Chems and Consent

Do what you want (but no more)

To agree to sex you must:

  • Being able to consent
    If you are asleep, unconscious, or so out of touch with the world that you cannot make a decision for yourself, you cannot consent. If someone does something to you while you are in this state, it makes it a crime. 
  • Being free to give consent
    If you are threatened or forced to say yes, then you are not giving your sexual consent in a free way. This can invalidate your ‘yes’ and can mean that the person(s) having sex with you is committing a crime. Taking advantage of someone because they are ‘counted out’ or are insecure, vulnerable or inexperienced is not OK. 

Taking chems is not the same as consent
Using chems can reduce your inhibitions. This is (for some) part of the reason for engaging in chemsex. One risk of using chems (especially ‘G’) is becoming unconscious when overdosed. At that point, a person cannot give consent because they are not able or free to give consent. Therefore, from a legal standpoint, “having sex with someone who is unconscious” is considered rape, and the person who does so may be at risk of prosecution. So be sure that others are able to give consent.

Create consent standards
There seems to be a form of stigma around giving consent. Men don’t talk about it, and assume it is automatically given. Sometimes even the fact of attending a chemsex event can be seen as consent for sex (at any time, under any condition). Fewer inhibitions seem to be the precursor to much sexual violence occurring in chemsex. This is in stark contrast to encounters in kink or BDSM culture, where participants engage in sexual negotiation where clear rules usually spell out what is allowed or forbidden. We therefore recommend that you take precautions and discuss this with the attendees in advance. Make clear rules about what is allowed or prohibited during the event. 

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