Sex & drugs & EDM : the use and distribution of drugs within a London chemsex scene

Schierano, Christine and Potter, Gary Richard (2016) Sex & drugs & EDM : the use and distribution of drugs within a London chemsex scene. In: Evidence in European social drug research and drug policy :. PABST Science Publishers, Lengerich, pp. 113-129. ISBN 9783958532632

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Chemsex – a subcultural phenomenon where men who have sex with men consume drugs to facilitate sex sessions, usually accompanied by electronic dance music (EDM) – has received a lot of media attention recently. Both the media and the limited existing research have tended to focus on chemsex as a public health concern, with both drug use and risky sexual behaviour implicated in physical and mental harm. But chemsex is also an arena of illegal drug use and drug supply, and this chapter explores the nature of drug distribution within this subcultural scene. Drawing on observational research and interviews with 17 drug dealers, we found that retail-level dealers tend to emerge from within the scene rather than coming from outside, and that they reflect and maintain the ethos and norms of the subculture. Benefits of drug dealing (both financial and interpersonal) encourage existing chemsex participants to take on the role of dealer, while challenges of maintaining the lifestyle (the physical and emotional demands of ongoing participation in drug and sex sessions) mean that their drug dealing careers are often short-lived. We argue that here that, as in other drug-using scenes, retail level dealing is a product of the subculture – and the patterns of use and social supply within it – rather than parasitical to it.

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?? chemsexdrug dealingsocial supplydrug usecultural identity ??
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05 Jan 2017 13:30
Last Modified:
10 Nov 2023 11:35