Chemsex and substance use

Chemsex is sex under the influence of drugs. This can be risky. If you have questions or want to talk about chemsex, you can talk to a nurse at ACS.

What is chemsex?

Chemsex is a term mainly used by gay and bi-men, and it involves engaging in sex under the influence of hard drugs. Mainly conducted in a home of a gay or bisexual man, this can involve just two men or more.

In chemsex, a selection of drugs is used—often, interchangeably. For instance, a combination of uppers (such as cocaine, speed or crystal meth), downers (ghb/gbl) and erection-enhancers are often used. It is good to note that while using drugs during sex can have advantages, there are clear physical and mental disadvantages.

Why use drugs during sex (work)?

Some sex workers use drugs or alcohol while working for various reasons:

  • You dare more and have fewer inhibitions.
  • You can last longer.
  • Sometimes you feel less during sex.
  • You think less about what you are doing.
  • Sexual acts are easier.
  • Sometimes clients pay more to engage in chemsex.

You are never obliged to use drugs while working, not even if a client asks you to. Engaging in chemsex must be within your own set boundaries and your choice—ensure that you have safeguards in place for anything that might happen.

Try to call the police (112) if you are forced to use drugs.

Dangers of chemsex

Combining sex and drugs puts you at greater risk of:

  • an STI through unprotected sex (which can happen if your thought processes are impaired through drugs).
  • a hepatitis or HIV infection from sharing snuff and drug needles.
  • overheating and dehydration from drugs (it can make you forget to drink water).
  • mental problems such as drug psychosis, depression or suicide due to drug use.
  • dependence on drugs, making it impossible to enjoy sex without them.
Want to talk about chemsex?

During a consultation with an ACS nurse, feel free to ask about chemsex. You can talk to us about your mental health, homosexuality, tension, stress, loneliness and substance use in sex work.

Would you like to talk to a trained expert by experience?

Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to someone who has walked your walk. We have vippers who are not only experienced in chemsex, but can offer much needed advice and tips when combining chemsex and (sex) work.

All conversations are confidential at ACS. You can talk to us about what you may be struggling with and where you might need help. We are not going to pressure you to stop using drugs or to tell you what is right or wrong. You can just talk about your drug use (possibly in combination with sex work) without judgement.

These talks are free and anonymous and are offered in Dutch and English. Would you like a conversation with the experience expert? Ask an ACS staff member or fill in the contact form.

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