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[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 174][Reference 176]

E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders

Appendix 1: Reference Section

175 Visit to The Fridge, a gay club in Brixton, 26/2/94

I was invited by a dealer who called herself Samantha to come on a tour of the gay clubs in London. With blond wig and false eyelashes, she could have been a transvestite, but assured me she was a woman. She has been selling E in gay clubs for about six months and has done very well, due, she believes, to giving a good deal. Having started by buying a few E's at a time from other dealers and selling in the same clubs, she has just reached the stage where she can buy in thousands (at #4.50 each rather than hundreds at #7.50 or handfuls at #10, and she also has two assistant 'runners' to cover other clubs. She always sells at #15. Although so well established and experienced, Samantha thought E was always mixture of LSD and other drugs.

Samantha explained that clubs need to have E easily available to develop a good atmosphere, so clubs have to allow dealers to operate and even encourage them. However, they also have to make a pretence at stopping drug dealing so their security staff would occasionally pounce on one who was new or they didn't like and throw him out having confiscated his money and E - which they discreetly sell back to the favoured dealers providing a bonus for the staff. Asked if dealers were ever arrested, she said that only happened if one got big enough to challenge established main dealers, who, she believed, who would set them up perhaps in cooperation with security and police, who would provide an undercover buyer. Asked if she had to pay off security to operate, she said she never had but other dealers had said they did. There were always a number of dealers in each club who knew each other and were supportive, helping each other out. Each had his own clients and sold on reputation. She was certainly welcomed and we were ushered in as honoured guests without queuing.

Nowadays Samantha doesn't mix business with pleasure; i.e. she finishes selling before taking E herself and dancing. This is a lesson learned the hard way: once she simply lost her entire stock but was having too much of a good time to care. On another occasion she stuffed a plastic bag full of E down between her breasts while dancing and sweated so profusely that the bag filled up and dissolved the pills into an unsaleable mush. To salvage it she added a bit of acid and speed (to make up for it being sweaty), bought some capsules of a proprietary brand medicine and replaced the contents with the mixture, then sold them as a 'new E just in'. They were so popular that she had people coming up to her for weeks afterwards asking for more!

The music at The Fridge was more pop than rave and the atmosphere was friendly, with perhaps a majority on E, though quite a lot were drinking beer and probably using other drugs too. The vibe was gentle but retained the sexual feelings of the gay pick-up scene - not the kind of atmosphere where the E magic takes over and people feel as one tribe. A lot of men took their tops off to show off their well built bodies, and one told me that he would often meet the same men as he saw in the gym earlier. Myself and my partner didn't feel awkward even though we were older and 'straight'. In fact, there were a lot of women there, and though some were gay others came because they liked to be able to have fun without predative men around. There was no chill out space, though there was a dark room upstairs for groping and sex - used by men who were looking for a sex partner but had decided to cut their losses, according to Samantha.

Afterwards we were invited to go onto Trade at Turnmills, open from 3.30 am until 11 am on Sundays. This she described as a chill out with techno music. The other main gay venue at present is Heaven on Saturday nights, and Turnmills on Sunday nights where they play light techno from 10.30 pm till 5 am Mondays.

[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 174][Reference 176]
E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders (
HTMLized by Lamont Granquist (