We need, urgently, a Campaign for Real Life.
And fewer academics.
You’ll need to get rid of the internet then. Good luck with that.
Hehe. Some of us have been working on this for years! 😉
Here’s what one academic had to say in reaction to this essay – Jordan Peterson on Twitter:
“And the immature impulsive hedonism continue, unabated: possession by basic biological drive elevated into object of unconscious worship. The worst of an emergent polytheistic paganism. With all the requisite pseudo-intellectual jargon. “Chemsex.”
Wow! Do people this self obsessed and utterly divorced from the natural world really exist?
It’s a form of intellectual yoga, involving fantastic contortions in search of light that can never be found. “If I stick my head far enough up my own backside will I eventually see a glimmer of light shining down my throat?”
Er, because of the internet, and because of urbanisation, most people nowadays are “utterly divorced from the natural world”. It’s the norm.
Yes, this sentence did it for me….“Gay men and straight women alike spoke of letting go of body dysmorphia and shame while in the disinhibited state of chemically-enhanced euphoria, of exploring desires that the cultures of toxic masculinity and transmisogyny have impinged their abilities to see.”
Personally, it would take more than a chemical high to get me to allow another man’s organ to be rammed into my lower colon.
I read unherd specifically not to read bullshit like this! Even AA is grabbed by those those intent on spreading their selfish pseudo intellectual disease to every quarter. Give the poor addicts and alkies a break, they need support not psychobabble, if indeed there are any alcoholics left in AA rather than just those who “identify” as such.
Every piece by Mary Harrington or Aris Roussinos – I go 1 step closer to renewing my subscription.
Every piece like this – I take about 10 steps back.
Today was very thin gruel: something about the gay sex scene (a topic I couldn’t be less interested in), a hit-piece on Lee Anderson, a Guardian-style article demanding higher food prices, the resident left-winger on digital currencies, a review of a BBC documentary about a TikTok celebrity and some lame financial analysis.
More Aris please. And what about Paul Kingsnorth? Where are the Traditionalist articles? What happened to the Anglofuturists?
It would be a bad thing if this just became another news magazine.
And it would have one less subscriber.
Make that two.
I enjoy Fazi even if I don’t agree with him a lot of the time, and would say ‘Guardian-style’ is an unfair characterisation of Stimpel (when was the last time the Guardian took the side of old, white, rural men who probably aren’t even gay?) but overall you’re on to something. I sympathise to a certain extent with UnHerd’s challenge of getting enough new and interesting writers in that they don’t become stale, so they have to go for some fairly oddball stuff – but the idea that your audience wants to read about queering traditional conceptions of sobriety and exploring the meaning of consciousness by getting off your face and fondling strangers, except it’s rainbow people doing it so that means it’s good (which as far as I can tell is what this was about) only makes sense if you’re Vice or Buzzfeed.
i agree, a very good point.
I hear you, I hear you, Leejon. BUT, to me one of the most valuable things about UnHerd is that it provides a curated, and *only* occasional POV into the insanity of the Prevailing Culture. Just enough vile crap in the UnHerd menu to heighten my appreciation of the other 95% of it. Kudos to the editors.
Agreed. Despite the vulgarity and repulsive nature of this article to sensible, traditional valued folks like me, it is refreshing to read what is supposedly happening on the dark side. It braces me for what I might be exposed to someday.
I agree with you and Warren. The overall output of UnHerd renders this occasional hiccup irrelevant in my opinion.
You are quite right, sometimes my morning grumpiness gets the better of me.
I’m sorry, but I just didn’t really understand the nuances of this article. Certainly, I get the general premise, ‘chemsex’, but beyond that ……..?
The whole idea behind language, surely, is to convey ideas and information to others, in a manner that not only can it be understood, but more importantly, not misunderstood (hell, I learn’t that much as a humble private soldier in the army). Maybe it’s simply a question of my lack of intelligence, or higher education (I know my intellectual limits), but if a journalist/academic is going to write an article, for a general audience, by most accounts, I’m sure, it has to be intelligible, to a wider audience and not just other ‘intellectuals/academics ?
It seems there is a trend, recent or otherwise, of disguising potentially controversial ideas behind ‘intellectual’ speech, a miasma of ideas and words, used to obscure, and bully.
My general understanding, of the article, is ‘should we just accept chemsex as a thing, and not only that, but extend and disseminate it, without judgement, as far and as wide as humanly ( I don’t doubt animals will cum into it at some point) possibly ? As with a lot of these narcissistic ‘pleasure’ tendencies though (like fat acceptance for example), little thought is given to ‘tomorrow’ and the day after, who else it might effect, what damage it might do to them, and just as importantly, who pays for picking up the ‘damaged’ pieces afterwards.
I suspect any ‘wider’ acceptance of chemsex will not be to the benefit of women !
If you are a gay man, had some experience of chem sex and are of an analytic bent, as I am, the topic is actually pretty interesting. Maybe not so much to others. But the article is written in turgid awful academese which does the opposite of clarifying the issues. (Is that subconsciously done to try and cover up the bad ideas, as with so much ideological guff from the woke Left?).
You make a good point about women: it would be interesting to know how many straight people and in particular women are involved in the scene and their experiences of it.
Remembering a long ago drunken conversation with my late father I’m tempted to ask my mum, but I’m pretty sure all I’ll get is a slap…
“…a trend, recent or otherwise, of disguising potentially controversial ideas behind ‘intellectual’ speech…”
Exactly. Stripped of the strangely opaque language this is just an apologia for self-destructive behavior that has the additional downside of swamping the AA program with people who want to do things they know are deeply problematic and then feel better about themselves by telling people who are desperate to put such things behind them all about their blase come and go lifestyle. It’s almost like the Catholic church’s confession and absolution system, except that at least doesn’t drag other vulnerable people into the process.
“It seems there is a trend, recent or otherwise, of disguising potentially controversial ideas behind ‘intellectual’ speech, a miasma of ideas and words, used to obscure, and bully.”
I have a Philosophy PhD, and you may rest assured that this pseudo-intellectual bo11ocks is just as alien to me as it is to you.
“Critical Chemsex Studies” This is a joke, surely? I tell you what gay men want; its to be left alone and not have every aspect of their lives commoditised and sanitised by bored dilettantes that cant find meaning in some aspect of their own subjective reality.
Yawn- taking drugs and having sex is practiced by most people on a regular basis. It’s called alcohol.
True, though alcohol is actually a ‘downer’ – it certainly reduces inhibitions but also awareness and also often performance!
The dreaded ‘Brewer’s Droop’ no less!
‘Crystal d**k’ is their equivalent.
Exactly, Alex. People want to do things that they feel are reprehensible, yet they want to do it. So they get drunk (or drugged, or both) in order to do what they want and then have the excuse (for themselves and for any external critic) that “oh, but I was drunk/drugged when I did that…”. In conclusion, nothing original is being discussed here. Just coward people being coward.
I’m not sure that we do need to talk about chemsex, and, if perchance we do, it’s now done. This all I need to hear on the subject.
“Traditional sobriety paradigms”. Pseuds’ Corner beckons!
Have we not just spent decades arguing why sex and drugs or sex and alcohol were a bad idea?
Have we not said that having sex with someone that is drunk or high is rape? How many college kids have gotten tossed out of school for having sex with someone that is drunk? But now high on meth is now just an enhancer?
Now, I have never been a fan of the idea of accusing some college guy that is drunk and has sex with a drunk college girl of “rape” but this Chemsex thing would seem to almost encourage abuse.
I can see SO many ways this could go wrong, never mind the damage it does even when it does not go wrong.
Saved me saying that – well said.
Exactly, and the thing is, most gay young men don’t start out looking for chemsex, they are looking for friends and community and are introduced to it by older gay men. Although it is rampant in the apps, this actually began out of the gay bars. Basically these guys have figured out a way for drug rape victims to pay for the drugs themselves and not have to worry about the risk associated with dosing someone. When I was a younger man back in the 80’s I worked in a gay bar, we actively kept the noted drug dealers out. In order to stay solvent todays gay bars let the drug crowd in, the drug use is rampant and drugging another gay man has been normalized.
Academics are always the bores who want to sap whatever bit of fun a few people have stumbled on by analysing it to death,
Just get sh** faced and f***, for goodness sake
I suppose permanently having your head up your own ar*se is one way of staying sh**faced.
Whilst no doubt making a concerted attempt to go f*** oneself.
Close, but no cigar?
You’re confusing academics with politicians.
Daft advice generally. Anyone who f***s anyone who is
“sh**-faced” may find themselves in court. As you know,
extreme intoxication (aka being “s***-faced”) vitiates consent, hence rape charges.
I normally don’t agree with you on many things, but on this you are spot-on. What works in the gay scene does not work within a straight dynamic. No matter how willing a woman is to do drugs and have sex afterwards, should she change her mind about it afterwards, her male partner risks serious allegations of non-consensual sex.
This article is lost. This is ‘Unherd’.
Go out of the door, turn left and left again at the lights. ‘Vice’ is the third building on the left, just along from ‘The Cobbler’s Arms’.
This is an essay not an article. Teach academics to write for publication or don’t use them.
What is the difference?
“transmisogyny” isn’t a thing
I think it may be a thing, if it means the misogyny displayed by trans-activists.
Yeah that makes more sense than trying to apply the “gyn” to males.
I tried hard, but I couldn’t get past ‘…the sub-intentional zone…’ without a guffaw or two and the realisation that I hadn’t spotted this as a truly wonderful spoof. 10/10, keep them coming – could you do one on Nicola Sturgeon next?
Could well be, but almost every ‘story’ I read that I think is taking the p*** sadly turns out not to be.
“What was remarkable was the diversity of not just age, gender, and racial identities in the room, but the breadth of psychoactive experiences across the sober-using spectrum.”
Really? Diversity? Sounded to me like a homogenous bunch of self-absorbed sleazeballs.
I agree with other comments that there really is too much academic babble on display here. It’s a shame though as I at least think that there is a lot to discuss in the phenomena. I especially could do without this sentence: “Gay men and straight women alike spoke of letting go of body dysmorphia and shame while in the disinhibited state of chemically-enhanced euphoria, of exploring desires that the cultures of toxic masculinity and transmisogyny have impinged their abilities to see”
You really can’t just appeal to ideas like toxic masculinity’ or, worse ‘transmisogyny’ without defining them. Toxic masculinity, is that just men getting drunk and violent or just ‘masculinity’? ”….impinged their ability to see’ – does that mean gay men fancying men with fit bodies and not fat ones (though some do!) or people who are in fact biological women?
But there is some sort of point here: the typical chemsex drugs do lower inhibitions and can in many cases make people feel very sensual, good about their bodies, which they may have hangups about, and eager to touch others as well.
Here’s an idea: people choose to take drugs of all kinds because they like the effects on them. You can get psychically dependent (not usually physically addictive) on these effects, but don’t have to. I’ve taken a range of drugs though not on a regular basis. I’m not going to proselytise that they proffer fantastic new insights or ways of being. But neither in many cases are they as harmful as much of the anti propaganda suggests. You can obviously do far too much of anything, including food. (It’s true that there is no quality control on what is in illegal drugs). Don’t spend days binging on drink or drugs (I’m tempted even to add exercise to this list, as that can get pretty obsessive as well). Do something else most of the time.
From what I’ve been able to tell, “toxic masculinity” is redundant as used by virtually everyone who deploys it (as opposed to talking about it).
I’m sure we’re all reassured to know there are now opportunities in academia for those wishing to pursue a career in Critical Chemsex Studies.
‘We need to talk about ch*****’. No we don’t.
That settles it ! Will move on to issues of more substance, hopefully!
Headline ‘We need to talk about chemsex’. Memo to author and editor: no we don’t. This did not appear for ages. Who programmed the bot?
Quite so. My double-entendre has been in moderation for some five hours now. Not a rude word in it. Perhaps some humourless prig took exception to it and snitched.
As of 2020, 93.6% of the UK population identified as heterosexual or straight. Presumably that statistic applies to readers of Unherd. So why are you pushing articles of no interest to most of your readers? While we acknowledge and accept the other 6.4%, we do not need or want to know what they do or how they do it.
Yes, because human interest should always stay in its statistical lane. How to explain the popularity of murder mysteries or salacious articles about serial killers etc. Nothing to see here, this article is only of interest to murderers. Maybe they should have their own special interest publications. There is a difference between articles exploring human society and articles that are just moronic bulls**t, which this article is.
“to dissolve the culturally-conditioned sexual anxieties that can be so tricky to shake off while sober.” In other words, to abandon common sense!
Contrary to several of these comments, I find the opportunity to come across and if curious get to know something about behavior, experience and thought I’d very likely never hear of quite liberating. I guess that’s half the reason why I keep returning to Unherd.
I am torn between “chemsex is not my thing and seems, erm, …problematic…”, and “evidently we are under an obligation to dissect desire until there’s no more pleasure in it.” Merci, M. Foucault. In any case its clear now that I should not have chosen a scholarly vocation, but an academic career instead. (Monthly meetings in #NYC amirite?!)
Sounds like an interesting way to widen the circle of your friends.
“We need to talk about chemsex”. Do we? Why? Ever increasing preoccupation to find new “ problems “ and contort them into incomprehensible, meaningless essays
UnHerd going woke?
[I doubled a comment – deleted the double. Sorry about that.]