Written by Dom. In collaboration with Kunyit Squared.
This short story/ poem appears in Kunyit Squared Volume 1, a zine featuring crowdsourced queer Malaysian writings published by homegrown podcast Kunyit Squared. All sales proceeds are donated to PT Foundation and the zine is available for purchase now via Kunyit Squared’s socials:
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With so much being reported and shared recently on HIV and Aids (see: patient London), the same can’t be said about the rising subculture of chemsex – particularly rampant among the LGBT community (I mean, leave it to us to bring sex to a whole new level). And before you start judging and frown at the idea, let’s face it – gay men in Malaysia – we all have either thought of doing it, or had the chance to at some point in our lives (if you are not doing it already).
I personally can say that I’ve gone through it all; thought about it, had tons of opportunity to and like many of us out there, went full on addict. If you care to know what went through my year of meth, unapologetic promiscuity, read on:
When I lost my ChemSex virginity
Surprisingly, the first time I ever tried Chemsex (CF, Chilling, Puffing, Blowing clouds whatever you wanna call it), it was purely by chance – like any other evening of the year, I was horny. And if you’re anything like me, this means I was on Grindr. Actually I was on grindr even when I wasn’t horny – looking for sex just incase I was ever horny in the days to come (who am i kidding, i’m just always on Grindr – i’m even on Grindr now).
Long story short, by night I was making out with a random guy at his place. Again, this was just like any other night, but this time, he suddenly stopped, pulled out his water pipe and asked if I mind if he smoked some ice. Before you judge, no this was not the first time a guy whipped out his bong in front of me (pun intended). It was, however, the first time I agreed to taking a puff. I remember my exact thoughts at that moment, I thought to myself, “That’s it?”.
Being a 20 something year-old, drugs weren’t a foreign idea to me. I’ve had smoked some weed with friends and colleagues, popped E at music festivals and the once in a blue moon visit to your local KTV joint for some lines of Vitamin K. That being said, my first hit of crystal meth was very honestly, to put it plainly, underwhelming. It didn’t bring me to another universe, or make make the room spin in a good way, I did however feel superbly horny and my body relaxed like I never knew possible (translation: there was no dick too big for this chink). What I intended to be a quickie on a saturday night turned to a two day sex marathon, and by the end of it, I wanted even more.
When ChemFun wasn’t so fun anymore
If you know me personally, you’ll know i’m an overachiever – from my popping sexual life as the neighbourhood slut to being a supermodel (no, i’m still not a model, life’s unfair), and chem was no different, in just a few months I had my own bong, a dealer on speed dial and well, had even more sex than I was having before.
I’m not gonna say it wasn’t fun because it was, sex on meth and/or the magical cocktail of drugs with it, was the best sex I’ve ever had. Soon one on one random high hookups became planned, organized 3 day long sex parties with “buddies” – it was that good. But the fun didn’t come without a cost. What they don’t tell you about CF and more specifically meth, are the implications (though easily Google-able):
- You don’t eat. Most don’t ever feel hungry right after taking chem. In fact, since i was taking everyday, I practically never felt hungry ever, the only reason I ate was to look normal in front of other people. Within a year of hard use, I was 25 kgs lighter.
- You don’t sleep. Along with the burst of endorphins flooding your brain is the immense amount of energy I got, which was great for the copious amounts of sex I was having. Not so great though is feeling exhausted after all the fucking I got (did I mention I was a power btm) but not being able to sleep. At the height of it I was functioning on 3 nights of sleep weekly
- You develop some sort of impulse control disorder. Basically an uncontrollable urge to do something, whatever that is. Mine was trichotillomania, the compulsive urge to pull…..hair, specifically, my eyebrows, yes this is a real thing. Oh and remember my thing about over achieving, yeah, my career as a supermodel was not going to take off with one and a half eyebrow.
- You get paranoid. No, you change. Meth changed the way I felt happy and well basically every other emotion known to man. But the paranoia was something I didn’t expect. What I thought it’d be was thinking people were catching on and talking about my addiction, even though that did happen. But what I didn’t expect were the non-existent whispers I heard everywhere I went, always seeing people in empty cars at night and looking at my rear view mirror literally thinking people were following me.
- You get panic attacks. I know, I know, everyone gets panic attacks, what’s the big deal, right? Well, it wasn’t so much the anxiousness that bothered me, it was the physical manifestations of the panic attacks – I would hyperventilate lose feelings in my limbs and if I didn’t calm down I would faint.
- You’re basically an emotional wreck. I cried to work, cried to sleep, cried at weddings (which wouldn’t be weird if it wasn’t at the randomest parts, like when everyone got up to “yam seng”). I also cried when my friend’s six-year-old nephew said hi to me….so you get the idea.
The hardest part is living
With all my new endearing personality traits and being skinnier than ever, you might think that I had probably hit rock bottom. But that wasn’t the end of it for me, I continued using, fully knowing that it wasn’t possible for any person to physically withstand all the abuse I put myself through. Was there a reason? No. But I didn’t think like there was a reason to stop either.
The changing point for me (or so i thought) started like any other day. I planned to meet up with a buddy of mine to “chill”. That night I blacked out, and although it wasn’t the first time that such a thing happened (like i said 3 nights worth of sleep a week), it was the first time I woke up not recognising one of the faces there – and I won’ bother you with the emotions that followed thereafter for several months.
But, I still didn’t stop. If anything I took it to a whole new extreme, taking meth every waking moment just to get by emotionally. I closed off from society, nothing mattered anymore, nothing made me feel enough for it to matter. I’m not sure what made me try to quit drugs again and as much as I’d like to tell you the secret to getting over addiction, that reason is different for all of us but I assure you it does exist. I’ve never said this in person, but being addicted to meth and CF is the hardest thing in life I had gone through and probably what changed me the most, good and bad.
It doesn’t end, in a good way
Fast forward to 2019 and I have recently been diagnosed with HIV while still struggling with my addiction all at the same time. There is no end to this story or a lesson to be learnt, not yet anyway, that’s not why I decided to share my story. I penned this for everyone out there who’s ever felt lost and down, so lost that you wanted it to end, begged it to, even.
I’m not sorry for what I’ve been through nor am I embarrassed about it at all. Just like being queer, my experience with chem and the unfortunate events which followed made me the person I am today – hopefully that much stronger and assured. I hope this helps let people know that not only is there someone who understands exactly what you’re going through as shitty as it is, but a whole subculture of people living with the same struggles and fears you are – just like that gay 12-year old we all once were, wishing there was someone who understood.