LONDON — Combining sex and drugs is common among all genders and sexual orientations, with people in Britain more likely to engage in the practice than Americans, Australians or other Europeans, according to a global survey reported on by Reuters.
The findings suggest that messages about reducing potential harm from the practice — including overdosing, date rape and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases — should be targeted at all genders and sexual groups, researchers said.
The findings, published on Tuesday in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, showed that alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy, or MDMA, are the drugs most commonly combined with sex, and that users say MDMA in particular enhances “intimacy.”
Survey respondents from Britain were the most likely to combine drugs with sex (known as “chemsex”) as compared with America, other European countries, Australia and Canada, Reuters reports.
And while people of sexual orientations reported engaging in substance-linked sex, gay and bisexual men were more likely to have done so. Gay men were 1.6 times as likely as straight men to have used drugs with the specific intent of enhancing sexual experience in the last year, Reuters reports.
“While using drugs in combination with and to specifically enhance the 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 this behavior,” said Will Lawn, an expert at University College London’s Psychology & Language Sciences department who co-led the research.
Alcohol, cannabis, MDMA and cocaine were most commonly used, while the so-called “club drugs” GHB/GBL and ecstasy/MDMA, were rated most favorably. For example, MDMA was reported to increase “emotionality/intimacy” the most, while GHB/GBL was said to heighten “sexual desire” the most, Reuters reports.