Chemsex: the name given to the rising phenomenon which refers to the use of drugs in a sexual context. Often referring to group sex that can last for days, the allure of chemsex has lead to many young men being trapped in a vicious circle of sex, addiction and dependence.
A powerful and potent new documentary film tells the stories of gay men whose lives have been affected by the crisis; from self-confessed ‘slammers’ to sexual health workers, from those who deny there’s a problem to those who ‘got out alive’. Offering unprecedented access, Chemsex is a brave and unflinching journey in to the dark underworld of modern, urban gay life.
I am particularly lucky that I have avoided the whole chem scene in my own little gay world – although, I see it all over the place and know many, many guys who have (or are) struggling with it. But, I am not immune. Years ago, during a business trip to New York City, I met someone at the Eagle NY who invited me to a party at his place where I slammed meth (intraveneously) for the first (and last) time. I have to admit that it was kickass and fortunately I was able to walk away from the scene the next day. With feelings of dread and guilt, I went on with life and happily avoided a similar scene again. It is easy to see why we get hooked.
It is jarring to be a close friend to someone and then not to see them for 8 months as they disappear into this world. But, friends who have conquered their own demons and returned to life are some of the strongest people I know.
VICE has been working on a documentary about lives affected by chemsex and the trailer is below. The film will debut in the UK on December 4.