Crystal Meth, Gay Men, and Circuit Parties
Department of Justice and Human Services
Law Enforcement Executive Forum
Over the three decades since the advent of the gay civil rights movement, gay male subcultures in large cities have frequently maintained—as an integral and celebrated element of “gay ghetto” life—an intimate connection between recreational drug use, all-night dance parties, and sexual freedom (Browning, 1993; Kramer, 1978; Rotello, 1997; Shilts, 1987). Writing about 1970s New York, Levine (1998) called these cultural elements the “four Ds: disco, drugs, ‘dish’ and ‘dick’.” Although the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s forced a broad-based retrenchment in the more libertine aspects of these subcultures, a number of social forces in the 1990s brought the drug/ sex/dance scenes back with vigor. The most visible facet of this renewed revelry has been the circuit party, which, paradoxically, emerged from AIDS fundraising efforts initiated by the gay community in the early days of the epidemic (Kurtz, 1999; Signorile, 1997).
Kurtz, S. P., & Inciardi, J. A. (2003). Crystal Meth, Gay Men, and Circuit Parties. Law Enforcement Executive Forum, 3 (4), 97-113. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/shss_facarticles/254