Chemsex is the paired use of drugs, usually methamphetamine, with sexual behavior. The term ‘chemsex’ originated in the United Kingdom to refer to gay men who struggle with stimulant drugs and sex. This is a common combination because the drugs heighten confidence and sexual desire, as well as numb uncomfortable feelings associated with gay sex.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what chemsex is, why it’s growing in frequency and what can be done to treat both halves of the addiction – the sex and the metamphetamine.
What is Chemsex? What Makes it Dangerous?
Chemsex is defined as using certain substances immediately before or during sexual activities. The most common substances used are methamphetamine, mephedrone, GHB/GBL and ketamine because they facilitate, prolong and/or heighten sexual experiences. Many men report being able to have sex that lasts for hours, and sometimes even days.
Men who engage in chemsex also have a tendency to engage in sex with multiple partners, raising the risk for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and hepatitis C infections. Chemsex is also associated with engagement in group sex and high-risk sexual behavior, such as having unprotected intercourse.
At this time, there hasn’t been much research done on the overall mental health and well-being of men who engage in chemsex, though we do know that HIV positive people experience a higher risk of poor mental health outcomes, particularly depression and anxiety.
Why Do Men Engage in Chemsex?
With so many risks to chemsex, one may ask why gay men engage in this type of behavior. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, using drugs like meth and liquid ecstasy during sex numbs uncomfortable emotions regarding gay sex such as shame, embarrassment and internalized homophobia. As long as the drugs numb the person’s emotions, they’re able to enjoy sex without feeling guilty.
Second, chemsex heightens confidence and sexual desire. For many men, this results in “better” sex. This happens because the intensity of drugs and sex together hijack the brain’s reward circuitry and provide people with a better sexual experience.
Lastly, those who regularly engage in chemsex can quickly become dependent on it. Having sex without drugs no longer provides the same rewards because the brain is hijacked, so more drugs are needed to get the same effect. Tolerance also leads to escalated drug use, the need for more sexual encounters and possible sexual dysfunction.
Could You Be Struggling with a Chemsex Addiction?
Is it possible that you could be struggling with a chemsex addiction?
When you have an addiction, you’re likely to notice changes in your sexual desires and behaviors. This is why it’s common for people to combine their substance use with sexual activities. While chemsex doesn’t typically happen right away, it can happen as you use drugs more and have a desire to escalate your sexual patterns.
Here are some signs that you may have an addiction to chemsex:
- Do you take drugs to prolong sexual activity?
- Do you use drugs to lower your inhibitions?
- Do you ever feel shame when having gay sex?
- If you use drugs during sex, do they sometimes cause sexual dysfunction?
- Are you interested in combining drugs or taking more drugs to reach a high level of sexual arousal?
- How many sexual partners do you have? Are you in a monogamous relationship, or do you have multiple partners?
- Are you craving more extreme forms of sex?
- When you have sex, do you find yourself engaging in high-risk behaviors like not using protection?
How to Treat an Addiction to Chemsex
If you believe that you are struggling with a chemsex addiction, it’s important to have hope, as this can be successfully treated. Not only does chemsex respond to crystal meth sex addiction treatment, but also it can save your life. Engaging in high-risk sex with multiple partners while being high on drugs is not a safe or healthy way to live.
However, treating a chemsex addiction is not like treating other forms of addiction. First of all, there are two parts to the problem – the addiction to drugs and the addiction to sex. Both sides need to be treated in order for you to heal.
Second, it’s possible that you haven’t yet come to terms with the fact that you are gay. The shame, embarrassment and homophobic feelings that come with being gay often drive people to numb their feelings with drugs or alcohol. This is why substance abuse is higher among gay and bisexual men compared to heterosexual men.
In a chemsex addiction treamtent program, you will work on healing from your sex addiction and your drug addiction. You will spend time in therapy, allowing you to process your emotions regarding being gay. It’s possible that you or your family has not yet accepted this lifestyle.
Get Treatment for a Chemsex Addiction in Los Angeles
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that can keep you awake for days and make sexual encounters feel more pleasurable. However, combining the two can be extremely dangerous, leading to mental and physical health problems.
Breathe Life Healing Centers treat crystal meth sex addiction. Our caring, compassionate setting will make you feel right at home so that you can start healing from your addictions. We provide education, support, medication, relapse prevention training and more. We also provide detoxification services, allowing you to complete all of your treatment under one roof.
To learn more about treating a chemsex addiction, contact Breathe Life Healing Centers today.