Paris is worried about the Chemsex phenomenon, which is spreading on a large scale in the capital
the Chemsex is gaining ground and gaining a growing population. This is what emerges from a study, presented this Wednesday at
Paris city hall. Behind this portmanteau (“chemicals” for chemical products in English and “sex”), hides a practice which consists in consuming psychotropic or synthetic drugs for
health by the dangers it entails.
If Paris tries to take the subject in hand, it is because it is “a historic city of Chemsex”, according to Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, assistant to Anne Hidalgo and longtime activist. Initially seen as a practice reserved for men who have sex with men (MSM), it has spread for several years in “all parts of the population, regardless of sexual orientation or
genre of the people concerned ”, explains Dorian Cessa, doctor and principal coordinator of the study. The phenomenon would have, moreover, multiplied with the confinements, which broke the usual codes. “And the products used are available in two clicks on the Internet for ridiculous prices”, adds Jean-Luc Romero-Michel. “The dissemination of some of its drugs, including 3MMC” has been “significantly increased since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic,” says Dorian Cessa.
A phenomenon difficult to grasp with dramatic consequences
For the moment, no figure on the number of practitioners emerges as the phenomenon is so difficult to grasp. To give an idea of the possible expansion of Chemsex, Dorian Cessa quotes a previous English study which showed that of the 500,000 users of the application Grindr (dating site for men), “between 25 and 30% of registrants” said they were doing it. An impressive figure especially as the Sea, Sex, and Chems study shows that heterosexuals are still more numerous to practice Chemsex and that women, mostly heterosexual too, represent 16.5% of practitioners in the study. . This gives an idea of the extent of the phenomenon.
And he has something to worry about in view of the risks involved. While many cases of comas and deaths have already been reported, the study shows that Chemsex leads to different addictions, whether to products or to sex. In addition, it impairs vigilance in the face sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
If he specifies that the phenomenon affects all layers of society, “including many CSP +”, Dorian Cessa identifies certain audiences at risk in the face of Chemsex. Fragile populations, such as those who have experienced sex monetization, sexual violence or HIV infection are more likely to enter this practice. Just as those who have experienced an early entry into sexuality, sexual dysfunction or a non-binarity are particularly exposed to addiction to the products consumed. And behavioral sex addiction particularly affects people who target sexual performance, “very common among MSM, and app users,” he comments.
The City of Paris is implementing an information and risk reduction plan
To combat these risks, the City of Paris has announced the establishment of an information and risk reduction plan for Chemsex which should coordinate the actions of health authorities, associations and the police. “Professionals are taken aback by this phenomenon”, explains Anne Souyris, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of health and at the initiative of the plan.
After announcing the creation of a strategic committee “in the coming weeks”, the elected representative insisted on the need to communicate with the different parties and on the widest possible dissemination of information on the subject. And Jean-Luc Romero-Michel concludes: “We must absolutely avoid stigmatization and moralization, these are the worst enemies of prevention. “