Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man's Guide to Sex and Recovery provides insight for gay men struggling with the issues of sex and recovery, and for the professionals who work with them. The reader is equipped not only with essential information on the problems of drugs and sexuality, but also with solutions in the form of tools and resources that will support him along his path. The book is unique in its blend of therapeutic perspectives from addiction and sex therapy, from which Dr. Fawcett has integrated the most useful concepts and tools. Additionally, detailed case studies will assist clinicians who, in Dr. Fawcett's many trainings for professionals, have asked for material on substance use, identity, and sexuality in gay-identified men. These insights and tools will be helpful not only in the early stages of sobriety, but for an individual's continuing personal evolution of recovery as well.
The book is divided into three parts to help guide the reader through this multifaceted topic. The first part, “The Perfect Storm,” examines how, through the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters, methamphetamine has phenomenal power to change one’s mood and entice the user to ingest ever-increasing amounts of the drug. The role of excitement, risk, and even boredom are explored, along with the vulnerabilities of some gay men who find themselves feeling unattractive, left out, or disconnected and utilize meth to soothe these feelings. Finally, this part of the book explores the unfortunate intersection of meth, the gay community, and the rise of dangerous health concerns such as HIV/AIDS.
The second part, “Exploring the Sexual Universe,” provides a sex therapist’s perspective on sexual desire and how eroticism develops in the brain, an elaborate world of sexual templates, scripts, and themes that methamphetamine penetrates and distorts. This section also highlights exciting discoveries of neurobiology and the direct impact of the brain’s plasticity on the profound problem of the fusion of meth and sex. Dopamine is the central player in the drama of both the feelings produced by drug use and the consequent hijacking of sexual desire. New discoveries about the brain’s ability to change and adapt in response to compulsive behaviors shed light both on the harmful consequences of drug use and clues about recovery.
The final part, “Restoring Your Life,” explores the process of recovery from this drug in detail, with chapters on specific skills derived from thousands of hours working with clients, managing of feelings, and rethinking perspectives on sex. The reader will find that, with increased distance from the drug, such powerful emotions as vulnerability, anxiety, or shame, which once were buried by meth use, now provide direction to promote emotional transformations that ultimately enrich both the sexual and emotional life. Finally, the reader is guided in rebuilding relationships with himself, his loved ones, and the community as he continues in recovery.
Gay men and their helping professionals will find the information in these pages illuminating and motivating as they create lives of recovery from addiction as well as fulfilling and joyous sexual expression.