OK, allow me to begin the discussion with a personal anecdote about a gay friend of mine (non LPSGer, thank God! ). Hes a great guy and a good friendbig heart, compassionate, funnybut his life is just a mess. He cant keep a job, is unable to get much accomplished, faces constant money woes and big, dramatic life upheavals, and, perhaps worst of all, is drawn to abusive relationships. I think, for him, a lot of the trappings of his young, gay lifestyle play into all the worst habits of his emotional life. Its a sad case that I think will only get more tragic as time goes by. Sitting in the middle of this whole behavioral loop is his fascination with using controlled substances, mostly to enhance his sexual experience (or so he claims). He gets a charge from detailing for me all the sexual benefits of this or that compound administered in new and novel ways. While I am certainly one to want to believe that moderate use of some sensation- or behavior-altering substances can be safe and enjoyable for the right person in the right situation, a big part of me screams bullshit. For my friend (and many others), I see it leading to other dangerous behaviors and habits such as anonymous, random, unprotected sex. I think that, for my friend, its a way of trying to fit in with his peer group and, to be honest, an attempt to self-medicate for undiagnosed depressionand any of you who know depression understand what a bad idea that is and how this sort of thing usually worsens emotional disorders. Or is this a symptom of sex addiction? To some degree, I think he enjoys the telling as much as anything. He knows about my own bouts with substance abuse and gets a charge, I think, out of trying to gauge my level of discomfort and worry (meaning that his relationship with me is just as dysfunctional as his others ) At any rate, this situation is weighing on my mind and has me considering the role of such experience enhancing items in our sex lives. If you believe the information (propaganda?), the amyl compounds are relatively safe and harmless in moderation. And from speaking with a number of men here (and from my past work in prison facilities), Ive heard the testimonial carnal benefits of everything from cocaine to smoking the agave worm from a bottle of mezcal (how do you smoke a dead worm, anyway?wait, I dont want to know). And where do the Viagra/Levitra/Cialis drugs fall in this continuum? Do you know anyone who really has suffered vision loss or heart problems from recreational use? I know myself and my own flaws well enough to know that I should never even consider sampling this side of the sexual spectrum, but I wanted to just get a general reaction from the masses here. Is this sort of thing a regular part of your sex life? A healthy part? Is this a gateway behavior for you that has led to other, more self-destructive habits? I think you know Im not wishing to be offensive when I ask this, but I've heard gay friends say so and wonder if the gay men in this group consider recreational drug use a big part of gay culture? Is there a huge degree of peer pressure there? EDIT: I should point out that I know I can't "fix" this situation or "save" him from the sad state of affairs. When I was so immersed in my own alcohol abuse problems, no amount of pleading or threatening from my circle of friends was enough to make me quit (or even want to). I had to get scared, and then I was ready to begin my journey out. I've been clear about my concerns and suggested counseling rather forcefully. Not much more to be done but wait and watch and maintain my stance.