Chemsex is a specific form of use and involves using one or more drugs, in any combination, to facilitate or to enhance sex.
The three common drugs associated with chemsex are:
- Methamphetamine (Crystal, Crystal Meth, Tina, Meth)
- Mephedrone (meph, drone, M-Cat, Meow-Meow)
- GHB/GBL (G, Gina, Liquid E)
In Ireland, other drugs are also used such as cocaine and dissociative drugs such as ketamine.
Chemsex commonly refers to parties where people in engage in both drug use and sex for a prolonged period.
Chemsex is associated with extreme disinhibition meaning they may do things they wouldn't otherwise do. Drug harm reduction and safer sex practices 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, have injecting equiptment and do not share your equipment.
Drug interactions difficult to predict, for example mixing alcohol and GHB/GBL can be extremely dangerous.
Short and long term side effects of chemsex drugs can include:
- Chronic depression
- Withdrawal - GHB withdrawal can be severe
- Going-under / unconsciousness/ an overdose
- Coma / death
Get more information
- Get information about GHB and harm reduction resources on our site here
- Get safer injecting advice here
- Find a local support service or needle exchange on our site here
- For Sexual Health, STI & HIV Services such as the; MPOWER Outreach Team, The Switchboard Ireland and HIV Ireland visit the Man2Man site here
- Watch: Video on chemsex by David Stuart