Fetishes

Sex and Drugs: When Chemsex Is Your Fetish

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Sex and drugs have never been strange bedfellows. Barefoot babes in tie-dye beach wraps and little else proclaimed “turning on” a double entendre—opening your mind on LSD or other psychedelics went hand in hand with free love and ditching your razors. The savviest 70s swingers knew that giant rails of blow were the best way to make the party last all night. As for booze, well, the classic place to meet people for love and sex is at the bar.

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Chemsex means what it sounds like, sort of. People pursue sex while high on drugs. Proponents claim the pleasure is magnified, but some say there’s no point to sex on its own. Being high becomes the fetish.

Chemsex, sometimes referred to as “party and play,” was originally a term describing gay methamphetamine orgies. The word now describes hard sex and hard drugs. Basically, crystal meth, amphetamines, GHB, cocaine, alcohol, and other chemicals are used to pursue sex, group sex, and kinky sex. The chemicals make the rush harder and give unnatural longevity.

While occasionally popping ecstasy together could be very sensual, and sharing a bottle of wine is a mild prelude to lovemaking, chemsex is extreme and dangerous.

Once you get hooked on chemsex, nothing else will do.

Nature’s highest adrenaline can simply not compete. Many who get hooked on chemsex can’t even masturbate without it. You end up losing your subtle perceptions.

Chemsex is an addiction.

You can be addicted to sex, you can be addicted to drugs—the addiction to both at the same time renders a hookup sans chem useless.

You throw caution to the wind.

At first, chemsex parties are thrilling adventures. A kink in and of themselves, they are often a subculture of particular kink scenes. Boundaries go out the window, and you just don’t care. Giving and receiving diseases is the norm.

Lots of scenes are anonymous and blind: gang banging without protection. Extreme kinks—edgeplay, blood sports, fisting, and heavy BDSM—take place without regulation.

Chemsex poisons your mind and body.

The comedowns are hell. You become exhausted, spent, sick, and malnourished. Brain damage leads to severe cognitive and mood-regulation problems.

Relationships suffer or become impossible.

After a while, a romantic relationship is impossible. If your partner isn’t into group sex or getting blasted, what’s the point in having sex at all? Your friends keep telling you that you look like you’re starving, and it’s annoying so you ditch them. You can’t face your parents or your kids.

Help for chemsex is hard to find.

Even for those who live in communities where there is lots of help on hand, healing from the wounds and returning to normal may be impossible. Contacting HIV or syphilis can do permanent damage, and your mind and sexual functions might never work normally again, even if you suffer through the withdrawal and years of slow healing.

Get out before you get in.

I never like to dictate people’s pleasures or join in the hum of moralizing that too often imposes limits on other people’s behaviors, but when your sex life becomes a public health crisis, in addition to being harmful to yourself and others, I can’t endorse destruction.

It may seem harmless at first, and you may feel and enjoy a sense of community and shared secrets. But the thrill will be short, and the hell will be long. Also, you might die. Meth is a killer drug and can work fast in a few months or years, but GHB can kill you with just a few drops too many, or when mixed with a little booze.

There are lots of healthy kink communities to seek pleasure and relationship in—find them.

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