London's Gay Scene Is Getting Torn Apart By "Slamming Parties"
Multiplying the seediest aspects of gay culture by thousands of factors, London's "slamming" parties have captured international attention after spitting out countless meth addicted and HIV-positive gay men when they end a week after they began.
Vice went deep into the infamous gay party scene that is taking over London's LGBT community and issued this spine-tingling report:
Weeklong, unprotected orgies fueled by intravenous doses of crystal methamphetamine are an increasing feature of London's gay sex-party scene.
The orgies—or "slamming parties," as they've been dubbed ("slamming" is a euphemism for "injecting")—are known to a small but rapidly expanding section of London's gay community. They are covertly organized over social networking sites like Grindr and Bareback Real Time.
However, that's not to say they're particularly exclusive. As long as you're gay, don't mind potentially exposing yourself to a host of STDs, and can get into the idea of taking Viagra and injecting crystal meth (and sometimes mephedrone) for several days straight, you're welcome to swing through the revolving doors and join the party.
The various slamming get-togethers are pretty fluid affairs, taking place over several days and in several venues, from darkened private homes and West End saunas to dingy apartments and suburban mansions. There are constants, however—the nonstop porn being streamed on massive projector screens, the cascading synth lines of shitty Euro trance, and the glow of guests twiddling with their iPhones as they attempt to get hold of more drugs and bodies to invite along.
Various organizations on the ground in London have reported an increase in gay drug addicts who inject meth, as well as an increase in drug users who test positive for HIV. According to Antidote, London's LGBT-specific drug and alcohol support group, the amount of crystal and mephedrone users injecting the drugs in a sexual situation leapt from 20 percent in 2011 to 80 in 2012.
Vice interviewed Tim, a former organizer of "slamming" parties, who exposed the dark underworld.
“This new scene of bare-backing and injecting is pushing the limits of what’s socially acceptable,” he said. "Injecting crystal meth makes you incredibly horny and willing to do anything. People turn into animals when they come up on it. It’s basically a blizzard of sucking and fucking.”
“People are often awake for days with no food or water, just fizzy drinks and Dunns River Nurishment [a nutritional milk supplement]," Tim added. "But the stupid thing is that no one can ever come, because crystal meth stops you from coming—as does Viagra—so it's just never-ending sex. It’s painful. Most people end up with no skin on their dicks and some end up in hospital because of panic attacks brought on by too much crystal."
Tim told Vice that the "slamming" scene has become more widespread since he abandoned it two years ago.
“There are those who pay for the drugs in order to attract parties. And, at the other end of the scale, there are people who are invited to parties because they're well hung and can get an erection on crystal with or without Viagra,” Tim explained, then detailed a party he remembered. “People came down from Manchester one time and there were about 12 guys coming in and out of my house. I remember my dark, sweaty living room with half a dozen men having sex with each other. Everyone else was checking out the internet for people in the area or squabbling over which porn stream to watch.”
Antidote's David Stuart has revealed that roughly 75 percent of the 800 gay men his service treats are HIV positive. 60 percent of those men regularly go off their medication regimen when on a crystal binge. “Lots of things are driving [the drug use], including the ease of finding the drugs themselves and the use of internet sites to find sex parties and drug dens where people can carry out this behavior," he told Vice.
Yusef Azad, director of policy at the National AIDS Trust, is trying to do something about London's "slamming" problem. In a letter sent to all London Councils, Azad calls for increased support and specialist services to address the "recent and rapid rise in the use of crystal meth in the context of high-risk sex."
"What has changed is the sort of drugs that are used and the context in which they’re used," Azad said. "A lot of drugs are moving from clubbing to private sex parties. Apps like Grindr are facilitating networking among gay men for extended sex sessions on drugs. Everything we are hearing from clubbers and gay men on this scene is that it is prevalent and increasing. Three years ago, this wasn't mentioned at all.”