Chemsex is the act of engaging in sex or sexual activity whilst under the influence of illegal drugs.
The practice of Chemsex can involve risks, so it’s important to stay safe and consider if its right for you.
What is Chemsex?
Chemsex is the practice of having sex whilst taking drugs.
Many different types of people enjoy Chemsex as a way of experimenting and enhancing their sex lives.
Those who practice Chemsex often say it can increase feelings of pleasure and intimacy, making sensations and emotions more heightened. Chemsex can also often lead to people feeling less inhibited.
Most recreational or illegal drugs can be used for Chemsex. However, there are 3 drugs more frequently used for Chemsex:
- Methamphetamines, also known as crystal meth or meth, which is a stimulant
- Mephedrone, also known as drone or meow meow, which is a stimulant
- GHB and GBL, also known as liquid ecstasy, which is a sedative
It’s important to consider all the risks and consequences of Chemsex before deciding to take part.
Risks of Chemsex
There are potential risks and consequences of Chemsex, just as there are with most types of drug use and sexual activity.
Whilst taking drugs, your decision-making skills may be impaired. Chemsex can lead to unsafe sex, increasing the risk of contracting or passing on STIs such as chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea.
There can also be issues with consent, due to you or your partner’s altered state of mind and lapses in memory.
Using drugs during Chemsex can also lead to addiction. Most of the drugs used during Chemsex are illegal or controlled substances.
Chemsex can potentially affect your mental health. Many recreational drugs can contribute to long-term anxiety or depression. Some people use drugs and Chemsex as a coping method to deal with other complex issues.
Chemsex can also have an effect on your life. Taking drugs during sex can spill over into other areas like your social or work life. The impact of drugs may have a negative effect on your friendships or other relationships.
It can also impact your “sober” sex life. Some people who have Chemsex may find themselves unable to enjoy sex without drugs.
Practicing Chemsex can also affect your physical health. Taking recreational or illegal drugs can be risky, including the potential of overdosing.
Some people choose to inject methamphetamine, mephedrone and other drugs during Chemsex. This can increase the chances of infections like HIV and Hepatitis B and C, through the sharing of needles.
How to be safe
If you feel Chemsex is something you want to try, there are things you can do to help you and your partner (or partners) stay safe.
Before taking any drugs, it’s a good idea to discuss protection to avoid STIs or unplanned pregnancy. Condoms are one of the best protections against both. However, you can also use other forms of contraception and HIV preventions including Prep and Pep.
Before and after engaging in Chemsex, it can be a good idea to get tested for STIs. Discreet test at home kits are available.
Before beginning Chemsex, it’s important to ensure all partners consent to the range of sexual activity you may enjoy together. This is best done before taking drugs so you are in the right mindset and you can set out your boundaries.
You need to be aware and mindful of the risk of addiction. If concerned, try to steer clear of drugs which are known to be highly addictive. Limit the frequency with which you engage in Chemsex to avoid building up a drug dependency.
Stay safe and aware
It’s natural to want to explore sex in all its forms.
If you decide to try Chemsex – or already do so regularly – there are steps you can take to keep yourself and others safe.
Make sure you don’t feel pressured to take drugs while having sex. It isn’t essential, and it’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to do it.
Chemsex should be your decision alone – don’t give in to coercion or peer pressure. Remember – it’s your body, so it’s your choice.
It’s important to trust the person or people you’re having sex with, whether it’s Chemsex or any other sexual activity.
You should be able to talk openly and freely with them about what you do and don’t want to do. If you feel uncomfortable, walk away.
Like all sexual activity, Chemsex includes the risk of STIs and unplanned pregnancy. Discuss and plan your protection in advance to avoid any regrets.
Sex should be fun and exciting. If you choose to try Chemsex, make sure you stay mindful, vigilant and safe.