Paris wants to act in the face of the rise of “chemsex”

The subject associates two taboos, sex and drugs. So far, very few politicians have taken a position on “chemsex”, the practice of using various drugs during sexual intercourse in order to stimulate desire, increase pleasure and make it last. But faced with the risks associated with this emerging phenomenon, the City of Paris has decided to intervene, elected officials announced on Wednesday, November 24.

“The stake is important, we must mobilize, and Paris will take all its responsibility, says Jean-Luc Roméro-Michel, assistant to Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party) in charge of the fight against discrimination. We are preparing a strategic plan for the next four years. Five working groups will be set up in 2022. ” Among the avenues considered are a major prevention campaign, but also a project that promises to be more controversial: “Strengthen injection education” for those affected.

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The willingness of Anne Hidalgo and her team to venture onto the field of chemsex is no accident. “Paris is the historic city of chemsex in France, and this practice has experienced a very marked development since the beginning of the 2010s”, explains Dorian Cessa, a doctor specializing in this subject. The national study that he has just coordinated shows that the use of psychotropic products, in particular synthetic drugs, in order to intensify and prolong sexual acts “Has spread widely” over the years.

“About ten deaths per year”

Firstly, “This practice has remained very limited to men who have sex with other men”, especially during “Orgy”, and it mainly concerned Paris, explains Dorian Cessa. But a good part of the 1,196 people who took part in the survey conducted in the first half of the year no longer fit this profile. A quarter of them do not live in metropolitan areas, notes the doctor. And male homosexuals now represent only 75% of respondents. Women and heterosexual libertines have also taken to these drugs. “It must be said that the purchase has become very easy, notes Jean-Luc Roméro-Michel. You type on your laptop, and the products are delivered to you the next day, in an envelope, at very affordable prices. “ Around 15 euros per gram, four times cheaper than cocaine.

This practice has spread, “Democratized”, with the success of dating applications but also with Covid-19 and confinements “Who have abolished certain borders”, confirms Anne Souyris, the Parisian assistant in charge of health. According to a British study, 25% to 30% of users of gay apps like Grindr would resort to chemsex.

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