Behind The Scene: Meth and Sex


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5 Things We Learned from Behind The Scene: Meth and Sex

MAX Ottawa and The Ottawa Hospital, in collaboration with Kontak Project and ACCM Montréal, hosted Daniel Laroche for our March edition.  Daniel is the Kontak Program Coordinator at AIDS Community Care Montréal. He spoke about his personal and professional experience with chemsex and gave some health promotion and harm reduction strategies for guys into guys to use in their personal life.

1) Chemsex, PnP, and Party and Play are some common terms used by guys into guys that use drugs in a sexual context. These include methamphetamine (meth), mephedrone (meph), and GHB (G). These drugs can be taken in a variety of ways including smoking, rectally called a booty bump, snorting, and injecting.

2) Guys into guys report many reasons why they participate in chemsex. These can include:

  1. Increasing sexual pleasure
  2. Increasing stamina
  3. Decreasing anxiety related to sexual performance
  4. Lowering sexual inhibitions, and
  5. Improved confidence to approach other guys they wouldn’t under sober circumstances are some.

3) There are cultural and environmental factors that affect GBT2Q guys choices to participate in PNP. Unique issues to our community include

  1. internalized homophobia
  2. stigma
  3. body shaming, both internally and from others and
  4. depression, and
  5. loneliness

These are a few factors that can make drug use more appealing. Bars and online dating and hook apps, like Grindr and Scruff, can normalize drug use and give guys increased access.

4) Despite the perceived benefits, there are risks to using these drugs.

  1. The most serious are overdose and death in cases of uncontrolled use.
  2. Increased risk of STI’s and HIV infection related to lowered inhibitions and an increase in sexual partners
  3. Issues related to consent since chemsex can impair memory and lead to black out periods. This can make recalling sexual encounters difficult or impossible.
  4. Physical health risks include disrupted sleep patterns, anorexia, weight loss, and impaired immune function making guys more prone to illness.

5) Daniel provided some great harm reduction tips that included:

  1. Knowing the signs of an overdose and always carry a Naloxone kit with you.
  2. Setting limits for how much and how often you use.
  3. Finding social groups that include open-minded folks to discuss your drug use with who can provide support when needed.
  4. Trying to avoid using with complete strangers or in situations you’re not familiar with.
  5. Avoid driving when taking drugs or coming down.
  6. Eating and drinking regularly to avoid malnutrition and dehydration.
  7. Getting adequate sleep in between usage.
  8. Brushing and flossing regularly.

MAX Ottawa was grateful for Daniel’s honest, engaging, and informative talk. If you have health promotion, harm reduction, or general support needs around chemsex, contact MAX.