Chemsex is a common term used by gay or bisexual men to imply they are about to participate in sexual activity while under the influence of stimulant drugs. Typically this can involve several participants.
It’s important to note that it is distinct from other drug use which later leads to sexual activity. Chemsex is where men take a certain drug or drugs because they are about to have sex.
Chemsex normally involves one or a combination of the following drugs:
Mephedrone (also known as m-cat or meow meow). This was previously a legal high but has now been categorised as a Class B drug. It acts similar to amphetamine in that it can make users feel euphoric and affectionate, but can also overstimulate your heart and nervous system causing lasting or potentially fatal damage.
GHB/GBL (also known as ‘G”). These Class C drugs can have a relaxing and anaesthetic effect which can reduce users inhibitions. However, they can be very dangerous when mixing with depressants including alcohol.
Methamphetamine (also known as Crystal Meth). This is a Class A Drug which makes users feel energised. This drug is particularly addictive but research has suggested that over time this can cause neurological damage.
Chemsex is particularly dangerous because you are putting a variety of substances into your body and this can increase or decrease your heartrate. The use of drugs, particularly at parties, can make unprotected sex more likely as drugs act as sexual disinhibitors. This significantly increases the risk of being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection or blood borne virus such as HIV.