Canaries in the Meth Mine

the second sexual revolution has been building since the turn of the millennium

once AIDS had disappeared from our hospitals and gay bars.

dating websites were the start of the cyber game, which gay men embraced with gusto

where drug deals and dates started to become a normal combination in some quarters

gaydar – gay romeo dominated

recon held the fetish market

moving to the darker zones of bbrts – bareback realtime sex

and eventually nastykinkpigs where the doings got deviant and dirty


meth was a rarity at first

but the examples of sydney and the usa could have shown us in London

that meth is a manifest curse


the smoking ban in clubs had an effect

dance floor flow was disrupted

outdoor smoking changed the night out

many guys started to prefer to party at home

where they could also consume sacraments in peace

grindr, scruff, tindr and the ilk

suddenly made partying from home that much easier and more fun

dates could be arranged and deals could be done

shopping for sex, for satisfaction

for adventure or distraction

bodies on the screen

for free or for sale

no love involved

so drugs are what we need

to free the mind, feel the high and find the connection

but there are sacrifices that can follow

like a fucked mind and no erection

an addiction quickly acquired that makes no sense

sex sacrificed to a game of pretence


20 years ago very few gay men injected drugs

in the second decade of the 21st century ‘slamming’ has become common

no need to repeat the horror stories here

gay men are not listening to them anyway

meth high continues to draw men in to the tinaverse

perhaps meth is a manifest curse


canaries in the meth mine

in the consumer age

use me, use you, take me, feed you

men use each other like commodities

and sex becomes a selfish fulfilling of need, a seeking of seed

to temporarily fulfill a deeply felt need:

a gay man ultimately seeks to feel and know the god inside him through the love of another man


canaries in the meth mine

men forget how to love, how to make love without the chem

lose empathy and the ability to care about others

as their own inner unacknowledged pain becomes immense

this manifest curse is a reversal of our humanity

it makes no sense

but is this the future for the human race?

slaves to the machine, manifest in our hands

everyone an object to be utilized at will

the deadly threat of aids kept at bay by a pill:

canaries in the meth mine


obsessed with economics, politics and war

in the post AIDS era

humanity is walking blindly through the open door

of liberated sexual behaviour:

we need to talk about the second sexual revolution

understand the pandora’s box we’ve opened

the canaries in the meth mine

are dying because sexuality is still not understood


a man’s body is a miracle

his love is a gateway to heaven

as loving brothers gay men could be changing the world

welcoming young men into a healthy, respectful, conscious scene:

we need to face our demons to free our minds and hearts

meet each man with love if we wish our sexual activities to nourish our souls

the shame was imposed on us, the guilt and the fear

it’s time we shook off these wounds

that led us into aids and lead into addiction

for we have the power to create a world built on love of man for man

it’s a simple and divine plan


the manifest curse is decimating us

as the manifest disease did before

but healing comes when we embrace every aspect of life as divine play

and drop the constant craving for more

the healing comes when we find queer family, queer friends

with whom our heart aligns and we share the best times

the healing comes when we remember love

is what drove us to come out in the first place


the healing comes when we remember we are spirit

here to live out a dream

we weren’t born for suffering 

we are GAY, we are lovers of life Herself

but we need to urgently attend to our own spiritual, emotional and mental health

in 50 years since Stonewall we have manifested a global revolution

but our community contains suffering, abuse and pain

as we are celebrating our massive achievements in just 5 decades

we must seek to change the narrative told in the world, the narrative about who we are

no longer the outcasts, the perverted, the sick

we are the wounded healers, we are artists and seekers:

it’s time for us to truly claim our worth

and see an end to the manifest curse

canaries in the meth mine:

scouts on the extreme edge of the second sexual revolution

and all of us

need to remember

a gay man ultimately seeks to feel and know the god inside him through the love of another man

The Queer Quest for Love

To be queer is to be on a quest to find the Self.

Coming out is the first step of Self Realisation.

Mainstream western culture has a very mechanical, functional, biological, competitive view of the self, but is this turning us into successful shiny beings with no soul – with guarded hearts, confused minds, drug dependencies so strong that the simplest, oldest and most exciting of loving human interactions – sex – becomes impossible without chemicals to alter our state of consciousness.

Eastern philosophies.. and indeed western magical practices and religious mystics… see the Self as something much more. It is the religious, political and scientific hierarchies that have sold us all down the river, convincing us that we are nothing more than helpless sinners/wage earners and cannon fodder/ biological accidents. People go about their lives more or less believing in one of these versions of reality, arguing with each other about who is getting it right.

When the HIndus accepted the influx of modernisation from the west C19 they offered us in return a spiritual wisdom, an understanding of the human and divine cosmos developed over millennia. It is taking a long time for the West to catch on to the concept of the divine Self permeating all creation, despite the surge of interest in all things mystical and transcendent from the 1960s hippies onwards. We in the west are so attached to our egos that a spiritual culture that says relinquish ego and identify with something bigger has not found its way to really infiltrate our thinking. Yet this culture, this understanding of the self, is exactly the knowledge that could make sense of the many mysteries and dilemmas of gay life today.

Hinduism teaches that the true nature of the divine reality we are in is Bliss, Jesus called it Love. We access spiritual consciousness through love. The sexual revolution has brought the freedom to pursue bliss sexually, but its when we bring love to the sexual act it takes us into heaven. Tantra, unlike western religion, explores sexuality as a pathway to spiritual freedom. Drugs are a short cut to connection, a substitute for love, they are also a good way of opening connections between people but when we have sex with someone we share our whole energy field with them, we expose each other to much more than our viruses. Sex joins us together body and soul, although we might like to pretend it doesn’t. The proof of that comes when love is in the equation, that’s when we see how making love is indeed opening up our own internal access to heaven.

I believe gay men need to wake up to the fact that the bliss and union we chase so fervently is the call of the soul within us to open our minds, hearts and bodies to the incredible miracle, the adventure of consciousness we are on, the potential for heaven inside us, to the possibility that we are capable of doing much more with this awesome power of love within us than imitate hetero models of relationship!

Two great lies of the 20th century: that we are separate material beings and that science will provide all the answers.

After 5 decades of sexual revolution, widening spiritual exploration and mass drug use aren’t we ready as a western culture now to say YES THERE IS MORE …. we do not have all the answers… we are conscious beings exploring existence in a multidimensional creation. Drugs give us a taste of it, sex takes us there too, and LOVE IS A HEADLONG DIVE INTO THE INTENSITY OF OUR TRUE NATURE.

We know religion gives very biassed and unsatisfying answers to our existential questions, but why do gay people turn so much to scientific or humanistic ideas to explain life away and not listen to our own pioneers, scouts and prophets? Walt Whitman, Edward Carpenter, Harry Hay, Arthur Evans, Andrew Ramer, Andrew Harvey, Ram Dass, Judy Grahn, Starhawk to name a few. Maybe our gay publications could be informing us much more about these voices and about the many gay people getting involved in activities like naked yoga, meditation, gay tantra, shamanism, 5 rhythms, faerie gatherings etc?

It’s the 21st century and gay culture is ignoring something obvious: there is more to us than good looks, good sex and good parties. Is gay life getting sucked into a consumerist, materialist, conformist cul de sac, creating a soulless drug dependent sex party culture that could be generating a health crisis bigger and nastier than aids. Have we learnt anything? At least we are starting to listen to each other. Perhaps we are at a different evolutionary stage to the hetero masses? One of our prophets and martyrs, Oscar Wilde, said that while in the ancient world the words above the entrance to the temple were Know Thyself, in the new world it will say Be Thyself.

Coming out is the start not the end of the process, being queer is a quest, and as we approach 50 years of legal emancipation in this country gay culture has chance to develop in ways that encourage holistic self discovery and realisation. The key to all this is LOVE. We dont need a god necessarily in this, but we do need love, that is the food of the soul. We were labelled homo sexuals, perhaps its time we found a new label for ourselves, putting Love at the centre of who we are, because as I go round the world meeting queers of every nation and faith I am totally convinced that love is what drives us to come out and be proud, not sex. We are the children of love, born to discover and show the world just how powerful and divine Love really is.