Chemsex: An Emergent Phenomenon
Chemsex is the term given to the intentional use of psychoactive drugs in order to maintain sexual relations between men who have sex with men (MSM), usually for long periods of time and with multiple partners. This phenomenon has also been called Party and Play (PnP) in North America and intensive sex partying in Australia (Bourne et al., 2014). The intravenous (IV) use of these substances for similar purposes is known as slamming or slamsex. The drugs principally used are mephedrone, γ-hydroxybutyrate / γ-butyrolactone (GHB / GBL) and methamphetamine (McCall, Adams, Mason & Willis, 2015), although others have also been described (see Table 1). This definition, however, fails to explain other fundamental aspects of the phenomenon, such as the use of geosocial networking applications to locate or participate in “sessions”. In fact, it has been reported that in comparison with MSMs who do not use such applications, those MSM who do use them tend to be younger, to have a better education and higher purchasing power, as well as more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior and present more STDs (Zou & Fan, 2016).