Sex and drugs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sex and the use of drugs (legal and illegal) have been linked throughout human history, encompassing all aspects of sex: desire, performance, pleasure, conception, gestation, and disease.


Drugs are frequently associated with reduced sexual inhibition, both when used voluntarily in social circumstances, and involuntarily, as in the case of some date rape drugs. Because the use of drugs, including alcohol, is commonly presented as an excuse for risky or socially unacceptable behaviour, it is necessary to treat the idea of a direct causal relation between drug use and unsafe sex with caution. Drugs may provide a socially acceptable excuse for engaging in sexual behaviours in which people may want to engage but perhaps feel that they should not.[1]

Sexual function[edit]

Some forms of sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction can be treated with drugs. Because of their effects, erectile dysfunction drugs are sometimes used for recreational purposes. Many drugs, both legal and illegal, some sold online, have side effects that affect the user's sexual function. Many drugs can cause loss of libido as a side effect.[2]

Since a partial cause of the refractory period is the inhibition of dopamine by an orgasm-induced secretion of prolactin,[3] such potent dopamine receptor agonists as cabergoline may help achieve multiple orgasms as well as the retention of sexual arousal for longer periods of time.[3][4]

Types of drugs[edit]


There have been studies about cannabis and sex. Some studies have found that using cannabis may lead to erectile dysfunction.[5]


Alcohol and sex are often engaged in simultaneously. Although alcohol can have different effects on sexual functioning based on how much is consumed, in general, it negatively effects sexual functioning and is involved in greater sexual risk taking.[6][7]


MDMA alters mood and perception.[8] A study conducted by Jerome Beck and Marsha Rosenbaum showed that chronic use of this drug leads to impairment in getting an erection and delayed orgasm.[5]


Psychiatrists and doctors commonly prescribe different types of antidepressants to patients. SSRIs, SNRIs, and NDRIs are the most common types of antidepressants.[9] Each has slightly different effects on sexual functioning, but generally, it has been found that antidepressants can delay/decrease orgasms and cause females to have breast enlargement.[10]

The side effects on sexual functioning can impact mental health and quality of life.[10] However, the decrease in depressive symptoms from antidepressants make it worth the sexual side effects for many people. They can be managed by changing the dose, switching drugs, or taking “antidotes”.[11] Maca, a plant that grows in central Peru, aids with sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressant drugs for women. There are specific Maca products that can also increase sexual desire in men.[12]


Opioids (also known as narcotics) have long been known to inhibit sexual behavior.[13]  There is currently no clear research and evidence on how opioids influence sexual functioning in the short term. However, there has been a lot of research about prolonged use and addiction. Long-term opioid use can lead to decreased libido, delayed or absent ejaculation, and vaginismus.[14] Heroin (illicit opioid drug) and other narcotics reduce sexual interest and decrease the sex hormone levels in humans.[14]


Amphetamines may lead to an increase in sexual drive and delay in orgasm.[5]

Date rape drugs[edit]

A date rape drug is any drug that is an incapacitating agent which—when administered to another person—incapacitates the person and renders them vulnerable to a drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), including rape. One of the most common types of DFSA are those in which a victim consumes a recreational drug such as alcohol that was administered surreptitiously.[15] The other most common form of DFSA involves the non-surreptitiously-administered consumption of alcohol.[16] Here, the victims in these cases are drinking voluntarily which then makes them unable to make informed decisions or give consent.

Society and culture[edit]


Party and play, or chemsex, is the consumption of drugs to facilitate sexual activity. Sociologically, both terms refer to a subculture of recreational drug users who engage in high-risk sexual activities under the influence of drugs within groups.[17] The term PnP is commonly used by gay men[17][failed verification] and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in North America, while chemsex is more associated with the gay scene in Europe.[18] The drug of choice is typically methamphetamine, known as tina or T,[19] but other drugs are also used, such as mephedrone, GHB, GBL[20] and alkyl nitrites (known as poppers).[21]

Contraception and abortion[edit]

Drug-based contraception has been available since the development of the contraceptive pill. As well as their contraceptive effects, contraceptive drugs can also have adverse sexual and reproductive side-effects. Prior to the availability of effective contraceptives, some substances were also used as abortifacients to terminate pregnancy; medical abortion exists as a modern medical practice.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Race K (2009). Pleasure Consuming Medicine: The Queer Politics of Drugs. Duke University Press. p. 176. ISBN 978-0822390886.
  2. ^ Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA (2006). "Medical issues associated with anabolic steroid use: are they exaggerated?". Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 5 (2): 182–93. PMC 3827559. PMID 24259990.
  3. ^ a b Krüger TH, Haake P, Haverkamp J, Krämer M, Exton MS, Saller B, et al. (December 2003). "Effects of acute prolactin manipulation on sexual drive and function in males". The Journal of Endocrinology. 179 (3): 357–65. CiteSeerX doi:10.1677/joe.0.1790357. PMID 14656205.
  4. ^ Perez, Mitchel. "Improve Your Sexuality With CBD". Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  5. ^ a b c Ghadigaonkar DS, Murthy P (2019-04-01). "Sexual Dysfunction in Persons With Substance Use Disorders". Journal of Psychosexual Health. 1 (2): 117–121. doi:10.1177/2631831819849365.
  6. ^ Cheng JY, Ng EM, Chen RY, Ko JS (2007-05-31). "Alcohol consumption and erectile dysfunction: meta-analysis of population-based studies". International Journal of Impotence Research. 19 (4): 343–52. doi:10.1038/sj.ijir.3901556. PMID 17538641.
  7. ^ Romer D (2003). Reducing Adolescent Risk: Toward an Integrated Approach. SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781452264462. OCLC 809772621.
  8. ^ Abuse, National Institute on Drug. "MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)". Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  9. ^ "How Different Antidepressants Work". WebMD. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  10. ^ a b Higgins A, Nash M, Lynch AM (2010-09-09). "Antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction: impact, effects, and treatment". Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety. 2: 141–50. doi:10.2147/DHPS.S7634. PMC 3108697. PMID 21701626.
  11. ^ "Sex and antidepressants: When to switch drugs or try an antidote". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  12. ^ "Maca: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  13. ^ Pfaus JG, Gorzalka BB (1987-03-01). "Opioids and sexual behavior". Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 11 (1): 1–34. doi:10.1016/S0149-7634(87)80002-7. PMID 3554038.
  14. ^ a b Gulliford SM (1998-01-01). "Opioid-Induced Sexual Dysfunction". Journal of Pharmaceutical Care in Pain & Symptom Control. 6 (2): 67–74. doi:10.1300/J088v06n02_05.
  15. ^ Lyman MD (2006). Practical drug enforcement (3rd ed.). Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC. p. 70. ISBN 978-0849398087.
  16. ^ "Alcohol Is Most Common 'Date Rape' Drug". MediLexicon International Ltd. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007.
  17. ^ a b "PSA tackles PNP: TV ad warns against crystal meth usage in the gay male community". 2007-09-21. Archived from the original on September 21, 2007. Retrieved 2015-12-11.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  18. ^ "What is ChemSex". The Laurel Centre. 2018-06-02. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  19. ^ Brown E (April 29, 2002). "Crystal Ball". Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  20. ^ McCall H, Adams N, Mason D, Willis J (November 2015). "What is chemsex and why does it matter?". BMJ. 351: h5790. doi:10.1136/bmj.h5790. PMID 26537832.
  21. ^ "How gay culture bottled a formula that has broken down boundaries". The Independent. 2016-01-22. Retrieved 2018-06-07.

External links[edit]