Party And Play

Party And Play

Party And Play

-By Bansari Pujara

Curiosity, thing that has kept the humankind evolving and on its toes. From the cavemen times to this very day, humans have been experimenting and will keep on experimenting. Every good thing has been a culmination of years of perseverance and an idea borne out of curiosity. But when does one draw the line? What about the time when these experiments are the cause of a major epidemic? 

Party and play, also called chemsex is the act of indulging in drugs to enhance sexual activity. Chemsex is a pervasive phenomenon, these acts have been gaining heat very rapidly, exposing hundreds of people to the risk of the consequences of unprotects sex including AIDS. With hook-up apps being normalized, this culture of taking drugs that enhance sex and to feel uninhibited has been taking off since the past ten years or so. This is more common in some gay communities. Characteristically it involves crystal methamphetamine, GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) or mephedrone, with the street name of miaow miaow, which can be snorted or swallowed. These drugs play with the serotonin levels, which gives one a sense of well-being, at least for some time. There’s also “slamsex”, which is when the drugs are injected for a more intense high. 

But then why is gaining such grave concerns? Well, these three drugs, in particular, make people lose their inhibitions. GHB being a mild anaesthetic, can encourage forceful anal sex, which enhances infection risk. Predictably, people engaging in chemsex spend two or three days sleeping with multiple partners, leaving them more exposed to raised risks of sexually transmitted infections, like HIV and hepatitis C. the lack of inhibitions can often lead to unprotected sex. Indulgence in Slam-sex also tends to increase the risk of STIs due to the usage of needles. 

If it is so serious, why does no one know about it? Well, section 377 has been canned but the stigma around it has not. Chemsex being popular in the queer culture leaves the victims to be treated as criminals. The shame, the loathing related to substance abuse intensifies with the mention of queer culture. 

Starting off as experimenting and often ending as addiction, these vicious traps are very often to come out of. Quite often these activities are done out of sheer peer pressure or loneliness or rejection. Substance abuse is a crime all over, this being the perfect leverage becomes the perfect plot for extortion, blackmailing and robbery.

From the unprotected unending orgies that apps offer, lives are being out in danger. Over the feeling of being uninhibited, people risk dying at the cost of overdosing or even heart attacks at times. Even the ones which survive end up being cast outs, which not only adds to their depression but also isolates them from their loved ones. 

Delhi and Mumbai are the two cities that have officially addressed the issue, but it will need lot more, to succumb to this epidemic from turning catastrophic.