Qualitative Findings from the Men of African American Legacy Empowering Self (MAALES) Project: Sex, Sexual Identity and Substance Abuse among African American MSM. John K. Williams, M.D. Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences
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Qualitative Findings from the Men of African American Legacy Empowering Self (MAALES) Project: Sex, Sexual Identity and Substance Abuse among African American MSM
John K. Williams, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences
University of California, Los Angeles
Mattison, Ross, Wolfson, Franklin & San Diego HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center, 2001
We analyzed data from 7 focus group discussion with NGI and bisexual African American MSM/W in order to explore the role that drugs and alcohol play in same-sex sexuality.
The question specific to the use of drugs and its
relation to the men’s sexual lives was framed as:
What is the role that drugs and alcohol play in
the lives of sexually active African American
Probes were used when necessary to solicit
additional or more detailed responses.
Sex, Sexual Identity, & Substance Abuse
I only messed around [with men] because I am such a stone-cold crack head that I had to have it … whatever it took to get it. You know what I’m saying? When it came to crack cocaine, you know and then I discovered crystal meth. (shelter, HIV-negative group).
I think, uh, that drug use and alcohol abuse is the major reason why HIV is out of control today. Because even straight men know that they can go and make money with having a guy suck them… so they can get that next hit…when people are on drugs and intoxicated, they tend to be less careless about, they're not thinking about no condom.… if you want that hit bad enough… I don't care how many wives and how many kids you got, you want that next hit. (HIV-positive group).
Yeah, you know, I’ve had that experience myself. You know, at the time when I used to do cocaine… cocaine gave me a feeling like I could sort of let my guard down, and not be effeminate… like, I never had the desire to be like a drag queen or dress drag or anything like that. But, if I wanted to be like [with] a guy, I felt more sexually aroused and I felt more comfortable in approaching a guy if that’s what I wanted to do... Yeah. . . .So, in other words, the drug actually gave me permission to let out what I was feeling when I wasn’t using the drug. Or, what I was thinking. (HIV-negative group)
Peeping around the corner and trying to get [known drug-using MSM] in places where nobody is really looking [under the guise of using drugs] in order to engage in sex.