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You have to give the editorial work behind Joint Hunger credit for piling on the ambiguity.
The needle lets you wonder if the joint is a marijuana cigarette instead of what lurks beneath the muscular blond’s* towel.
Is the novel about drugs or queer sex (not that the two can’t happily combine). Or is the guy using steroids.
The blond* chest and leg hair is pretty well done for this sort of thing. Often is just looks as if the hunk has a skin disease.
* Microsoft Word insists that the possessive of blond must include an ‘e,’ I say the word works with or without.