Chemsex is a term commonly used by Gay men and Men who have sex with Men (MSM) to describe the use of certain drugs in a sexual context. It is a very specific form of drug use and is defined by the use of three drugs ('chems'):
- Methamphetamine (Crystal/Crystal Meth/Tina/Meth)
- Mephedrone (Meph/Drone)
- Gammahydroxybutyrate/Gammabutyrolactone (GHB/GBL, G, Gina)
Chemsex usually involves using one or more of these three drugs, in any combination, to facilitate or enhance sex. The heightened sexual focus experienced by participants enables more extreme sex, for longer periods and unsafe sex practices are common.
According to the British Medical Journal, Chemsex needs to become a public health priority. Experts have warned that the increasing popularity of Chemsex could put those engaged in it at increased risk of HIV and other STIs, as well as potential mental health issues caused by repeat drug use. The BMJ has also highlighted that taking part in Chemsex puts people at greater risk of passing out, having a panic attack or being sexually assaulted.