Crystal increases your libido and lowers your inhibitions. There are some potential risks that come with sex on crystal. Because crystal sets your muscles, organs and nerves into overdrive, you can end up having sex for longer and your pain threshold increases so you may be more likely to not notice damage or tears to your anus or vagina. This, combined with your decreased inhibitions when you’re out of it can lead to an increased chance of BBV (e.g. HIV and Hep C) and/or STI transmission. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re going to have sex on crystal:
Before you have sex make sure it is consensual. Negotiate your limits and keep it as safe as you agreed upon. Be prepared. Keep a supply of lube, condoms and gloves at home or with you. For those going to a sex-on-premises venue, make sure you know where the condoms, lube and gloves are supplied.
Sex on crystal can go for longer periods so make sure you have enough condoms and lube to last the distance.
If you’re having multi-partner or group sex be as prepared as possible and communicate your boundaries before you get too wasted to do so.
If you’re using sex toys with more than one person make sure you clean the toys between partners to minimise the risk of BBV and STI transmission.
If you smoke crystal make sure you check your oral health regularly as frequent smoking of crystal can lead to bleeding gums and mouth sores, increasing the risk of BBV/STI transmission during oral sex. Staying hydrated and keeping your lips moist can stop lips cracking.
Order your free play packs and blood play packs from ACON. For lesbians and same sex attracted women you can order your play packs from CLAUDE. For same sex attracted and gay men, play packs can be ordered from #HowHard.
For men, sex on crystal can make getting and keeping a hard on more difficult. Some guys will use Viagra (Levitra or Cialis) to help them overcome ‘crystal dick’. Using these in combination with amyl nitrate lowers your blood pressure to potentially dangerous levels. Adding crystal to the mix can further increase this risk. The more drugs you put into your systems the less predictable the outcomes are.
Not as safe as you planned?
The reality is that there may be a time when the sex that you had was not as safe as you planned it to be; it is beneficial to both your mental and physical wellbeing to get a HIV and STI test. You may also want to explore ways to minimise that risk. This may mean looking at the way you use crystal or what led up to the event. Make plans and implement strategies that will help you have the sex you want. For information on sexual risk visit CLAUDE or Know the Risk.
If you feel that you may have been put at risk of HIV infection you should consider getting Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is a 4 week course of HIV treatments which may stop HIV infection occurring, provided the treatment is started as soon as possible after the risk event happens.
To be most effective, PEP should be started within a few hours of exposure to HIV. If it is not started within 72 hours (3 days) it is not likely to work.
To get PEP contact your local sexual health clinic, hospital accident and emergency departments or the 24 hour PEP hotline 1800 PEP NOW (1800 737 669).
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) refers to the use HIV anti-retroviral medications to prevent transmission of HIV by HIV-negative people. It is different to PEP in that it is taken prior to potential exposures rather than after. At the time of producing this resource no drug has been approved for use as PrEP in Australia, however research studies on viability and acceptability by gay men in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were about to commence. Check the ACON website for further details and developments regarding PrEP.
Using crystal can affect the decisions you make and the risks you take. To minimise this risk and help end HIV by 2020, remember to test more, treat early, stay safe and use condoms. Visit endinghiv.org.au