Skippy Baxter is an Australian whose life was thrown into turmoil by the drugs he was using
Many studies have found that gay men are disproportionately affected by drug and alcohol problems.
In recent years, drugs such as crystal meth and GHB have seen a rise in use on the gay scene – first in clubs but more lately more often in sex settings such as private ‘chemsex’ parties.
That some porn stars should indulge in drugs is nothing new, but now one Australian adult entertainer has spoken out in an exclusive interview with Star Observer.
Skippy Baxter used to be a nurse before he began making adult entertainment movies. He’s now appeared in over 30, but has put his acting on hold while he ‘gets his shit together.’ He says that he first used crystal meth two and a half years ago at a sex party.
‘It started probably about two and a half years ago when I was at a sex party and some guys were doing it. They asked if I wanted to slam some meth, and I said ‘what is that?’
‘They said, “well you inject it.” I said, “sorry no, it’s not for me” but they talked me into it – they said “if you don’t like it, you don’t ever have to do it again, it’s just a once off thing. Just see if you like it.”
‘I tried it and it was probably the best experience I’ve ever had, it was incredible the feeling but the comedown was just horrific and they didn’t explain to me what that would mean and I swore I’d never touch it again.
‘But everywhere that I went to have sex it was just prominent, everybody was doing it so I kind of got swept up into the shitstorm of using it.
‘That’s kind of how it blew out of control. I kept it hidden for about a year, from everybody – my partner, my family. Then it got to the point where I couldn’t have sex without it. I never smoked, I only injected.
Crystal meth, also known as ‘ice’ or ‘tina’ is the common name for a crystalized version of methamphetamine – an illegal stimulant. Its associated high can lead to a lessening of inhibitions and increased libido. But it’s also known to be highly addictive, and side-effects can include becoming highly agitated, confused and paranoid.
Addicts can stop taking care of themselves and suffer weight loss and skin problems. Long-term use can lead to brain damage and there’s always the risk of overdose – leading to coma or death. It’s particular a danger if mixed with alcohol.
‘I was using it every day’
Baxter says he only faced up to the fact that he had a problem 3-4 months ago.
‘I was using it every day. I wasn’t using it for the normal sexual encounters, it was more of an escaping every day life and I needed it to function really so that’s when I knew I had a big problem.
I kind of fell into a blackhole and didn’t really know how to get out of it, (I) lost a lot of weight, started to get paranoid, pushed everyone aside, my family, my friends, – my partner. And I realized “holy shit, I’ve got a problem here and I’ve gotta fix it”.’
He credits his parents with helping him to get into recovery, after they contacted a rehab center in Victoria on his behalf.
‘I have relapsed once for a period of time before I decided to get back on the horse. I guess relapse is a part of recovery but I never thought I would relapse. I thought once I got to rehab and sorted my personal stuff out, and my emotional shit that I would be able to push forward and resist.
‘But life happens, and I kind of found my way back into that circle which I’m now not a part of anymore. I’m doing more narcotics anonymous meetings and trying to get spirituality and in touch with – it might sound a bit wanky – but a higher power, not any religion of any sort but something spiritual to get me through and back on the right track.
‘It’s definitely getting worse. And not just in Australia, it’s even overseas’
Baxter says that he never used crystal while filming his porn scenes – particularly when working abroad as producers expected him to maintain his buff body and act professionally. It was when he returned to Australia that the problems arose. It’s a problem that he sees growing.
‘It’s definitely getting worse. And not just in Australia, it’s even overseas. My partner was saying everywhere he was there was all PnP stuff, all these parties going on. He said it would be hard for me if I went overseas because it’s everywhere.’
As Baxter’s is still relatively new to recovery, he says that he still thinks a lot about the negative impact the drugs have had on his life, but the loving support he is receiving helps him to persevere with keeping clean.
‘Whenever I think I wanna use, I think about when my partner [fellow porn star Rogan Richards] found me at a sex party high as a kite, and the look on his face – it was something I had never seen before, it was very heartbreaking.
‘And I think about how it hurt my family and how I have no friends anymore. And I’m pretty much known in the Melbourne gay scene as a druggy. I just think of that stuff and it stops me from using really.’
‘There seems to be something about crystal in particular that can quickly become problematic’
A UK study published in June found that around 7% of gay men questioned reported using chemsex drugs (crystal, mephedrone, GHB/GBL) in the previous four weeks. That number was concentrated in gay hotspots such as London (where the figure rose to 14%).
Earlier this year, GSN reported on the opening of Europe’s first rehab center for gay menexperiencing addiction to chemsex drugs. The center is operating in the southern England city of Bournemouth.
Another organization providing support to LGBTI commmunities in the UK is London Friend and its dedicated drug service, Antidote. Its CEO, Monty Moncrieff, told GSN: ‘This story echoes what we see in Antidote with all three of the main chemsex drugs, but there seems to be something about crystal in particular that can quickly become problematic, even though sex can feel incredible on it.
‘If you’re worried about it ask for some support as soon as you can. We can help people who want to keep more control over their chem use as well as those who want to stop.’