With all things this insanely pleasurable come the consequences. At the very least Chemsex leads to drug addiction. People involved in Chemsex often go to great extremes in risk-taking because inhibitions are absent, lust overtakes both empathy and deliberative decision-making, causing a person to go to far greater sexual lengths than they would have without drugs. This fuels unprotected sex, disregard for partner selection, and a sexual climax the user will chase for the rest of their life without being able ever to find again.
The Catch-22 with Chemsex is that eventually the very thing MSM engaging in Chemsex sought becomes unachievable, and where staying hard even becomes a futile battle. It significantly increases risk of HIV exposure, even to different strains to those already positive, as well as unknowingly placing both drugs and sex above all other needs and life functions causing family and relationship struggles, work conflicts, and financial burdens of $90,000 annually on average. Then if these are not enough, I see many clients seeking treatment due to the inevitable psychosis which comes with Chemsex, “jumping off a three-story rooftop believing I am being chased by dogs and the FBI” may fatally destroy the very thing these men seek.
At The Pride Institute, we believe for a person to overcome their connection between chemicals and sex, it can be excruciatingly difficult but absolutely possible. Meth use in MSM has one of the highest rates of recidivism even for those who sought treatment. Most substance abuse treatment programs do not incorporate the important element of sexual behavior and MSM-specific issues when treating substance use disorders. As a result, only the drug use is treated; however, once the drug is removed, a person now has this need for sex and connection without the mindset, skills, and ability to achieve it. One can only go so long before sexual desire catches up with them and the only way they know how to get it is by using chemicals.
The connection between meth use and all elements of sexual behavior including hookup apps and the party scene, in the brain, make it impossible to have one without the other. Breaking this connection while learning how to have pleasurable sex without the use of drugs is paramount in achieving long-term sobriety. At Pride we specialize in treating Chemsex and sexual compulsivity by helping MSM learn how to balance harm with gratification, build confidence, overcome homophobia, and gain a sense of sexual adventure all while possessing a sense of pleasure, stamina, and endurance.
My experience in working with MSM at Pride puts me in a place where I can comfortably say that even the hopeless addict who has been to treatment 15+ times in their life has hope in overcoming this beast and living a happy, fulfilling life all while enjoying close, wild, pleasurable, and intimate sex. I can’t count the number of clients who have come back and said that the sex they have always wanted, felt wired for, and desired for as long as they can remember has become a purely intense more fulfilling erotic experience, whether it involves a sling, a pup mask, numerous partners, or simply passionate sex with a life partner that they finally enjoy day after day.
Hope is there, and so is our community. One thing our community can do is see those involved in Chemsex as good people going to great, but harmful, lengths to get what the majority of people have. By not doing this we push these men back into yet another closet.
Article: Chemsex Fueling Sexual Complusivity www.lavendermagazine.com/our-lives/chemsex-fueling-sexual-compulsivity/