at the time they are using. 5 Myth: Meth Makes You Feel Better About Being a Gay Man Reality: Like many drugs that produce temporary euphoria and distort your perception of reality, meth can provide a brief vacation from the emotional difficulties associated with being gay in a heterosexist culture, particularly for gay men who have not come to terms with their sexuality. But once the drug wears off, you can feel worse than ever. The crash experienced after you come down, added to the stigma of drug use and unresolved feelings about being gay, lead to the term "suicide Tuesday" because of how the comedown feels on the Tuesday after a weekend of meth use. Counseling is a much more effective way of coming to terms with your gay identity. Ignore Peer Pressure to Use Meth Although a minority of gay men use meth, even in places where it is more common, most gay men don't use meth. Overall, meth is likely to make you feel worse, not better. Ignore pressure to use this dangerous drug, knowing that if you are told it is something all gay men are doing, you are hearing a myth. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Aguilar, J., & Sen, S. 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