REUTERS: Combining sex and drugs is common across all genders and sexual orientations, with people in Britain more likely to engage in practice than Americans, Australians or other Europeans, according to a global survey.
The findings suggest that messages about reducing possible harm from the practice – including overdose, rape and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases – should be targeted at all genders and sexual groups, the researchers said.
The results, published on Tuesday (2) in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, showed that alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy are the drugs most commonly combined with sex and that users say that MDMA in particular increases "intimacy". .
Respondents in Britain were the most likely to combine sex drugs – known as "chemsex" – compared to the United States, other European countries, Australia and Canada.
And while people with sexual orientations reported engaging in sex-linked substances, gay and bisexual men were more likely to have done so. Homosexual men were 1.6 times more likely than heterosexual men to use drugs with the specific intention of improving sexual experience in the past year.
"While drug use in combination with and specifically to enhance sexual experience tends to be associated with gay and bisexual men, we found that in our sample, men and women of all sexual orientations engaged in such behavior," said Will Lawn, an expert. in the Department of Psychology and Language Sciences at University College London, who co-led the research.
He said this underscored the need for harm reduction messages to be targeted at all groups, not just gay and bisexual men.
"By engaging with your audience and accepting that drugs deliver pleasure and harm, you can deliver harm reduction messages more reliably and differentiated," Lawn said in a statement on the results of the survey.
About 22,000 people responded as part of the Global Drug Survey to online questions about sex and drugs. They were asked if they used drugs specifically to enhance their sexual experiences and how these drugs affected their experiences.
Alcohol, marijuana, MDMA and cocaine were most commonly used, while so-called "club drugs" GHB / GBL and ecstasy / MDMA were rated more favorably.
For example, it has been reported that MDMA increases "emotional / intimacy", while GHB / GBL increases "sexual desire."