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8 things you need to think about when it comes to chemsex


Here we talk about the highs and lows of chemsex and things to consider when it comes to your health.

It can feel good at the time but that doesn’t last…

Yes it can feel good at the time (that’s why people take drugs in the first place right?) but although there’s an initial high, there is always a comedown. Not forming any meaningful relationships can make you feel used and that combined with the comedown from the drugs can lead to depression. If you’re feeling lonely, chemsex is more likely to deepen the void than fill it. We’re always here to talk to if you do feel alone and need someone to chat to – just drop us a message on Facebook :)

Is full consent given during chemsex?

Actually, sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs isn’t consensual sex. Many people ask us “so, what if you’re both under the influence of drugs?” - this is a case of two wrongs don’t make a right, and just because you’re both high, doesn’t mean you’re both consenting.


You’re way more likely to get an STI

When you’re high you’re less likely to make rational decisions, and therefore less likely to use condoms. Condoms are the only thing that help to protect against most STIs, including HIV. A moment of careless fun can result in a lifetime with an STI. If you’re high you may also be more likely to believe someone if they tell you they have no STIs, or lie about it yourself if you do have STIs, in the heat of the moment.

Deaths from GHB are on the increase

GHB, commonly known as G, or Gina, is one of the most common drugs used in chemsex, and GHB-related deaths in London at least doubled in the past year. All but 1 of the 61 people who died from GHB-related incidents in 2015 were men. Even if you are a seasoned drug user, you never know how you may react each time.


Image via Buzzfeed

There are other names for chemsex

Sometimes, people may turn up to a chemsex session without realising it because even though the term ‘chemsex’ is used in the media, it’s often called chill-outs IRL. So if you’re not in the know, you may be in for a bad surprise, turning up to what you think is a Netflix & chill situation, but it’s actually a chemsex party. On Grindr? H&H (or high & horny) in someone’s bio may indicate that the person you’re talking to participates in chemsex.

It’s addictive

Drugs are addictive, sex can be addictive, so combine the two and you’ve got a pretty addictive situation. The highs and comedowns can be crazy, and when you’re low you’ll probably want to feel better again, so you may get high, then you’ll come down again, and so the cycle continues…


Image via The Guardian

It can lead to you not enjoying sex without chems

Sex is great, we’re the first ones to say it (we’re a sexual health team after all!) but only having sex when high can lead to problems with enjoying sex without chems. Luckily we have support in our sexual health services for situations like these and it’s highly likely you will be able to enjoy sex again drug-free; you just need to get in touch and reach out to us.

There is support out there

There is always someone to talk to and our sexual health services can provide help - an opportunity to talk to someone, share how you’re feeling and support you. Whether it’s yourself or a friend/family member who may want support with issues around chemsex, get in touch and we’ll be there to talk to. Call our confidential information line on 0300 123 0970.

Watch our chemsex video below:


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LGBT Stoke is a service provided by the Sexual Health Prevention Team from Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust