Drugs and sex work

Some sex workers take drugs during sex. That’s called chem sex. Sometimes it makes your work easier. But it can be dangerous. Your client may get aggressive if they take drugs. And you might do things you wouldn’t have done without drugs. Read about the risks. And how to stop it getting dangerous.

What is chem sex?

Chem sex means you have sex and take drugs at the same time. Often together with your client. You don’t ever have to take drugs. Even if a client asks you to. Only do it if you want to.

Is your client forcing you to take drugs? Then try to get in touch with the police straightaway by phoning 112.

On sexwork.info you can read more about chem sex

What are the risks of drugs while you’re working

Taking drugs while you’re working has some disadvantages:

  • You might do things you wouldn’t have done if you hadn’t been high
  • Your client may get aggressive if they also take drugs
  • You won’t recognise danger as well or as quickly
  • You’ll be less able to defend yourself if your client gets aggressive

Do you take drugs when you have sex? Then make sure you know what the risks are of those drugs. So you can stay safe while you’re working.

On sexwork.info you can read about how to make drug use as safe as possible

How to take drugs safely

Whether drugs are safe or dangerous depends on lots of things. Like how pure the drugs are, but also how you use them and how much you take. And whether you take different drugs at the same time.

Do you want to use drugs with a client? Then do it as safely as you can.

  • Try to sleep and eat well beforehand
  • It’s best to only take 1 kind of drug
  • Swallowing or snorting drugs is better than injecting them
  • Drink enough water in between, and wear clothes that help you stay cool. Then your body temperature won’t get too high
  • Don’t go on for too long
  • Rest well afterwards. That helps your body recover

On sexwork.info you can read more about how to take drugs safely

What you should do if you’re in danger

If you’ve taken drugs and think you’re not safe – call for help. Or phone 112.

You can’t do that? Just keep calm and say quietly that you want to stop. Try not to argue. If the client won’t leave, and you have an emergency button in your room, press it.

On sexwork.info you can read more about recognising danger and what you should do

Had a bad experience? Get help

Did you taken drugs with a client, or while they were there? And did something bad happen? This is what you can do:

  • Join Ugly Mugs and report the violent incident to us . We can help you report it to the police if you want. And get you any help you need. We’ll also put that client on a list. So you and other sex workers can check clients and work safely
  • Get in touch with the Sexual Assault Center. They can help you too. With reporting the incident to the police, for example. Or getting you any help you need to recover from what happened
  • You can also report it to the police yourself

Had sex without a condom? This is what you can do

You didn’t use condoms when you had sex? Then you may now have an STI or HIV. This is what you can do:

  • Make an appointment for an STI test
  • If you think your client may have HIV, then you might need to get PEP . That is treatment to stop you getting HIV
  • Is it difficult for you to use condoms during your work? Then perhaps PrEP  is right for you. It’s a pill that makes sure you can’t get infected with HIV. Read more about PrEP