“Let’s be clear: dealers are not your friends,” snaps Drake over the phone while I’m trying to schedule a full interview. “Drake” is a drug dealer with a few things to say about it.
“Doesn’t matter how well you know them; if you’re fucking them, getting fucked by them, wiped their ass for them… if they are selling you a point [of crystal meth] for eight bucks — friend price — it’s ’cause they’re paying five. There’s always a bottom line. There’s always a biker, Asian ganger or whatevs waiting on their cut. It’s business, pure and simply. They be friending you, but it’s just their technique. Even when the friendship is real, if there’s a kneecap on the line or the like, business comes first.”
Drake is very intense. To get him to agree to the interview, I assured it would be confidential; he provided his own alias with a laugh. He has worked in Toronto’s drug trade for the last 15 years, going from a common street runner to his current position as wholesaler to a team of runners. His biggest clients are based in the gay community.
“Key to winning the drug biz in any town is to lock down clubs and gays — it’s simply where the sales are at. There’s never a sales recession in them places. No matter where you go in North America, in the cities, if you’re looking for drugs, you start in the gaybourhoods. The drugs will always be found there.
“Gay clients tend to have some weird quirks to navigate around, but if you know how to play it, play nice, you are much better off than with most using crowds. I’ve gay customers who will post my bail if busted, give my boys a place to crash if needed. It’s weird, but it’s how it goes.”
Drake identifies as straight but admits to having taken part in a number of homosexual acts over the years “in the name of business.”
“It’s only in gay-town where you’ll get a call to supply a party and then you show up and the place is filled with naked men and several screens of porn. It’s like they think if they can get you to show up in the middle of the action, you’ll be swung into playing with them. Some won’t do an order unless you do. I try to look for runners who know how to work that, or enjoy that, as it really helps rope in some customers.
“You’d never get a call to a straight orgy in the middle of the action; they’d call you before it starts and get you out of the way. In the Village, guys just want you to stay. If you’re not careful, you end up dealer and whore but only getting paid for the one. Some guys don’t mind that; some guys got into running for cheaper scores and specifically to visit crazy fuck parties. It’s weird how no one uses rubbers at these things. When I was less, I used to force runners to carry boxes of condoms before going to the Village. They probably threw them all into the trash,” he laughs.
“Sometimes I feel like we are major orgy suppliers. Bathhouses, too, they’re a big traffic zone, and all those sex sites online. Anyone who sold meth in this city misses St Marc Spa, if they know it or not. So much stuff went in and out of there. It was nuts.”
Though Drake deals in a variety of substances, he says GHB and crystal meth remain the favourites at sex parties and in the underground gay community.
“Water, G, is just about everywhere, I guess. In the clubs, it’s all E, M [DMA]and G. Soon as you are meeting them in an alley or at their house, it’s meth.
“It’s weird how much Tina, how much meth, we sell and how little guys know about it. For a good long time you could sell a point of Tina for twice its worth in the west end. Three or four times that at the bathhouses.” A point is one 10th of a gram of the crystallized substance. Meth is known for its longevity and intensity, so new users can often go for eight hours with one point, depending on the method of ingestion.
“Some guys would just be so happy to get it. We got sloppy with screwing people over for a couple years — was easy. Most didn’t even know what a point was, let alone a ball or more. The addicts will know it better, but the majority don’t. It’s like, I dunno, a fad or something, like everyone’s got to fuck on meth at least once or something. The guys who throw the parties are usually addicts, but their guests cover the spread. A lot of dealers push it for smoking or snorting, as needles get a bit messy. But honestly, if you’re taking it to fuck — needle ends up being the favourite in the long run. In the clubs people buy pills and caps, without much knowledge either. Water, G — that I would call the Village experts of. I know guys who can skim over a bottle and discuss it like wine. I don’t get into snow [coke] or down [heroine].”
A party organizer’s viewpoint
“That’s an urban legend,” says “Kyle” when asked about dealers who like to play. “It happens, but not nearly as much as your guy is making it sound. It’s more likely they’re flirting than actually fucking. A long party might go and go for days, so there will be three or four orders placed. The guys who come and flirt and tease can build an order — but they rarely stay for a fuck, unless they’re known for that.”
Kyle says he hosts at least one PNP party a month; they usually last two nights and three days. “Consider the host usually has other wants from the situation,” he says.
“Usually people coming to a party are all users; they want to use you for drugs, for a space to fuck, for people to fuck them… The host either gets off on that or is getting a cut of whatever they can move within the party. Two guys I always invite come stocked to play the crowd — sell and fuck, but that’s ’cause my parties are tops!”
An officer’s viewpoint
“I would say that in the past four to five years, crystal meth has become more prevalent on the streets of Toronto. This is due to the effect of the drug, the length of the high that it provides, the price that it costs for a hit and the fact that the drug is very addictive; thus, crystal meth is on the rise in Toronto.”
— Detective Constable Tony Canepa, Toronto Police Service