Will chemsex be the new gay normal for Thailand tourism?

On Saturday, 62 men were arrested at Faros Sauna 2 in Bangkok where police found drugs, needles, and used condoms – the latest raid on a gay “chemsex” party.

  1. The men were arrested for breaking COVID-19 lockdown restrictions as well as drug-related crimes.
  2. In an attempt to curb the pandemic, Thailand closed bars and nightclubs.
  3. This seems to have fueled the fire for chemsex parties both in private residences and now in public places such as the Faros Sauna 2.

In April, the Government of Thailand closed all bars and nightclubs in an attempt to curb the pandemic. Unfortunately, this created another public health crisis in the form of a spike in chemsex cases according to the charity Thomas Reuters Foundation.

What is chemsex?

It is the practice of having consensual and enhanced gay sex with multiple partners while under the influence of certain drugs like crystal meth, mephedrone, and GHB. It has the potential to be a greater challenge as it is more potent than having a few beers with friends. Chemsex users are also at risk for drug addiction and overdoses, as well as mental health problems, HIV infection, and violence including physical assault and more. And it is inherently a target-rich environment to pass the COVID-19 coronavirus around.

Although the media has implicated western tourists are also participating in chemsex in Thailand, in reality, there are virtually no foreign visitors in the country right now, and a list of those just arrested has not been released.

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