What is party and play, and why has it become the focus of many LGBTQ communities and organizations?
If you are a gay or bisexual man, it’s highly advisable that you learn the dangers of chemsex, understand what chemsex is, and also look into some actions that could help you out if you appear to have a problem. On the other hand, much of the general public still doesn’t know how dangerous chemsex can be, so it’s definitely helpful to get informed.
Here’s our explanation of the dangers of party and play and why you should rethink chemsex!
What Is It?
What is chemsex or party and play? PnP or party and play is a general term for using narcotics during sexual activities. It is also called chemsex, wired play, and slamsex. Another term for it is HnH or high and horny. These modern terms mainly apply to recreational drug users who use sex-enhancing substances during sex. We’re not just talking about viagra. Participants can often consume a dangerous cocktail of methamphetamine, poppers (alkyl nitrites), GBL, GHB, mephedrone, and various other substances.
Regardless of the term, chemsex is an extremely high-risk activity. Its dangers are further increased due to the fact that PnP mainly occurs among groups of gay and bisexual men.
Plus, PnP often neglects the use of contraceptives/condoms during anal sex with several partners. A chemsex session can even last for multiple days. These types of sessions have become increasingly common in the U.S., Europe, and Australia during the past few years.
What Happens at Chemsex Parties
When it comes to drugs, PnP participants mainly use them for their aphrodisiac properties. Substances like methamphetamine also act as stimulants and euphoriants. They boost sexual arousal and keep the participants awake. Moreover, such drugs can even delay ejaculation and intoxication.
For instance, when taken in extreme amounts, methamphetamine can affect an individual for eight hours or more. It also increases energy levels and creates a sense of euphoria that boosts sexual drive and appetite. Moreover, some participants of chemsex sessions have claimed that the parties allow them to tackle low-self-esteem/confidence issues along with internalized homophobia.
With repeated use, PnP sessions can last for a few days, and the consequences can range from hypersomnia to sexually contracted diseases. Other drugs, like ketamine, are also popular for receiving anal sex partners. They can consume it to boost their sensations during anal sex or fisting parties. Of course, chemsex participants can consume a combination of many other party drugs. These include cocaine, MDMA, ecstasy, erectile dysfunction drugs like tadalafil, and viagra.
Finally, the internet has made it possible for male strangers to connect and organize group sex parties freely. Social media and online posts are the most popular channels. Such posts often contain slang for the type of drugs that the party will contain. For example, “tweaker dick” or “crystal penis” refers to drugs that facilitate and prolong erections.
The Risks Associated With PnP
So what are the dangers of PnP? These drug-fueled parties bring multiple risks, including dangers that can harm the participants’ general and sexual health. On top of that, there are many legal repercussions. The participants can even experience immediate threats. That involves date rape, assault, robbery, and even murder.
So far, another massive issue is that party and play can be incredibly vague regarding sexual consent. It is not outlined clearly or agreed upon. Usually, participants believe that everyone at the get-together will consent to anything due to so much drug use. Plus, since the participants are high on multiple substances, they may not be able to say “no.” That can bear serious consequences.
For instance, PnP drugs can lead to neurological damage and bareback anal sex with men. Sex and drugs make HIV risks skyrocket, and some of the substances used can also make men resistant to medications utilized to treat HIV.
To add to the problem, most chemsex drugs can also lead to desensitization. Participants can experience a lot of trauma and physical stress in case of activities like multi-hour fisting. Yet, another danger is that these parties take place in private quarters. That makes it incredibly hard for public staff to reach the participants.
Of course, the risks only increase due to the numerous side effects of the different drugs. For instance, crystal meth can cause oral abrasions/sores. It can even lead to insomnia, hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis, and addiction. To add to all of this, chemsex also raises the risks of overdose and incarceration.
Action and Intervention
Unfortunately, there is little support and intervention for chemsex participants across the globe. The nature of the participants and the sex sessions is incredibly secretive. In contrast, bars for gay men are not as private, which means outreach workers can find and inform or help the guests much easier. With chemsex parties, it’s nearly impossible to know where they are taking place and for how long.
In fact, the only intervention for PnP parties would be to increase the availability of condoms in public places where men know that they might be able to engage in sexual sessions under the influence of drugs. Also, over the past few years, NGOs and NPOs have been setting up awareness campaigns to inform the PnP participants as well as the general public about the problems of such parties.
For example, a French organization named AIDES has created a public health center that caters to PnP participants or even victims. The center offers HIV testing, peer support, anonymous meetings, condoms, medical advice on drug injecting practices, and even sterile equipment for injecting drugs. On the other hand, there have been many government actions against PnP or chemsex, especially in Los Angeles. That includes crackdowns of drug-fueled sex parties and arrests of the participants.
If you know someone in the gay community who is struggling with drugs and sex parties involving multiple men, it is important to act fast and offer them all the support they can get. If not, you can spread the word by sharing this article and raising awareness of the risks of party and play!