Drugs, alcohol and chemsex support
We've pulled together a selection of books which may help you better understand why sex may have become a problem, how we value and view ourselves in terms of sex, and some of the changes you can make in your life.
Clearly not an exhaustive list, please get in touch with us if there is a book you think we should add.
Something for the Weekend | James Wharton
"When James Wharton leaves the army, he finds himself with more opportunities than most to begin a successful civilian life – he has a husband, two dogs, two cars, a nice house in the countryside and a book deal. A year later he finds himself single, living in a room and trying to adjust to single gay life back in the capital. In his search for new friends and potential lovers, he becomes sucked into London’s gay drug culture, soon becoming addicted to partying and the phenomenon that is ‘chemsex’. Exploring his own journey through this dark but popular world, James looks at the motivating factors that led him to the culture, as well as examining the paths taken by others. He reveals the real goings-on at the weekends for thousands of people after most have gone to bed, and how modern technology allows them to arrange, congregate, furnish themselves with drugs and spend hours, often days, behind closed curtains, with strangers and in states of heightened sexual desire. Something for the Weekend looks compassionately at a growing culture that’s now moved beyond London and established itself as more than a short-term craze.."
Something for the Weekend | James Wharton | Biteback Publishing | 2017
The Chemsex Monologues | Patrick Cash
"A nameless narrator meets a sexy boy on a Vauxhall night out, who introduces him to G’s pleasures; a club night poster boy gets taken to Old Mother Meth’s place by a porn star; Fag Hag Cath is finding the chillouts have become more about the sex; Daniel is a sexual health worker who does community outreach in the saunas; and Rob’s snorting mephedrone off a framed photograph of his parents' 25th wedding anniversary."
The Chemsex Monologues | Patrick Cash | Oberon Books | 2016
5 Guys Chillin' | Peter Darney
"A graphic, gripping, funny and frank verbatim drama exposing the chill-out chem-sex scene. “Wanna pair of shorts? Shot of G? Line of Meth?” From surgeons to students, couples to kink; guys that love it and lost guys longing to be loved. An original look into a drug-fuelled, hedonistic, highly secret world of Grindr, and instant gratification."
5 Guys Chillin' | Peter Darney | Oberon Books | 2016
Lust, men, and meth: a gay man's guide to sex and recovery | David Michael Fawcett
"Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery provides the first practical resource for recovery from methamphetamine and the restoration of healthy sex and intimacy. Based on over a decade of clinical experience and research, Dr. Fawcett outlines the seductive appeal of methamphetamine and its impact on high-risk behaviors and sexual desire, resulting in the fusion ofo meth and sex in the brain. Such patterns of use quickly lead not only to a devastating addiction but in sexual dysfunction as well. Illustrated with examples from dozens of cases, this book outlines a path toward healing, describing the phases of physical, emotional, and sexual recovery and provides a broad range for supportive tools from managing triggers to mindfulness."
Lust, men, and meth: a gay man's guide to sex and recovery | David Michael Fawcett | S FL Center for Counseling and Therapy, Inc. | 2015
Cruise control: understanding sex addiction in gay men | Robert Weiss
"Sex is always part of Ed’s day, whether he’s masturbating during his morning shower, cruising the mall during lunch, or engaging in his post-workout gym ritual. He often spends whole weekends either searching for sex partners or having sex. In his rigidly compartmentalized daily sexual activities, Ed reveals a part of himself that his friends and coworkers most likely wouldn’t recognize. About 10 per cent of gay men are sex addicts. For gay men like Ed who may have a problem with anonymous online hook-ups, porn, sex clubs, and prostitutes, the first step toward personal growth is to gain as much knowledge as possible about sexual addiction. Cruise Control will help readers determine whether or not they are sex addicts and how to reclaim their sexual health. This second edition is revised and expanded to include the impact of social media and mobile apps like Grindr (which uses GPS technology for instant hookups) on the “epidemic” of sex addiction in gay males. Discover the important distinction between being a gay sex addict and a gay man exploring his sexual freedom."
Cruise control: understanding sex addiction in gay men | Robert Weiss | Gentle Path Press | 2013
Straight Jacket | Matthew Todd
"Written by Matthew Todd, editor of Attitude, the UK's best-selling gay magazine, Straight Jacket is a revolutionary clarion call for gay men, the wider LGBT community, their friends and family. Part memoir, part ground-breaking polemic, it looks beneath the shiny facade of contemporary gay culture and asks if gay people are as happy as they could be – and if not, why not? In an attempt to find the answers to this and many other difficult questions, Matthew Todd explores why statistics show a disproportionate number of gay people suffer from mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, addiction, suicidal thoughts and behaviour, and why significant numbers experience difficulty in sustaining meaningful relationships. Bracingly honest, and drawing on his own experience, he breaks the silence surrounding a number of painful issues, explaining:
- how growing up in the closet can overwhelm the gay child with a deep sense of shame that can leave young people with perilously low self-worth and a powerfully negative body image
- how many gay men overcompensate for childhood shame by pursuing unobtainable perfection, aspiring to have perfect bodies, boyfriends and lives
- how gay culture, so often centred around alcohol, drugs, quick sex and even quicker wit, exacerbates the problem, and what we can all do to make things better
Meticulously researched, courageous and life-affirming, Straight Jacket offers invaluable practical advice on how to overcome a range of difficult issues. It also recognizes that this is a watershed moment, a piercing wake-up-call-to-arms for the gay and wider community to acknowledge the importance of supporting all young people – and helping older people to transform their experience and finally get the lives they really want." Penguin Books
Straight Jacket | Matthew Todd | Bantum Press | Jun 2016
The Velvet Rage | Alan Downs
"Today’s gay man enjoys unprecedented, hard-won social acceptance. Despite this victory, however, serious problems still exist. Substance abuse, depression, suicide, and sex addiction among gay men are at an all-time high, causing many to ask, “Are we really better off?” Drawing on contemporary research, psychologist Alan Downs’s own struggle with shame and anger, and stories from his patients. The Velvet Rage passionately describes the stages of a gay man’s journey out of shame and offers practical and inspired strategies to stop the cycle of avoidance and self-defeating behaviour. Updated to reflect the effects of the many recent social, cultural, and political changes, The Velvet Rage is an empowering book that has already changed the public discourse on gay culture and helped shape the identity of an entire generation of gay men."
The Velvet Rage | Alan Downs | Hachette Book Group/ Da Capo Press | US | 2012
The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness | Michael Hobbes
"Marriage equality and the changes in legal status were an improvement for some gay men,” says Christopher Stults, a researcher at New York University who studies the differences in mental health between gay and straight men. “But for a lot of other people, it was a letdown. Like, we have this legal status, and yet there’s still something unfulfilled. This feeling of emptiness, it turns out, is not just an American phenomenon. In the Netherlands, where gay marriage has been legal since 2001, gay men remain three times more likely to suffer from a mood disorder than straight men, and 10 times more likely to engage in “suicidal self-harm.” In Sweden, which has had civil unions since 1995 and full marriage since 2009, men married to men have triple the suicide rate of men married to women. All of these unbearable statistics lead to the same conclusion: It is still dangerously alienating to go through life as a man attracted to other men. The good news, though, is that epidemiologists and social scientists are closer than ever to understanding all the reasons why."
The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness | Michael Hobbes | The Huffington Post | 2 Mar 2017