Where to begin? Usually the best place is at the beginning but for me even the beginning needs a bit of backstory. If your not familiar with the term (how that can be possible given its now being spoken about in mainstream media is beyond me), Chemsex refers firstly to the act of having sexual intercourse or foreplay with another person whilst under the influence of drugs. The drugs themselves differ depending upon availability and personal preferences however in the LGBT community they are mainly MKAT, GHB, Cocaine and Crystal Meth.
Having Chemsex heightens the senses and can create more intense connections both physically and emotionally, I have experienced both these things but it can also make it harder to experience these things normally which I also have experienced. Usually whilst high your inhibitions are lowered, you are more open and receptive to trying new things with people but on the other side leads to people taking risks they normally wouldn’t, increasing the chances of getting hurt, catching an STI etc.
Secondly, and for this story more importantly, Chemsex can also be referring to the scene that has sprung into existence rather quickly around the act itself which for me wasn’t around a few years ago, or at least if it was i was unaware of it and it certainly wasn’t as big an issue as we face today! A scene that involves intravenous drug use or ‘slamming’ as an ever more common habit, the all too freely exchange of sex for drugs at parties or ‘chill outs’ that range from a few people wasted in a grotty bedsit in Clapham to a bacchanalian proportioned orgy in penthouses overlooking Central Park. These things actually do happen believe me i have been there!
For me i have experienced nearly all aspects of the culture, both good and bad. I have came to realise after a few bad experiences its not something i want to be part of my life anymore and moved away from it. What i have also realised is its becoming such an issue in LGBT culture that it needs to be addressed. The youth of today are so filled with apathy, so many of them insecure and lost, both about themselves and their bodies, sexuality etc but also about life in general and the state of the world, the economy etc, that they have clung to this as an absent parent. One that makes them feel great about themselves and their lives and doesn’t judge them, is always there for them like a bud but also one they become so dependent on that all they care about is where the next fix will come from, when the next party will happen. Unable to function in normal everyday life, regretting choices made,sometimes for days at a time until the moment comes when they can repeat the cycle with all the life they can spare.
Its not only the youth that succumb to this i must hasten to add as the older generations are just as bad, worse maybe, as they should be able to remember what it used to be like before the rise of Social Networking apps like Grindr, Hornet and the rise of Chemsex when meeting people usually meant socialising with them outside under normal circumstances like a bar. Not over a few lines and a dunt at a mates boyfriends chill out.Yet they have done nothing to stem the onslaught of this rising sub culture that in my experience is doing more harm than good.In fact some of them have capitalised on the opportunity taking it upon themselves to profit from selling the substances needed to the masses and sometimes going as far as to host the chill out themselves which can result in them lasting days at a time due to the abundance of supply readily available and constant stream of fresh meat newly introduced to the mix.
Genius move business wise i wont deny but i also cant deny i don’t think i could willingly profit off of someone who is effectively destroying their own existence by becoming increasingly dependant on the services you are providing. We have responsible sale of alcohol and responsible gambling laws to help regulate and attempt to ensure the safety of individuals partaking in these things yet due to the illegality and also ignorance in some cases of these substances by the government, these people are allowed to continue to profit and persevere.
Now the reasons people become involved in this scene differ. Mine was a natural evolution you could say as i liked to have a good time, was curious in nature and also completely naive to think i wouldn’t become effected by it. The first time chemsex happened was always with a boyfriend after a night of partying and taking Ecstasy or Coke and the inevitable happened. The first time something that could be classed as within the Chemsex scene happened wasn’t even really in the scene as it was before this culture formed at least to my knowledge.
We had all been out at a club and gone back to a friends apartment for an afterparty and somebody there had GHB. I had vaguely heard it was supposed to be like liquid ecstasy and gave a good high but nothing more. If i had known its actually alloy cleaner, used to clean graffiti off the pavements i may have decided against partaking, we had also been drinking heavily unaware this can lead quite easily to a coma and even death. The events that followed was basically everyone hooking up with everyone and a real good time was had. But that was it, it didn’t lead to regular occurrences maybe once more a year later or something.
Anyways time marched on and i went travelling and it was here i was first introduced to Crystal Meth, having been asked a few times on Grindr if i used it which was weird enough seeing it wasn’t really even spoke about where I’m from, well not then. I met up with a guy i had been chatting to one evening when i was bored and alone in a completely alien country, not to mention horny as hell and he proceeded to smoke a pipe of it while i was hanging out the back of him and offered it to me, i was rather taken aback at the bizarre turn of events and i declined once he told me what it was, too scared to take the plunge then being fresh off the boat as it were. Turns out the dude was a dealer and sitting on a sideboard was forty grand worth of the stuff! My mind was blown i couldn’t believe this guy was sitting there with that much just lying around like it was nothing. In the months that followed i hooked up with guys here and there and this continued to happen occasionally where it would be offered n i became more and more curious, the apps even had profiles inviting guys ti attend GnT parties or to PnP it was becoming ever ore difficult to avoid.
Eventually i tried it with a friend i had made and it wasn’t anything like an amazing high but it did make you horny as hell especially mixed with other drugs like GHB and kept you awake for days which i loved. I gradually used it time to time and even went as far as dealing it briefly to make rent one month and experienced my first real taste of chill outs attending parties with up to thirteen people at a time, from all works of life such as and i kid you not an open heart surgeon, tv producers, drug dealers, Armed Forces members, politicians, the children of supreme court judges and everyday normal people both gay and straight. It was rather common to be used there it was so weird for me to get my head round but it made it easier for me to partake thinking if they can what makes me any different.
Nothing makes me any different but these substances are addictive and sneak up on you without realising until eventually your not paying your essential outgoings because the drugs have became your essential outgoing.Thats what happened to me eventually , Its not a great place to be in and its very hard to finally say you know what I’m done i want to really stop this and stick to it, i have been there so i commend anyone who does it.
The parties themselves are a complete head fuck of an experience. This is a situation that you would usually only see in a porn film but its happening and your taking part. Then drugs make you have no inhibitions, filling you with confidence and a libido so wild you would fuck a exhaust pipe if you thought it would get you off good. Your able to think nothing of having multiple partners at once, getting off on how other people in the vicinity are getting off on watching you. You have an amazing time but as stated at the beginning take risks you normally wouldn’t and can be left with such shame and regret afterwards, not to mention doubts about your sexual health, having to deal with an STI and more often than not it seems being the subject of peoples whispered talk and ridicule. A lot of people face insecurity over their bodies and themselves daily and being part of this scene removes that only temporarily and in return can leave the person feeling worse about themselves after. I don’t see why as a community we are so intent on dragging our people down instead of supporting them and helping elevate them.
For me the fun times finally wore off and i started to feel like a piece of meat, a goal for people to attain or only allowed to participate if my body was on offer also not just my personality, not only that but i was finding it hard to get through the week without messing up at work, having no money to pay my bills and just generally being unhappy. So i took steps to stop me doing this confiding in close friends who were fully supportive of me and not judgemental, they helped me stay strong and resist the temptation to just go get some stuff and find a party.I messed up a few times sure I’m only human i have never claimed to be perfect but i can say that as of now its behind me i no longer want to be involved with it.
What still concerns me though is looking around and seeing now just how prevalent a problem it is in our society. I have witnessed people as young as 20 perfectly willing to try sticking a needle filled with a unknown substance into their arm to help them escape everyday life and find a release to the point it becomes their life. I have seen people so full of GHB they are incoherent, only able to grunt or squawk at best, with erratic movements and unable to remember a moment of it afterwards. When told of these events they laugh as if its funny, i have heard of times where people have became conscious and realised they were having sex with someone or even worse to find someone is having sex with them! Yet they are still perfectly willing to carry on taking the substances regardless of the consequences desperate to continue the high and not face the real world. Willing to have sex with people they don’t know and would normally refuse but don’t as they are giving them drugs they need. Are they truly the lost generation? Do they look at the world with the view its beyond saving and as such so are they? Its becoming more and more evident to me at least through what i have witnessed that this just may be true.
Thats why I’m writing this, to put across my story and say it doesn’t have to be this way. Sure life’s a bitch but thats the point! Its about dealing with that and carrying on anyways, going out and doing what makes you happy, not what makes you happy but is killing you quick. Take from it what you will but I’m just hoping that by sharing this it makes people think twice. Think about what you want for yourself and if that whole scene and its pros are enough to outweigh its cons.
The writer wishes to remain anonymous