Chemsex

Chemsex

Chemsex is a specific form of recreational drug use and involves using one or more of three drugs, in any combination, to facilitate or enhance sex, with or without other drugs.

 

The three common drugs used are:

  • Methamphetamine (Crystal, Crystal Meth, Tina, Meth)
  • Mephedrone (meph, drone, M-Cat, Meow-Meow)
  • GHB/GBL (G, Gina, Liquid E)

 

Chemsex commonly refers to sex that can sometimes last for several days where there is little need for sleep or food. The heightened sexual focus enables more extreme sex, for longer, often with more partners.

 

Men may engage in Chemsex for many reasons, some include:

  • To feel more sexually free
  • To overcome fear of rejection / shame / stigma
  • Wanting ‘better’ sex, that lasts longer
  • Seeking intimacy
  • To connect with others
  • To feel part of a group or community

 

Chemsex is associated with extreme disinhibition. Some people use Chemsex to do things they might otherwise not usually do. Safer sex can be less important to those under the influence and therefore the chances of transmission of HIV and STIs are greatly enhanced.

As with the use of other recreational drugs, engaging in Chemsex can affect our choices and our judgement. Some people may feel unable to consent to sex when highly intoxicated. Be aware of your limits and your right to say no to sex or sexual acts that you don’t feel comfortable with. A good way of achieving this is by setting boundaries before engaging in Chemsex.

 

Plan in advance – carry condoms and lube and do not share injecting equipment.

 

Drug interactions can be serious and difficult to predict, for example between alcohol and GHB/GNL. Side effects from the drugs used for Chemsex can be more sever than other commonly used recreational drugs.

 

Short and long term side effects can include:

  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Chronic depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Going-under / unconsciousness
  • Coma / death
Tips on safer chemsex
  • Get screened for STIs regularly including HIV and hepatitis C
  • Don’t let someone else inject drugs for you.
  • Play with someone you trust if possible, as your judgment can be dramatically impaired on chems.
  • Establish a set of boundaries while sober about what you are not prepared to do sexually that you can refer to later when high.
  • Don’t play for too long – paranoia and hallucinations can be common on your second day awake.
  • Do not share needles, or other injecting equipment. Clean needles can be obtained from your local needle exchange. Check out our safer injecting practices page and please speak to a health advisor at your local sexual health clinic as chemsex puts you at higher risk of infections.
  • If you’re HIV negative, and concerned about any HIV risks during a chemsex episode, check out our information about PEP, a medicine which can help protect you from becoming positive if taken within 72 hours of the possible exposure.
  • If you’re looking to spend your evenings/weekends/spare time differently, reach out to some of the support helplines and/or counselling services listed on our website. There are a number of alternative sporting, social and recreational activities, specifically for gay men which may help you break habits of chemsex use.
  • Don’t play too regularly if you want to avoid depression, weight loss and psychological dependence. Change up your sex life with some sober sex, some dating and plenty of non-sexual recreation and intimacy.
Are you slamming / injecting drugs?

If you are injecting or ‘slamming’ your drugs, it is important to know how to do it in the safest possible way. Merchants Quay Ireland have created a booklet on safer injecting practices which you can download here. It includes information on safer injecting practices and types of injecting. Advice on how to find a vein and the equipment that should be used. Recommendations on how to best care for your veins, avoiding vein damage and when you may need to seek help.

Online Support for Chemsex Users

10 short Chemsex films (two mins each) including tips on playing safe, making changes, managing cravings, harm reduction and relapse prevention, and better sober sex.

Small Achievable Goals

Know What You Want

Cravings

Three Minute Technique

Sober Sex

Boundaries

Subtle Messages

Pay The Price

Sexy Things

The Rose

GET TESTED

NEED TO TALK

PRINT THIS PAGE

VIEW LEAFLET

EMERGENCY EXIT