You like to get high when you have sex (PnP “Party and Play”, long session, slam, chemsex, etc.).
You like to do this because it sharpens your senses and prolongs excitement. Taking drugs can definitely make you feel good, but be aware that they also affect your perception of risk and could lead you to make decisions that you’d never make when sober. Knowing the risks, finding ways to reduce or avoid them, setting limits, and preparing yourself ahead of time are all useful strategies. This makes it possible to fall back on choices that you’ve already made once the drugs start to affect your judgment.
It’s very important to keep in mind that fucking for hours or days at a time can irritate the genitals, anus, or any other part of the body that is touched, licked, or penetrated for long periods of time. In addition, drugs can affect your ability to feel pain or fatigue. These types of irritations create an entry point through which HIV and other STBBIs can be transmitted. A good way to slow down the development of skin irritations is to use plenty of lubricant and frequently apply more.
Using a condom can prevent the skin of the penis from getting irritated and significantly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV and other STBBIs – for the top as much as the bottom. For a long session, make sure you have plenty of condoms, lube on hand, as well as latex or polyurethane gloves if you practice fisting, and make sure to keep adding more lubricant to reduce irritation. If you are into barebacking, the only way to reduce irritation – and the risk of transmitting HIV and other STBBIs – is to use lots (really a lot!!) of lube, Crisco, or other oil-based lubricant. However, remember that using lube is not enough to protect you from an infection. Using an additional prevention method such as PrEP can reduce your risk of getting infected with HIV. PrEP is strongly recommended in these situations because you can take it before getting high, making it less likely that you’ll forget.
For group sex, when you are using a condom or latex gloves, remember to use a new condom or glove whenever you change partners or holes. The golden rule is simple: “When you change holes, change condoms.” The same applies to lube. If you are using a container of lube rather than a bottle or pump, it’s important not to put your hand back into the same jar if you are lubing up multiple partners. If you use Crisco for fisting, do not use latex condoms or gloves. Polyurethane condoms or gloves should be used instead.
If you are living with HIV, prepare your medication in advance and find a way to remember to take it such as setting an alarm on your phone. Remember that certain HIV medications such as Ritonavir can enhance the effects of drugs. Wait at least 30 minutes after taking your medication before you take more drugs, and start with half a dose. If you don’t know whether your treatment interacts with drugs, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If you use syringes, don’t share them.
From an overall health perspective, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, go to the bathroom often, and make sure to eat something from time to time.
Over the past few years, cases of hepatitis C that were sexually transmitted have been reported in gay men living with HIV. Available data suggest that these infections were most likely transmitted in situations that involved a risk of contact with blood through practices such as fisting, group sex, and barebacking, particularly in the context of drug use and hardcore activities.
Hepatitis C and HIV can also be transmitted by sharing needles. If you’re into slamming, make sure that you obtain new (sterile and unused) injection equipment before each session and never share your needles or anyone else’s.
If you are into long sessions on Tina (crystal meth) or want to give it a try, it’s important to know that this is a powerful drug that can affect your judgment in a totally different way than other drugs. Getting high on Tina often makes people want to try things they’ve never done on other drugs or when sober. It’s not uncommon for someone who is normally a top to decide he wants to get fucked after taking crystal meth. Other people can suddenly feel an urgent desire to get fisted or get pissed on. Knowing this, it’s best to prepare for the unexpected. If you do decide to get fucked, how will you set your limits? Only with a condom? Without a condom but only with a HIV-negative guy? Without a condom but only with an HIV-positive guy who has an undetectable viral load? Is using PrEP something you’d be willing to consider? Don’t forget that you can also take PEP after a high-risk party. Make sure that you arrive prepared with everything you think you might need to help reduce the risk of infection with HIV and other STBBIs: condoms, latex gloves, lube, Crisco, injection kits, etc. You can order a custom sex kit based on your particular needs and the things you like to do through Kontak, a project run by ACCM.
To learn more about:
- substance use, sex, and gay culture, see the booklet from RÉZO, Drugs, Alcohol and Gay Men.
- crystal meth, visit Meth & Réalité (French only), a website created by the Clinique médicale du Quartier Latin.
- mixing drugs, see the booklet from AQPSUD, Le Blender, guide sur les mélanges de drogues et les risques qui en découlent (French only).