Coming up on The Steam Room: https://youtu.be/s1ASGclIhkw

GaySA Radio, where you are family. This is The Steam Room brought to you by the South African National Department of Health’s Phila Project. My name is Max and tonight we are exploring the world of Chem-sex. So first of all, what is chem-sex, and what makes it different to any other kinds of man-on-man sex? Here is what some people we spoke to said.

Ethan: What do you think of people who use drugs for pleasure?

Person A: I don’t think anything about that situation, i mean like if it helps you with your sex drive then sure, if it’s your thing then it’s okay.

Person B: No judgement here (Laugh) if it’s also their thing and it works for them

Person C: I think about the sexual partner, yes (Laugh)

Person D: Well I didn’t know that before, but my feeling is if they have sex on drugs, can they only have sex on drugs?

Person E: I think it’s not a good thing, but some, they find it very interesting for them to, in a way, make them have that active mode that they get into to participate in their sexual practice or whatever they are into. But for me, I don’t think it’s a good thing because some of us tend to, after we have sex, we would blame ourselves, and say oh it was because of the drugs, or it was because I was under the influence, so I don’t think it’s a good thing.

Person F: I think they’re overcompensating, I mean, I’m not judging, but I’m judging, and I don’t think so, like why?

Ethan: What do you think high sex is like?

Person D: I kind of feel like it would be detached from the other person and a little bit more of a, I don’t know. It’s less to do with the person that you are having sex with and more about you and you feeling things, I don’t know it doesn’t sound very reciprocal, it just feels very self-centred.

Person E: Umm it would be something more wilder than what one does when, I’ll just call it when you are normal, not so say that when you are having drugs you are not normal, but I’ll just say that like that because you know, you tend to do things or you come out of your comfort zone to experiment more things that you haven’t done.

Person A: I think the sex is just going to be very long, like it’s just going to be a very long ongoing process. And I’m not a horse so you need to get off me (Laugh)

Person B: I’m not sure, but my thinking is that it’s probable on a different level than when you’re sober?

Ethan: Do you think it’s something you would try?

Person C: Umm possibly one day, I don’t see why not.

Person B: Someday, yes.

Person D: I don’t think so (Laugh)

Person A: Umm I’m not so sure. Unless otherwise.

Ethan: Do you think drugs could affect sexual performance?

Person A: Definitely, they do definitely because people experience many things after they have been under the influence and our bodies tend not to be anticipating whatever we have been taking into our body.

Person C: Mmmmmm…. Ja.

Person F: Ja, I’ve been with somebody that was actually on that, he just couldn’t get it up. It was a mission, so I think it does actually affect in the long run

Person B: I think so yes, why I think that I’m not sure but I think anything has an effect in the long run.

Person D: I guess over time, I mean you can’t really be adding things to your body long-term. I mean, even antidepressants or sleeping pills, I mean that has an effect on you long-term, so I do think if you’re having sex long-term with other drugs it will definitely affect your performance in the long-term.

Ethan: Do you use chems while having sex?

Person A: No, I do not use chems while having sex.

Person C: Is that a trick question? It depends, if there is then I won’t say no.

Ethan: Why do you need to do it?

Person C: No, I don’t  think I feel the need, but some substances sure helps.

Ethan: What chems do you take?

Person C: I like Kat, and I’m a weed smoker, but then sometimes people say weed, sex on weed is just as fun but I don’t think so, it makes me not enjoy it as much as Kat would.

Ethan: What do the drugs do?

Person C: It prolongs the entire thing, not just the thing, but the entire event as I may call it.

Ethan: What are some chem-sex dangers?

Person C: I don’t think I have encountered any dangers, but I have heard of a lot of people that have encountered where their hearts gave in or their minds, there’s a vein in the brain that bursts or stuff like that, so that is actually what I’m a little bit scared of, that’s why I don’t do it usually.

Ethan: How do you protect yourself?

Person C: Well, if I’m single, I only bareback with my boyfriend if I’m in a steadfast relationship, but when single there’s always protection involved like condoms.

Ethan: Do you view drinking as chem-sex?

Person C: No, I don’t think so, no.

Ethan: Do you smoke cannabis before sex?

Person C: No, not before sex. Afterwards, maybe yes, but not before.

So there you have it, that’s the word on the street when it comes to drugs and chem-sex, what it is and how it goes down. So now I’m left wondering, what does the term mean to you? So how about you let me know. Drop me a message on social media with your opinions. Search @gaysaradio on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and get in touch. This is GaySA Radio, where you are family. My name is Max and you’re listening to The Steam Room.

What are your thoughts on chem-sex? Listen to this fascinating discussion here: https://youtu.be/8U2FbjqVTjQ

GaySA Radio, where you are family. You’re listening to The Steam Room brought to you by the South African National Department of Health’s Phila Project. I’m your host Max and tonight we are taking a deep dip into the steamy world of chem-sex. So, in aid of those of you out there who still have no idea what we’re on about or want some things cleared up we’re happy to welcome an expert.

Ethan: GaySA Radio, where you are family. I’m chatting to Jean Nel, this quick interview is going to be about chem-sex and I want to ask you, why do some people have the need to be high on drugs while having sex?

Jean: So I suppose on the one hand one might suggest that it’s become a little bit of the sub-culture, and that there’s a normative understanding that indeed it’s okay or it’s necessary or for that matter it’s encouraged, and potentially it’s something that’s come with the way that the LGBTI community, for a very long time actually ended up meeting in bars, club spaces, and that was underground initially and of course it went with substances, so potentially if you want to think of the root of substance-induced or substance-enhanced sex came about, but of course it’s progressed and a lot of it potentially has to do with not feeling good about yourself, feeling that you have to disinhibit yourself, feeling that that’s the only way to have a maximum or an enhanced experience. So that’s the one side of it, and on the other side of it of course, there’s a whole bunch of people who indeed wonder about why certain substances are frowned upon so severely and for that matter curbed while others aren’t.

Ethan: Like alcohol?

Jean: Like alcohol, cigarettes, increasingly. So that’s a whole different argument in terms of course, on the one hand if it’s a problem that ties to deficiency, fuelled process, it becomes a problem , but if it’s indeed about that broader spectrum of things, why frown upon the one if you’re not frowning upon the other then of course it’s part of potentially a packet of what people would utilise to maximise the experience because chem-sex, for the people who practice it, certainly at the beginning would be an enhanced experience, that might with time become a problem that feeds off itself when you can’t have sex without the chems and you need more chems to have the experience that you previously had.

Ethan: Could you talk about some of the health risks that are associated with this?

Jean: Of course I might have mentioned some of the key words already; disinhibited sex brings about the enhanced sex, but of course disinhibition also means that sometimes your judgement affected, it means you don’t necessarily think about taking the precautions or you simply don’t feel the precautions are that important, so the processes that are required in terms of having safer sex go out the window, so that’s certainly one of them. Then of course perhaps another aspect that’s less on the health side and more on the mental health side is that people potentially do things that they later regret and it’s not just the risk, it’s also in terms of how they present, or act, or the likes, and it’s typically not what they wanted to be associated with, so the guilt and the shame.

Ethan: So then, long-term health effects that this might have?

Jean: Certainly the key word in anything is moderation, when people are able to manage the substances that they use long-term rather than being managed by the substances, that’s one scenario. But when you become a slave to whatever substance and the likes would be, in the long-term of course, there’s a loss of control, there’s potentially your drive being affected, so the cycle of needing a fix and it becoming an addiction, so of course many people who are sex-addicted also suffer from addiction to the substances that accompany chem-sex, and it’s a little bit of the chicken-egg situation, is it really about the sex you’re addicted to, is it the substances that you need to enhance your sex that you’re addicted to, and then of course later not being able to have sex without the substances, which for some people can become a real problem.

Ethan: So one thing that I’ve noticed in the gay community specifically, is that poppers are super socially acceptable. What are poppers for somebody that doesn’t know and what do they do? Why do people use them?

Jean: Well I suppose, being a gay man in my late fifties, I’ve got a little bit of that historical perspective to know that certainly, most probably the propensity to have substance-enhanced would come from poppers and the use of poppers, and that would have been long before other chem-sex or other chemicals became part of the available options that people would use other than alcohol, which would have been the first most probably. I can’t quite remember what the chemical make-up of poppers is but it’s something that I think was used for treatment in heart conditions initially and of course it became something that was used recreationally and people sniff it, and of course it heightens your blood pressure, it heightens your heart rate, of course it has an enhanced experience from that perspective and there’s some people who claim to only still use poppers, but potentially that enhanced experience leads to the interest or the need to have another enhanced experience and potentially perhaps utilising another substance that leads to, potentially, chem-sex becoming part of what you need to do to have sex.

Ethan: So why are they still legal though? It just blows my mind a little bit that they’re something that has just flown under the radar somehow, the government is quick to ban other substances but poppers seemingly are immune to that.

Jean: look, just to firstly have a qualifier to say this is not necessarily an X area of my own expertise, but if I understand it correctly, there have been some jurisdictions internationally where poppers was made illegal, but those jurisdictions found ways to package it in other ways to remain under the radar or they changed one of the components of poppers and then of course, it becomes legal for a period. At least until the authorities find out what’s happened, and then of course there’s some outlets that advertise it in a way that say that indeed this is not for… it’s a…

Ethan: Leather cleaner…

Jean: Exactly. So it’s advertised as something else than what it’s not and in the meantime, as much as there will be a qualifier that says there’s associated health risks and don’t inhale, it’s sold because people, well the producers know that it’s going to indeed be inhaled.

Ethan: GaySA Radio, where you are family. That was Jean Nel talking about chem-sex.

My alias for the night is Max, and if you’re still burning with questions, trust that The Steam Room is here to answer them tonight. So don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.

Listen to Jean Nel talk about chem-sex here: https://youtu.be/tg279DIegWU?list=RD8U2FbjqVTjQ

My name is Max and you’re listening to The Steam Room here on GaySA Radio, where you are family.  The Steam Room is brought to you by the South African National Department of Health’s Phila Project. So seeing as tonight we’re talking about chem-sex, I’m curious; what do the men who have chem-sex have to say?

Person A: Do you use chems while having sex?

Person B: Yes I do, not every time or every occasion that I have sex, but yes, in certain occasions specifically those ones that are longer than two or three hours.

Person A: So what would be the reason for using the chems?

Person B: My introduction to chem-use, or the use of chemicals, is coupled to my coming out in gay life. I was married for sixteen years and after my divorce I started this battle with these feelings that I had. So by the time I got out of the closet in 2005 I was years behind everybody else who’s been growing up in the gay environments. So for me it was like a total roller-coaster ride, and I was already past forty so I wanted to know everything. How does it work, why and so forth. The whole gay environment. And the only connection or contact was via the internet. Because I grew up in the old South Africa, where being gay was kind of illegal, sort of, so at the time I was also a member of the South African Defence Force, and we all signed documents on the day that we started that we are not involved in any gay-related clubs or restaurants or places, you weren’t allowed to go to any of those. So I started from having no idea of what gay life is and within three, four years I just slammed everything that I could. And I tried everything. I believe that you do go out and you experiment with stuff that you hear, and obviously you don’t want to feel out, or left behind so if the group says we’re going to do this, we do that. And that is where my introduction came with the use of chems.

Person A: So why do you feel the need to keep on doing? What does it do for you?

Person B: It keeps me awake for the weekend if you do like, a weekend session, which starts from a Friday to a Sunday. That’s one of the reasons, but I’ve experimented with three different types of chems in the beginning and I didn’t like what it did to me. If I don’t like something I don’t do it, so it took me some time to actually settle on one specific drug that I wanted to use for sex, and for me personally it helps me to relax in a sex situation, and obviously what I found later, after I started originally, is that using crystal meth specifically heightens the entire sexual experience in that short period of a weekend for instance.

Person A: You’ve experimented with different kinds of chemicals, which ones have you decided to use, what chems do you take?

Person B: I experimented with GHB, which is also known as liquid e, with kat, which is in the beginning of my introduction to the gay environment, was the drug to use. I never experimented with anything other, like heroin or cocaine or the more heavy drugs. If I take, the only one I use at this stage is crystal meth. Now in the beginning I used it by taking lines and very shortly after that I heard that people says, people told me that if you slam crystal meth, which means, slamming is the term we use to inject yourself with whichever drug you use. I’ve heard that this is the ultimate experience you can have to heighten your sexual experience.

Person A: So the question is how does it do that? What does it do, is it better, is it good, the sex? Is it worse because of the chemical?

Person B: What I’ve found with crystal meth specifically is it takes away your inhibitions. Growing up a very prim and proper type of person, I need to relax in order to start doing like, for instance a group session, or where there’s more than one person involved in a session, like threesomes or foursomes, and so forth, it puts me at ease, first of all. It makes me relax, it immediately takes me away from any real life stuff, work problems or hassles at home. It brings everybody that is there in that group, it brings everybody up to the same sexual heights to start the session on the same level.

Person A: If there’s a group and some people are slamming and some are not, does that change the dynamics?

Person B: Yes, definitely. It took me six years to research everything about the use of crystal meth before I got the guts to, or before I found somebody that injected me with it, that I felt safe with. Or the reason why I did research is I don’t do stuff for the sake of doing it, That’s the kind of person that I am, I will investigate, get all the information and then make a well-informed decision of whether I’m going to do something or not. I don’t smoke and I don’t use alcohol at all, so for me to come into this whole concept of Illegal substances, to use that I had to make sure that I knew every single side; the pros, the cons, what do you need to be careful for, where do you get the stuff? How do you know the mixture that you’ve got is safe and there’s not other poisons and stuff added within that product that might hurt you. The whole concept of overdosing for me was an extremely important thing to know what, when and how.

Person A: What are some of the negative things that could happen by taking crystal meth, for instance?

Person B: Crystal meth, taking crystal meth on the negative side is that you totally lose all your inhibitions, you lose all concept of time, so to speak. I’ve found that first time users who might come join a session for two hours, two days later they’re still there and they just lost the whole responsible concept of I have a start time and an end time. You can’t overdose on crystal itself like you can overdose from GHB or some of those drugs, basically what happens is when you take these drugs, you don’t think about having safe or protected sex, you don’t think about the next morning you’re supposed to be on a plane to Cape Town for a lecture or something, and then you suddenly become aware of a situation where you’ve lost, the timeline in your mind is missing, you can’t remember where you started and what you did, and then some people tend to jump into a specific action which leads to an accident, and that’s where the danger comes in with the crystal meth specifically.

Here more about what these guys think about chem-sex here: https://youtu.be/8U2FbjqVTjQ?list=RD8U2FbjqVTjQ

Steam Room

 

SFX: MUSIC

 

VOX: The Steam Room presents “THE NEWBIE”

 

 

…..

 

 

SFX: A BUSTLING COFFEE SHOP

 

DAVID: Oh my god, you’re not still ordering coffee are you?

TED: Yeah, I am. Can you please calm down. (beat) Linda!

DAVID: How do you even know her name?

TED: I live upstairs. Service here is quicker if you’re a part of the regular crowd.

 

 

SFX; FOOTSTEPS COMING TO THE TABLE

 

 

WAITER: Can I get you anything else, Teddy?

TED: Sure, can i just have a refill on this?

WAITER: Sure thing. And your friend?

TED: Nothing for this one. He’s in a rush to get going.

WAITER: I see. Where are you two headed?

TED: A party out in Woodstock.

WAITER: Nice. Well, enjoy. I’ll see you at breakfast shift as usual?

TED: Aww, I wish. But, this one is going on late, hey.

WAITER: Oooh, I didn’t even see the time. It’s past 10pm.

DAVID That it is.

TED: Thanks, Linda.

 

 

SFX: FOOTSTEPS LEAVING THE TABLE

 

 

DAVID: Do you really have to get that coffee?

TED: I’ve already ordered it. What’s going on with you?  It’s just a party.

DAVID: Just a party. It’s not just any party, Teddy. It’s a Gunther Chillout. They’re legendary.

TED: So you’ve said. I still don’t get it. I’ve been to many sex party. I usually don’t even participate.

DAVID: But, you said you were going to try it out properly.

TED: No, I am.

DAVID: You’re still going to try “G”?

TED: Yes. I told you. I’ve never done it before and I’ll do anything once. I just don’t get what’s so great about it

DAVID: It’s so different. Everything else just melts away and the sex is…. it’s truly something else. And you’re on PrEP, so what’s the harm?

TED: Yeah, yeah Davey. Don’t stress out so much. You’ve already convinced me. Let me just finish my coffee that’s coming, okay? Then we can head out and get this thing going.

DAVID: I promise you, you were never ready.

TED: I am actuallly excited. I just haven’t eaten all day. Are you sure you don’t want anything to eat?

DAVID: Trust me, my appetites tonight are wholly different.

 

 

CROSSFADE:

 

 

SFX: SOFT MUSIC

 

TED: Is the music coming from inside?

DAVID: Ja. Gunther always starts the night off with bangers cuz it gets the mood going. And people like getting a little drunk first. It takes the ease off for the newbies. (beat) Like you.

TED: Well, I mean, I guess it is a big deal. Chemsex parties don’t have the best rep.

DAVID: That’s why you do it at the home of a dealer that you trust. Trust me, there are safe ways to do it. I wouldn’t put you in a situation where you could get hurt.

 

 

SFX: DAVID KNOCKS ON THE DOOR.

 

 

DAVID: How are you feeling?

TED: I’m good.

DAVID: Well, then, welcome my dear, sweet child… to the underbelly.

 

 

SFX: THE DOOR SWINGS OPEN AND MUSIC BECOMES LOUDER

 

 

DAVID: HENRY!

HENRY: Davey!

DAVID: So happy you’re here! Where’s Gunther?

HENRY: I’m not sure. Think he might’ve left quickly.

DAVID: Oh Okay, Well, Teddy,  follow me.

HENRY: (salaciously) Hey, Teddy.

TED: Hi there.

 

 

SFX: GENERAL PARTY SOUNDS

 

TED: Wow, it’s fuller than I thought in here.

DAVID: Yeah, the ones on this side of the city are so much more popular now that they’ve raided the warehouses in the CBD. It’s crazy, everyone’s here on their own free will. It’s not like people do anything they don’t want to do.

TED: I mean, these drugs are still illegal though.

DAVID: Yeah, but it’s not the same thing as being a junkie.

TED: You’ll have to explain the difference sometime.

DAVID: I’ll do it now. The difference is that most people here are here for the intimacy. Cape Town is a difficult city to live in. Things can get get really lonely. People here, they’re looking for friends. And they find them. And they’re looking for sex and they find the best version of it. It’s simple.

TED: That’s kinda depressing.

DAVID: Only if you want it to be. I mean, look around. Is anyone crying?

TED: I guess not. (bear) Where are you taking me?

DAVID: To one of the bedrooms. We’ve got to lose some layers.

 

 

CROSSFADE:

 

 

SFX: PARTY SOUNDS IN THE DISTANCE

A ZIP COMES UNDONE AND A COAT DROPS TO THE FLOOR

 

 

TED: That’s what you’re wearing?

DAVID: Yeah.

TED: It’s literally a jockstrap and nothing else.

DAVID: By some standards I’m overdressed.

TED: No kidding, it’s kinda hot.

DAVID: Thanks. And you?

 

 

SFX: ANOTHER ZIP SOUND AND A COAT FALLING TO THE FLOOR

 

 

DAVID: Jesus. When did you start working out again?

TED: A few months ago. Reckon I can pull this mesh top off?

DAVID: I think you should pull it straight off. Just the underwear is good.

TED: Okay. Cool. (beat) Is that better?

DAVID: A whole lot. (beat) I’ glad you douched. You are going to be prime property tonight. That ass! Turn around for me?

TED: Okay.

DAVID: Jesus Christ. I’m getting hard.

TED: Haha! Glad I have the effect!

DAVID: Trust me. A cute, twinky bottle-blonde like yourself needn’t worry bout that.

TED: Think there’s a leather daddy out there who’ll want this ass?

DAVID: Oh, I can think of more than one.

 

(TED laughs)

 

DAVID: Ok, are you ready?

TED: Ja, I’m gonna go out like this.

DAVID: No, I meant, are you ready for this?

TED: Woah, is that the GBH? That looks like a lot.

DAVID: Nah, you take like a syringe at at time out of the bottle and you mix it in with what you’re drinking.

TED: I didn’t know it was that green.

DAVID:  You’re such a newbie. No, GHB isn’t green. It’s clear, but I put dye in it cuz if you mistake it for water that’s it hey. Bye bye for you. It’s literally the date rape drug so you can get fucked up super quickly if you don’t watch yourself. Pass me that cup over there. Is it empty?

TED: Yeah.

DAVID: Good. Remember, don’t drink anything tonight that you didn’t pour yourself, ok.

TED: Okay.

DAVID: Okay, take this soda from me and fill the cup. I’ll fill up the syringe.

TED: This is like chemistry.

DAVID: Equally delicate work. (beat) Okay, now give me the cup. (beat) Okay, one. (beat) Aaaand…. two. (beat) Okay, drink half of that.

TED: What’ll it do to me?

DAVID: It’ll make you wanna grab your cock, mate. Now, come on. Big gulp.

TED: As you wish. (beat) Here.

DAVID: Thanks. (beat) Aaaah.

TED: It just tastes like coke.

DAVID: Yip, that’s why it’s so easy to travel with. It’s easy to disguise. You feel anything?

TED: Not yet.

DAVID: Oh, you will. Trust me. You will. Come on. Let’s go inside. I have some people I want you to meet.

 

 

CROSSFADE:

 

 

TED: Fuucccking hell. My cock is throbbing.

DAVID: That’ll happen. It’s never as good as your first time, though. How do you feel?

TED: Like I wanna fuck a hole in that wall over there.

DAVID: No need. It’s almost 1am – that’s when people start getting naked. You can fuck anywhere you want in here.

TED: Seriously?

DAVID: Ja.

TED: The owner doesn’t mind?

DAVID: Nah, not at all. He’s the dealer, remember. He doesn’t drop from his own supply either. So, he’s sober.

TED: Where is he?

DAVID: I dunno. He’s around. I’ll go find him and introduce him when I spot him.

TED: It’s really filling up now, hey.

DAVID: Yeah, it gets really full.

TED: Do I have to wait till one? I want a BJ so bad.

DAVID: You do? Well, why didn’t you speak up? (beat, speaking loudly) Guys! It’s Teddy over here’s frst time on G! Who wants to give him head!?

TED: David…

DAVID: No, trust me. (beat) Ooh. Well, look who’s coming over. I saw him eyeing you earlier.

HENRY: Hey, Teddy. We meet again, I see.

TED: That we do. It’s Henry, right?

HENRY: Tonight I’m whoever you want me to be.

 

TED: Good to hear.

HENRY: I hear you have a problem that needs solving.

TED: Think you could help me out?

HENRY: Oh yeah… (beat) Oh, David. Gunther’s in the loft if you wanna go say Hi.

DAVID: Oh! Okay, yeah, sure.Ted, will you be fine here?

HENRY: Oh, I’ll make sure of that.

DAVID: Okay. Be back in a sec.

TED: Cool.

 

 

SFX: FOOTSTEPS AS DAVID LEAVES

 

 

HENRY: Nice briefs. Nicer on the floor, me thinks.

TED: Go right ahead.

 

(beat)

 

TED: (expletive) Oh motherfucking hell that feels good!

 

SFX: DISPERSED APPLAUSE FROM PARTYGOERS

 

 

TED: Fuuuckk…. Slobber on it…. Grip it harder

 

(TED MOANS IN PLEASURE)

 

HENRY: You like that?

TED: Fuck yes.

HENRY: Have you ever been fisted?

TED: Nah.

HENRY: Wanna try?

TED: Uhm… (beat, moan)

(beat)

 

HENRY: Drink this.

TED: What is it?

HENRY: Don’t worry about it. Trust me, just drink. You’re in for the ride of your life.

TED: Okay.

HENRY: (almost deviously) Okay…

 

SFX: MORE CHEERS AS TED GULPS IT DOWN.

 

 

CROSSFADE:

 

 

SFX: AN ALARM SOUNDS OFF

 

 

MALE VOICE: Terry, turn your fucking alarm off.

 

(a voice groans and obliges)

 

TED: (beat, groans) Where am I…

MALE: Calm down… you’re fine.

TED: No, but…

MALE: Memory loss, hey. Newbie.

TED: Where’s David?

MALE: Who’s that?

TED: Nevermind. Where are my clothes?

MALE: Where are anybody’s clothes. Chill out, dude. It’s only sex.

TED: My body hurts.

MALE: Yeah, that’ll be the comedown.

TED: My ass…

MALE: That’ll be the anal. You took quite a few dicks after you bootybumped.

TED: What? What’s that?

MALE: Needle. Asshole. Why am I suddenly your teacher? Let me sleep, douchbag.

TED: I… I have to go.

 

 

SFX: FOOTSTEPS AS TED GETS UP AND LEAVES THE ROOM.

 

 

TED: (in the distance) David!

 

 

 

CROSSFADE:

 

 

SFX: A BUSTLING COFFEE SHOP

 

 

TED: (on the phone) David. Where the fuck are you? Where did you disappear to? I woke up naked surronded by guys I didn’t know this morning. What the fuck, man. I think we all had sex. And my ass hurts like a fucker. I think something was injected in there. I feel like shit. I thought we were in this together. Where the fuck did you go?! Call me back as soon as you get this!

WAITER: Teddy. Good morning! I thought you weren’t swinging by today? Weren’t you on your way out last night?

TED: Morning, Linda. No, no I went. I haven’t been home yet.

WAITER: Woah! I remember my party days! Back before I had children. Geez, I’m actualy jealous!

TED: Believe me, don’t be.

WAITER: Ooh, someone’s hungover. Some breakfast?

TED: I don’t think I can eat right now. Maybe just a coffee. And some water please.

WAITER: Okay, coming up. (beat) Did you at least have some fun?

TED: I’m not really sure.

WAITER: Aaaah! Memory loss! The secret prize you win with every bottle of brandy.

TED: Sure. Brandy.

 

…..

 

SFX: MUSIC

 

That was “THE NEWBIE” – our radio drama for the evening written exclusively for GaySA Radio by playwright Arlin Bantam.

 

This is The Steam Room on GaySA Radio – where you are family.

Listen to this mesmerising dramatic play here: https://youtu.be/TmaZ6cMaG7M?list=RD8U2FbjqVTjQ

Welcome back to The Steam Room here on GaySA Radio, brought to you by the South African National Department of Health’s Phila Project.

Hendrik: GaySA Radio, where you are family. I am Hendrik and I recently had the opportunity to speak to a gentleman who is a chem-sex user.

Hendrik: And the other question is, is it addictive?

Person A: I personally, what I’ve found is you’ve got two types of persons, you’ve got a person who I refer to as having an addictive personality, in other words they tend to easily get addicted to anything. If you look up the word addiction in the Oxford dictionary, the definition of addiction is to spend more time than what is normal on something, and that can be anything. That can be smoking, that can be cell phones, Facebook. Crystal meth gives you that feeling of being happy, enjoyment. It’s similar to a chemical that human beings have got in their brains which normally provides the chemical for us to laugh and be happy. Now when we make use of crystal meth and we up the dosage, we can very easily get used to being in this happy state continuously. The danger of using crystal meth is every time that you use it, it needs to be a little bit more than the previous time. And people start to do that very easily, and then they run into problems where they need money to get the drugs. And then they start selling, and stealing and so forth, so that for me personally is the more dangerous part of addiction. I experimented myself to determine what is my maximum usage that I can use without going outside my boundaries. I set this for myself, I think I’m in a lucky position, I’m not an addictive person, that’s got an addictive personality, the moment that something interferes with the money in my pocket, it’s wrong and it goes out the door. What I’ve done is to spend time to find the precise quantity that is effective for me for enhancing the sexual experience. The moment that the sexual experience disappear, and it’s now just a case of I have to get it, but I’m not having sex, everything on my side closes up, I’ve got no desire whatsoever for instance, to watch pornography and do chems. For me it’s a wasting of precious money because watching pornography is not sex in my mind.

Hendrik: So what you’re saying is that it’s literally using chems for the sake of sex and not just for the sake of being addicted? And that there is a danger that people could get addicted if they get the dosage wrong?

Person A: That’s correct, yes.

Hendrik: To get that pleasure thing the whole time? Because my other question is now let’s say you’ve done a weekend, what happens when you stop taking it, do you now have to come down from it, are there some withdrawals?

Person A: With crystal meth, people tend to go into a state of depression. Once again, in my own situation and also what I tell other guys who want some information about it is you need to determine what are the depression subjects, so to speak, that comes up when you come off of the crystal use. It took me about four years of usage to discover and to work out exactly what happens with me when I come off of the crystal. In my case I’m a very emotional person, I live my life on an emotional level, and I’ve discovered that on crystal I cry about anything that happens, and I use that situation then to actually put a movie on, one of my crying movies, and I sit and I cry and I do a proper job of that. And that also helped me to cope with the whole process of getting off the particular drug. But it varies from person to person, you get some people, they refer to it as the meth psychosis. When you use crystal meth, your brain becomes very alert and aware of your surrounding environment so much that things that were a concern in your life or some other subject that might be the primary event in your life at that time gets enhanced by the crystal. I’ve found for instance, if the one partner in a couple slips away to play behind his boyfriend’s back and he does crystal meth, those guys normally start at some stage during the session they start saying that they think their boyfriend is behind the curtain here or under the bed, or we have to put out the lights because somebody’s watching them, that is all the meth psychosis that we refer to. I’ve learned that it happens to me, some of those hallucinations happens, but because I know that it’s happening I just ignore them. I actually put my video camera down for quite a long time, but it was bout two and a half years that I filmed myself coming off the crystal meth after a session because I wanted to see what happens with me, can somebody see what I’ve done something? And looking back at those tapes, in my specific situation, and I also got people in to evaluate the tape for me, and we couldn’t determine when I was coming off of something and when it was just a normal crying day for the month, but as I said, I spent a lot of time to find out what is the precise usage and effects for me so that I can cope with it and not put myself at risk by doing something stupid or crazy because I’m not aware of what’s going on around me.

Hendrik: So you were saying earlier that you lose your inhibitions. You also mentioned that sex might become risky and people might not do things that they might under normal circumstances.  How does one protect yourself and make sure that you stay safe within that sort of environment?

Person A: I’m of the opinion that in the chemical-use concept of sex there is no such thing as preparing yourself to be safe. Let’s take the advantage of taking condoms with you; and I’ve actually checked, I love reading the body-language of the guys in a group situation where they do chems to see what they do, and you will get people coming in with all the best intentions in the world of using condoms, having protected sex, being safe, but the moment they start using chems, or specifically when you slam crystal meth, it’s like a big solid granite door shuts down and people just go wild, sexually speaking. They do not think about anything at that moment in time other than completing the pleasure they can get out of a situation.

Hendrik: Long-term use, I think you at some point mentioned to me earlier that you might get erectile problems because of long-term use of the drug, is that true?

Person A: Because the chemical that gives you pleasure, that makes you happy, is upped, at some point in your life, if you use crystal meth continuously, the glands in your brain that produce the chemical of feeling happy stops functioning, which means that if you stop using crystal meth, your body doesn’t manufacture that chemical so you can be happy. So for all practical reasons, your medication that you need to take once that gland has stopped working is crystal meth. You actually then have to get it once a week or once in two weeks in order for you to survive emotionally, just to get the difference between being a depressed, sad person and enjoying life around you. I’ve found that there’s a huge group of people that uses crystal meth that is not connected to sex, which in my mind doesn’t compute. I can’t understand that. Constant use of crystal meth will at some point damage your brain cells, I am aware of people that have been smoking crystal meth since the age of sixteen, who literally have got holes burnt into their brain cells, which doesn’t regenerate. Also the smoking of crystal interferes with your teeth, we refer to it as meth mouth. If you smoke crystal on a continuous basis it will eat away at the enamel of your teeth.

I’m Max, this is The Steam Room on GaySA Radio, where you are family.

That’s a lot of information, listen to it yourself by clicking the link: https://youtu.be/N4Hx1qiiHnk?list=RD8U2FbjqVTjQ

GaySA Radio, where you are family. My name is Max and this is The Steam Room.

Max: Carl Collison is a writer for the Mail and Guardian, and he wrote an amazing piece about his own personal experience with chem-sex. In this article he spoke candidly and honestly about how he got involved in the scene. He also spoke to us about other men involved in this world. We spoke to him about this time in his life.

Carl: Hi, I’m Carl Collison, I’m a journalist with the Mail and Guardian, I work as the other foundations’ rainbow fellow, which means I write on LGBTIQ –related issues across the continent. Just in terms of my experience with chem-sex, it’s a few years that it took place, I kind of got into it through a messy situation where I was trying to get back the man I was in love with at the time and we had been using drugs, it slowly degenerated into me becoming an addict in a way. What was people’s reaction to me outing myself like that in an article, to be honest I was very, very, very nervous. I had sat on the story for quite some time before actually writing it, it was actually quite funny; I just didn’t have a story that week to write, and I was desperate to impress I suppose to keep my job. So I decided seeing as I had the story, most of it done, I would just piece it together. But in terms of people’s reactions, generally positive, I can’t say that I had a negative experience or negative feedback, even though that was something that I was very, very concerned about.
I had many sleepless nights putting the story together and the day before the deadline compiling the story, having my colleagues read it, my editors, it was really a very intense time for me, but I’m glad I did it because especially in terms of the readership of the story, it got a lot of traction. I think there was a need for, or there is still a need for stories that look honestly at people’s first-hand experiences. The reason I approached the story the way I did in putting my own experiences in and leading with myself as the main voice in the story, was because out of frustration I read a lot of other stories about chem-sex, none of which were locally published or written, there might have been but I didn’t come across them, and certainly those that I had read of, written by foreign writers or writers abroad, were kind of taking an outsider’s perspective on it, even though you could tell that some of the stories that the writer was familiar with the scene. So I just felt there was a need for a writer to depict honestly to the reader what the experience really is like.

Carl: In terms of researching, writing and interviews, the research process was not as tough as the actual interviews with people and getting people to trust me. I obviously have friends who have used, and still continue to use, and I spoke to some of them, and they in turn, because they trusted me, they put me on to people who they convinced to share their stories with me. The interview process is interesting in that as a journalist generally, you kind of while you’re in the interview, you’re just doing the things, just doing it to get it done with, you know not to get it done with but you know what I mean, you’re kind of in that professional space. But what’s really hard-hitting is when you have to transcribe that interview, then you re-live that moment with that person and it’s just, it was extremely tough transcribing some of the interviews, some of what my friends had said and some of what the friends of their friends had said because I realised then that I came away relatively unscathed, and that’s how I end up in the story I suppose, but there were people who, there are people who really come out with the short end of the stick and it’s a hard thing to have someone share that experience with you and then also realise that you as a person, never mind you as a writer, but you as a person came that close to losing so much, whether it’s your health or your job, or just a sense of self you know? And that’s what the drugs take away, that sense of self. You find yourself inching your way back into, just to find a semblance of what you were, but yeah that was particularly hard for me.

Carl: Would I do it again? Never say never. So I am mindful of temptations, but I am by no means out of the woods, not by any stretch of the imagination, I am currently seeing a therapist who’s helping me a lot. I’ve also realised that it’s true what they say in NA or as part of drug-rehab therapy, that concealing it, or concealing the addiction, concealing the temptation, feeds the addiction, it feeds the lie, so I try to be as open as possible with people, whether it’s colleagues or friends or whoever, my therapist, or with myself, just around how much of a hold it still has on me. Mush as I have clawed my way back to the old Carl, there’s still a definite hold and I would be lying if I said I was free from that.

Carl: How do I feel now that it’s behind me, it’s not completely behind me, so I can’t really comment on that, but there comes a time, like on a Sunday morning for example, I would wake up and oh wow, that was a weekend without drugs, you know? And that’s a great feeling, there’s no way I can explain or quantify that feeling, it’s invaluable. Because the drugs are essentially a time thief, it’s a happiness thief. You spend your days depressed, searching for something to fulfil you. It’s deceptive like that because it fulfils you for a few minutes and then it leaves you really dry. So yeah, how do I feel now, I feel good-ish, I think.

Max: Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. If you want to read the article, check out the Mail and Guardian website at mg.co.za.

So there you have it, if you need more information go check out the GaySA Radio website and if you want to chat with me, send me an e-mail. Send it to info@gaysaradio.co.za . This is The Steam Room with Max, and you’re listening to GaySA Radio, where you are family.

Don’t forget to check out his article for yourself and listen to his interview here: https://youtu.be/cSN_qSJtUoY?list=RD8U2FbjqVTjQ

My name is Max, yep that’s still the story I’m sticking to. I hope I’ve been keeping you entertained tonight, but if maybe you’re thirsty for some more guys to get into the action, now’s your time to lay back and enjoy things even more. Now, just between us men…

Person A: Chem-sex, this is something that I don’t know if it’s still happening. I was part of the whole chem-sex scene.

Person B: Oh yes! Of course it’s still happening.

Person A: I come from the days, I didn’t even know how I got involved in it. I got involved with lines and sex and eventually taking Viagra because you lose your hard-on while you’re on chems, and then you take Viagra to have your hard-on going and you end up going…

Person C: Doesn’t that depend on what chems you are on though?

Person B: Ja exactly, because the chems that I took didn’t make my hard-on go away.

Person A: I don’t know, crystal meth does kind of…

Person B: Okay well I’ve never done crystal meth, but I’ve done Kat before.

Person A: And you had a hard-on with Kat?

Person B: Ja of course!

Person A: Does Kat make you horny?

Person B: Yes exactly!

Person A: The problem was for me, in my experience, is you kind of battle to keep it up and then you take Viagra to keep it there…

Person B: No, I also heard that story and it works a different way with me because once it’s up you struggle to get it down again. Down boy!

Person C: My experience was more with Ecstasy, back in the day when we were clubbing, and you would go there to go clubbing and then for nine hours you would spend in the dark rooms because Ecstasy you love everybody, so it ended up being big orgies in the dark rooms, and that is where you would sit for nine hours because it just didn’t go down, because you love everybody, you’re hard for nine hours and you end up playing with anybody you can get your hands on.

Person B: Literally. Well, the first time I used Kat, actually I was afraid to use it because of previous experiences and personal experiences, and then my boyfriend said okay let’s do it, but we are at home. So I tried it, and nothing happened the first time, the second line went and all of a sudden we started touching and feeling and vry-ing and going on and when I wiped my eyes out it was eleven hours later and seventeen times that I ejaculated, and it was the best time of my life.

Person A: What’s interesting here to me, number one, is don’t you think that it can become an addiction, that you need the chemical to have sex?

Person B: No, it makes it more fun, yes, and if it’s in the roundabout I won’t say no, but I don’t feel like I need it to have good sex.

Person A: Is there a difference? For me there was.

Person B: There is a difference, yes but…

Person C: Well sensations are definitely heightened, I mean you feel everything ten times more than what you would if you weren’t on chems, but I would have to agree that it’s not a case of you have to do chems to have sex, I mean you get horny without chems.

Person B: Exactly. You get horny without even watching porn. So…

Person A: I think for me the whole thing that happened as well is that walls came down on me on chems, because I think you normally wouldn’t do…

Person B: You lose your inhibitions (Laugh)

Person A: Exactly! You do stuff that you would never dream of doing, you become your own pornstar when you’re on the stuff.

Person B: if you have the porn body I guess.

Person C: No because you don’t care what your body looks like, you just go for it.

Person A: And that’s also, recklessness, don’t you become reckless on those things? I’m always a control freak so for me I’ve never, but doesn’t it reach a point where it becomes a bit reckless for you?

Person B: Every time that I’ve used Kat and had sex, it was in a safe environment. Where it was just me and my boyfriend, or me and my fuck buddy, or whatever the case may be. So it wasn’t like we were going out and making a hell of a thing about it you know?

Person C: Well that’s why I’m glad I’m not doing chem-sex anymore, because it got to a point where you know what you’re doing, you just don’t actually care. So if there were condoms there were condoms, if there were no condoms there weren’t condoms.

Person A: Luckily with me, I just bareback my boyfriend and every time it was with my boyfriend, except for the few times it was with a fuck buddy but it was a regular fuck buddy. It was still in a safe environment, I would never, I’ve never done it in clubs.

Person B: I’ve taken Kat in clubs, but I didn’t go that extra mile.

Person A: I mean the other thing with chem-sex as well, that happens is that you know, you kind of get obsessed with what you’re doing at the time isn’t it as well?

Person C: It’s the only thing you focus on.

Person A: Ja.

Person B: And that is why your hard-on stays without Viagra.

Person A: Well there’s something wrong with me here, I clearly haven’t had the same experiences.

Person B: Well I’ve heard a lot of stories of people that also didn’t have the same experience so I don’t think I’m using it right then, I don’t know?

Person C: Well you know, what happens as well, in my case what totally happens is I take chems and I become bottomless, this endless, bottomless place (Laugh) Not that I’m normally not a bottom, but when chem-sex is involved for some reason it’s like an alter-ego comes out with me and I become this total passive bottom and I just don’t care. As long as I’m satisfied (Laugh)

Person B: Exactly! And the hours are still going so why not? If not why not?

Person C: Then we take turns, then I don’t care whether I’m a top or a bottom, you just do it because you can. And it’s fun.

Person A: And it’s everlasting, everlasting. A never-ending story, I mean seventeen times that you ejaculated, it is an everlasting story, I don’t think I’ve even managed…

What a raunchy talk: Listen for yourself at: https://youtu.be/-N4Js8M6SqU?list=RD8U2FbjqVTjQ

This is The Steam Room on GaySA Radio, where you are family. Tonight we gather to talk about the business of chem-sex. As promised, in the studio with us tonight we are joined by another expert on the matter.

Person A: Thank you for joining us Bruce, why do some men have the need to be high on drugs while having sex?

Bruce: There are so many reasons that men choose to be high, or take drugs or be on chems when engaging in chem-sex, and as many reasons as there are different types of people in the world, and for some men they find that it gives them confidence, so some men are riddled with insecurity or feelings of low self-esteem, maybe they think that they’re not well-built enough or good looking enough and they feel that taking certain drugs, whether it be cocaine or smoking marijuana, or engaging in something like T, it makes them feel more confident about themselves and it also takes away their inhibitions, so they feel like they can engage freely in these sexual acts with other men with a lot more confidence. So there’s that reason. Other men just also feel that it enhances their sexual pleasure, many drugs have that effect. So if you’re slamming, which is injecting something like crystal meth, or engaging in using some crystal meth or Tik, you know one of those substances otherwise known as speed, those drugs are known to increase sexual pleasure because your body becomes a lot more sensitive, so it’s a sensational thrill that the guys are seeking, and sometimes it’s also just because then they can have sex for longer periods of time, and they can engage in sex for hours and hours, it helps them to stay awake. There’s many reasons that people engage in chem-sex.

Person A: What are the dangers associated with different types of drugs these men take?

Bruce: There are many dangers associated with the use of drugs, particularly illegal drugs during sexual acts, and that’s because it takes away your inhibitions, you know statistics have found that men on drugs are much less likely to use protection, so they’re much more likely to have unprotected sex. Men engaging in sexual acts under the influence of drugs are also more inclined to have more than one sexual partner in any given period of time, so what will often happen is some guys will take drugs and engage in sexual acts with one person and then get home and find they re still wired from the drugs that they took and then go on an app and find somebody else to have sex with, and that can happen two, three, four times in a period of twenty-four hours because this person is wired and can’t sleep and they just want that release, and ja, that’s one of the dangers. Then there’s also the danger of the drug itself, not everybody has the same reaction to using certain drugs, so some drugs impact the body itself and certain organs. Things like cocaine and speed and crystal meth can affect the heart, it can also affect the brain because it affects water levels in the body, so some people feel that they are not hydrated enough, so they drink lots and lots of water and sometimes they drink too much water and in certain cases the brain actually drowns because you over-hydrate. And there are other cases where people don’t drink enough water, they become dehydrated. Then there are people who mix drugs, and those drugs then obviously clash with one another and things can get as bad as leading to death. And there are other drugs like G for example, that slows the heart-rate down so much so that you can go into a coma and some men die. I think that in many circuit parties and people know about them in the States but it’s happened in South Africa too where guys will take G, they’ll use about a thimble of G and mix it with water, but then they’ll mix it with alcohol, which is a terrible thing to do, and if you do that the heart-rate slows down to such a degree that you could number one, go into a coma and number two die. So there are many different things. And also long dangers, so if you are sharing needles with somebody, if you’re slamming meth and you or the person you’re slamming with happens to be HIV-positive or have any blood-borne illness then you are putting yourself at risk to those blood-borne illness infections.

Person A: What are the long-term health effects these drugs can have on physical and mental health?

Bruce: Any drug that you take is going to have an effect on the brain, I mean the brain is a complex system, chemical and electric for the synapses, it’s connected in a very delicate way, and what happens when we use drugs is we mess with those levels, so we either spike our serotonin, or our adrenaline and it has very powerful neurological effects. That’s why we feel this intense high or this amazing sense of euphoria. Ant the problem is that our bodies are not designed for such intense highs, particularly over a period of time, and it will lead to some kind of damage, whether it’s brain damage or just… the brain has a way of when it’s feeling over-stimulated, if there’s too much dopamine being released, then the brain’s way of protecting itself is it sort of kills it’s own dopamine receptors, so essentially the brain kills off sections of itself in order to cope with the extreme amount of dopamine that’s being released. So that’s why there are so many people who, having used drugs for an extended period of time discover that they don’t have the same cognitive abilities that they had before, they struggle to speak, they struggle to remember, it affects long-term and short-term memory, and people are only just discovering the long-term effects of drug use now because it’s very difficult to monitor these obviously.

Person A: What advice do you have for men who want to use chems?

Bruce: So I think it’s one of those things, we have a policy of encouraging harm reduction, so if you are going to use chems then try to do it in as responsible a way as possible. It seems like a contradiction of terms but there are ways that you can engage in chem-sex in a safer way, it’s never going to safe. There are always going to be very, very serious dangers at risk, but you can choose to use syringes that are fresh syringes, and to not share with the person you’re with. And also using condoms and water-based lube, just because you’re engaging in chem0sex doesn’t mean you have to go bareback with the people that you’re with. So just testing yourself regularly, getting screened for HIV and STI’s and taking care of yourself. And if you feel that you have been exposed to an STI, particularly may be at risk of HIV, go to the nearest health or men’s services clinic and speak to the healthcare provider there and find out if you can go on PEP, which is Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, to just make sure that you stay HIV-negative. There’s many, many things that you can do but the number one thing that you should do is just educate yourself. So if there’s a certain drug that you prefer to take, you’re taking regularly, educate yourself about that drug you know? Google it, find out what drugs are prevalent, what people are cutting these drugs with, because obviously it’s an illegal substance and they’re never going to give you pure… cleaning powder, which has a similar effect on the body, on the gums to cocaine, and they also cut it with things like pot-scourers’, Rattex, you name it. Sodium Bicarbonate, all sorts of things, so all of these things are not good for you, so just find out about the drug and empower yourself with knowledge.

Person A: What are the side-effects of poppers?

Bruce: So this is inconclusive; I have done research on poppers, I can’t remember what the chemical name is but there are some schools of thought that believe it causes brain damage, it can possible cause a little bit of brain damage over time. Other article I have read where I suppose that medical professionals or experts have said that it doesn’t actually cause any significant amount of damage. What it does is it expands, I can’t remember the term for it now. But the effect it has on the body is for some people it can give you a really bad headache, and for other people it can intensify the pleasure that they feel during sex and other people believe that it helps to disassociate, so they just get completely caught up in the sexual act or the sensation of the sexual act.

Person A: Why do you think poppers are legal?

Bruce: They’re legal because it’s not conclusive that they cause damage, and you’ll notice that they never advertise, so they’ll always be advertised as I think room deodorant, and a lot of the poppers, on the side of the bottle you’ll notice it will actually say this is not to be inhaled, avoid contact with the skin, avoid contact with the eyes, so they do cover themselves legally, the producers and manufacturers of the poppers, they’re supposedly supposed to take it off and have a nice fragrance in the room but they know what poppers are being used for. They cause something to dilate, and I can’t remember what that something is, but anyway. I think its blood vessels but I stand to be corrected, so I don’t know exactly, but something dilates and that’s what allows the sensation that poppers causes.

Person A: That was Bruce Little on The Steam Room. This is GaySA Radio, where you are family.

As we keep learning, the world of chem-sex is a complex one. We hope what you’ve learnt here tonight helps you to navigate this map with a little more ease. You’re still listening to The Steam Room on GaySA Radio, where you are family, brought to you by the South African National Department of Health’s Phila Project.

Listen to Bruce’s interview here, only on GaySA Radio, where you are family: https://youtu.be/I0WsaQ002js?list=RD8U2FbjqVTjQ

Did you know OUT LGBT Wellbeing has a needle exchange program? Find out more here: https://youtu.be/CgXnT_z-UUI?list=RD8U2FbjqVTjQ

Megan: Hi, good day, it’s Megan-Ann Carreira here

Claudette: and of course Claudette -Lee cooper

Person A: And what does Megan-Ann Carreira do?

Megan: During the day-time I am an attorney, I have my own firm and at night…

Claudette: Enough from you.

Laughter

Person A: At night you’re what?

Megan: Nothing that I wish to discuss on air.

Claudette: Gosh, rather not. Well, I’m a fashion designer and I also have my own company, and at night I’m at home looking after my family of course, I’m a family person. I don’t have a second job like Megan at night…

Megan: Times are tough.

Laughter

Person A: Ok, and I know what brings us here today is the Mr and Ms Pretoria Pride Pageant, if you could please tell us a little bit about that and the history behind it.

Megan:  Well we’ve been hosting it now and arranging it for the past three years, this is the third year that we are doing the competition, where we are arranging it, getting the contestants, getting the venue, working out who needs to do what on that day, getting the judges and so forth. So ja, we’re busy planning this event that will take place on the 2nd of September this year.

Person A: Cool, and where is it, how much is it to get in? All the basic details that we need to know?

Claudette: Well as Megan just said, it’s on the 2nd of September this year and we are hosting it once again at the Rockwood Theatre in Parkview mall in Pretoria East, we also hosted there last year but this year we’re going to the larger venue, and so we are very excited and nervous about that. And so tickets will be available from next week, we will put a link onto Facebook, Instagram where you can click on the link to new tickets, and you can buy your tickets there for R100 for normal and R200 for VIP, VIP does include a pre-drink and some snacks, and front row seats of course, and a little bit of private time with Megan after-hours, I just heard…

Megan: That will still be discussed.

Laughter

Person A: And because I heard you mention something about Facebook, what are the details? Where can they reach you on Facebook?

Claudette: They can go to the Facebook page, Mr and Ms Pretoria Pride, and they can also go to my Facebook page, Claudette-Lee Cooper, or Megan’s that’s Megan Carreira, all the info is on there and also on the Pretoria Pride page. Everything is linked together so they can get all the info there.

Person A: So now for some of the serious stuff, what is the objective behind this event, what are you trying to achieve by having a Mr and Ms Pretoria Pride Pageant?

Megan: I think the main objective of this pageant is to get representatives and ambassadors from the gay community to present us, not only in the gay community but in life; it’s to create a platform for the contestants and the winners to create something and to better themselves or use it to their advantage and create charities or do something with it. So that is the main objective of this.

Person A: So basically it goes beyond just being a pretty face and a hot core body?

Claudette: Yes, yes. We just want to show everybody out there that we’re just not proud on pride day, we are proud every day, and that’s why we need representatives that can go out there and show people we are part of the community, not just the gay community, the whole community. Part of life, part of everything out there and they can stand for something and be proud, and show the people that we are all equal, all the same, we’re just living life. And then use this as a platform to do good, we just need more good in life these days, there’s so many bad things going on that we need good. I know we can’t change the world but every little bit helps, you understand? So we need these ambassadors, these representatives, to use this as a platform and go out there and make a change. And some of them just need a little bit of confidence, these pageants give confidence, so many winners came back to us, and just contestants, afterwards come up to us and say you know what, this gave me confidence. Now I can do this because it’s actually possible if I can do this, I can do that, and ja, I hope that, in a smaller view of this and a smaller circle it is, you make so many friends, if you’re a contestant in the pageant you make so many friends because you’re part of a small family that grows and grows and grows every year, so ja, that’s, there’s so much that we can actually go into but the main thing is just to get representatives and ambassadors out of this.

Person A: And then, if people want to experience this they must buy tickets and come see.

Megan: Exactly, that’s actually a very strong point I want to go into because to support things like this, from the gay community, the straight community, whatever; is…

Claudette: Vital.

Megan: Ja, we need support for things like this to have it go on and make sure there’s another event next year, because if this fails this year there’s not event next year. And what’s a hundred bucks? I know it’s two tequilas or a cocktail, but it’s a Sunday night, so you can’t have cocktails, rather coma spend that money, we’re not just going to be a pageant, it’s gonna be entertainment, it’s gonna be a huge show, so come support it and let’s make this a huge thing that we can all be proud of, because it’s all part of pride, and to show that we are proud, we’re doing this as a build-up to Pride.

Person A: Absolutely, and because Pride is a time of inclusivity and being gay means we need to be inclusive, when it comes to ethnicity, how diverse would you say Mr and Ms Pretoria Pride is?

Claudette: Well it’s open to everybody!

Person A: For all the information and contact details, how can people reach you?

Megan: They can contact us on either Claudette-Lee Cooper on Facebook, or Megan Carreira. They can also send us an email, our email address is mrandmsptapride@gmail.com or the Facebook page

Claudette: Mr and Ms Pretoria Pride Facebook page has got all the details on.

Megan: Yes, it’s got all the details so they’re more than welcome to give us a message on there, we’ll get back to them, give them the details, if they have questions we’ll answer, if they want an entry form we’ll send it, just give us a shout.

Person A: Some really really exciting stuff.

Megan: Ja and this whole pageant, like I said, we have a nice meet-and-greet after with all the contestants and then there’s a weekend away, where we have some team-building, and then we build up with a lot of rehearsals to the finale so we can host an amazing show, so it’s not just a normal pageant, it’s a show as well and we have artists performing, things like that. So that’s why I want people to really, really just buy their tickets, come and have fun…

Person A: Well thank you so much.

If you would like to participate in any of the events please let us know at info@gaysaradio.co.za , otherwise you’re more than welcome to just come through and join the fun. See you there!

To get the latest gossip about Mr and Ms Pretoria Pride, listen here: https://youtu.be/5mOdWxUCXTA?list=RD8U2FbjqVTjQ

Thank you for listening to The Steam Room on GaySA Radio, where you are family: https://youtu.be/U0jeAz6Dk-c?list=RD8U2FbjqVTjQ