“Something for the Weekend” by James Wharton— Leaving the Army

Wharton, James. “Something For The Weekend: Life in the Chemsex Underworld”, Biteback Publishing, 2017.

Leaving the Army

Amos Lassen

After his army service, James Wharton had many opportunities to start a very successful civilian life. He has his husband, their two dogs and two cars, a very nice house and a book deal. But by a year later all of this gone having fallen apart for various and different reasons. Wharton was feeling alone and dejected, living in a single room and trying to adjust to the gay life he was not allowed to enjoy while in the service.

As he searched for new friends and potential lovers, he became part of London’s gay drug culture and was soon addicted to partying and ‘chemsex’. In this book, he recreates his journey through this dark but popular world and examines the motivating factors that led him to the culture while at the same time examines the paths taken by others. He shares the real goings-on at the weekends for thousands of people after most have gone to bed, and how modern technology allows them to set up, congregate and furnish themselves with drugs, spending hours, often days, behind closed curtains, with strangers and in states of heightened sexual desire. This is a look at a growing gay subculture that has now moved beyond London and established itself as more than a short-term craze. I found it to be frightening to read about this but likewise it is important to know.


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