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Drinking, Drugs, and Smoking

  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 1:39 PM GMT
    I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Why do so many gay social activities involve drinking, drugs, and smoking? I'm getting very tired of hearing stories about how much people had at Gay Pride, Fire Island, P-town, etc. and how wasted they were. I can't judge because I've been there and I've done that (in fact, I quit smoking this year). However, it still concerns me and I worry about the long-term affects on people.

    I've really been focusing lately on leading a healthy lifestyle and I've had to avoid certain places and some people as well. I'm amazed that people still try peer pressure on me at my age! I do get tired of saying, "No thanks," especially if I have to say it more than once.

    It also makes me sad to see guys who work out hard and watch what they eat do the things to their bodies they do with drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.

    What do you all think about it?

  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 1:49 PM GMT
    Recreational self-destruction? Been there, done that, over it.
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 2:15 PM GMT
    Does it seem like it's getting worse, or am I just noticing it more?
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 2:30 PM GMT
    lissenup saidDoes it seem like it's getting worse, or am I just noticing it more?


    I don't know, but it could just be personal perspective. I quit drinking in Dec 1995, but when I was a drunken barfly, I was never aware of any drug use at all. It's only been in the years since then that I've read about tina queens, etc. There have been several recent articles about more and more gay bars and clubs going out of business, but the reason given is integration of gay and straight nightlife with the increasing acceptance of homosexuality. I know the last time I was in a gay bar, it was full of straight chicks.
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 4:17 PM GMT
    People have been drinking/doing drugs since ancient civilization; the Egyptians were crazy beer drinkers (because of distillation, beer was much cleaner than their water supply), the Mediterranean civilizations had wine, the Celtic people had hallucinogenic plants, etc. etc.

    I think it is part of human nature to seek habits that relieve stress and allow us to let down our inhibitions. And people crave to live without inhibitions, as countless people do things to their body that are obviously detrimental, and yet they keep coming back.

    Now, im noy saying nobody should drink/smoke/do drugs, because its a personal decision, and in recreational uses tends not to be much of a problem. However, I know many people who seem to be unable to control their substance use. They have become attached to the false sense of freedom that comes with whatever subtance they use. This is when drinking/smoking/drugs become a huge issue, and when addiction and health detriments become a real problem.

    Its a shame that some people feel they need to be completely wasted in order to have a good time, but that has been part of human behavior since the earliest of human civilizations, and there will always be that for years to come.

    So i guess if your going to drink/smoke or do drugs, just try to use descression and good judgement. I really enjoy drinking and smoking weed with friends, but i never let myself get so out of hand that im putting myself or my friends into health risks, or becoming reliant on drinking/drugs for fun.

    I think drinking/drugs can be a fun social activity, and abstaining from them can be a tough personal choice, but as long as your not getting completely wasted, the occasional substance use wont do any serious harm.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 4:27 PM GMT
    Queer culture formed around bars, because all city culture formed around bars in American cities. Even our Democracy took place in bars, serving as voting places, head quarters, meeting halls. Hetero culture could spread from the bars because it was socially acceptable. Queer culture had to be quarantined in them, like all the other social ills (prostitution, gambling, etc). While queer culture has moved into other areas of society we are not so far removed from Stonewall as to be disconnected from our delicious, well shaken past.

    Besides, nothing succeeds like excess.
  • MuchMoreThanM... Posts: 20964
    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 4:30 PM GMT
    Although I don't frequent them much I'm glad to say that Chicago is now finally smoke free in the bars. I go basically once a year. I avoided going for the most part because I couldn't stand the smoke. Now what's worse is that I don't like walking down streets where there are bars. Because now all the people that can't smoke in the clubs/bars are now out on the street. And I get second hand smoke that way.

    I fucking hate it. It's such a nasty habit and I don't appreciate, at all, how it can negatively affect my health.
  • HndsmKansan Posts: 15315
    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 4:32 PM GMT
    I think the same can be said about the public at large...can't it?

    While I agree with the basic premise here, would you say that gay culture is MORE focused on drinking, smoking and drugs than society at large. That would be an interesting study.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 4:35 PM GMT
    I can only apply how I feel about recreational drugs to myself. None of that has ever intrigued me. I can have an incredible time without the fix of a drug. I'll drink occasionally to the point of a light buzz and thats about it. I do value my health but I think somewhere along the way that whole idea that it's either cool to experiment or everyone does it once also challenged me. I don't like to be like every one. So maybe thats also part of the reason I just don't have any desire to engage in that stuff.

    As for those that do. I pass no judgement. I have been to too many parties where just about everyone was high on something besides the alcohol. I've had joints passed to me and just hand it on over to the nearest person and go about my business. I've been in places where I've seen the majority snort it up all night and get so high you could light the entire city with their man made energy. It never tempted me. I was glad to go home after an awesome time and know I'd be getting some good rest. No one needs me to stand on a soapbox and tell them about the negative aspects of ingesting garbage in their system and fucking with their brain. If thats their thing and they feel good about it. Party on rockstar. I sincerely hope you don't become a statistic.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 4:39 PM GMT
    Drinking, drugs, and smoking help us to deal with the fact that, aside from a (general) shared sexual preference, there's little "community" and even less "in-common" among us. Though you could argue that things have always been the same, I'd say the divorcing of political consciousness and activism from "the community" has done nothing but encourage vapidity, the superficial, and excessive irreverance.

    For my two cents, I'd definately say there's something wrong with gay men's love of alcohol but studies show there's little difference between gay men alcoholism and heterosexuals...so who knows.

    Anyway, all vices have their places...just in moderation.
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 4:43 PM GMT
    It's not just us "gays"! I hang out with quite a few straight folks and it's one of those things. It is part of our worlds and it's up to the individual to be around it or not; there's just as many non-drinking/drug using/partying gays/straights out there.
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 4:44 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidI think the same can be said about the public at large...can't it?

    While I agree with the basic premise here, would you say that gay culture is MORE focused on drinking, smoking and drugs than society at large. That would be an interesting study.

    Certainly an interesting question and it does seem like the gay culture is more focused but I'm wondering if that's because in our society at large, we tend to grow out of that indulgence or at least find a relatively balanced way of handling it. In the gay culture it seems to extend much further into adulthood and I would wonder if society's lack of endorsing a "family unit" in the gay culture leaves a empty/lonely gap in life that ends up being fulfilled with other "indulges".
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 4:49 PM GMT
    If we are talking specifically in relation to the gay male culture I'd say it also has to do with offering the ultimate high. After all we throw the best parties. Offer the best clubs etc... along with offering the best of that world also comes offering what some would feel is the best party favors. Sorta an added bonus to the whole carnival ride of a life time. I've heard many meth users say the best sex they've ever had was while they were high on speed. I have a real close friend who works in porn and he says apparently you can fuck all weekend non stop on the shit. He goes in detail ( email if interested some of that stuff is pretty hot haha) but then admits the crash is a bitch. So I'm thinking "some" gay men want the ultimate carnival ride thus maybe a higher use of party favors. As for smoking, I've seen a HUGE decline in that which I'm grateful for. Can't stand that shit. Drinking does seem like a problem in the gay community but I also saw the same problem in the medical profession when I was working in a hospital my freshmen year of college. That really surprised me. A numbing from the visual they'd seen all day?
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 4:58 PM GMT
    Anything in excess is bad......even pastrami sandwiches.

    Hanging out with your buddies and drinking is a time honored male bonding thing and can be a lot of fun. Yeah, there are millions of other healthier alternatives.....all good. And besides, gays didn't invent liquor or the cocktail hour.

    Smoking is a drug..an addictive one...a bad one....and a lot of people are hooked. They need help quitting.

    Drugs....it's a personal choice. But there are bad destructive things about certain drugs. I've tried E a few times and had the time of my life....I won't go near meth or coke and stuff like that......but having a puff of pot is fun.

    Riding you bike in traffic without a helmet has the potential for danger......so is eating fast food....driving too fast....stress from work....sports and lot's of things in everyday life.

    Maybe nuns and monks have the right idea.






  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:02 PM GMT
    My personal suspicion is that there's sometimes a degree of nihilism to it -- if life has too many oppressive cares and worries, why not live balls-to-the-wall and recklessly abandon them?

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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:03 PM GMT
    There was a study on this. Up until the upper 20's there was really no difference between breeders and gay's on levels of alcoholism.

    But past the late 20's while breeders start families and have kids. They drink less. While us gays, don't really have those same obligations and continue to live it up.

    That's pretty much it.
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:07 PM GMT
    sdn8 saidThere was a study on this. Up until the upper 20's there was really no difference between breeders and gay's on levels of alcoholism.

    But past the late 20's while breeders start families and have kids. They drink less. While us gays, don't really have those same obligations and continue to live it up.

    That's pretty much it.


    Don't believe it at all.....all the gay men I know who share a drink have jobs, obligations and active participation in the community....hobbies....families etc.
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:09 PM GMT
    One reason why I got turned off the gay fast-lane lifestyle so quickly. I grew up with substance abuse in my family and have limited patience for self-destructive behaviour.

    There are a lot of gay men who have issues with alcoholism, drugs and smoking. It is not only bad for their health, but it often strains their relationships and makes some of them more vulnerable to unsafe sex practices (the drugs and alcohol).

    The only one of the three I have ever indulged in is alcohol. I love the taste of most liquors (scotch being the exception) but will only have two when I go out, before switching to a cranberry & ginger ale or a water. Never understood the attraction of drugs or smoking.
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:12 PM GMT
    Oh god...I stopped because it was really really time to. The things I did on those black-out drunken binges were getting legendary in this tiny little town. Bad decisions, vodka, and I were best friends.
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:14 PM GMT
    zdrew saidMy personal suspicion is that there's sometimes a degree of nihilism to it -- if life has too many oppressive cares and worries, why not live balls-to-the-wall and recklessly abandon them?



    My personal suspicion is that there is some degree of puritanicalism... (is that a word?).....preachyness...victorianism....with people who absolutley avoid the sin of drinking.

    No need to be reckless...but I think some guys should let their hair down and experience a drunken time at least once in their lives.

    In fact, I will not date anyone seriously unless I have the chance to see how he is when he is a little tipsy. I don't trust anyone who stands on such high moral ground.

    Strict fitness reasons for not drinking makes sense...but even then....lighten up a bit.

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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:16 PM GMT
    i think there is a big difference in obligations of volunteering, and working with the community, etc. than raising kids and supporting a family.

    And yes, there are always exceptions to the rule. But, the MAJORITY of us do not have to worry about chillens
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:32 PM GMT
    In fact, I will not date anyone seriously unless I have the chance to see how he is when he is a little tipsy. I don't trust anyone who stands on such high moral ground.

    Strict fitness reasons for not drinking makes sense...but even then....lighten up a bit.

    [/quote]


    Thats an interesting statement. I might ask why out of curiosity but I wouldn't consider them a tightass or holier than thou ( unless they come off that way ) if they haven't engaged in drinking to the point of being drunk. Every thing and how we look at it is personal and subjective. I might be impressed that they never got drunk or I'd probably tell them they are lying and wake up with a bottle next to them in bed LOL
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:38 PM GMT
    jsttennis77 saidIn fact, I will not date anyone seriously unless I have the chance to see how he is when he is a little tipsy. I don't trust anyone who stands on such high moral ground.

    Strict fitness reasons for not drinking makes sense...but even then....lighten up a bit.



    Thats an interesting statement. I might ask why out of curiosity but I wouldn't consider them a tightass or holier than thou ( unless they come off that way ) if they haven't engaged in drinking to the point of being drunk. Every thing and how we look at it is personal and subjective. I might be impressed that they never got drunk or I'd probably tell them they are lying and wake up with a bottle next to them in bed LOL[/quote]

    Agreed. Similarly, I won't consider dating someone who hasn't has at least one personal demon to wrestle with at some point or another...because if they haven't, they someday will have to, and it surely won't be pretty.

    Edit: uh oh. Are those nested quotes dead again?
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    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:41 PM GMT
    zdrew said
    jsttennis77 saidIn fact, I will not date anyone seriously unless I have the chance to see how he is when he is a little tipsy. I don't trust anyone who stands on such high moral ground.

    Strict fitness reasons for not drinking makes sense...but even then....lighten up a bit.



    Thats an interesting statement. I might ask why out of curiosity but I wouldn't consider them a tightass or holier than thou ( unless they come off that way ) if they haven't engaged in drinking to the point of being drunk. Every thing and how we look at it is personal and subjective. I might be impressed that they never got drunk or I'd probably tell them they are lying and wake up with a bottle next to them in bed LOL


    Agreed. Similarly, I won't consider dating someone who hasn't has at least one personal demon to wrestle with at some point or another...because if they haven't, they someday will have to, and it surely won't be pretty.

    [/quote]

    A gay man without some form of drama ? Phew, thats a needle in a haystack right there
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 11, 2008 5:43 PM GMT
    jsttennis -- Precisely. That's why I say that - if they've not had drama and strife, they're probably repressing something, and I don't wanna be there when that shit hits the fan!