Dear Gay Sexpert,Interesting, interesting, interesting.
I am a recovering meth user. My rehab experience was really helpful, but very anti-sex. To be honest, the best sex I ever had was on crystal meth. Sobering up has trashed my sexual desire and I am fearful that sex will never be the same.
Frustrated and Fearful
I've been reading the different studies focusing on sexual shame and crystal meth -- which, by the way, are few. In fact, Dr. David Wohlsifer states in his study on the subject, "Little is mentioned about sexual issues beyond identifying crystal users as suffering from a sexual addiction and being sexually compulsive. The literature [research] is devoid of suggestions or efforts aimed at helping develop healthy sexual beliefs and a meaningful and healthy sex life as well as address the issues of sexual trauma that may have occurred during crystal use."...
Turning again to Dr. Wohlsifer's study, he found that his gay subjects had many shame-based beliefs about their sexuality prior to their initial use of crystal and that the use of the drug eradicated those same feelings of shame. It created for the user a kind of "alternate sexual reality," one where a user felt sexy, horny, confident, adventurous, uninhibited and affectionate with a sense of belonging and camaraderie with the other men he had sex with. With that kind of shame-free sexual euphoria (and the addictive chemical begging for more), of course he would feel compelled to take meth over and over again...
I know sex is not the only reason people use crystal, but re-shaming a recovering user by telling him "Just say no to sex" could certainly set the stage for a relapse. "To respond to the community health problems that Crystal use presents, it is essential to understand that Crystal use is a mechanism that eradicates sexual shame." So let's provide ways for recovering users (and everyone, quite frankly) to stimulate a positive sexuality -- one without shame. My practice focuses on this need by providing information, workshops, and consultations specifically for those wanting to decrease their sexual shame.
Really interesting column over at gay.com about gay men and health.