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Ivan Massow: The gay scene is ‘obsessed’ with destructive drugs and sex leading to HIV

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  1. He’s getting old!!!!!!

    1. So are we all. Day by day. What of it?

    2. 1. Older, yes, and wiser.

      2. Massow is correct in putting rising HIV infections down to the sex and drugs industries.

      3. But I hope that in his Evening Standard article Massow made a clear distinction between “the gay scene”, i.e. that scene of the late-night sex and drugs industries, and the very ordinary and normal lives that the vast majority of homosexual men live.

      1. de Villiers 1 Jul 2013, 9:25pm

        I cant understand what is to dislike in your post.

        1. Those involved in the fiesta wish to silence those who may stop the festivity, even though the festivity may be causing them significant personal damage.

          It happened in San Francisco when AIDS first appeared. They were furious at the closing down of the city’s gay saunas. “And the band played on.”

  2. Seems a bit hypocritical? I also don’t think this is a particularly gay phenomenon, but seems to be how all young clubbers behave now. I only have TV to go on though so I may be wrong.

    Also what has changed? He seems to be saying I did it back then but it is worse now? Is it any worse?

    I think as a generalisation young people are more hedonistic and selfish than they used to be because they have money readily available by way of cheap debt. And the drugs are just different.

    1. GulliverUK 28 Jun 2013, 5:44pm

      It was much the same 20 years ago, although more and more gay people are in settled long-term relationships, because they do, now, have increased security – they can’t be fired for being gay, they can’t be thrown out of their accommodation for being gay, they can’t be refused equal goods and services, society is less hostile, but it’s still not enough, yet.

    2. Sister Mary Clarence 29 Jun 2013, 2:19am

      I have to say I think he is absolutely spot on. He singles out Vauxhall in particular and I think the shift from the central focus of gay nightlife in London from the more heavily censored Westminster to Vauxhall where seemingly the council and the police will turn a blind eye to absolutely anything is at the heart of the problem.

      The Vauxhall nightlife would not exist anywhere but Vauxhall. Decisions to grant licenses to venues that so obviously have scant regard for the law is an utter disgrace, and personally I blame them more than the people that go there. People will always push boundaries if they think they can, and there appear to be no boundaries in some of the Vauxhall venues these days.

      The link below shows the licensing hearing for Fire:

      Reading it, I am staggered that rather than be given a license to carry on trading, they were not prosecuted and locked up.

      1. YoungQueer 2 Jul 2013, 4:54pm

        “I think as a generalisation young people are more hedonistic and selfish than they used to be because they have money readily available by way of cheap debt.”

        If you’re taking about the current generation of younger people then you are SO wrong. They’ve never had it so bad financially.

        There are 1 million under 25’s on the dole, they can’t afford to subscribe to hedonistic sex websites and mobile apps where the issues are rife, nor can many younger people afford to access the gay scene or fund a Crystal Meth addiction like their older peers.

        I’m not saying this problem is exclusively epidemic in the 40+ age group but saying it’s simply caused by attitudes of “the hedonistic youth generation” is far off the mark.

        Older members of the gay community has failed to learn over the years and pass on their knowledge to youngsters.

        Ivan is right in his observations but this problem seems to me an issue that is FAR more prevalent in OLDER and Middle-Aged gay men.

    3. Young Queer 2 Jul 2013, 5:44pm

      This is a problem that actually mostly affects OLDER/MIDDLE-AGED gay men, not the younger generation. They can’t afford Crystal Meth or Dating website subscriptions like their older peers.

      From what I’ve studied the hedonistic streak of barebacking and hardcore drug/meth use is dominated by gay men who are 40+, many who have had a second chance at life thanks to HIV no longer being a death sentence, and many having developed behavior as if they are invincible.

      As GulliverUK states the people who are involved in this scene are “settled”, secure and mature.

      Last time I was in Vaxhall or at one of these nights such as XXL or Fire the average age of people was above 35.

      1. If you think HIV is no longer a death sentence, then you have been very misinformed!

  3. GulliverUK 28 Jun 2013, 5:42pm

    Oh dear, another who doesn’t understand the concept of fatalism which is the true infection in the minds of many LGBT.

    When you’ve got to 2013 and still these pathetic and life-limiting feelings of being an ‘outsider’ or ‘second-class’ in your own society, aren’t solved, then is it any wonder that younger people want love, attention, romance, before they get too old to care.

    The real issues are our rights, fairness and equality, not being bullied at school and marginalised and discriminated against.

    What you speak of is nothing more than a reaction to a place which makes you feel less than whole and not part of the whole. Solve that and you’ll solve the issues which are primarily a reflection and result of that.

    1. You are so on the nail here, Gulliver! Ouch!

      1. Yes he is in the nail to a point, but at this point we are adults and can’t blame the past on current behaviour. For some its like giving up rather than tackling personal issues

      2. Sorry, Gulliver – that’s just too easy. The problems Massow is talking about exist in the most gay-affirming societies in the world. So-called homophobia is not the answer to everything wrong with gay life.

        1. Jock S. Trap 29 Jun 2013, 9:14am

          It’s also equally rife in straight-affirming societies too. Do you not read/listen too the news?

          The main problem now is legal highs which have to be tackled but tackled fairly in not centering on one group whilst looking as if you’re dismissing the other.

          This is a issue with an amount of people, particularly youngsters regardless of sexual orientation or gender. Treat it as such.

    2. Sister Mary Clarence 29 Jun 2013, 2:20am

      Clearly you’ve never been out in Vauxhall of an evening then matey.

    3. So bullying and lack of acceptance by the mainstream turned me into a drug hoare, did it?

      Nothing to do of course with the fact that many gay men devoid of responsibilities like wives and kids choose a hedonistic lifestyle for the pure and simple reason that they can, and they will whatever the cost to the well being of themselves and others?

      The tragedy of today’s drugs culture – and today’s drug culture IS infinitely more wantonly destructive than, say, ten years ago – is that many of us have totally lost the ability to function in normal social environments or to initiate sexual encounters without resort to a synthetic stimulant or noxious compound.

      That combined with being surgically attached to their smartphones on a constant loop twixt Grindr, Scruff and Manhunt makes for a depressing underbelly of gay “culture” comprised of self-absorbed, attention deficient gay men who’s only objective, indeed function, is based around their next cheap kick or kinky thrill.


      1. You know, this is pretty much exactly what I found when I first started clubbing. The drugs, the behaviour, the attitude, etc, but it was 1982!

        There was no smartphone then, of course. The drugs were somewhat different — marihuana, cocaine, heroine, uppers, downers, poppers (not a drug as such though many were addicted). Crowded dark rooms without a condom in sight… being young and innocent then I was shocked, I had no idea, and I was quite sure it wasn’t what I wanted.

        But I got to enjoy the scene without all these trappings for quite some years and even now my honeybuns and I still enjoy it once in while with just a beer or two (if we manage to still be awake after midnight).

        I think it’s a question of taking care of yourself. Self-respect, et al. Life is what you do to yourself and if you just follow the herd don’t be surprised when you find yourself falling off a cliff at one point.

    4. What self-pitying, victim-mentality twaddle. Grow up.

  4. ‘sex parties now principally responsible for the spread of HIV’……there is no current evidence to suggest that this is true other than anecdotal evidence, which should be treated with caution.

    1. Young Queer 2 Jul 2013, 5:03pm

      Then maybe our well-funded Gay and HIV charities need to wake up and smell the meth-pipe and get out there and DO THE RESEARCH. They have been in denial for years now, claiming the “Meth” epidemic is hype and non-existent. I believed them until recently when I was randomly invited to a “Meth Barebacking Party” on a gaydar-like site – and it wasn’t even in London or connected to the scene.

      People have a choice in what they do and I think it’s better to educate than to judge but the messages have faded and become tired.

      Those with the responsibility to support the health and well-being of our community really need to take a good look at themselves and work out what they are doing wrong. They are obsessed with keeping themselves in cosy third-sector jobs that have not moved on from their own world of the mid-90’s and the fact that all their battles have ended. If you ask me it’s only just begun.

      1. Paul Halsall 2 Jul 2013, 6:02pm

        This does not seem to be the case in Manchester, but I don’t go out much. It does describe a big part of the scene in London. And it’s dangerous. In the same NYC enviroment, it is expected 50% will be HIV+ by the age of 50.~

        I am 52 now, and HIV+. All my numbers are good, but that does not match the despair, or the diarrhea.

      2. Well said. HIV/AIDS Inc. and the Pharmaceuticals are rubbing their hands together with glee; all these new infections means they’ve got customers for life and a ‘gift’ that just keeps on giving. There are vast vested interests in maintaining the status quo which is why the medical community keeps up the myth of HIV as manageable condition like diabetes. Its nothing like diabetes! Insulin is not a toxic drug, HAARV is. All these young guys becoming infected are going to be facing a life time of taking toxic drugs and they will die younger despite the propaganda coming out of the gay and mainstream media. People need to wise up and stop behaving like suckers.

    2. What ‘current evidence’ do you have in mind? Perhaps THT should send out a consumer survey to gay men asking them whether they became infected after taking part in bb meth parties?

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Jun 2013, 5:52pm

    And he speaks for all gay people? Not! Shut your gob, Massow your giving the right wing religious loons and homophobes ammunition. Just what exactly has he done for LGBT equality lately? Did he Lobby a Lord, sign the Out4Marriage petition, make a video? He wouldn’t be voicing his opinions if it weren’t for his wealth and position. Nothing else better to do in my view. He seems to be heading down the slippery slope to self-loathing like that other useless big mouth, Rupert Everett.

    1. He’s talking about SOME mostly single, young, male urbanites. Why do they have to define the gay community? What about all the women and couples and older people and those who live in villages and prefer gardening to clubbing and people who are unemployed and can’t afford such things or those who prefer to listen to classical music than have their eardrums assaulted by pounding bass in nightclubs?

    2. Agreed, and a very dangerous statement he made regarding the misuse of anti discrimination laws by the gay community. This will be used by the anti gay mob, whom it would appear massow is sniffing up to by this article.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Jun 2013, 6:24pm

        Absolutely. I don’t condone irresponsible behavior by some in our community for what they do with their bodies, but it’s equally irresponsible of him to make such a statement to the general media and dangerous indeed. I often wonder do people like him ever stop to consider the implications and the way in which it plays into the hands of our opponents who thrive on this sort of thing to justify homophobia and opposition to equal marriage? He’s perpetuating homophobia and doing their work for them, but I wouldn’t expect much from a Tory. He ought to be ashamed of himself.

        1. Yes I think someone with his level of pr experience should know much better how to orchestrate language. Even if he has concerns of some aspects of the gay community, he has no right to question the anti discrimination laws which benefit all the community and it is also very mean spirited to even raise his irrational rant and critical , lazy stereotyping that he expands to an entire community, on the eve of pride. Talk about raining on our parade.

          1. I don’t often agree with you, rapture, but I’m with you 100% on this one.

      2. Sister Mary Clarence 29 Jun 2013, 2:26am

        As a resident of Vauxhall, I can’t agree more with him. The place is awash with drugs and if anyone speaks out against it they are kicked down.

        It is absolutely shameful these days and every death is just dismissed and forgotten.

        Every death is a life wasted. Every time someone gets dragged off to hospital, no one knows what long term effect it has on them if they do survive, and for what? What is really that much fun?

        The clubs are milking every last penny they can out of the weakness of their customers. They turn a blind eye to more and more to maintain and increase their business and the local authority rubber stamps every licensing application despite it being abundantly clear what is going on.

        Sadly Ivan Massow is absolutely right about what he says if reference to Vauxhall.

        1. Thankfully, Vauxhall is not a microcosm of gay society in general, but it is a publicly visible nucleus, or melting pot, for a segment of our populace, catering for those who choose to go extremes in drug fuelled or sexual (or both) fulfilment, be it Fire on a Monday morning or the weekly, ahem, “Stark Boll@ck Naked” parties.

          To suggest that any cavity of London caters for such extreme tastes within the heterosexual community is disingenuous at best.

          Vauxhall is a vortex that sucks gay men – many of them naive and unaware of the dangers that lurk – in, spins them around and spits them out without mercy.

          The problem is the blind eye turned to his very public cesspit by the authorities:- just how many deaths on a weekly basis will need to occur in this wasteland of lost souls before something’s done about it?

          It’s all very well saying it is only a sub-culture of gay life, however its repurcussions affect us all.

          The “Fire” of hell will probably be burning long before then.

    3. My partner and I met this man once, Robert, in his office. We were seriously disappointed. We had gone to his company ready to be impressed but we left feeling that he was, and had been, exploiting gay men. We took our financial concerns elsewhere (to a company that was not touting for gay business and where our being gay didn’t make a jot of difference). We did both agree however that Massow possessed a very handsome face. Quite beguiling eyes, I remember.

      1. ‘…We did both agree however that Massow possessed a very handsome face…’

        the pretty face was one of the marketing strategies the company employed to exploit pink pound

    4. Frank Boulton 30 Jun 2013, 5:13pm

      I agree, Robert in S. Kensington. Massow certainly doesn’t seem to be living in the same LGBT world that I’ve experienced in England and New Zealand. He says more about the circles that he moves in himself than about others. “When you point the finger of blame at someone, you’re pointing three fingers at yourself.”

    5. Where does he claim to be speaking for all gay people? On the contrary, he is saying what most people wouldn’t dare say. You are obviously in favour of censoring people like Massow and Everett because you don’t agree with their views. Very tolerant. They are entitled to their opinion even if you don’t agree with them.

  6. That There Other David 28 Jun 2013, 5:53pm

    When has the gay club scene not been like this?

    However, Ivan, my partner and I rarely venture onto the scene, yet we’re still as gay as those who do. Is Pride not also for us? Is it only for the clubbing crowd in your opinion?

    1. let me correct that statement slightly, for you:
      “when has the club scene not been like this?”

      gay straight whatever.. the club scene has always been like this. it’s certainly NOT unique to the gay clubs.
      I’ve seen guys getting blowjobs from chicks in restrooms of straight clubs.
      I’ve seen straights doing some serious drugs right on the bar, in front of, or even WITH the barman in straight clubs.
      guys going home with multiple women for sex?

      please, gays do NOT have a monopoly on self-destructive hedonism.

      1. That There Other David 28 Jun 2013, 8:41pm

        Indeed. Thank you for the correction.

      2. So, let’s restate his quotations: ““But am I the only one to notice that the STRAIGHT scene today seems obsessed with drugs? Obsessed with sex. Unable to take responsibility for its part in the spread of HIV. Inhabiting a soulless and empty world of hedonism.”

        and “…the STRAIGHT community, are becoming a group of people who suddenly have everything and nothing, all at once.”

        What would be the reaction of those STRAIGHT people in mongogamous relations who have never tried drugs and never been to a club? The same as mine – “Speak for yourself.” If there’s a problem, talk about the problem and don’t extend it to a much broader “community”.

  7. UglyGeezer 28 Jun 2013, 5:56pm

    I think it’s understandable that people that think this man is being hypocritical (given his own hedonism in his younger days).
    I do take an issue with the timing of this timing of the interview with Pride in mind, it seems just out of sync with the spirit of pride.

    I don’t doubt there is an issue with drugs and hedonism on the scene, gay scene or ‘straight’.

    But lets not forget that the gay scene represents a minority of most gay people experience of being gay. Myself, and most others have nothing to do with it.

    It does feel ill times and clumsy Mr Massow.

  8. I don’t know what to say about this issue sometimes… I think if you look at it objectively, the wide spread use of drugs is bad. It ends in death for some people, so it can’t really be seen as something to be encouraged. BB sex results in the spreading of HIV, it stigmatises people and in some cases can kill.

    On the other hand, I’m a regular drug user and although I don’t participate in BB sex, I’ve been to parties where that kind of thing goes on and just laughed along about it. Should I feel bad? Am I morally corrupt? I don’t know. I don’t feel like I am.

    I think the same goes for many other people who use drugs recreationally or have BB sex. They do it out of selfish desire, but they’re not necessarily bad people. Likewise, I don’t think it necessarily means they are miserable, boring or unfulfilled.

    The guy does have a point, no point shooting him down over everything he says, I just don’t think it’s as black and white as some people think.

    1. sure, the ‘one time gay tory token’ has a point, never mind that it is irresponsible, moralising and stereotypical one

    2. It has nothing to do with selfish desire and everything to do with lack of self esteem. Having bareback sex with strangers in a group environment is nothing short of group suicide dressed up as fun. The drugs allow the partcipants to forget their common sense. They forget that Hep C is now reaching alarming rates and that combined with HIV is killing off people through co-infection morbidities. More people need to raise the issue so I congratulate Ivan for bringing the awareness. The gay scene is imploding and nobody knows it. We need to put police resources behind catching suppliers of drugs, help impressionable gay people love and respect themself and ABOVE ALL let everybody know that barebacking on drugs statistically WILL LEAD to HEP C AND HIV.

      1. I agree with you but unfortunately Joseph, that message will never be heard above the din of the orthodoxy on hiv and the people who are the major controlling influence namely, the pharmaceuticals. Look at the hostility on this forum provoked by Massow’s comments; that is what you’re up against. People don’t want to hear it. HIV/AIDS is about money and power. The powers that be could not give a stuff about gay men getting ill.

  9. The reason some younger gay people engage in drug use and self harming sex is because of lack of self worth, which is due to societal discrimination, which reflects in higher per ratio mental illness statistics for gay and black communities. Rather than address the causes of this. Instead massow berates further those who are the victims of this inequality, adding more ammunition to the bigots.

    1. Paul Brownsey 28 Jun 2013, 8:34pm

      “The reason some younger gay people engage in drug use and self harming sex is because of lack of self worth.”

      Oh yes? How would you know? I know it’s fashionable to say such things, but that doesn’t make them true. Maybe the problem is that they suffer from high self-esteem and just can’t believe that anything bad will happen to them.

      NB: I said “maybe”. I don’t claim to know, and I don’t think you should, either.

      1. Why exactly do you think young gay people would “suffer from high self-esteem”?

        Obviously you have a point when it comes to evidence, but on this occasion I think rapture expressed nothing other than what common sense (not “fashion”) would indicate is a sensible view. I have no documentary evidence to support this belief, but I have observed a great deal of the druggy clubbing world of which I was once a most enthusiastic member, perhaps in rather more innocent (relative speaking) times.

        There is an enormous issue centred on self-esteem among young gay people, even today, and I don’t think Massow’s contribution is particularly helpful.

        1. Sister Mary Clarence 29 Jun 2013, 2:29am

          I agree. The point about self esteem seems to have got reversed. Generally young people try to compensate for low self esteem.

  10. He is a Tory. As such, he tends to echo the carefully and negatively edited view of gay life that panders to the prejudices of their grass-roots (AKA local constituency party nutcases). Much as I hate the Tory front bench, I think I trust them much more than jokers like Massow.

  11. Ivan, sweetie, time to get a life. My ‘gay scene’ does not involve taking drugs or risky sex, and I’m still able to enjoy a drink in Soho.

    1. Sister Mary Clarence 29 Jun 2013, 2:32am

      I think he’s talking about all the f&*king junkies that have moved from Soho to the ‘more liberal’ Vauxhall.

      Glad Soho is fine and dandy now, but Vauxhall is overun with substance abuse these days.

  12. Steve Carr 28 Jun 2013, 6:14pm

    You only have to flck through the clubbing pages of QX magazine to see countless clubbers off their faces, wide eyed and gurning. Is that supposed to be fun? The escort pages are more interesting!

  13. I think his comments are very interesting and I agree with him to a large extent although I think that Mr Massow is speaking as someone who has got stuck inside the London scene and therefore has little notion that there are less hedonistic alternatives, particularly outside of London. There is even the option, dare I mention it, of growing up and evolving beyond the need for belonging in a designed-for-purpose gay ghetto complete with its own apps. I think that more and more young people are appreciating that and shunning the ‘gay’ tag, something that hopefully marriage equality will make easier. Perhaps the London scene is sensing the change and this is what Mr Massow is picking up on?

    1. David Smith 29 Jun 2013, 9:59pm

      Dancing my youth away from the mid 80’s to 2000 in both Brighton and London queer scenes with drugs on hand 24/7 I realised that the most radical thing to achieve was to retreat to the burbs and live openly amongst and within a community not designed like a queer ghetto. It’s a bold move but only arrived at with a deeper look at what the hedonistic life is like, warts and all, and with the experience of sex drugs and rock n roll to reflect upon. Then, living in the burbs is the one tragic truth we all have to face at some time, unless you’re the last old queen at the party, bragging of your sex life and never your relationship to others. Growing up and gaining wisdom is the opposite to “the wild life” we so admire, continued drug use slows the process down to a point of confusion and apathy, possible depression and the rare suicide. Keep on loving the idea of true love.

  14. Because of course, on the ‘straight scene’ everyone drinks tea, has monogamous relationships and is lovely and sweet. No STD’s, alcohol or drug abuse for ‘straights’, its just the ‘gays’ that are sleazy. Duhhhh.

    It’s called youth, gay and straight, they’re all the same.

    1. Michael Knell 30 Jun 2013, 2:56pm

      Some people grow old and cry into their handkerchiefs – others grow bitter.

    2. Oh well that’s alright then. Just as long its the same in the straight world, no need to worry or be concerned. God forbid that anyone should suggest that gay men are at greater risk. Duhhh.

  15. Nick Weeks 28 Jun 2013, 6:57pm

    Why do you keep giving this over-exposed out-of-touch has-been such prominent exposure?

    Sure, those into the clubbing scene may be a bit less careful in their behaviour than those who aren’t (or are no longer into it). That’s been true for both gays and straights (and bisexuals) for as long as I can remember … and I came out 35 years ago.
    Please, can we have opinions from people who are in touch with the way most people live – not insulated from reality by wealth and undeserved adulation like Massow.

    1. Sister Mary Clarence 29 Jun 2013, 2:40am

      Maybe I can help with that mate. I live in Vauxhall. I haven’t got shed loads of money. I go to work every day (well, most days).

      I agree with every word he says about the area I live in.

      The place is awash with drugs. You can’t walk past the gay clubs at night without being constantly harassed by people selling drugs, or offering to give you a quick snort of K or some G. The sad thing is that some idiots take them up on it only to find three hours later they have been given far more than they expected and when they regain consciousness they’ve been robbed.

      It is a disgrace that the venues are allowed to trade – they reel in the punters by tripping over each other to allow more and more to go on on their premises without a care for anything but the money they can milk out of them.

      There is no straight venues in Vauxhall or Lambeth that get away with anything like what is tolerated at the gay venues.

      1. There aren’t many straight venues in Vauxhall at all. But drugs flow in those places just the same. Farringdon, Elephant & Castle, Kings Cross and Camden to name a few… Oh and Shoreditch.

        It’s not about sexuality, it’s about modern party people going overboard. And how that scene has evolved… Forgetting HIV exists and the rise of some rather severe drugs that are not the lovey-dovey spirtual kind… But instead the kind that turn people into twats.

        But Massow needs to recognise that there is more to being gay then that scene. He’s outgrown it. It’s gotten kinda worse. And people like him could lead the promotion of things to change the scene and add options where gay people can gather without going to pubs or clubs.

  16. Oh naff off you self-loathing patronising conartist.

  17. Is it just me or is that just one massive stereotype? He should know better.

  18. I read somewhere that Massow made his money from the HIV/AIDS epidemic and that he is nowhere near so wealthy now as he once was. That source of business has gone out of business. He sold his country house in Somerset to liberate cash because he was running out of it. Cocaine is so very expensive, isn’t it?! And as for drug use in his “distant past” – what does that mean in a man who isn’t exactly ancient? This sudden moral posturing is very unbecoming Ivan – time to stop it now I think.

    1. He rented the house.

  19. James Savik 28 Jun 2013, 8:04pm

    Sounds like somebody can’t get laid.

    1. JackAlison 29 Jun 2013, 2:58pm

      aint that the truth!!…lol
      u said it perfectly

    2. Nothing stereotypical about you is there?

  20. It’s all a bit tautological: people who take drugs and have risky sex and hang out together take drugs and indulge in risky sex.

    That’s A gay scene, but not the only one by a long shot. And some people dip in an out of it at will and get on with their lives in between.

  21. Beelzeebub 28 Jun 2013, 8:15pm

    Sorry Mr Massow. but we all cannot nip off for a £200 lunch at the Ritz with our favourite politician.

    Us Lower order plebs live in different circles from you and sometimes getting out of your face makes life that bit more palatable.

  22. Beelzeebub 28 Jun 2013, 8:45pm


    If you have an issue take it up with the police.

    Stop the incessant posting here.

  23. We, the gay community, are becoming a group of people who suddenly have everything and nothing, all at once.

    I get riled the minute I see the phrase “the gay community”. In my experience there are many gay communities, and apart from those, many more gay individuals.

    I don’t know what Massow thinks he can achieve with this hand-wringing Daily Mail-level bollocks. Publicity, perhaps?

  24. I agree with most of the things he says. The gay community must acknowledge its problems, sometimes I feel it’s easier for “us” to blame others. Crystal meth destroys too many lives… There should be more campaigns with real people talking about it.

  25. Yeah yeah SHOOT THE MESSENGER, please will someone SHOOT THE MESSENGER!!!

    Why waste time on reflection critical examination of our own values or gay “culture”…

    1. The ‘messenger’ wouldn’t be getting shot if he hadn’t grotesquely misunderstood the underlying factors of the issues he’s complaining about in this article.

      We all know about HIV/sex/drugs problems in the gay community, so it’s hardly a revelation. He should read the Matthew Todd’s article “The roots of gay shame”.

    2. GingerlyColors 29 Jun 2013, 11:33am

      ‘Don’t shoot the messenger when the news is bad’. I do make an exception to this rule: Do shoot the messenger when he enjoys giving bad news! The problem with human nature is that people enjoy giving out bad news more than they do good news.

  26. I just love it when some rich gay boy I have never met takes it upon himself to speak for the gay community.

    I can assure him that most lesbians do not live the rich, hedonistic club scene he describes. Baby sitters are expensive.

  27. Ivan Massow’s is just one viewpoint, I think all who have commented here have equally valid viewpoints. there are many truths out there.
    I hated the way there was a picture in the Evening Standard of some lovely people having a fun time, making an effort and dressing up at a pride event being equated with an article about hedonism and dangerous sex and drugs activity, just stupid and really unfair.

  28. irresponsible ‘hit and run’ type of commenting by arrogant tory,

  29. Trying for the House of Lords Ivan?
    Typical old man Tory views so you are well qualified
    Good luck.

    1. lord Alli is doing splendid job in lords, massow would be just an obstacle and distraction to intelligent debate when defending/ promoting gay equality,

  30. That’s rich coming from an ex alcoholic!.

  31. Its incrediable, striaght people aint hedonistic or do drUgs. Whod have known it only affects the gay commUnity?

  32. justusboyz 29 Jun 2013, 1:08am

    Ivan Massow , we are not all the same! stop perpetuating the Right wing fanatics view of the ‘Gay Lifestyle’ , whatever that is.

  33. Kerry Hollowell 29 Jun 2013, 6:40am

    I am not a fan of Ivan Massow, however he is right. As far as I can see the problem is that the under 30’s gay men have a lack of understanding of what is safe sex and the fact that Crystal meth/ GHB and other easily obtained cheap drugs are an accepted part of the vauxhall gay club scene. The club owners/organisers need to take more responsibility and more should be done by the gay community to educate the younger generations on safe sex.

  34. Well, someone’s certainly stuck in the ’70s.

  35. Colin (London) 29 Jun 2013, 8:30am

    To me he does have a point.

    I too have partied having great nights or should i say great getting home when it got light! Yes Vauxhall etc…I have no regrets and am grateful for that period in my life.

    However I’m the lucky one.. How about Rae an Aussy i knew. Thrown out by his family at 16 when he told them he was gay. Sold his body in Sydney for a while and managed to get some education. This 6 foot 4 beautiful man comes to London to work. Bad relationship gets into drugs and riskier sex. He had on the surface friends. He lived fast in Vauxhall. He died by bleeding out after a fisting session went wrong but the two men were high on drugs. He was 34.

    Rae’s story is complex…It’s not about condemning people but maybe
    1. Showing young gay people that you can have fun without drugs and alcohol
    2. The gay media projecting other lifestyles away from bars. eg sports clubs, walking groups, cycling groups, the gay outdoor groups.
    3. The media take responsibility for projecting

    1. Suddenly Last Bummer 29 Jun 2013, 11:03am

      Nothing as amusing as a wannabe Christopher Isherwood. You got any more sensational anecdotes you care to share with us or should we wait for the book to appear on Amazon?
      Of course what happened to ‘Rae’ couldn’t possibly happen to a straight female sex worker?

      1. Dead right, female sex workers smoke crystal meth as part of their culture and spend hours with each others’ arms lodged up one another’s rectums.

      2. Is says a lot that so many posters’ response is to immediately deflect attention onto a putative straight counterpart in order to try and make a point of some sort. The fact that some straight people take drugs isn’t what is being discussed here is it? They have their own forums for that. Nor does it begin to address the issues raised by the article. A tit for tat argument means nothing. Its a sterile debate.

  36. Colin (London) 29 Jun 2013, 8:39am

    a better life . work/family/community/play balance.
    4. The gay community integrating in raising funds for straight charities as well.
    5. Successful gay people sharing their life stories for younger gays so the kids have something to aim for.
    6. Get a discussion going about a vision of a successful life. Some goals and aims and how to achieve them.
    7. Ways to help young gay people come together without alcohol…community projects.
    8. We need community centres to meet and people to give some time to them.. Pubs are easy meeting places but alcohol then becomes the norm.
    9. Broadly we need to mature into all and not dissimilar issues our straight brothers and sisters have.
    10. Vauxhall is a great place but now needs gay cinema, gay community centre, gay drop in centre, older gays who can befriend a younger gay who is struggeling.

    If I had know about Rae I hope I would have been his shoulder.

    I think Mr Massow has a point.

    1. It’s not about being gay, it’s about being male.

      It’s not about being attracted to the same sex as this is not a problem for lesbian couples, it’s to do with a man -gay or heterosexual- being programmed to follow a hedonistic lifestyle when finances are willing and opportunities exist.

      Nothing, no intervention, is going to save men from behaving like this, there are obviously exceptions in that more female-type men want to settle down. Or they’ll settle down once the old sex drive has dimmed a bit.

      But men are men and -gay or straight- they’re usually the same: get a good time if you can.

      Sir Elton John was no different to any other straight rock star (by way of example) in his hedonistic days.

      1. Absolute misandric rubbish!

      2. “exceptions in that more female-type men want to settle down”.
        Ah yes, I think I know some of these Female-type men you speak of who want to settle down; they are straight. And not very ‘female-type’.

        You talk rubbish.

    2. THANK YOU! This is what a real community would look like.

      A community that revolves around sex and drugs is DOOMED…. Saunas, group sex parties, barebacker events, porn stars, escort pages, sleezy events magazine pages… GO FIGURE.

  37. Jock S. Trap 29 Jun 2013, 9:10am

    The drug AND sex issue is pretty wide spread between both the straight and gay clubs and again it is a minority compared to the amount of people that go to enjoy without the drugs.

    I disagree with the ‘obsessed’ bit. It’s only a minority to then say that we’re all obsessed when that simply isn’t true.

    I think the bigger issue is to tackle the drugs issue equally, with no difference between gay nor straight youngsters.

    The minute we separate the same problem the minute we become ‘obsessed’ with only one section of society in much the same way as is what has happened with HIV.

  38. It seems that anyone who criticises the behaviour of some groups of the gay community gets immediately reviled and insulted. I’ve read people defending barebacking because it feels so good – so does injecting yourself with heroin and we know where that leads. Others say that straights do the same – perhaps – but then they don’t have the same problems with HIV that we do. Barebacking is wrong under any circumstances except a monogamous relationship and if you engage in it you are helping to spread sickness, suffering and possibly death, not to mention the strain you are putting on public health services – it’s indefensible. I am speaking as someone who has lived through the dark days of aids, who lost a partner to aids and yet I managed to stay HIV negative – by only engaging in safe sex.

    1. its not about what you criticise but how you do it, massow did it in manner usually associated with people who to sell a book or promote something say/ do something controversial just to create extra publicity and exposure


      hows your countryside hunting going ivan?

  39. i think massow is making a good point. i love london, i really enjoyed living there. but the gay scene felt for me exactly like this!

    seriously, i love partying. i used to go out about 4-5 times a week. but i don’t need other people to tell me that taking no drugs is boring. and not going home with a guy the very first night is prudish.

    come and visit berlin. you’ll find a gay scene which is really different from london. we party as hard as in london, but i rarely meet people taking drugs. and more comfortable for somebody in a realationship: not everybody thinks it’s okay to grab my ass and to tell me to screw my boyfriend.

  40. Another ageing gay man bitter that he is no longer able to take part in the fun and frolics. As an “ageing gay man” myself, I know how it feels but my recollection of going out 20 plus years ago is that there were lots of drugs, lots of booze, lots of sex and lots of hedonism. It’s not changed much Ivan, it’s just that you’ve got older. Oh, and by the way, that terribly shallow gay clubbing scene, was pretty much like the straight scene. I’ve never been convinced that people going out clubbing, straight or gay, wanted to discuss Proust, philosophy, theology or politics. My guess is that they just wanted a bloody good night out and a good shag thrown in for good measure.

  41. The Darwin Awards

    Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species’ chances of long-term survival.”

    The candidate is disqualified if “innocent bystanders”, who might have contributed positively to the gene pool, are killed in the process.

    But if you are a consenting participant in drugs misuse and bare back sex then you don’t qualify as an innocent bystander.

  42. Scotthebrav 29 Jun 2013, 10:32am

    Cut him some slack, he’s only telling the truth, the gay scene can make you or break you, but to criticize his opinion like that is not on. A lot of our behaviour is discussing and frowned upon by many, especially straight couples. I do not agree with his quote that sex parties are the main culprit in the spread of HIV, whereas if he included saunas in that sentence then I would soul heartedly agree. However as a gay man myself I know the scene lives in its own little bubble and in the real world a lot of us wouldn’t survive. As real males have a serous issue with the way we live our live!!
    BTW I’m not biased due to having the hot’s for Ivan

    1. Everyone tells their own truth and we have to assume Ivan Massow is telling us his… but it’s far healthier to criticise someone if you disagree with what they are saying, or if you feel it is only part of the story, rather than to remain silent.
      I’m sure Ivan wanted to initiate discussion rather than to just throw a badly-timed wet blanket over Pride celebrations.

    2. Suddenly Last Bummer 29 Jun 2013, 11:09am

      The gay scene can make or break you? WTF were you expecting the first time you walked into a gay bar/club? An interview?

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 29 Jun 2013, 12:02pm

      Real males? There’s plenty of criticism to go around even towards some hetero males that leaves much to be desired and not just their adultery, philandering and sexual conquests. Drug addiction and wreckless behaviour isn’t peculiar to gay men as Massow seems to infer. The ‘gay’ scene is NOT representative of the majority of us. Those ‘real males’, whatever that means are no better than Massow painting an entire group of people with the same brush. Ignorance is bliss for some. Clearly Massow has it in abundance contributing to and perpetuating homophobia against an entire group of people who don’t live the ‘gay scene.’ Not too bright in my view.

      1. there are two takes on male promiscuity out there that massow buys into. if you are straight like hugh hefner of playboy or famous hispanic singer julio iglesias, who both addmit to bedding hundreds of women than you are the man but if you are gay guy that do the same then you are slut, hiv spreader etc. he is so pathetic

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 29 Jun 2013, 2:44pm

          I agree and there’s plenty to go around among heteros, just look at the straight entertainment world, their sexual escapades, drug addiction and what not. Never a word of condemnation from anyone or their sexuality denigrated. Massow is part of the problem.

  43. GingerlyColors 29 Jun 2013, 11:49am

    Just because someone is gay isn’t the reason alone why someone is more likely to try drugs, it is simply down to the fact that gay people are far less likely to be married and sat at home with 2.4 children and therefore without these responsabilities you can expect drug use to be higher in the LGBT community. Unmarried straight people without families are just as likely to experiment with drugs as gay people.

  44. I imagine most gays his age have long since gracefully withdrawn from the scene, so they won’t have noticed anything in particular.

    1. Paul Halsall 2 Jul 2013, 6:09pm

      You think gay men in their 40s and 50s should not go out? One day you will realise what a twunt you are

  45. so on one side we have got lord Alli who does his utmost to advance gay equality on the other tory gay boy massow who, by criticising anti-discrimination laws, undermines existing equality and hinder efforts of people like lord Alli in advancing it futher

  46. A very articulate and well-nailed posting that has struck a chord with the PN collective.

    Please follow this method of transmitting your message as opposed to spamming these boards with rants and tirades and you will win hearts and minds with your inside knowledge of the rampant abuses of power and financial corruption endemic within the HIV sector.

    1. Well said!

  47. CH Brighton 29 Jun 2013, 6:43pm

    As predicted, Anglican Mainstream (an anti-gay hate group if ever there was one) are running this story as it stands. For them it is self-explanatory – they don’t need to add anything. Massow, one of our own representing us all as far as AM are concerned, has told the version of our lives they want to believe. In one fell swoop, Massow has undone a lot of recent gains.

  48. Mike Homfray 29 Jun 2013, 7:02pm

    It probably is partially an age thing. I have a partner and I’m in my early 50’s, so I don’t really bother with the scene.

    But he does have a point about hedonism and selfishness. And they’re not good things whether they be linked to gay or straight people

  49. I was at Summer Rites today, which attracts a much broader crowd than certain Citrus influenced nights in Vauxhall. The crowd was not one that appeared obsessed with drugs and sex, just a large group of people that wanted to enjoy the day with the aid of the sunshine and music. I only saw one incident requiring attention from otherwise not particularly busy medical staff.

    Ivan is right to express concerns about certain sections of the London gay scene (which other voices have been doing already and the Vauxhall club scene has almost imploded), but he has done us a huge disservice with the tenor and timing of his article in the Standard.

  50. graham montford 30 Jun 2013, 7:48am

    He is telling the truth, but it also involves the older gay crowd, just obsessed with cum, cock, drug e.t.c The truth hurts, yes there are a few of us who don’t do this stuff but the overalll gay life style needs to change

  51. Correction! The organised gay club scene in London is obsessed with destructive drugs and sex leading to HIV. Why? It normalises and glamourizes destructuve behaviour. SHUT THEM DOWN, they are places of EVIL corrupting our gay youth.

  52. Kelvin Beer-Jones 30 Jun 2013, 10:00am

    Mrs Massov needs to get out a bit, there is much more to gay life than the London club scene.

    Step outside the sauna, gay life does not end, believe me.

  53. I think that some of you are missing the point:

    And once the truth is made all homophobia about gay men being naturally more promiscuous than straights is rebutted:

    If only you faced the truth you could knock the gay men are promiscuous slight on the head once and for all.

    The truth is that young men-of all sexuality seek highs. The difference for a straight guy is that women tend to play it safer.

    But if you’ve got 2 young gay guys well they’ll be hedonistic together.

    But for some reason this simple truth eludes some. Have they never thought about it?

  54. Does anyone else think a “financier” preaching about hedonism and encouraging people to be less shallow is a little rich?

  55. Hmm that’s not a fair generalization.
    I’m gay. All I day is wake up go to work come home and sleep. I’m against clubbing drugs and promiscuous sex or unprotected sex.

    So your statement isn’t fair mister!!

  56. Nice of him to take umbridge with certain sections of the scene but ignoring those to which he might be said to ascribe to himself such as body fascism and the predilection of older gay men for younger males. These also being similarly outdated generalisations but which create equally as eye-catching headlines for the misinformed. I am no Christian but “judge not lest ye be judged”. He is right twisted and like many with a right-leaning political view and more money than sense, very unaware of his own misgivings. Why should we be bothered with hearing his outdated bilge?

    1. Ivan Massow must be off his rocker f he thinks slamming is the norm.

      Go to Chelsea beach at the weekend and all the straight sloany toffs are doing k bumps in the cubicles.

      Young people take drugs, some tragically die, but the vast majority just have a bloody good time, then get hitched and spend their weekends by log fires.

      Massow worries too much. There is no virtue ranting at todays youngestes, especially as his own alcohol and drug fueled youth is well documented!

  57. Zoe Bremer 1 Jul 2013, 9:12am

    In my home town there certainly seems to be a concerted effort by the PCT to tackle the issue of drug- and alcohol- use withint the gay community. The problem probably stems in part from licensed premises being the only place to meet until recently, so many community centres, church halls, etc. having been (and in some cases still are) averse to hiring out rooms to gay organisations. The problem may also be perpetuated by gay groups that insist on meeting in pubs or clubs, which can be very problematic for those who don’t drink alcohol or who are disabled. A large part of this problem is also perpetuated by the gay press, where articles that seem to condone illicit drug use or wanton use of alcohol are commonplace. What are readers to think if being intoxicated appears to be the default state for socialising?

  58. cant PN ban this obsessed nutter?

  59. I get Ivan’s point to an extent. If you go out on the scene at all you’d be burying your head in the sand to say there’s no problem. But i think it is also easy to over simplify things.

    Crucially, i think young gay men’s use/abuse/overuse of sex and drugs is a response to the challenges of being young and gay and without necessarily the support of friends or a partner. Loneliness and alienation is a massive, massive problem. Taking yourself out of that by getting wasted and/or having casual sex numbs the associated pain.

    The current health crisis in terms of club deaths is almost entirely down to G. It’s a very dangerous drug. Ivan is wrong if he thinks the clubs are encouraging its use. He’s also kidding himself if he thinks its use can be stopped. it’s easy to get hold of, it’s cheap and its always potent.

    The crystal meth crisis is something long anticipated. If the authorities won’t discriminate between ‘drugs’ then why do they expect gay men to?

  60. He will be speaking entirely from his personal perception regarding this. I am a gay man who smokes weed, pop a pill and do a few lines from time to time. Very few of my queer friends/aquiantences/lovers/boyfriends do any kind of drugs. I live in a city that has a reputation for drugs but many young gays are turning away from them, but many straight friends love it! It all depends on your community, really.

  61. Young Queer 2 Jul 2013, 5:07pm


    I have respect for Ivan Massow and agree with a lot of what he’s saying but it’s a true fact certain privileged members of the gay community have been profiting from AIDS for years whilst the rest of us gain nothing from their so called charitable efforts.

  62. Former GHB user 2 Jul 2013, 5:28pm

    As a former GHB user who doesn’t drink Alcohol I have to say the later is the more dangerous and destructive drug.

    Drug policy is skewed and influenced by market forces.

    See Professor David Nutt’s published research on the scale of harm relating to recreational drugs. It lists them from 100 to being the most harmful. Alcohol scores top of the list at 72, Tobacco scores 33 and GHB (not GBL) score only 19. However GBL is what is being used on the gay scene. GHB is now Class C and harder to obtain.

    GHB and GBL are different drugs. There is a totally failure of the agencies who “educate” users about the risks to explain what’s what.

    Yet studies show GBL is far more dangerous and addictive, and since GHB has been banned it seems use of the far more potent GBL has rocketed.

    Nearly all the incidences of overdose are in combination with ALCOHOL. Something the businesses of the gay scene make a fortune from.

  63. Paul Halsall 2 Jul 2013, 6:01pm

    This does not seem to be the case in Manchester, but I don’t go out much. It does describe a big part of the scene in London. And it’s dangerous. In the same NYC enviroment, it is expected 50% will be HIV+ by the age of 50.~

    I am 52 now, and HIV+. All my numbers are good, but that does not match the despair, or the diarrhea.

  64. Jamie Taylor 2 Jul 2013, 7:40pm

    Personally I think it must be pretty miserable to be Ivan Massow.

    To know that everyone else in your community despises you for your politics and lack of a backbone must be really annoying for someone with an ego as large as his is.

    We know how he made his money – on the back of the HIV+ community, that he’s almost always hid behind Tory politics whilst maligning his own community’s rights. He has rarely stood up for a single human right for Gay people in his life unless there was something in it for Ivan Massow.

    And having hid behind the skirts of the Tory brand and not defended anything pertaining to his peer group, not section 28, not the equal age of consent, not Civll Partnerships, nor Marriage – that his intent IMO seem to be run as a Tory MP. It’s the only way that he could take all of benefits and rights that everyone else fought for and put them to his own purposes.

    Sad – but so is he.

  65. He should hang around a better class of people.

  66. Dave Richardson 11 Jul 2013, 6:16pm

    You may be interested in this article published not long ago on ‘The Body’
    it talks about exactly the same scenario. The current recreational drugs culture is taking reason away from sexual encounters.

  67. BB Vancouver 16 Nov 2013, 8:00pm

    The drug scene is world wide for gays. It’s been like that from the 70’s when MDA was the drug of choice.
    BB is again very big for many reasons. One being condom fatigue with guys. Two, undetectable viral loads has brought down the chance of getting HIV down.
    I only BB with guys who are HIV and on their medications and have undetectable loads. BB does not always mean they seed my ass, but should it happen I am not worried.
    Now, someone who says they are negative worries me for BB sex. Ask neg guys when they were lasted tested and most say 6+ months. Sorry, get tested monthly if your “neg” and BB

  68. It’s true. He is 100% right. It’s sad to see all this kids completely brain washed by the abuse of drugs and even worst older people who are behaving like idiots. They only live to destroy themselves asap and they don’t care if they die. If you try to help them they tell you that you are old. They think its normal to be alcoholic and drug addicted and have BB sex and infect each other not only with HIV but with any other STI. I am ashamed to be gay when I think at the gay scene in London.

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