During the coronavirus urgent social distancing measures (lockdown) it's really important we stay in, and avoid hooking up for sex (with anyone we aren't sharing a household with). Innocent, onward COVID-infections that happen when we hook up relay onwards, and COVID-vulnerable people can get very sick, some will die, as a result of our hook-up.
Being told to stop having sex; being told to just stop doing drugs... aren't easy messages to deliver to queer people especially.
For queer people especially, that's a tough pill to swallow, given the stigmas attached to the sex we enjoy.
And our history with HIV/AIDS.
But at the moment... not hooking up - actually saves lives.
But that's really difficult for some; isolation can be a risk factor for many -including people who struggle with powerful drug cravings or who are in compulsive chemsex cycles. It's important we remain compassionate about people who struggle with powerful addictions or compulsions. If you don't feel confident to manage your compulsions to do chems and hook up; firstly, don't feel bad; it's just biology; there's nothing wrong with you. It's how our brains and bodies work, and there are ways to develop skills and exercise more control.
It's easier than you think - with the right support.
If you or someone you know is struggling, I'm happy to help.
It's free, it's kind, and it can help save lives at the moment.
- If you feel pretty confident you can control things, but would like to check in with me weekly to keep yourself mindful and motivated, read here.
- If you feel quite overwhelmed by cravings, triggers, compulsions, I can help skill you up with tools to better manage those things. Read here.
- If you feel very vulnerable, like you don't have control over your 'choice' to use chems... I'll be glad to help you with daily check-ins, confirmations, motivation. Read here.
- If you are lapsing, and experience chem induced psychosis or paranoia, read here.
- If you are lapsing, and need to know what to do in chemsex emergencies, read the Chemsex First Aid guide here.
- If you want to do this on your own, there is a self-guided tool online, which helps you to choose a goal to work towards, and helps you with the skills required to successfully accomplish that goal. Read here.
- Doing chems on your own (or with someone you share a house with, and/or virtual/online sex) is ok in regard to COVID epidemic management... there is some harm reduction information here.
- For a longer read about coronavirus generally, and what it means in regard to HIV, chemsex, and our communities, read here.
Be safe, be kind to yourself in your thoughts, as well as to others.
And reach out for help.