a piece by Don Baird
Booty Bump...sounds like a cute dance you might have learned in high school, or maybe some incredible thing that Beyonce does with her ass on MTV, but it's something else entirely. It's a method of administering crystal meth by mixing it with water and putting the liquid in a syringe with the needle broken off, sticking it up your ass and injecting it. It is also, in my opinion, one of the least effective ways to do crystal and highly undignified and awkward. Instead of merely passing someone a mirror and a straw to snort from, or a glass pipe or bong to smoke from, the booty bumper will have to prepare their apparatus, take down their pants, elevate their ass above their heads and often ask someone else to help press the plunger, then remain ass up in front of others until they feel the liquid is completely absorbed. It can really cast an awkward shadow over the usual greet and snort or ritualistic passing of the pipe. It's an unusually high maintenance spectacle that screams, "look at me, I'm putting drugs up my ass, the first of many things to be going up there tonight, I hope," because often times the person who booty bumps acts as if it's a magic key, suddenly opening the door to the kingdom of passive anal pleasure. The most it has ever done for me is give me an upset stomach.
Personally I've always preferred snorting it, the process can be quick and easily concealed on the sly, or more elaborate and ritualistic, like on a mirror, divided into lines and passed around for more formal situations. There are literally hundreds of plastic straw exchange programs in operation citywide, often at fast food franchises and participating Starbucks where the straws are green and wide and extra sturdy, none of those skinny little black cocktail straws, I hate those.
Choosing to administer through your nose will usually keep you away from those weekly treks behind Safeway to the needle exchange, waiting in line wearing dark glasses and wigs like you're getting ready to rob a bank. That's an exaggeration, not everyone who does drugs intravenously wears disguises to the needle exchange, in fact you would be surprised at the array of socio-economic levels, paupers to professionals that you will see there, but some of my friends have definitely donned wigs for the chore, and some even refer to it as the wig exchange. Some use the term as euphemism for times when they might be overheard by others or during phone conversations as phone lines might be tapped you know, and what could be more wholesome then a fun trip to the wig exchange or the novice IV drug user who needs assistance might ask a friend to "style their wig" for them. I personally have a definite aversion to needles and have never administered drugs that way and never will as I sometimes faint at the sight of a needle pricking skin.
Over the years I've watched some of my friends graduate to the IV method and often wondered why. Another straw toting friend said, "You know why don't you? So they won't have to share with us anymore." Perhaps that's why, but just because I stayed with the straw doesn't mean I'm not familiar with those who shoot up, their habits and behaviors as well as the judgment and much of the stigma they face for their choice. This is because I participated in a couple of benefits for the needle exchange program many years ago, as it was one sure way to decrease the high number of HIV infections in the city. My assistance involved modeling some clever accessories crafted by a generous and talented wig stylist called the "I-can't-believe-they're-for-junkies" arm bands, which were like socks with the end cut off and pulled up the arm from here to here and decorated with bows or tracks from a toy train set sewed on them, bedazzled with studs, plaid for fall, holiday themes, some even fur-lined and of course all proceeds from their sales were donated to the program. That's one good deed I'll probably never live down. All because I modeled a few armbands and a rubber bathing cap covered with syringe caps and whimsically titled "A day at the beach," many people forever thought I was an IV user. I might as well just be wearing a button all the time that says, "Excuse me, is this the line for the needle exchange?" But I don't mind the association really; I've always been pretty forthright about my own drug use, my general rule being if you do drugs, just do drugs and don't lie about it and don't blame it on anyone else, especially someone who was nice enough to share their drugs with you. Take responsibility for your own actions. If someone asks how you are just say, "I'm on speed, day two and I'm spun the fuck out," if that applies. However, these days I might suggest being a little less than forthright about using crystal methedrine, as the drug has endured a huge media demonization (not to mention the Rufus Wainwright seal of disapproval) and special task forces have been assigned to eradicate the substance as it ravages the Castro and spreads HIV and syphilis throughout the gay community, dancing lead with young gay victims, down the path of self destruction by providing that false sense of well being and invincibility and heightened sexual urges that lead to unprotected sex, bug chasing, and even selective infecting by twisted vindictive evil villains with minds corroded by advanced drug addiction, yeah, like a Jackie Collins novel. That's a lot of stuff to pin down to a substance that for some people produces frenzied projects that draw them away from other people and more to hot glue guns and window treatments and sponge painting and organizing collections or pinching your own nipples for 12 hours straight or developing an advanced level of paranoia that leads you to call the police and report that your neighbors are trying to drive your cat insane, or dumpster diving for things to put up your ass or gazing out your window into a neighbors window and seeing him jacking off and joining him for hours of exhibitionism till the sun is up and you realize you've been cruising a large houseplant and sofa all night, and other games that don't require two or more players and seldom involve unprotected sexual activities as they seldom involve other real people.
Often times people who do speed do a fair amount of cruising for sex via the phone lines and the Internet. These methods often require a general descriptive message left for others to hear or read and decide if they might be a match. Keywords for people who are doing speed are 'partying,' 'PnP,' or often 'slamming' or any reference to 'points' if they're shooting. Other thinly veiled references to 'party favors,' 'Tina' and 'Chrissy' or 'crystals' really make me cringe whenever I hear or see them.
These girly code names are a major turn off and make no sense at all as I'm sure if the narcotics task force is tapping into these conversations on an all male sex connect line, hearing "We're partying with Tina tonight!" is really gonna thwart their investigation. When I hear it I assume this person is no one I want to meet let alone fuck and I often respond with, "Do you mean crystal methamphetamine, Agent 99?" Their cover is blown. Click. I prefer to call it crack or just dope, that's far more butch -- must gay men feminize everything? Does speed really turn us into such Nellie swishy bottoms we have to nickname it after a character on Dynasty? One need also be aware that anyone asking if you're partying and further details about it, like "what are you partying with? Do you have a lot?" might not only be a cop but could also be a spun out bag chaser - a high maintenance bore of a sex partner whose quest isn't for the biggest dick or hottest sex but more the biggest bag of dope. These are the ones who will snort or smoke up every bit of dope you have and rifle through your pockets when you freshen up in the bathroom, take your cash and when you discover it's gone, will help you tear apart your room looking for it for hours, then when your connection stops by with the stuff you were going to buy until your money disappeared, your trick disappears with him, of course, with the guy with the bigger bag. Bag chasing can go to some shameless extremes sometimes, for instance when your trick innocently asks, "Can you piss inside me?" Yeah, believe it. A person wanting to get more high so badly they'll not only be penetrated without a condom but won't mind smelling like 6th Street from the inside out to get that way. I usually respond with a curt "I'm pee shy, sorry," or if I'm really feeling cruel I'll say, "I can, you would most certainly overdose." And I think about those men hanging out in urinals in gay bars, making it a nightmare for people like me, just to take a piss, as they incessantly ask to drink yours, thrusting empty cups in front of you at the communal trough. "No way sponge bob, get your own high!" No wonder I'm pee shy.
There are a couple of annoying dynamics you'll often find when hooking up with guys and doing speed, one of my least favorite scenarios are with those guys who just can't wait to get high then they announce that speed makes them unable to get a hard-on. First off, anyone who states they can't get hard on speed has already made a decision, admitted a defeat, chosen the course of events to follow without challenge. They have accepted the fate of 'crystal dick' without even trying to step out of that mindset and get past that obstacle. They've written the story and that story is tired and I don't buy it. A good workman never blames his tools, and if your dick is limp don't blame it on speed, cocaine maybe but if a substance makes you incapable of achieving an erection then wouldn't you avoid it when hooking up for sex? I think crystal dick is a malady or psychosomatic condition invented by males with an ulterior motive, not unlike the legendary condition known as blue balls, the alleged painful result of being aroused repeatedly without ever ejaculating; a totally archaic ploy to get good girls to provide sexual relief to their suffering boyfriends, after which they usually drop the girl and she ends up in a sanitarium for whores. But what is the ulterior motive behind having crystal dick? Hmmmm. Could it possibly be to facilitate being the enthusiastic passive anal partner who is 'usually a top', except when they're on speed, and then they transform into the bottom that ate San Francisco, they use you up, milk you, drain you of your essence, and then start asking if you have any room mates, dildoes, big-dicked friends you could call, more dildoes, a code for the phone line, etc. So you see, speed definitely turns many guys who like to consider themselves tops into hungry bottoms or the bottomless, as I like to call them. I even know heterosexual males who do speed and claim to get and I quote, "butt hungry" and end up fucking themselves with their girlfriend's sex toys all night. The alleged crystal dick affliction then is attributed with shutting down one avenue of sexual activity and opening another quite wide like a four lane highway for those who have to justify this behavior as a definite aberration from their usual top status. I guess some guys are still hung up on playing the passive anal role, like it makes them 'the girl,' or something firmly entrenched in screwed up antiquated notions of masculinity. Certain friends of mine and I often joke while reading profiles of men cruising online for sex that if they state they're tops, that means they're really bottoms. It's shocking how frequently it's true really, especially very late at night.
One time I viewed an ad placed by a couple and they seemed appealing enough except for the statement, "No PnP, no tweakers, not into guys who party." Thinking this to be some kind of unusual challenge I pretended to be okay with that detail and arranged to pay them a visit. I knew I could be adequately convincing in the role of a non-user, one of my lesser known talents, and I figured I wouldn't have to submit to a blood test or anything so this might be kind of fun. Then afterwards I would confess that I was on drugs and show them how lame they were for excluding drug users in their quest for sex.
I arrived to their home and was ushered into their somewhat cluttered bedroom just in time to see one of them snorting a big fat line of speed from a mirror and shove it out of site. Delighted with this unexpected discovery, I said, "Hey, you guys said you weren't into PnP tweakers and partying in your ad. What's the deal here?" One of them started stammering out some kind of explanation, when the other stated matter-of-factly, "No we said we weren't into tweakers and guys who party, we didn't say that we don't party." I was perplexed and disturbed. "Why the hypocrisy, you condemn people who do drugs yet you do them yourselves?" The stammering one said, "We have nothing against people who do speed, lots of our friends do it, we don't condemn them for it." I said, "Your ad doesn't seem to clearly reflect that sentiment. What's the point?" One of them in an exasperated raised voice said, "Look, we're both total bottom pigs and we were looking for someone who could keep a hard on. Most tweakers can't. That's why our ad says that, okay!" I was amazed and repulsed. "So you said that just to be assured of a trick who can go the distance?" They laughed a bit and one of them said "That's right stud," removing his sweat pants to reveal his wilted, dormant, likely even cold to the touch member, trussed up in a variety of cock rings. "And you look like you can meet the challenge, so how about we stop talking about it and start fucking?" He made a grab for my cock and I stepped back and said, "Well, I would but I can't. I must confess, I'm high too, so I'm really not what your looking for am I? Goodnight gentlemen." I showed myself out.
I've met tricks for sex who I've watched lose their minds in as short as 90 minutes. Then there was the one who told me that he knew there were fiber optic cameras in the holes in my ceiling where the mirror ball used to hang and offered to prove this to me if I had a pair of needle-nosed pliers, and I did but something told me to not place any form of tool in that ones hands. He said he wouldn't have sex knowing he was being filmed and it was sick motherfuckers like me who deserve to be castrated like rapists and child molesters and left. I made a mental note to buy some Spackle.
One time I had been playing with this guy for hours in that perfect accelerated and charged amphetamine fervor that does happen from time to time where you are both inspired to exhaust every known sexual activity possible between two people, no act too difficult, every option approached with zeal, every mountain climbed. We were having such a good time we decided to invite another person to join us. We chose a buddy of mine who I knew was fun and he came over and wanted to get high before we started going again. He asked me, "Do you have a wig for me?" and I promptly went to ask my roommate for one. While I was out of the room the other guest asked my friend, "What do you need a wig for?" to which my friend coyly responded, "I always have to wear a wig every time I do a hit." I returned with the apparatus and saw that my first guest was dressing hurriedly. I said, where are you going and he told me he had to feed the parking meter and would be right back. He never returned. We couldn't figure it out then a few hours later another friend called us and said the guy had fled our place and came to his saying he had narrowly escaped being killed by some queen who was gonna put on a wig and kill him, mafia hit man style. That friend tried to calm the confused guy down but he was inconsolable and apparently was sent back home to Mom and Dad in New Jersey in a matter of 48 hours. If he hadn't gone home we probably would have stalked him wearing wigs just for laughs.
I often like to confront people who have taken their drug experience to the delusional extreme and later ask them to explain some of the odd claims and hallucinations and behaviors in hindsight. Many say you shouldn't but I always feel like it helps people come to terms with what happened. I often feel like speed gets scapegoated as the one-way ticket to psychosis and often upon inspection you realize that some people don't need drugs to be fucked up. I also feel it's not exactly fair to blame speed use on the inability to get an erection. It's a sorry excuse, just like the people who get high and find themselves having unsafe sex and it's understood and sympathized with. "I had unsafe sex because I was high on speed," is a sorry excuse. It might work in therapy or in meetings or support groups or as a doctor prescribes post-exposure prophylaxis but in the here and now there's bound to be many more reasons of a darker deeper more complex nature behind the dangerous stupid things you might do, especially if it's something so clearly wrong you ultimately don't want to take responsibility for it. Blame the drugs? I don't buy it.
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