Sex

Sex

Chemsex

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If you are already into chemsex, or have heard about it and want to know more - this resource is designed to help you make some informed choices. 

Most often chemsex refers to sex under the influence of drugs such as methamphetamine (P) and GHB/GBL (G). Also called ‘party and play’ or ‘PnP’, it often involves condomless group sex.

Chemsex is not as common as you might think and it can mean different things to different people. International research suggests only 5-7% of men who have sex with men have chemsex each year, and it is unlikely to be the kind of sex they have every time. 

Chemsex is not as prevalent in NZ, but you may still meet guys, or be a guy, who like to drugs during sex and knowing a little about chemsex will help you negotiate the kind of sex you do or don't want to have - so it's still important to learn a bit about it.

There are heaps of risk factors linked to chemsex. It’s important to know the risks and take them into account when you're partying. It’s also a great idea to share this information with friends who you're partying with, especially if they are new to chemsex and might need advice on how to use drug more safely.

If you are considering trying chemsex yourself, it’s important to know that chems can be manageable for some, but for others they can become a problem.

There is no such thing as a safe level of drug use. 

If you do choose to go ahead, the harm-reduction advice on this page is essential. Start small and get to know your limits. Look after the people around you and keep checking in with your sexual partners, to make sure that consent continues to be given. 

Some of the risks to consider include:

  • Drug overdose
  • HIV transmission
  • STIs
  • Non-consensual sex
  • Addiction

Reduce your risk of acquiring HIV and other STIs

The nuts and bolts of sexualised drug use (chemsex)

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There is no such thing as a safe level of drug use, because substance use always carries risk.

You make the choices that determine what substances you put into your body. Whatever your choice, it's important to remember that being as safe and responsible as possible (that's with yourself and with others) is the golden rule. We've got some helpful tips to consider.

If it is your first time trying chemsex or using these drugs, go slow and stop if you start to feel overwhelmed. The effects may be intense, so using less is a good idea as well as taking orally or smoking rather than injecting or shafting (inserting drugs in your ass). It's also been said that there could be an increasing purity of the chems in NZ, so it's important to keep that in mind when figuring out how much you might take. 

The drugs most often used in combination during chemsex sessions are already strong on their own, may have conflicting effects, and can lead to dependence.

Harm reduction for common chems

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If things get hairy(er)

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Acknowledgements and Disclaimers

Thank you to Thorne Harbour Health for sharing their resource content with us and to the NZ Drug Foundation for their assistance in putting together this resource. 

Please note: The information given on this page is not medical advice and should not be relied upon in that way. Dosages in this resource are listed only to give an idea of how and in what quantities certain chems may be encountered in the scene and have been gathered from various harm reduction resources.

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