Police Raid 'Chemsex' Party in Thailand, 62 Men Arrested

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday May 24, 2021

Police in Thailand made a mass arrest of 62 men participating in a "chemsex" party at a sauna in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions, Reuters has reported.

The May 22 raid on Faros Sauna 2 was "the country's largest such crackdown during the pandemic," the article noted, adding that police discovered drugs, drug paraphernalia, and used condoms at the site.

Police Colonel Ekapop Tanprayoon told Reuters that, in the past, police have "reprimanded people for gathering to drink at home," and added that "under the current circumstances there shouldn't be so many people in such a crowded area."

Although being gay isn't illegal in Thailand, LGBTQ people still face stigma and prejudice in the country.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, sex parties and even cruising have attracted police attention, ranging from raids to advisories. Last November, New York City police conducted a raid on a sex party attended by more than 80 people at a swingers' club called Caligula; the raid followed a similar crackdown in which the NYPD arrested attendees at a reported sex party in midtown Manhattan last July.

In Belgium, police caught right-wing Hungarian politician József Szájer
in attendance at a sex party — an embarrassment for Hungary's anti-LGBTQ government.
And in London, police increased their ticketing of gay men having sex at a public park, citing the pandemic.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.