‘Chemsex’ Is Sex + Drugs And, Yes, It’s Totally A Thing

By Keri Blakinger 03/30/17

A high-profile financial media pundit was recently jailed in London for supplying drugs at chemsex parties.

Portrait of a pair of lovers painted in fluorescent powder.

In the '90s, alt-rockers Marcy Playground called it “Sex and Candy,” but now a new generation has dubbed it “chemsex.”

Also known as “Party and Play,” the enticing combination of drugs and sex is spreading into new demographics and is making its way into urban lexicon, according to a salacious report in WHIMN.

“When you have chemsex it’s like you’re pushing to annihilate sexual boundaries and each other,” one woman told the Aussie site, which originally featured the in-depth look at chemsex. “You name it, I did it. On drugs, I felt like a wild, bad girl.”

Chemsex is something that’s often been associated with gay cultures in major metro areas, but according to the Australian women’s publication, it seems to be taking root in straight communities as well. 

The term has also been in the news lately; a high-profile financial media pundit was jailed in London for supplying drugs at chemsex parties. James Shugg, 53, was accused of organizing orgies where he doled out everything from coke to meth to “miaow-miaow” (mephedrone). 

He was collared in 2015 along with two others—one a former Harry Potter extra—and sentenced last week to five years behind bars, according to the Daily Mail. 

But the illicit fun isn’t always at parties. One Australian woman identified only as "Ally" said she combined drugs and sex for a slew of casual hook-ups. 

“By day, I worked in HR. By night, I was 25 and partying. While I’d always felt a little shy having sex, however, on cocaine and MDMA, I was totally uninhibited. Then I met a DJ, who gave me my first bump of crystal,” she said. 

“As soon as I snorted it, it made me feel instantly horny like no other drug—it was such a heightened sexual experience. We would have sex for 12 hours straight. Literally. We’d only stop to go to the bathroom or have a sip of water.”

Of course, the idea of combining drugs and sex is certainly not new. “It goes back to the ancient times,” said drug counselor Chris Mordue. “People first use drugs to feel good and connect. It lowers inhibitions and heightens confidence.”

But over time, it can spiral out of control. “The danger is the drugs can become the sexual driver and have a detrimental effect on your life,” he said. “The cycle goes, craving drugs when you have sex and sex when you take drugs.”

And for some, sex afterward may never be the same. “It’s depressing to think that I’ll never have wild sex like that again. It’s taken me three years to readjust to ‘vanilla sex,’” Ally said. 

“Sometimes I still crave hardcore drugged out sex, but I know it’s too dangerous to ever go back.”

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.