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Chasing the rainbow: pleasure, sex-based sociality and consumerism in navigating and exiting the Irish Chemsex scene

Van Hout, MC, Crowley, D, O’Dea, S and Clarke, S (2019) Chasing the rainbow: pleasure, sex-based sociality and consumerism in navigating and exiting the Irish Chemsex scene. Culture, Health and Sexuality. ISSN 1369-1058

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Club drug use among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men is increasingly normalised within sexual contexts and is associated with increased sexual risk behaviours. The term Chemsex is used to describe sexualised drug use lasting several hours or days with multiple sexual partners. A small pilot study, underpinned by interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), was conducted in Dublin, Ireland. Interviews were conducted with 10 men who were experiencing physical and emotional health problems as a consequence of their participation in sexualised drug use and wished to exit the Chemsex scene. Interviews explored experiences of sexualised drug use, motives to partake, the organisation of Chemsex parties and group connectivity, drugs used, harm reduction, pleasure and consequences of participation over time. Four basic themes emerged from the analysis: social and cyber arrangements within the Dublin Chemsex scene; poly drug use and experiences of drug dependence; drug and sexual harm reduction within the Chemsex circle of novices and experts; and sexualised drug use, escapism and compulsive participation. Two higher-order themes were also apparent: first, the reinforcing aspects of drug and sexual pleasure; and second, the interplay between excess drug consumption and sex, and drug dependence. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1608 Sociology, 1117 Public Health and Health Services, 2002 Cultural Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2019 12:06
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2023 16:01
DOI or ID number: 10.1080/13691058.2018.1529336
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10208
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