The influence of drugs on sexuality

Are we more promiscuous under the influence? Do we take higher risks? Do we perform better? There are plenty myths about the effects of drugs on our sexuality, now let’s look at what scientific studies say.

Having sex while high is related to both risky sex and a history of sexually transmitted diseases. The use of certain drugs affect sexual desire and the levels of sexual activity, increasing or decreasing them. It also produces a temporary loss of inhibition on safe sex compliance.

drugs on sexuality

Stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines have been perceived as aphrodisiacs by popular culture.  Cocaine is popularly known as the strongest sexual stimulant while amphetamine is thought to produce an increase on sexual activity and a loss of inhibition. But, although street knowledge reports they increase libido, this is not supported by research.

In fact, research shows that men taking drugs suffer sexual performance issues.  According to Larissa Mooney, a professor of substance abuse at the University of California, “cocaine and other amphetamines increase the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Dopamine increases pleasure and norepinephrine increases stamina, so both can make users feel euphoric, energized, and focused.” However, these effects don’t last long and have negative consequences on sexual dysfunction, both male and female.

drugs sexuality

Drug intoxication and addiction can compromise judgment and decision-making and potentially lead to risky sexual behavior. This increases user’s risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and other infectious diseases such as hepatitis C, which spread rapidly through addict and drug abuser communities.

Another issue concerning the effects of drugs on sexual behavior is the subject of consent, or the agreement to have sex.  Impaired judgment due to drug taking may increase the risk for sexual assault.  Sex that takes place while one partner is under the influence may be considered sexual assault or rape. This is known as drug-facilitated sexual assault, when drugs are used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent to sexual activity, as drugs inhibit a person’s ability to resist and can prevent them from remembering the assault.

Taking all of these matters into careful consideration, one can argue that taking drugs can be pretty dangerous when it comes to having enjoyable sex. If you have questions about drugs and sex, seek professional medical advice, being well informed is paramount to making sound decisions. And, remember, you don’t need any drugs to have fully satisfactory sexual experiences.

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