Former solider-turned LGBT activist and author James Wharton has revealed that he was once raped by a man he’d invited to his home for a so-called ‘chemsex party’.
In Attitude’s September issue – available to download and in shops now – the Iraq veteran opens up about his harrowing experiences of London’s gay drug scene, recounting the moment he came round from a drug-induced stupor to find that he was being sexually assaulted in his own home.
“I woke up at 5am having been partying all weekend. I’d gone under in my own flat, hosting maybe 10. Someone had put me to bed and the party continued,” James recalls.
“When I woke up, there was a person having sex with me. His immediate words to me were: ‘Don’t worry, this is what you wanted.’
Image: Murray Clarke
“I took one look at the guy and I knew that was never in a million years what I would have wanted. I went mad. I kicked everybody out, I got upset… I cried my eyes out and I sulked for days and days.”
The 30-year-old ex-serviceman, who made history in 2012 when he appeared on the cover of Attitude with his then-civil partner to call for the introduction of equal marriage in the UK, adds that shame and guilt over his own drug-taking stopped him from reporting the incident.
“I thought to myself, ‘should I phone the police?’ But then the first thing that went through my mind was that I’d been off my tits on drugs,” he says.
“The next thought was: ‘But I invited everyone to my house to kind of have sex, really.’ Then the third thing was, ‘what about everyone else who is here, am I going to have to dob them in and will they all be in trouble?’
“Basically, in my come-down state, I figured out it was better to not call the police.”
James, who charts his experiences of the UK’s gay drug scene in his new book Something for the Weekend: Life in the Chemsex Underworld, says that sadly his experience is not a unique one.
“I spoke to people when writing this book, a number of people, and the propensity of sexual assaults, the frequency in which something similar happens to other people, is off the charts,” he admits.
“There’s a whole culture of male rape going on, in chemsex, that is going completely unreported.”