Chemsex is a commonly used term to describe sex under the influence of drugs taken immediately before and/or during sexual contact. The main chems (drugs) chemsex refers to are gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) / gamma-butrolcatone (GBL), mephedrone, crystal meth, cocaine and ketamine.
The use of chems during sex can impact your wellbeing, relationships and sexual health in a variety of ways.
Chemsex is extremely popular in the homosexual community. Many men use dating apps such as ‘Grindr’ to ‘hook up’ with other men who use chems whilst having sex. Chemsex parties are not uncommon and can last all weekend.
Chems give the user an enhanced sense of pleasure, friendship and intimacy. It can make the user feel part of something and they can lose sexual inhibitions. The danger in losing sexual inhibition however can result in the user taking part in sexual acts that they would never normally get involved in when not high. This risky sexual behaviour can lead to emotional and physical distress. When the user has sobered up there can be periods of regret, depression and realisation of the risks taken. Longer rougher sex sessions and ‘bareback’ sex (no condom) using chems increases the risk of hepatitis C being transmitted and also a very real chance of picking up HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Our team offer a full sexual health screening service including tests for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV testing, hepatitis B & C as well as vaccinations against hepatitis A & B along with free treatment & advice. We also offer a referral into the psychosexual clinic for those who may want to talk about issues, past or present they may have had using chemsex.
All the services offer professional, non-judgemental care and support for sexual health problems to everybody, irrespective of their gender, sexuality or sex life.
For more information visit Terrance Higgins Trust.