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Let’s talk about chemsex and pleasure: the missing link in chemsex services

Jorge Flores-Aranda (University Institute on Addictions, Montréal, Canada)
Mathieu Goyette (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada)
Valérie Aubut (Department of Psychoeducation, University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Canada)
Maxime Blanchette (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada)
Frédérick Pronovost (RÉZO, Montreal, Canada)

Drugs and Alcohol Today

ISSN: 1745-9265

Article publication date: 18 June 2019

Issue publication date: 8 August 2019




The purpose of this paper is to document the experience of current and former methamphetamine users on their crystal meth use patterns and on their use of services related to their chemsex practice.


For qualitative component, two focus groups were formed with nine current users of methamphetamine and eight former users. Thematic analysis was performed to know their experiences.


All participants were already engaging in chemsex with various substances before they first started using methamphetamine. Methamphetamine use led some to slam (methamphetamine or mephedrone injection). Some participants report that their sexual experiences were intensified early in their chemsex practice. They reported feeling more confident with their partners, feeling like they are sexually attractive and overcoming their barriers to sexuality. The intensification of methamphetamine use and, in particular, injection change the positive perception of sexual life. Thus, for some participants, substance use takes more space and their sexual experiences become less satisfactory.

Practical implications

Participants report the services that address the phenomenon of chemsex are still scarce in Quebec province. In addition, the few services available aim to relearn a sober sexuality. However, the mourning of the positive aspects of chemsex on sexual experiences seems still very little discussed. Greater consideration of positive chemsex experiences is needed in services that address this issue.


This project documented the perception of pleasure related to sexual practices among regular methamphetamine users. Their perception of pleasure will help develop services adapted to their reality.



Conflict of interests: the authors do not have any conflict of interest. The Meth@morphose project was funded by the Réseau SIDA et maladies infectieuses of the Fonds de recherche Québec- Santé.


Flores-Aranda, J., Goyette, M., Aubut, V., Blanchette, M. and Pronovost, F. (2019), "Let’s talk about chemsex and pleasure: the missing link in chemsex services", Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 189-196.



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