Ahh, the DarkerAndEdgier side of the arts (especially music and writing). Maybe you find the works of writers such as Creator/HunterSThompson, Creator/WilliamSBurroughs, and Creator/KenKesey interesting, or maybe you want to tell the true story of your time as a groupie or write bandslash that actually resonates with people other than just the YaoiFangirl alone. There's many stories that fall under this generalized umbrella - the SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll story can be anything from its own self-contained story to a smaller part of a larger piece of any kind of drama possible.

!'''Necessary Tropes'''

A SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll story must at least use the following tropes in some way, or generally tends to do so.

* The SexTropes. Obviously, there will be sex. Meaning at least some of these and a higher [[UsefulNotes/MediaClassifications Content Rating]].
* HardDrinkingTropes: Alcohol will be consumed. Much alcohol.
* NightlifeIndex: Where the fun happens/begins.
* TheSmokingSection: If the story is set where people would believably use a smoked drug, specifically tobacco and marijuana, this section will help.
* ThisIsYourIndexOnDrugs: Some of the tropes here may come into play as well.
* MedicalDrama / DeathTropes / RapeAndSexualHarassmentTropes: For negative or balanced portrayals, these will possibly make an appearance.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: Either your characters are musicians (usually of the rock / HardRock / HeavyMetal / HipHop varieties, though this can be subverted/averted/inverted - imagine a classical or opera troupe doing all of this stuff) or while they aren't they are either artists or outsiders/delinquents/similar and there's a kickass soundtrack for the fun...

!'''Choices, Choices'''

When writing a SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll story, you have three options for your story in general.

PlayedStraight / positive portrayal: You're wanting to make the reader part of the party, and/or give the story a generally fun, approving, wild atmosphere, or at least do so to set them up for the DramaBomb when you deconstruct it. Your sex descriptions/scenes will be explicit or riding the very line between explicit and not, and can feature almost any combination of the sex tropes imaginable, though kink and APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy are almost givens, and EveryoneIsBi / EveryoneIsGay is definitely workable in some contexts (everyone actually ''in'' the story is bi or gay e.g. it's about a bisexual couple, it's set in an accepting setting). Everyone will have StdImmunity or it's not mentioned. For alcohol and drugs, tropes such as AlcoholInducedIdiocy (or drug induced), the BarBrawl for fun, the DrinkingContest / DrinkingGame (or a variant involving drugs), DrunkenMontage, the DrunkenSong / OdeToIntoxication, WineIsClassy, EverybodySmokes, RandomSmokingScene, SmokingIsCool, AddictionPowered, ArtisticStimulation, BetterThanSex, ContemplatingYourHands, the DrFeelgood as a source of drugs, the DrunkenMaster (a character is ''better'' at something drunk/high), the FunctionalAddict (any addicts portrayed will tend to be this if you're going for a completely positive story, or there will be no addicts at all), HigherUnderstandingThroughDrugs, HookersAndBlow (obviously for this story), ImmuneToDrugs, IntoxicationEnsues (a MAJOR one), JunkieProphet, TheStoner, EruditeStoner, StonersAreFunny, WackyFratboyHijinks, WhatDidIDoLastNight, and ''many'' more.

{{Deconstructed}} / negative portrayal: The story is itself the DramaBomb, or is in a work leading up to it, and/or is being retold in a regretful way, or there's other reasons you want the story to show the less pleasant sides of SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll. You can still do explicit sex here, or you can cut away and use a lot of FadeToBlack and discretion shots. If you want to do explicit sex, you can play with the sex tropes to make the sex awkward/unpleasant/strange (but still good, or alternately awful for at least one person involved), possibly due to the alcohol/drugs. (For example, some drugs, in the absence of adding ED pills, will almost always invoke TheLoinsSleepTonight for a male-bodied character - ecstasy/MDMA is absolutely notorious for this due to its effect on serotonin.) You can also, in a negative portrayal story, invoke characters being victims of the RapeAndSexualHarassmentTropes or contracting an STD, though you need to be very careful to avoid UnfortunateImplications. For your booze and drugs tropes, you will be using stuff like TheAlcoholic, AlcoholInducedIdiocy, the BarBrawl as a less fun/funny event, CantHoldHisLiquor, DrinkingOnDuty, DrowningMySorrows, DrunkDriver, the sad version of the DrunkenMontage or BingeMontage, InVinoVeritas, OffTheWagon, SorryOccifer, UnsuspectinglySoused, CigaretteOfAnxiety, GoodSmokingEvilSmoking (and a non-tobacco variant on this is possible if the story is not anti-all drugs, e.g. the weed smokers are "good" and EruditeStoner or StonersAreFunny, the people smoking crack cocaine or methamphetamine are the "evil" smokers), CompressedAbstinence, CompressedVice, DrugsAreBad (the ''point'' of this story is pretty much that drugs or some drugs or irresponsible use is bad), GoingColdTurkey, and many, many others, usually subverted or inverted. You may also want to take a look around the tropes under MedicalDrama since this story could well end up in the hospital... or in the morgue, so DeathTropes might be a place to look too.

Balanced portrayal (some of both): Your story can pick and choose from any of the above, combining them in a way to tell a story that has good sex, not so good sex, and everything in between, that has some characters who drink, smoke, and do drugs and some that don't, that has everyone from the FunctionalAddict and non-addicts to the most stereotypical of addict, that can be anything from a realistic take on drugs as opposed to drugs being one big party or DrugsAreBad. It can be a SliceOfLife or a ShaggyDogStory or a true story very deftly disguised.


AnatomicallyImpossibleSex: Make absolutely sure you know how sex works before taking on a story like this, and/or fade the sex to black.

IkeaErotica (when unintended): Also, unless your goal IS for the sex to be mechanistic and emotionless and boring and weird (which ''can'' be done well in a negative or balanced story), you want to make your character and the readers/viewers get into it, find it enjoyable.

ArtisticLicensePharmacology and MarijuanaIsLSD: ''RESEARCH ANY DRUG YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT.'' No that doesn't mean use it, it means pop on over to the vaults of Website/{{Erowid}} and, if you're running anonymizing software or can justify it for writing, bluelight.ru and drugsforum and other places with users discussing their experiences. Official government/medical information may be useful to a degree, but you have to keep in mind all of it is written from a perspective of DrugsAreBad and can only help a little for positive or balanced portrayals.

EveryoneIsBi / EveryoneIsGay without justifying it, ''even if your story is slash or yaoi,'': It's very easy to slip into this, especially if you really are writing in an accepting setting (e.g. your story is to be posted online instead of being an attempt at mainstream genre fiction or lit fic) and you like the idea. Unfortunately, it carries some major UnfortunateImplications, throws reality out the window entirely and breaks all suspension of disbelief, and pigeonholes your story if done wrong. To do it ''right,'' you need to justify it in some way (e.g. it's at a gay club/resort/etcetera, the character in the story is gay or same sex preferring bisexual so of course the character is not seeking out tons of heterosexual sex or the het is offscreen, everyone in the band is an out bisexual, etcetera...)
* This doubly important in historical settings, such as the 1970's Glam Rock scene for example, as attitudes to LGBTQIA+ people at certain times could vary heavily depending on context, and could be patchy in terms of overall acceptance, which type of behaviour is accepted or which kind of people were accepted.

NoBisexuals (or no gay people): Alternately, if EveryoneIsHavingLotsOfSex there's going to be some people having sex with people of the same sex, and no, not all of them are going to be [[GirlOnGirlIsHot lesbians]]. Statistics are roughly that anywhere from 1 in 10 to 3 in 10 people in real life will be bisexual or homosexual so, unless you're writing solely heterosexual porn, don't ignore that at least some people might not be heterosexual.

The CriticalResearchFailure in general: if you are writing about musicians, for example, at least know a little bit about what they are, what their culture/subculture is, how they play their instruments, just general stuff other than the sex, drugs, and the music. One should know how any drugs depicted are used and how different methods of use can cause different results.

The RapeAndSexualHarassmentTropes, if depicted positively or neutrally: There are a select few exceptions for this (such as your character being very very very evil and an UnreliableNarrator, the story happening in an culture/era when it could be argued that the culture/era itself permitted such behavior, such as your victim character not understanding that what happened really was an assault, for example) but generally, if you depict one of these tropes as a ''good'' thing or just a way for the boys to have fun... it's going to make your story at the very least a lot less enjoyable for a lot of people, and full of UnfortunateImplications. And if you're writing RealPersonSlash or even worse, a roman a clef based on true persons, if you throw in these tropes without proof, ''you can be sued.'' These tropes should be handled with the care afforded dynamite - and usually have no place being depicted as "fun" or "partying" behavior.

UnfortunateImplications in general: They are very, very, very easy to stumble into. You might want to check out SoYouWantTo/AvoidUnfortunateImplications.

!'''Potential Subversions'''

* Having your musicians be something other than rock, metal, or hip-hop/rap is one mentioned at the beginning of the article, and one that would bring a fresh take on the idea. Especially because this can be TruthInTelevision - for example, EDM and outlaw country can easily rival rock and metal for amounts of drug users and sexually promiscuous people.

* Setting the story in a setting different than the usual. For example, the VisualKei band is touring America for the first time, or alternately, the protagonist is an American in the underground in Japan. This carries some major pitfalls of doing the research on the locale, but if done well can help the story.

* Having the characters with the worst problems (or at least some of them) survive in a negative or balanced but mostly negative story. This is a sometimes TruthInTelevision subversion that also handily gives balance to the story and makes it more deep than AnAesop about "don't do drugs"/"don't live the party lifestyle" - it can instead become something about the fragility of life and the luck of the draw, that a character who does all the "right" things (e.g. tries to quit, gets rehab and therapy, gets religion instead) dies or gets seriously messed up, while the character who has used and is using every drug under the sun in every way possible is alive and (somewhat) well as long as he has his fix.

* Having a character be the EthicalSlut, interested in having sex for their pleasure and that of their partners, rather than just the often sexist/misogynistic "pump and dump"/"use 'em and lose 'em" attitude many of these type of stories have toward the sex involved. Or deconstructing someone who takes the selfish approach toward sex.

!'''Writers' Lounge'''

!!'''Suggested Themes and Aesops'''

* The FamilyUnfriendlyAesop is your friend, unless you're writing an entirely negative story, you'll be using many of these. Although, you can include straight FamilyFriendlyAesop aesops about friendship, about looking out for other people, about finding joy in the moment in any kind of these stories.

* EverybodyMustGetStoned or the StonerFlick: A story centered around cannabis culture, with in-jokes and other stuff that is most truly funny/mindblowing/interesting to those watching under the influence or who have once been.

* WackyFratboyHijinks and SexComedy: Anything by, say, Creator/JuddApatow might be an example.

* The RoadTripPlot / TheQuest: The band is on tour. A writer needing inspiration packs up and hits the road to find it. Many, many similar ideas, but the common theme is there's a road trip, a tour, some form of travel, and it becomes this story.

* DrugsAreBad (or a certain drug/irresponsible use of drugs is bad), [[SexIsEvil Casual, promiscuous sex is dangerous and meaningless]], and/or celebrity/art/music/fame is empty and shallow: If you're writing a negative or balanced but heavily negative leaning story, this is possibly the territory you will enter. Keep in mind the pitfalls of UnfortunateImplications, which are just as common here as in positive stories, but it ''is'' possible to tell such a story and have it be believable and real.

* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: You're bringing the reader/viewer as close as you can into the world of being on the drugs involved, with a psychedelic, trippy ambience for the story, a KudzuPlot at best, and possibly everything degenerating into either enjoyable or horrific batshit insanity. This can tie in with the next...

* The ShaggyDogStory and ShootTheShaggyDog: Many of these type of stories will become like this.

!!'''Potential Motifs'''

* Lots of explicitly depicted (or at least {{lime}} and FadeToBlack) sex, of TheBeautifulElite and the HookersAndBlow variety, or alternately of the desperate LowerClassLout or NaughtyByNight variety.
* Lots of luridly depicted, explicit use of alcohol and drugs, with your characters possibly either being very learned snobs about the substances (as in WineIsClassy and the OpiumDen) or alternately being so ignorant of them they don't even know what they're experiencing (as in UnsuspectinglySoused, IntoxicationEnsues).
* Vivid or visceral description of music or clothing that draws a parallel between that and the description of drug trips or drunken hallucinations. Alternatively, deliberately BeigeProse that suggests disconnect between the person and their actions.

!!'''Suggested Plots'''


!!'''Set Designer''' / '''Location Scout'''

!!'''Props Department'''

!!'''Costume Designer'''

!!'''Casting Director'''

!!'''Stunt Department'''


!'''Extra Credit'''
* Generally, in RealLife drug user settings, there's somewhat of a "junkie hierarchy" akin to the famous "geek hierarchy," except it has several different "sliding scales." Those are drugs used, method of use, how much of a life outside getting wasted someone has, and/or their financial status. This enables for much internecine conflict/refusal to accept one has a problem/disinterest in legalisation/other issues. A rough version is as follows. Note this has no basis in law, or sometimes even fact - no more than the "geek hierarchy's" reasoning as to why erotic furries are somehow "worse" or "more worthy of mockery" than Star Wars fanboys.
** Drugs used:
*** Nutmeg, morning glory seeds, datura, DXM cough syrup (-0, often mocked for being too "chickenshit" or underage to get alcohol or marijuana, or in the case of datura, for being TooDumbToLive)
*** Alcohol to anything but being a raging alcoholic, caffeine, tobacco, legitimately prescribed psych meds or painkillers (0, often assumed to be a "normal" or "square" or "novice" if not an undercover cop or similar)
*** Marijuana/cannabis (1 to 2, depending on the "life outside being TheStoner" scale)
*** MDMA/LSD/shrooms/the other "hallucinogens" or "entheogens" (2 to 3, generally considered a "psychonaut" or "raver" or "party" type or alternately a "hippie")
*** Painkillers/stimulants/other legal pills used for recreational purposes (3, possibly 4 depending on how "addicted" the user seems and method of use - if they are simply popping pills, it's likely to be seen as more of a 3, a mid-range "fun" user, than a 4 verging on being a junkie)
*** Powder cocaine (usually 3 to 4, again depending on how addicted the user seems)
*** Alcohol to the degree of being a homeless, blackout gutter drunk (5, a stereotypical "alcoholic bum")
*** Crack cocaine (generally considered a 5, a "crackhead" simply due to the behaviour of some users and the unfortunate messaging that crack was somehow "worse" than powder because poorer and darker-skinned people preferred it)
*** Crystal methamphetamine (5, usually considered a "junkie" or "tweaker" unless the use is VERY limited or temporary)
*** Heroin/morphine/fentanyl (5, generally considered a junkie with any use beyond a one-time experiment)
*** Bath salts (either a -0 with "stupid teenagers" or a 5 with someone who is truly messed up from them)
*** PCP/propofol/other general anesthetics... (ReadingsAreOffTheScale, if someone's known for drugs like these, they are considered TooDumbToLive ''even by other addicts and junkies.'')
** Method of use:
*** Eating/drinking/taking as pill or consumable tablet or the like (0 usually, and often considered either the "safest" or the "wimpiest" way to take drugs, depending on to whom you are speaking)
*** Smoking/inhaling (1 to 3 depending on the drug in question)
*** Snorting (automatically a 3 to 4 as most drugs that are snorted are pretty high on the above scale - one doesn't snort cannabis for example)
*** Injecting (5, to the point that it's actually considered, among most drug users, that the "line" between "having fun" and being a junkie is sticking a needle in your arm - injection drug users are often ''heavily'' looked down upon by other drug users as well as society at large)
*** Other ([[AssShove rectal]], [[EyeScream intraocular]], [[GroinAttack via the genitals]] (ReadingsAreOffTheScale, again, generally someone using drugs in this way is considered to be so far addicted nothing else works, to be near-insane, or alternately, to be trying to be seen as a badass at the possible cost of their life or organs.)
** Lifestyle/financial status
*** The rich (0, generally considered to just be having a good time with HookersAndBlow unless they go to jail or rehab, and sometimes even then)
*** Middle class with hidden/secret use of anything except meth or heroin and/or the middle to upper class version of TheStoner (0 to 1)
*** TheSlacker broke version of TheStoner (1 to 2, mocked possibly but generally seen as harmless if annoying by other users and sometimes even by society)
*** TheAlcoholic or prescription abuser/user of powder cocaine/ whose use is known but who remains a FunctionalAddict (3, considered to be going into the danger zone, but often still socially tolerable enough by others to the point of being enabled)
*** Anyone poor or abjectly broke using the stimulants or opiates (4, generally considered to be on the edge of the next category)
*** "Crackheads" for crack cocaine or "cokeheads" or "fiends" for powder, "meth heads" or "tweakers" or "speed freaks" for methamphetamine, "junkies" for heroin/opiates, gutter drunk alcoholics (5, with the trope AddledAddict in full force, and with their behavior alienating even most more "casual" users of even the substance they prefer.)

This is actually important when depicting characters who are drug users, as it allows you some idea of what you are depicting and what viewers with experience (or even with none, but who are being introduced to the world) will think. There's obviously a ton of flexibility and ways to invert or subvert the "hierarchy," but it's important that to keep in mind if you're showing, say, someone injecting drugs he or she will ''almost automatically'' be assumed to be someone with serious drug issues, while if you're depicting someone smoking even the same substance, you'll likely need to do a little more to establish the seriousness of their problem, especially if the character is rich or has a full life aside from the substance, for example.

One very clever way of subverting the "junkie hierarchy" is to juxtapose steps that absolutely don't align in it - for example, depicting a rich, WineIsClassy alcohol user (e.g. an square on both the "substance hardness" and "lifestyle" sliding scales agreeing to consume alcohol rectally (off the scale on off-the-wall consumption methods) for the sheer HolyShitQuotient (pun not intended), or alternately a person who is acting like and whom you've set up to be read as a crackhead/tweaker (a 5 on the lifestyle scale) be revealed to somehow simply be having a ''very unusual'' reaction to/overdose of nicotine or caffeine (the 0/"square" legal stimulants).

!!'''The Greats'''
* Literature/FearAndLoathingInLasVegas by Creator/HunterSThompson is a TropeMaker.
* "Naked," by Kevin Brooks. It looks at the 1970's punk scene in London in a negative light.
* "The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star" by Music/NikkiSixx and Ian Gittins, is a biography of a member of one of the most famous bands of 1980's HairMetal.
* Film/WithnailAndI is known for depicting a fairly realistic, grungy look at late '60's alcoholism and drug use in the U.K, although it may have limited application, as neither of the main characters are "on the scene" and are basically isolated except for their drug dealer.

!!'''The Epic Fails'''
* Literature/GoAskAlice (the book, not the Columbia University website) is known best for failing ''horribly'' at everything from drug pharmacology to sex education, and to be, despite its occasionally lurid for the time descriptions, a thinly veiled anti-sex, anti-drug, and general abstinence tract written by a very clumsy writer. It's also notorious for making the false claim of being the RealLife journal of a real teenager, which was a complete lie.
* Film/ReeferMadness: ''Oh, where to START.'' This film failed so much at its over the top, absolutely wrong depiction of cannabis that it became a ''joke'' and a StonerFlick for the sheer stupidity and inaccuracy that made it something that could ''never'' be taken seriously, and where WatchItStoned is the best advice related to it that there ''is.''