What is chemsex and why does it matter? A breakdown of the risks involved within the LGBTQ community.
Sex, drugs and rock n roll have gone hand in hand since the 1960s. But today, we’re going to focus on two out of three vices – sex and drugs, aka chemsex.
What is chemsex?
Chemsex (also known aschemfun or party and play) involves using hallucinogenic and sedative drugs to enhance a sexual experience. The three most common drugs used are GHB, mephedrone and crystal meth. The use of drugs during sex can help intensify physical sensations, increase desire, reduces inhibitions and change psychological experiences. Chemsex can last for many hours and can be experienced with one or multiple partners or during lone masturbation.
However, participating in chemsex can lead to serious health issues, including triggering a drug addiction. Because chemsex is most common amongst the LGBTQ community, particularly with gay men, bisexual men and transgender women, there is also an increased risk of transmitting HIV between partners. In this article, we’re going breakdown the risks involved in chemsex and what you can do if you or a loved one needs help:
Chemsex and drug addiction
Chemsex comes with many risks, especially to those who are prone to drug addiction. Since it enhances a sexual experience, many rely on the use of drugs when having sex. The more often someone engages with chemsex, the more likely they are to become dependent on drugs when participating in any sexual activity.
It is very common for people to experience a ‘comedown’ after taking the drugs, which usually involves periods of depression and feeling low. During a comedown, some will choose to continue the drugs again to avoid feeling the negative emotions, creating an addictive cycle.
Chemsex and the risk of HIV transmission
As well as addiction, Chemsex can also increase the risk of HIV transmission between sexual partners. With fewer physical inhibitions, participants may forget to use condoms or take the necessary medications to prevent transmission, even if they had intended to beforehand.
Some anti-HIV drugs can also react badly with chemsex drugs, and can often be lethal. One example, taking Ritonavir (a common HIV treatment) and with crystal meth together has been known to result in severe reactions and fatal overdoses.
Recovering from chemsex and drug addiction
As mentioned before, participating in chemsex can have a lethal effect on those with a drug addiction. It can be a challenge to resist using drugs when having sex, especially if you have become dependent on them. However, there are ways to help treat an addiction and build a healthier sex life.
As Inspired Recovery is an LGBTQ-focused rehabilitation centre, many of our therapists and staff are not only experienced in treating chemsex addiction but are also well versed in the queer experience. Our goal is to provide a safe and affirming space for gay and bisexual men and women, and transgendered folks who are seeking recovery for their addiction.
If you or a loved one is struggling to break away from chemsex and drug addiction, call us for a free consultation on 561-899-6088.
Are you struggling with addiction?
Call Inspire Recovery today at 561-899-6088 for a free & confidential consultation.