By Samantha Yardley
The next time you’re invited to share a nonchalant after-work G&T, the instigator might be thinking a little less juniper-infused tipple and more drug-fueled orgy.
Chem sex has broken out of the LGBT scene and become ubiquitous amongst those looking to heighten their sexual experience with a cocktail of pleasure-inducing and inhibition-lowering drugs.
“Chemical sex, also known as chem sex or chem fun, refers to taking psychoactive or non-psychoactive substances to boost sexual performance with a person’s consent and willingness” begins Barbara Santini, Psychologist, Sex and Relationship Adviser at dimepiecela.com
“It’s done to enhance the duration you last during sex, physical sensations, lift confidence, and clear inhibitions. Chemical sex is common in sex parties to enhance pleasure, desire, and clear negative inhibitions,” she says.
Sexualized drug use, also known as PNP (Party ‘n’ Play) soared in popularity with the prevalence of hook-up apps like Grindr. It sees users partake of a mixture of stimulants and performance-enhancing drugs. Side effects include a euphoric high and mindboggling stamina gains.
“Chem sex is unreal… like unreal” explains a G&T enthusiast who wishes to remain anonymous. “Best sex you’ll ever have! It’s total out-of-your-mind pleasure.” But, despite the appeal of insatiable libido and intensified arousal, it does have a dark side too. “When I was young, I had a nine-day binge. Like non-stop. You can get addicted to the combo and normal sex won’t cut it” he says.
A 2006 study* reported that men who PNP are twice as likely to have unprotected sex, and increased risk of contracting an STI aside, it can also produce some dangerous repercussions for user’s mental health.
Barbara warns “Chem sex alters the brain’s functioning and can lead to dependency or addiction over time. The drugs impact clear brain functioning, heightening the risks of getting sexually exploited or forced into activities you are not into with clear consent.”
Sex and stimulants are a practise that’s been undertaken since the Roman times, but the emerging chem sex scene is a phenomenon that’s appealing to a whole new demographic of young, affluent professionals. As such, social stigma alongside a lack of long-term research may leave the curious wandering if they’ll find the messiah or a straitjacket and a trip to the STI clinic.
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