You're probably thinking "middle class lifestylist elitism" right now, but I think sXe has potential for appeal far beyond the hardcore/punk underground. And here's why. Within a market economy, where money is spent and what is consumed had enormous power, well beyond what the individual consumer is aware of or comes into contact with. Every time you spend money, you are in effect voting; industries grow or collapse based on what people pay for. With drugs and stimulants, there are a lot of very ruthless and unscrupulous profit-chasers making massive money from harmful products, pushed like mad to the extent that they are often seen as socially indispensable (you should see some people's reactions when I tell them i don't drink!). The "edge" in Straight Edge sounds to me like an acknowledgement that this choice marginalises you, but I think for my own sake it's worthwhile. Spending vast sums of money for the privilege of poisoning yourself just to be "sociable"? Nah, fuck that, let's build some alternatives!! There are a lot of people, from all kinds of backgrounds, who resent the social stranglehold of alcohol, but feel that it's easier just to go along with it. Potential there, I think!! That's not even touching on drugs that have been criminalised, though. I'm not 100% anti-drug, as they have been a significant part of virtually every human society ever, and to some extent I can see where the appeal lies. I also support decriminalisation but that's another discussion. I want to focus on consumer choice for now. Most illegally-sold drugs and stimulants are generating massive profits for gangs, and I suspect, the politicians and law enforcers who have been bought off by them. Processing is often by forced labour - people who owe debts or favours, or just happen to get in the wrong place at the wrong time. And of course, in Mexico and Colombia for example, cocaine and other substances are funding the ambitions - and weapons - of some truly vile people. So to conclude (for now), I don't see Straight Edge as some kind of moral high ground or proof of personal integrity, but simply a reasonable response to my will to do the least harm possible, both to myself and others. In this, it's related to my choice of a vegan lifestyle. I don't think it's an end in itself, but I could be doing an awful lot worse. If anyone's got some other perspectives on sXe, I'd love to discuss them.