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CHECK Bayern #1

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Die erste Ausgabe des Männer*Gesundheitsmagazins für Bayern


CHEMSEX ENGLISH VERY INTENSE AND VERY PROBLEMATIC Interview: Bernd Müller Chemsex describes the consumption of drugs during sex and is a common phenomenon in the gay scene. Psychologist Christopher Knoll is a consultant at the Münchner Aids-Hilfe and at the community help center “Sub”. We talked to him about chemsex, its appeal, and its dangers. What is Chemsex? When using the word chemsex, we mean „sexualized substance use“, so the combination of drugs and sex. This combination has been around for a long time, but it has grown so much in recent years that “chemsex” has become somewhat of a household name, especially in advice centers for gay men. „THERE IS STILL NO DRUG- CHECKING IN BAVARIA“ Why does Chemsex seem particularly attractive to gay men? The gay community has always been good at entering sexual niches and expressing themselves through sexuality. And: gay men are, first and foremost, men. It has always been easier for them to say: „Let‘s have sex“ rather than „Take me in your arms“. In order to feel closeness, they tend to choose sexuality. Gays have always had sophisticated methods of optimizing their sexuality and have created a differentiated sex scene in which appropriate contacts can be established quickly, not least through dating apps. Chemsex works very well here — to break down inhibitions and create a sense of closeness. Unfortunately, the other side of the coin is the addictive potential of these substances and the fact that gay men have always been more severely affected by addictions. What makes chemsex so popular? The substances increase sexual appetite. Drugs have a profound „entactogenic“ effect, that is, they strengthen inner feelings. What you feel suddenly feels bigger, more real, even downright overwhelming. In addition to this, possible feelings of shame disappear. In this respect, these drugs are highly functional for an intoxicated sexuality. This, of course, makes chemsex interesting for some and that‘s why it looks so intense, but it is also so problematic. Which substances are used? Crystal Meth – also called „Tina“ — is primarily used. This is an amphetamine whose effects are stronger and last much longer than those of Speed, for example. But other substances such as ketamine, originally a drug from trauma surgery or GHB / GBL, which is often incorrectly referred to as “liquid ecstasy” are also popular. There are also designer drugs such as 3-MMC, a mephedrone substitute and other drugs, all of which have an extremely entactogenic effect. What are the dangers of chemsex? The main dangers are physical side effects, and the substances are often combined with other chemicals. Unfortunately, in contrast to other federal states, there is no so-called “drug checking” in Bavaria. Those are places 46 CHECK BAYERN #1

CHEMSEX Foto: James Ronin/ where you can have your drugs checked for purity or how much active ingredients they contain. We urgently need that, because otherwise we will continue to be dealing with substances that can have very different qualities, which in turn can be very dangerous for the user. In addition to the consequences of an unusually high dose, circulatory disorders, a reduction in lung volume and even respiratory failure – incidentally the most common cause of death in this context – can occur. Can you get addicted to chemsex? Absolutely. Most of these substances are highly addictive. In addition to the physical addiction, we very often have to deal with psychological dependence. This means that the user can hardly imagine sex without these substances and experiences sexuality without drugs as disappointing. So this process becomes cyclical and the drugs can find their way into everyday life. “Sub”. The Aids-Hilfe Munich also knows the topic well. At both institutions, clients can receive advice on how to use drugs responsibly and help is given when they wish to reduce or abstain from drugs. It is important that people deal with their consumption and are informed. If you have any questions or problems, we are happy to help not only users, but also their relatives and partners. (translation: ts,sw) Foto: Susie Knoll Christopher Knoll psychologist and consultant at the Münchner Aids- Hilfe Where can I get advice on chemsex? The first point of contact in Munich and Upper Bavaria is the Chemsex Department at the CHECK BAYERN #1 47

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blu, hinnerk, gab, rik, Leo – die Magazine der blu Mediengruppe erscheinen monatlich in den Metropolen Deutschlands. Die nationale Reichweite der Magazine ermöglicht den reisefreudigen Lesern Zugriff auf alle Informationen immer und überall. Themenschwerpunkte sind neben der regionalen queeren Szene, Kultur, Wellness, Design, Mode und Reise. Unsere Titel sind mit der lokalen Community jahrzehntelang gewachsen und eng verbunden, was durch Medienpartnerschaften mit den CSD-Paraden in Hamburg, Berlin, München und Frankfurt sowie zahlreiche Kooperationen, wie der Christmas Avenue in Köln, seinen Ausdruck findet.