TORONTO ( January 5, 2017 ) Popular gay hookup site Squirt.org has found chemsex, also known as Party and Play ( PNP ) or drug-fueled sex, is prevalent with 30% of survey respondents admitting that they have engaged in the activity.
The study, which surveyed 22,248 Squirt.org members, also showed that despite widespread usage of illicit drugs during sex, only about 39% of respondents said they would consider engaging in chemsex while 61% said they would not.
Dr.Bourne, who recently interviewed with the prominent Gay News Network ( GNN ) after the release of his statements emphasizing the sensationalization of chemsex reports, expressed that "Chemsex is something we have to remain vigilant about, but we also have to be wary of drawing simple conclusions without considering the right evidence. Only a small minority of gay men use drugs on a regular basis, and only a minority of those do so in a sexual context."
"We wanted to provide our members very important information about chemsex within the gay and bisexual community," said Attila Szatmari, Digital Business Director for Pink Triangle Press, Squirt.org's parent company. "We now have statistics from real people showing infrequent participation in chemsex, not this hyper-usage that seems to be reported in mainstream media."
The Victorian AIDS Council ( VAC ) has recently called for greater awareness of the needs of LGBTI people within mainstream alcohol and other drug ( AOD ) services, in addition to increased funding for LGBTI-specific AOD services.
"The reality is mainstream AOD services will continue to provide most of the treatment for LGBTI people, and those services do need greater awareness of LGBTI issues. But a lot of people don't feel comfortable accessing a mainstream servicewe also need better funded LGBTI-specific services," Bourne commented. Squirt.org took on this survey with the intention to provide a safe place for its members to share. One survey section asked members about protection and recollection of their experience. When asked how much they remember from their chemsex encounters, 85.5% of respondents said they remembered everything to mostly everything and 10% said they recalled half of their experience. Only 4% said they remembered almost nothing. The remaining 0.5% recalled nothing of the experience. The survey also showed that during chemsex 51% of men did not use protection during anal sex and 93% did not use protection during oral sex.
The drug of choice for study participants was crystal meth ( 36% ), followed by marijuana ( 19% ), cocaine ( 13% ), and MDMA, better known as ecstasy ( 11% ).
Complete results of the study as well as a video outlining the survey results are available at www.squirt.org/press/chemsex. To view the YouTube video click here.
The Squirt.org study comes after a survey of about 8,500 gay men by European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control ( ECDC ) showed 11% of respondents were HIV positive. However, only 51% responded to the question about their HIV status. The study was conducted by the ECDC as part of the implementation of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis ( PrEP ), an antiretroviral drug meant to prevent HIV.
"Our goal in providing this data to our members was to show that above all, we care about them and want them to be properly informed. Our website also acts as a knowledge hub for resources on PrEP, protection and unprotected sex. We encourage our users to get as much information as possible and decide based on their comfort level how far they are willing to go," Szatmari said.
Squirt.org is a completely uncensored hookup/cruising site for gay, bi, and curious men who want to avoid the pitfalls of dating and get right to the sex. It is the premier gay site that provides men around the world a way to meet and hook up.
Where men meet other men for sex, fun, and friendship this is the foundation for Squirt.org, a website established in 1999 and operated by Pink Triangle Press. True to its tagline, "Hot 'n horny hookups," Squirt.org is a completely uncensored hookup/cruising site for gay, bi, and curious men who want to skip the pretense of dating and get right to the sex. Consisting entirely of user-generated content, the site is continually growing to provide men around the world a way to meet. Squirt.org is available on mobile, desktop, and tablet platforms through any web browser without the need of downloading any apps. All are welcome in the Squirt.org sex-positive community independent of weight, age, or race, which equates to a great chance at getting laid. For more information, visit www.Squirt.org, www.Twitter.com/SquirtOrg, or www.Facebook.com/Squirt.org .
EVIDENCE BRIEF ON PREVALENCE OF DRUG-FUELED SEX OR CHEMSEX IN THE GAY COMMUNITY INTRODUCTION
Due to the sensationalized coverage of chemsex statistics in mainstream media, gay dating site Squirt.org conducted a study of its members to uncover how the practice has impacted communities of gay and bi men. The study, which surveyed 22,248 Squirt.org members, asked 12 questions regarding chemsex, including inquiry about future drug use, HIV status, and drug preference.
When asked about chemsex, 67% of respondents knew what it was. Of those familiar with the practice, 39% said they would consider participating, while 61% said they wouldn't. Of those who reported engaging in chemsex, 51% reported they did so more than 10 times, followed by 14% who said they had chemsex five to 10 times. 22% reported three to five times, followed by the 8% who said they had chemsex twice and 5% who said they tried it once.
The survey also inquired about safe sex practices for those who do choose to "Party and Play" ( PnP ). 93% of respondents said that they don't use protection for oral sex while 7% said they did. In contrast, 51% said don't use protection for penetration, while 49% said they did ( Figure 5 ). In regards to HIV risks, 89% reported that they knew their current status, 63% said they knew the HIV status of their partner, and 45% said they disclose their HIV status to their partners. 37% said they don't know the status of their partner, and 11% reported they don't know their own HIV status.
The survey continued to dive into the habits of chemsex participants. 23% of men who "party and play" reported they were HIV positive, with 19% saying they were positive, but undetectable, leaving 4% of respondents who were positive but not necessarily undetectable. Of the 68% who responded that they were HIV negative, 3% were on the HIV prevention drug Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis ( PrEP ). 9% of respondents said they didn't know their status.
When asked to recall their sexual encounters that involved drug use, 85.5% of participants remembered everything or mostly everything and 10% said they recalled half of their experience. 4% said they remembered almost nothing, while only 0.5% could recall nothing ( Figure 7 ).
One of the key concerns among medical professionals and men who have sex with men ( MSM ) is the safety of participants health-wise and otherwise. When respondents were surveyed about their overall feelings of safety, many respondents said they felt safe ( 40% ) or very safe ( 15% ) during chemsex. The rest felt either neutral ( 31% ), unsafe ( 11% ) or very unsafe ( 3% ) ( Figure 8 ). Moreover, 70% of the men said they don't get a hangover after chemsex while 30% said they did. 57% reported experiencing a comedown while 43% did not.
Chemsex occurred most frequently at home ( 68% ), at a private party ( 62% ), at a sauna or bathhouse ( 41% ), or a sex club ( 29% ). 40% of the guys reported using some other location ( Figure 10 ).
When addressing the "Party" in "Party and Play," 36.32% of respondents said crystal meth was their drug of choice, followed by marijuana ( 18.97% ), cocaine ( 12.59% ), and Ecstasy or MDMA ( 11.47% ). The less popular drugs were GHB ( 6.13% ), Mephedrone ( 5.61% ), and Heroin ( 0.27% ). 8.64% of chemsex participants used a drug not listed.
The goal in providing this data to members is to make sure they are properly informed. Squirt.org acts as a hub for resources on cruising and safe sex. Part of this role is to continue adding to the information available to users, to encourage users to seek further resources, and to give them the tools to make informed sexual decisions. The Squirt.org study comes after a survey of about 8,500 gay men by the European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control ( ECDC ) was conducted as part of the implementation of Pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP ), an antiretroviral drug meant to prevent HIV infection. More needs to be done to increase awareness of the benefits of using PrEP, especially in the context of chemsex. More importantly, there needs to be more outlets where MSM can go to seek advice about engaging in chemsex safely, without judgment. Due to the advancements in HIV treatment and prevention, it's plausible some MSM may feel engaging in chemsex is not as large of a health threat as it has been portrayed. The study, however, demonstrates the need for more vigilance and advocacy for safe sex and the use of PrEP while engaging in chemsex. This advocacy could positively benefit the gay community overall.
Where men meet other men for sex, fun, and friendship this is the foundation for Squirt.org, a website established in 1999 and operated by Pink Triangle Press. True to its tagline, "Hot 'n horny hookups," Squirt.org is a completely uncensored hookup/cruising site for gay, bi, and curious men who want to skip the pretense of dating and get right to the sex. Consisting entirely of user-generated content, the site is continually growing to provide men around the world a way to meet. Squirt.org is available on mobile, desktop, and tablet platforms through any web browser without the need to download any apps. All are welcome in the Squirt.org sex-positive community independent of weight, age, or race, which equates to a great chance at getting laid. For more information, visit www.Squirt.org, www.Twitter.com/SquirtOrg, or www.Facebook.com/Squirt.org .