Party and play (often abbreviated PNP or PnP, especially in online jargon), also known as a chem session or chemical session or simply as partying, is a phenomenon and subculture of illegal drug users who play together sexually, either one-on-one or in groups. The term is used by and associated with gay men [2] and men who have sex with men (MSM). The drug of choice is typically methamphetamine, known as crystal or tina in the gay community. Other "party drugs" such as ecstasy are less associated with this term.[1] It has been called both an "epidemic" and "plague" in the gay community.[3]

File:Méthamphétamine pure.jpg

Methamphetamine is the drug most associated with the term "Party and Play". In this form it can be crushed and snorted or smoked as is.


Men interested in PNP typically meet through other drug users or through internet dating sites. On such sites, men often include notations such as "PNP" or the reverse, "No PNP".[citation needed] Some sites, such as, prohibit members from saying that they want PNP or making other positive references to drug use. has the same policy but it is not much enforced, users often advertise they are willing to provide favors or party favors[4] (methamphetamine) to prospective partners.

As stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine drastically delay the need for sleep and tend to inhibit ejaculation, PNP sexual encounters can continue for many hours or even for several days. These drugs tend to inhibit penile erection, a phenomenon known by the slang term crystal dick. Consequently, many men who engage in PNP use erectile dysfunction drugs such as sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil.


Besides the inherent risks involved with drug use (i.e. addiction, arrest, financial problems, etc.), health officials have found a strong correlation between drug use and unsafe sex practices. Indeed, some online profiles have notations such as "PNP BB only" (Party and Play, bareback only). As such, PNP practices are cited as the cause of rising HIV rates in the gay and bisexual male community and other men who have sex with men [5]. San Francisco's STOP Aids Project and the Mayor of San Francisco's Crystal Meth Task Force have reduced methamphetamine use from 18% in 2003 to 10% in 2005 of Gay and Bisexual San Franciscans PNPing. The STOP Aids project has been heavily involved due to the common link between methamphetamine use and sex---PNPing.

The same drug-induced loss of inhibitions makes PNP enthusiasts more vulnerable to more immediate threats, such as robbery or assault by someone whom they meet for sex.



"Say no to Meth and Bareback"

Men who PNP with methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA (also known as ecstasy), and ketamine (also known as Special K) are twice as likely to bareback (have unprotected sex), according to British research. The study also found that up to 20% of gay men have tried methamphetamine, the drug most associated with PNPing [6].

The Washington DC area is currently running public service ads to inform about and discourage the practice of PNP amongst the region's gay men.[7],[8]

The New York man who made headlines in 2005 for the labeling of his condition as "HIV Superinfection" was involved in bareback sex with dozens of sexual partners and was a PNPer.

Club culture

Methamphetamine has become a popular club drug in the U.S. [9] 62% of New York's gay club scene uses methamphetamine regularly, 45% combine it with alcohol; 39% with MDMA 32% with Ketamine (known as K or special K); Viagra 29%; inhalant nitrites (Poppers) 28%; and cocaine 25%. In 2005 20 to 25% of gay and bisexual New Yorkers used methamphetamine. Methamphetamine users who thought they were HIV-negative but were actually positive are 11 times more likely to receptively (bottom) bareback while PNPing than their HIV-negative counterparts. Gay men in California who use methamphetamine are twice as likely to be HIV-positive.[10]

Methamphetamine is very popular in the gay party and baths/sauna scenes. Gay saunas are places where men often go to meet other men for sex and the frequency of PNP here is very high. Some sex clubs ban unprotected sex, while others look the other way or permit it. Drug use is uniformly banned, but not all clubs prevent their clientele from entry if they come already high.[11]

The term party and play - and pay has emerged as a warning that Partying and Playing leads to bareback sex which increases the chances of contracting HIV and may result in other consequences such as neurological damage[2] and resistance to HIV drugs[citation needed].

"We're seeing a strong correlation between crystal and HIV infection" -Pride Institute of New York

Methamphetamine can cause sores and abrasions in the mouth which can turn typically low HIV risk sex acts such as oral sex into very high risk sexual activity and transmit HIV.[12]

Depictions of PNP In Popular Culture

  • In the film Another Gay Movie one of the characters is said to be a PNP powerbottom.
  • The film 24 Hours on Craigslist features a gay man under the influence of methamphetamine searching for a sexual partner to bareback with, which made national headlines in the United States.[13]
  • The book Tweakers: How Crystal Meth Is Ravaging Gay America deals with PNP, methamphetamine and drug problems in the gay community. A film about the book is planned to be released in 2007.[14]
  • The worst methamphetamine problems in the gay community are reportedly in San Francisco and New York [15], whose gay men say it's linked to an increase in barebacking.[16]
  • In an episode of House called "Hunting", A HIV positive Gay patient describes himself as a "Party and Play, Sex and drugs"

See also


  1. While the term PNP almost certainly has its origins in the specific subculture of methamphetamine users, and is without doubt most associated with its use, people have been quick to generalize it to include partying with other drugs thought to intensify sexual experiences, especially ecstasy, GHB, and cocaine. This article in the New York Times describes PNP as simply "shorthand for sex with drugs." This GBLT glossary notes that PNP is a term "denoting that someone wants to combine sex with use of drugs such as methamphetamines,[ sic ] etc." This list of gay slang says PNP is "an interest for casual sex that includes hard drugs such as ecstasy". A glossary of drug-related terms produced by the United States Department of Health and Human Services defines PNP as "Methamphetamine used in combination with MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) and Viagra". The San Francisco Department of Public Health defines it as "a way to describe men who like to use crystal methamphetamine during sex." in its FAQ section [1]. Finally, this report from the National HIV Prevention Conference (a collaborative effort by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a U.S. Government agency, and other governmental and non-government organizations) describes PNP as "sexual behavior under the influence of crystal meth or other 'party' drugs." Many sources mention only methamphetamine; although the origin of the term leans towards only including methamphetamine, this is inaccurately prescriptive since the term has come into use for other drugs or combinations. See also Urban Dictionary for a continually-changing discussion of the term PNP.
  2. Brecht, M.L.; O’brien, A.; Von Mayrhauser, C.; Anglin, M.D. (2004). "Methamphetamine use behaviors and gender differences". Addict Behav 29 (1): 89–106. doi:10.1016/S0306-4603(03)00082-0. Retrieved on 2007-08-18. 


External links

Template:LGBT slang Template:Methamphetamine