In 2015 the LGBT Foundation, based in Manchester, began to distribute these play packs to men who have sex with men and engage in group sex and chemsex.
Chemsex is the combination of drugs such as mephedrone, methamphetamines, and GHB with sex and is an increasing trend across certain parts of the gay community, especially in larger cities like Liverpool. A side effect of drug use whilst having sex is that there is no desire for sleep or food and often chemsex can last for several days, often including multiple partners in chemsex parties.
Mixing drug use and sex can lead to lack of sexual inhibitions and a heightened risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) through unprotected sex. Following a rise in STIs relating to chemsex the LGBT Foundation began to freely distribute these play packs to men self-identifying as being at heightened risk of STIs through group and chemsex. The packs include condoms, lubricant, rubber gloves, a vibrating cock-ring and information on safe sex and chemsex support.
“If you do go to these parties, please talk to us at the clinic and get advice and get tested. It isn’t about stopping your drug use but about being safe and then if you want support on giving up we can provide it. We can give you clean needles and people need to remember that HIV is manageable but only if a test is taken” – Dr. Lawton, Consultant for Sexual Health and HIV, Liverpool Centre for Sexual Health.
For more information about chemsex and safer sex please visit the LGBT Foundation.