Straight edge (sometimes abbreviated sXe or signified XXX or X) is a subculture of hardcore punk whose refrain from using alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs, in reaction to the excesses of punk subculture.Some people put a large X on their hand or on tattoos to show that they follow this lifestyle.
For some, this even extends to refraining from engaging in promiscuous sex, following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and/or not using caffeine or prescription drugs. The term straight edge was adopted from the 1981 song “Straight Edge” hardcore punk band Minor Threat. Some straight hard core people have got into gangs in the US, but the majority just want to just live a better life, without any violence.
There are many of us round the world who don’t like ‘poison’ like alcohol, tobacco and drugs (unless some prescription drugs).Straight edge can be far more simplified. That’s me. We are more educated now.
Already since ‘coming out’ as straight edge, if you can call it that, one of my friends said ‘isn’t that rather ‘extreme’?’ He also said, knowing that I am also Ace (Asexual), ‘why do you want to be in another minority?’
There is pressure to follow a toxic lifestyle which will always be there, so we all have to be strong in ourselves to deal with this and get support from others. I am looking at finding people who also have this better lifestyle just to feel we aren’t alone, and I know I am not.
For as long as I can remember I didn’t like the boozy, toxic lifestyle that some of my friends had. When I was eighteen I had friends from Sevenoaks in Kent who thought it would be cool to go out every weekend and just get p*ssed. We did pub crawls and were encouraged to drink as much as we liked. I had a go ,just to see what it was like, even though it was very pointless. I think it only happened a few times, as I knew it was wrong. I didn’t like the hangovers, and being sick for hours. I never was stupid enough to be so drunk not know what I was doing. Above all, I wanted to do something more interesting on my weekends.
I couldn’t see myself benefiting from being with these so-called friends and took the decision to leave them. I don’t have any regrets. I don’t get their lifestyle. They wouldn’t respect my views, so what was the point? Generally I don’t mix with any heavy drinkers, smokers or people who take recreational drugs. I am lucky in that it hasn’t been too much of a problem, but in the workplace it can be, so many people would rather booze to have a good time. I find it really boring being with them. It is very difficult for me, but having a label like being ‘straight edge’ does help. Nowadays with so many recreational drugs around, we need this lifestyle more than ever. As a Millwall supporter, you can imagine just what a challenge it is to be straight edge with a crowd of boozers who hang round pubs all the time. I would rather hang out in a coffee shop before I go to a match, and drink decaffeinated coffee, and you get a seat as well! I can’t understand it why boozers like to stand up all the time.
When I was 12, I found some cigarettes my parents had left for guests, and just smoked a few puffs. Having seen university programmes of cancer caused by smoking when I was skiving off school, this made up my mind. My parents never talked about smoking with me, even though they gave up earlier on more for financial reasons.
I have seen what booze does to people, often turns them into monsters, idiots, getting into financial debt etc. Smokers look sick, seem to be lazy and it just plain stupid to smoke such junk.
I think there ought to be a lot more levels of straight edge, for example, not eating junk food. However, the three XXXs (no booze, smoking and recreational drugs) is enough for me.
I had not come across this word until recently and it is a relief there is a lifestyle out there, and not just for those who are religious. It is not a boring lifestyle, far from it!
As one straight edge person said, spending your money on booze, fags and drugs is completely a waste of money. When I was twenty, I didn’t do any of this and saved up hard to round the world, visiting Vancouver, Australia, Scandinanvia and Hong Kong. If I blew it on stupid stuff, I would not have seen and done, or experienced such joys. I get a high on adventure, a great meal, doing positive and constructive things where I get great results. i don’t want to get high on stupid, pointless stuff, and get my mind all f_cked up.
Even as someone who is middle aged, we get rammed with pressure to drink Prosecco, craft beer and all that crap. It is bad enough having supermarkets, beer cafes, off licences everywhere. I just think it is so stupid, but it is their choice. Who wants to spend hours in a bar anyway? They are so boring and there’s bu**er all to do!
The London Ambulance has received 100 callouts related to alcohol-related incidents recently and which doubles over the weekend. What is wrong with society? The Ambulance and Police have a lot better things to do, why are people wanting to waste their value resources?
I really don’t want to be part of that culture, and nor do a lot of people. They are rejecting toxic lifestyles and going straight edge. This is happening right round the world.
You don’t have to have much of an interest in straight edge punk music, you can just simply lead a clean life. It is not boring, I seem to have much more fun without all this toxic stuff. Let’s be the change!.
National Edge Day is 17th October, 2016
Some straight edge Youtubers: