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So what do we mean when we say chems and why should it matter?

Whether its medication used in a different way to how it was prescribed or drugs such as methamphetamine and GHB, ‘chemsex’ is a term used to refer to any sex that happens under the influence of chemical substances by those involved.

Research shows us that there are people who regularly engage in ‘ChemSex’ without considering these sexual connections and the use of substances to be problematic. However, there are also others who find using ‘chems’ in settings where sex takes place can have a negative impact not just on physical health but also on mental wellbeing and the relationships around us, we hold dear.

With some substances commonly consumed in ‘ChemSex’ spaces having very clear, dangerous, or even deadly effects depending on how and the quantity in which they have been consumed, knowing facts is essential. We won’t judge you or tell you not to engage in ‘ChemSex’, but we do want you to be informed about safer practices and the effects of potent substances that might be involved.

If you’re thinking of engaging in ‘ChemSex’, or if you already are, We Are Survivors and the George house Trust have come together to help you get the information you need!

Check out the video’s below from the sex positive goddesses Cheddar Gorgeous, Shazza Fierce and Sister Bang Bang for a brilliant guide to understanding the most commonly used ‘chems’ and their effects.

The information below can help you understand how many of the drugs used in ‘chemsex’ work and the effects they can have. This information is sourced from Talk to Frank which can be accessed here.


  • Is part of the amphetamine family of stimulant drugs.
  • It is also called Crank, Crystal Meth, Glass, Ice, Meth, Tina, Christine Yaba
  • When taking it you may feel exhilarated, aroused, alert, paranoid, confused, aggressive and disinhibition. Read more
  • The effects can last 4-12 hours. Read more


  • Is a powerful stimulant that’s often compared to drugs like cocaine and ecstasy.
  • It is also called 4-MMC, Bounce, Bubble, Charge, Drone, M-CAT, M-Smack, MC, Meow Meow, Meph Miow, White Magic
  • When taking it you might feel alert and/or paranoid, confident, affectionate and/or anxious, dizzy. Read more
  • The effects last up to a couple of hours but people often re-dose more frequently to maintain the effects. After a session, some people find it hard to sleep for days and lose their memory for a while. Read more


  • Is closely related drugs with similar sedative and anaesthetic effects. When consumed, GBL is converted into GHB in the body.
  • It is also called 1 4-Bd Gbh Gbl Geebs Liquid Ecstasy
  • When taking it you might feel euphoric, drowsy, relaxed, turned on/sexy. Read more
  • The effects last last for seveal hours. Read more


  • Is a white powder stimulant that is normally snorted or rubbed into the gums.
  • It is also called Blow, C, Chang, Charlie, Ching, Coke, Crack, Flake, Freebase, Pebbles, Percy, Rocks, Sniff, Snow, Stones, Toot, Wash, White
  • When taking it you might feel excited, confident and/or anxious, happy, panicky, risk-taking. Read more
  • The effects last up to 30 mins – 40 mins on average. Read more


  • Is a recreational/club drug taken as ecstasy pills or as MDMA powder.
  • It is also called Crystal, Dizzle, E, MD, MDMA, Mandy, Molly, Pills, Xtc
  • When taking it you might feel ‘Loved-up’, alert, energised and/or anxious, panicky, paranoid. Read more
  • The effects last up to 2 – 4 hours on average. Read more


  • Is sold as a grainy white or light brown powder. Looks similar to cocaine but is a very different drug.
  • It is also called K, Ket, Special K, Super K, Vitamin K
  • When taking it you might feel detached, happy, chilled and/or anxious, confused, ‘tripped out’. Read More
  • The effects can last on average 30 mins – 1 hour. Read more