Finding pleasure in risky combinations of sex and drugs: crystal use among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Australia

Drawing on data collected for the Crystal, Pleasures and Sex between Men project, this Cracks in the Ice webinar will explore the complex relationship between sex and drugs, known colloquially as or ‘party and play’. Australian national behavioural surveillance studies have reported higher rates of crystal use amongst gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, compared with the broader Australian population, with this substance being the drug most commonly injected. While some of the harms from crystal use can affect all users, we know there are additional risks for those who combine crystal with sex, such as condomless anal intercourse, group sex, vigorous sex, sex for extended periods, and intravenous injecting; all of which pose a risk of blood borne virus and sexually transmissible infections. While such associations are valuable in identifying the risks associated with crystal use for sex, it is important to recognise that these experiences can also facilitate positive experiences. This webinar will offer an alternative to risk- focused accounts and instead introduce key concepts, like ‘sex-based sociality’, ‘stigma ecologies’, and ‘counterpublic health’, to better understand these pleasures – and their practical translation in service engagement.

This information will be relevant to health care professionals, as well as for people who use methamphetamine and their communities.

This webinar was presented on Friday 24th June at 12pm (Sydney time) by Dr Kerryn Drysdale, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW Sydney.

Download the PDF handout for this webinar  and watch recording below. 

Page last reviewed: Friday, 24 June 2022