What is Chemsex?
The term ‘Chemsex’ (also known as PNP – Party & Play or High & Horny) refers to sex whilst on drugs. The most common drugs used for Chemsex in Brighton & Hove are Crystal Meth (Tina / Ice), Mephedrone (Meow / M-Cat) and G (Gina / Geebs). For information about chemsex support available in Brighton & Hove click here. Drugs can make you feel confident, part of the group, relaxed and more aroused. For some guys sex and drugs/alcohol go hand in hand. If you choose to use drugs, we want you to do it in the safest way possible, look after yourself and protect your sexual health.
Mixing sex with drugs often leads to risky sexual behaviour. Apart from becoming dependent, the biggest risk is that drugs can cloud judgement or make you unaware of what you’re doing or what you have done. Whether it’s one-on-one sex or group sex, it’s not uncommon for guys to take risks. If you are going to get involved in Chemsex, it is important that you know how to keep you and your partners as safe as possible.
(GBL / GHB / G / Gina / Geebs / Liquid Ecstasy)
G is a depressant drug which can come as a clear liquid with a salty taste or as a white powder. The liquid is usually swallowed with water or juice in very small amounts. GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) is a ‘pro-drug’ of GHB, which means that it converts to GHB within the body. GBL occurs naturally in certain food products, is found in small quantities in the human body and is available commercially as an industrial solvent and as an ingredient in cleaners, paint removers and engine degreasers.
Onset varies between individuals and can depend on a number of factors (including when the user last ate), but effects can be felt approximately 10-30 minutes after ingestion. 45 minutes to 1½ hours later the effects begin to level off and decrease; depending on tolerance to the drug its effects can be felt for 2-4 hours 19. After-effects like grogginess and sleepiness can be felt for as little as two hours or as long as twelve hours after use. For more information here is a factsheet.
Regular use of G builds tolerance, meaning users need to take more to feel the same effects. G is physically addictive and stopping it without medical supervision can be fatal; sudden withdrawal poses dangerous health risks and can require an inpatient detox. Withdrawal may include anxiety, confusion, agitation, tremor, cramps, insomnia, aggression, delirium, delusions, paranoia with hallucinations, tachycardia (racing heart), low blood pressure and occasionally a schizophrenic-like state. Seek support from your local drug and alcohol service for help in cutting down or stopping safely.
Harm reduction information:
Click here to watch 11 short films (2 minutes each) produced by 56 Dean Street including tips on playing safe, making changes, managing cravings, harm reduction and relapse prevention, and better sober sex.
Crystal Meth (Methamphetamine, Tina, Ice)
Crystal meth is a very powerful stimulant that can be smoked, snorted or injected.
Crystal meth can make you feel high, wide awake, confident, impulsive and aroused with fewer inhibitions. Crystal also increases body temperature, heartbeat and blood pressure, with possible risks of heart attack, stroke, coma or death – especially if mixed with other drugs, including some HIV and anti-depressant medications. You might go days without eating or sleeping. The comedown can leave you feeling exhausted, aggressive and paranoid, in some cases even suicidal.
Crystal meth users are far more likely than the general population to experience psychotic symptoms. Almost one-quarter of regular methamphetamine users will suffer from a symptom of psychosis in a given year. People who have a history of schizophrenia are far more likely to experience psychosis after using methamphetamine than other users of the drug, however, many first time users have also experienced psychosis (feeling overly suspicious of other people, and feeling like other people are ‘out to get them’, having strange beliefs about things that are not plausible, and – hearing or seeing things that aren’t there).
Crystal meth is quickly addictive as tolerance soon builds and users need more to get the same high. People can soon find themselves out of their depth with crystal and waving goodbye to jobs, homes, money, boyfriends, friends and health. Injecting crystal meth is the quickest way to becoming addicted. It also runs the risk of serious health problems (skin abscesses, collapsed veins, blood poisoning and heart infections). Quitting can be very hard and the effects of crystal meth on the brain can last long after quitting. If you’re with someone who has taken crystal meth and is paranoid, scared or talking about someone trying to hurt them, they may be experiencing a psychotic episode. Remember that they believe what they are experiencing is real. This might lead them to act aggressively if they feel they are in serious danger or that someone at the party is ‘out to get them’.
Mephedrone (Meow / M-Cat / Drone)
Mephedrone is a stimulant drug in the form of a white powder that can be snorted, swallowed or injected. For about an hour after taking Mephedrone you may feel high, alert, close to those around you, confident and aroused. Injecting mephedrone can bring on a more immediate, longer lasting and intense high, but runs the risk of serious health problems. Injecting should be avoided if at all possible. As the effects wear off, repeat doses are needed to maintain the high. Some people report finding it hard to stop taking Mephedrone once they have started a session.
Tolerance to Mephedrone can build quickly, with people needing to take more to feel the same effects. Frequent and prolonged use can result in a strong psychological dependency, particularly in relation to sex. If you use Mephedrone at Chemsex parties (chill out parties/sessions), keep an eye on how often you are using over time and for how long. Slamming is more likely to become addictive and some gay men report feeling addicted to the act of slamming itself.
• With every new batch always take a tiny test dose and wait up to 3 hours for effects to kick in. just in case it isn’t really Meow.
• Avoid using Mephedrone if you have a history of depression, heart problems, high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or you’re being treated with antidepressants.
• Don’t mix with alcohol, other drugs or prescribed medications
• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, a pint an hour.
• Don’t share snorting equipment as you risk spreading germs or viruses, it is also very damaging to the nose
• Have regular breaks for recovery; maintain a healthy diet and self care.