Chemical Reaction | 06.2016

Chemsex_0616

“ChemSex” is no stranger to Los Angeles. One look into the men-seeking-men ads and you’ll encounter posts where gay men are looking to get seduced with chems or that they are chemmed out and looking for same.

BY PAULO MURILLO

Until recently, I had never heard about ChemSex—a shameless and in-your-face term used in gay sex hook-up apps like Grindr, Scruff, and social network sites to seek “chem” hook-ups and slamming parties where drugs are shot up intravenously.

ChemSex is not your average recreational drug use. According to ReShape, an activist think-tank that supports the need for new community responses to ChemSex (reshapenow.org/chemsex), it is a specific form of recreational drug use that combines three specific drugs or chems before or during gay/MSM sex. These three drugs are crystal meth, mephedrone, known as meph/drone, or Meow Meow (Seriously? Meow, Meow?) and GHB or butyrolactone (GBL), the precursor to GHB. ReShape reports that the common result is sex that can sometimes last several days. The need for sleep or food is repressed. The heightened sexual focus enables more extreme sex, for longer, often with more partners and with less fear of STIs including HIV and HCV.

“On a chemical level, these three drugs have this sexually arousing property that cocaine and ecstasy didn’t have,” Dr Adam Bourne, a lecturer and researcher in chemsex at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told CNN during a special report on ChemSex.

“Lots of people, particularly if they’re using crystal meth, will describe quite an insatiable sexual appetite,” he added.

The topic of ChemSex made headlines last month after Henry Hendron, a 35-year old top London layer received what many considered the mild sentence of 140 hours of community service after admitting that he supplied Miguel Jimenez, his 18-year-old Colombian boyfriend with a ChemSex cocktail that triggered an overdose, which ended the young man’s life.

“As someone who is in recovery, I learned that drugs aren’t really the problem; they are the solution to a problem. My work these past nine years has been in identifying the problem.”

In January of last year, Hendron woke up to find Jimenez dead at his bedside. “I woke up and turned him over,” Hendron told CNN. “Mouth frozen. Blood there. Clearly dead.”

He performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. “At one point, blood starts to trickle out of his mouth, and I’m thinking ‘he must be alive.’ But he’s not. I’ve broken his ribs or something, and moving that blood around.”

Minutes after being told that his boyfriend was dead, Hendron was arrested and escorted out of the home that he shared with Jimenez in handcuffs.

“At the time it was quite fun,” he described ChemSex in the beginning. “You’re around other guys, you think this is a good time, you think you’re having good sex, and then you become used to it,” he said.”And then that becomes all that you know—in terms of sex on drugs at the weekend.”

ChemSex is no stranger to a city like Los Angeles. The word “chem” used to be short for “chemistry” back when I used to PNP in the early to mid-2000s. One look into the men-seeking-men ads in Los Angeles on Craigslist nowadays, and you’ll encounter posts where gay men are looking to get seduced with chems, they are chemmed out and looking for same, and some ads post that they are chem-friendly.

During my research, I also found a ChemSex Fiction blog in the very pervy website, breeding.zone. As of the posting of this article, there are 546 posts fantasizing ChemSex in that website with 8370 replies to these posts. Topics vary from “My first ChemSex” to “Seduced with chems and trained to surrender my neg hole” and some other topics not suitable for print.

As someone who is in recovery, I learned that drugs aren’t really the problem; they are the solution to a problem. My work these past nine years has been in identifying the problem.

For some gays, the parTy with a capital T ended at glow sticks and GHB. For some of us it ended at PNP. For some it will end at ChemSex.

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