Chemsex refers to an extremely risky behavior involving certain recreational drugs and sex. Also known as PnP, (Party and Play) or chemfun, chemsex is typically practiced by gay men who learn about chemsex events on the Internet or on networking apps developed specifically for that purpose. The events can last an entire weekend or more and may involve sex with several people.
The drugs reduce inhibitions and bring about arousal, allowing individuals to stay awake and have sex multiple times, usually without reaching orgasm.
Experts aren’t sure how many individuals engage in chemsex, but it appears to be a relatively small number of people, primarily in urban areas such as London and New York. However, public health services note that the practice, which appears to be expanding around the world, has been reported in Australia, Mexico, Canada and Asia.
Drugs Commonly Associated with Chemsex
Chemsex is different from behavior in which a person gets high, loses inhibitions and ends up having sex. Individuals who engage in Chemsex take drugs first with the sole intention of having sex while under the influence.
Drugs commonly used by Chemsex participants are those that boost confidence and lower inhibitions while bringing on an intense rush of euphoria. Typical drugs include:
Mephedrone– Also known as meow meow or M-Cat, mephedrone is an inexpensive synthetic stimulant drug widely available in Europe. The drug, available in powder form, is typically swallowed, snorted or injected.
Methamphetamine– Like mephedrone, methamphetamine (crystal meth) is a synthetic drug manufactured in clandestine laboratories. It is made from a combination of chemicals that may include amphetamines, cold medicines and toxic substances such as battery acid, antifreeze or drain cleaner.
GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate) – Unlike mephedrone and methamphetamine, GHB is a depressant drug that makes users feel relaxed and sexually excited. It can relax the muscles, making anal sex easier. GHB is very dangerous and when mixed with alcohol or other depressant drugs, can bring about severe respiratory distress or coma.