Hong Kong: Gay men try to escape the dangerous lure of chemsex

Jack’s darkest moment came as a direct result of his desire to finally find true happiness. 

Years of hiding his sexuality from family and friends had left him wary of expressing his true feelings and worried that his true identity would not be accepted by those he loved. Even this afternoon, when Jack has summoned the courage to reveal the most intimate aspects of his journey to a complete stranger, he feels the need to remain cautious. 

Jack is among a growing number of Hong Kong men caught up in a cycle of “chemsex” binges – with an array of drugs taken over days and sex with multiple partners – and the dark days that follow, when the drugs wear off and a fierce depression sets in. His longest sex-and-drugs session lasted 24 hours.

The 30-year-old started to seek help when – following a particularly intense weekend of drug taking and sex – a dispute with his boss led to thoughts of suicide and Jack found his life spiralling out of control.

“In 2015, I left the office and stood there thinking about walking onto the East Rail Line,” Jack says. “The cloud from the drugs was still there and I just couldn’t think logically. It was all based on emotion, and I had lost control of my emotions.”

The official numbers – supplied to the Post by the Department of Health – read that, among men who have sex with men, the prevalence of chemsex remained at around 11 per cent between 2011 and 2016. Jack – and others within the gay community the Post talked to – believe the numbers of those involved in chemsex in Hong Kong have risen over the past five years, due to the availability of the drugs and the continued rise in use of apps such as Grindr, which they say take the hard work out of hook-ups for sex.  Read more via South China Morning Post