When using chems it can be hard to remain in control of your sexual health and keep yourself safe. Here are some tips on what you can do to help you to have consensual and pleasurable sex, with the least harm.
Consent is important for both you and your sexual partner(s). The foundation of consent is that it is given enthusiastically and willingly, with the explicit understanding that you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do. Consent can only be given if you are able to do so. No ifs, no buts! Consent in terms of ChemSex, or any form of sex, is not just about hooking up with someone or about attending a chillout. Consent is only valid if:
If you feel you have been a victim of rape or sexual assault you can report this in confidence to the police. You can also contact your local sexual health clinic or appropriate third sector organisation for help. For further info check out our service directory here.
If you are planning on having sex, then the most effective way to protect yourself from a whole range of STIs is to use condoms and lube. Make sure you have different sizes if you plan to be fucked by a number of guys as they might have forgotten to bring condoms with them.
Be clear about what you want to do or not do. If you are doing something that you are not comfortable with, then say stop. If you are engaging in kink then you should negotiate a safe word with your sexual partner or partners. A safe word is an agreed term you can use to make things stop when sex gets too close to your comfort limits.
It is important to be aware of what you are taking and how you are feeling. If you feel you are starting to lose control, take a break and let someone know.
Keep an eye out for both yourself and your friends. Sometimes people can react to chems in different ways, even if they are experienced. If things go wrong, it is important to be able to know what to do. Engaging in ChemSex can leave you or your friends feeling vulnerable. You can find out more on what to do when things go wrong by visiting the ChemSex First Aid Manual.
If someone you know is not responding to any stimulation or showing signs of breathing difficulties, mental distress where they are likely to harm themselves or others, then you should call 999 immediately.
If the person is unconscious, you should put them in the recovery position.
If you are using chems you can sometimes forget when to take your meds. This can be the case if you are using chems alongside HIV medication or PrEP. It's a good idea to set alarms on your phone or watch.