Tina and sex
Tina and sex
Studies of gay and bisexual men have produced some pretty
strong proof that guys use crystal to connect to other guys
socially and sexually. Many guys using crystal say they use
condoms less, explore more edgy or ‘hardcore’
sex (like fisting or BDSM), have more anonymous sex with guys,
or groups of guys whose HIV status they don’t know (and
sometimes don’t care to know).
The best studies out there on gay and bi men's sexual behavior
have found that Tina use has a significant link to unprotected
sex.* That doesn't mean Tina causes unprotected sex. Some
of us want to have that kind of sex in the first place and
may use drugs to make it easier. The fact remains: anal sex
without a condom is the main way we get or pass on HIV and
other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Many of us find
it happens more often when we’re high.
In addition to thinking about what Tina may do to our bodies,
we encourage giving some serious thought to what we want someone
else to do or not do to us. That's hard enough for most of
us when we're sober, and it gets harder when we're under the
influence, so try to think safer sex through before using.
If you are going to use Tina in conjunction with sex then
the following tips may minimize some of the risks:
What goes up must come down.
Before doing Tina, it’s worth really thinking about
how we're going to feel afterwards, as well as when we're
high. Both are part of the experience.
Know your own mind.
What works for others may not work for us. If you're prone
to paranoia (like someone's out to get you), Tina will likely
play into your fears. If you suffer from anxiety, Tina may
make that worse. If you feel depressed now, you'll feel even
worse coming down.
Take a body check.
A careful inspection of your dicks, ass, hands, and mouth
before using and having sex can simplify your life later.
Applying rubbing alcohol on your hands can help you find tiny
cuts or abrasions you can’t see. The sharp stinging
sensation identifies these potential entry points for infection.
Plan on gloving it if you’re fisting regardless.
able to peel off a greasy glove gives you a dry hand whenever
you might need it.
Any cuts or sores that could let in HIV, other STIs, or just
plain old bacteria, will be harder to notice or feel once
Mixing drugs (recreational and prescription) can be dangerous,
with lots of complicated cross-reactions and unknowns.
can get some basic information interactions with HIV meds
here and on recreational
When on prescription medications, the best advice is to check
with a doctor before using Tina. You have every right to receive
this information in a non-judgmental and frank manner. If
your doctor is not forthcoming, ask around for one who is.
Think twice before the second round.
Have you really waited long enough to know how high you're
going to feel from the first hit or bump? Waiting additional
time before the next hit is recommended. For more information
please click here. You can also
avoid making damage from a potential ‘bad batch’
Avoid or limit injecting.
Different methods have different risks. In general, swallowing
is the safest way to take Tina and injecting it in your veins
(slamming) is the riskiest.
When using needles, use a clean sterile one each time and
don't share. For more on safer slamming tips please click
Lube, lube and lube.
Use more lube then you think you need when it comes to Tina
sex. We’re talking sloppy! The combination of ‘superhuman’
endurance, reduced ability to perceive surface tissue damage
(ever jerked your dick until it was raw?), and the depletion
of anal mucous all increase the need for lube. Too much lube
is almost enough. The dryer the action, the greater the risk
for abrasion and potential for infection.
It’s tough to recommend a type of lube though water-based
is often recommended. They all have pros and cons.
It’s possible to play safer and use condoms even when
we are high. Some guys actually fetishize them. Black rubber
for latex enthusiasts. Red for demon worshippers. Hey, whatever
works! Try and use condoms on ass toys as well. It makes clean-up
easier and reduces risk if you are sharing. Place a rubber
on all your ass toys before you get high. To reduce risks
further, make your toys ass-clusive. Insist that only your
toys go in your ass and no one elses. Why? STIs get passed
with shared ass toys. They’re hard to clean. Even bleach
won’t kill the Hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Change all condoms regularly. At the very least, check frequently
to make sure they haven’t broken or come off. Try the
internal/female (because it is placed in the ass) condom for
bottoming. Insert it before getting high. Tops can fuck without
a condom and protection is still in place for both partners.
Experiment. Protection now can make your life a lot less complicated
Take care of ourselves and others.
When we are high together we have an additional responsibility
to care for one another. Think about how we act toward others
or how we let others treat us when we're high. Do we know?
Check in with a friend or lover who might be able to give
you some clear and honest feedback.
Consider another way.
How do you hope to feel on the drug? Are there any other
times or ways you can get that feeling without getting high?
Leave yourself the option of staying home, or doing the
party without Tina if it doesn't feel right. Real friends
If you're on HIV meds, especially protease inhibitors or
others that require that they be taken with food, you're not
likely to stay on schedule if you're tripping for 8 hours
or more. Missing doses can allow the virus a window of time
to begin replicating. Try having solid food like a meal replacement
bar available and a timer to remind you. For more tips on
safer use for HIV+ men, please click
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
This online resource is here to help. Get questions answered
about combining Tina with other drugs and sex. The information
you receive and act upon now can make you feel grateful in
the site. Try the search feature on this page. If you don’t
find what you are looking for, then consider sending a question
to our panel.
See the Resource Guide to get connected
in person. By talking about the sex we are having, what it
means to us, and what it may cost us, it is possible to make
partying — and sex — safer.
For more tips and information on safer using, please click
*A scientific literature review of mostly U.S. studies
presented at the Toronto 2005 Forum on ‘Crystal Meth
Use, Gay Men and HIV Risk’ showed that crystal meth
users tend to engage in riskier sexual sexual behaviors in
general, have unprotected anal sex with guys of different
serostatus and have greater numbers of sexual partners overall.
This has been the clinical experience in Toronto as well but
local research in this area has been lacking to date. To help
us collect the data we need to engage in advocacy and make
improvements in service delivery, please consider completing
Adapted from ‘Drugs in Partyland,’ Gay Men’s
Health Crisis, NYC, 2003 with permission.