My First Time is a column and podcast series exploring sexuality, gender, and kink with the wide-eyed curiosity of a virgin. We all know your "first time" is about a lot more than just popping your cherry. From experimenting with kink to just trying something new and wild, everyone experiences thousands of first times in the bedroom—that's how sex stays fun, right?
This week, we're talking to Chloe Eliot about her experiences of having sex on drugs. You can listen to My First Time on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.
I grew up in a Catholic family in Devon, in this really small rural town with not much going on. I thought my life would be straight and sensible and good and honest. But when I hit my teenage years, I started experimenting—I tried drugs at a really young age. I think I was 14.
I ended up going to quite a druggy university, when I started taking drugs on a more regular basis. MDMA [molly] was my gateway drug: I’d go out with friends to nightclubs and raves. MDMA makes your body feel really warm, and you lose your inhibitions. You become more open and sociable; more confident. All of those things lend themselves quite nicely to having sexual experiences with other people, it turns out.
The first time I ever had sex on MDMA, I’d been to a rave with a friend. I knew I was bisexual before that night, but I’d never had a sexual experience with a woman. We started kissing in the club, and we went home together. We’d planned to share a bed that night—it wasn’t a seductive thing, just as friends—and it just happened. That was my first experience with a woman. It was really great, because it was in a safe environment, with someone I knew quite well. We had no inhibitions, and just felt really comfortable with each other. When you’re on MDMA, you have strong feelings of love for your friends or whoever you’re with. So that, combined with the fact that I was having sex with a friend, made it really intense.
When you’re having sex on MDMA, it feels like it’s never going to end, in the best possible way. I remember feeling scared, like, When is this going to stop? I don’t want it to stop. Because you can stay up all night on MDMA, and by that point we’d been having sex well into the morning—it was probably around 10 or 11 AM. You forget about time and who you are and who you’re with, and you just become fully immersed in the experience.
We eventually fell asleep and when we woke up my partner felt a little bit anxious. I think she was worried that I might feel awkward about the situation. But that feeling went away, and we ended up having sex with each other again basically throughout the whole day, even after we’d come down from the drugs. Then we hugged each other bye, and that was it! Even though we never slept together again, we definitely both felt a lot closer to each other after we’d have sex.
When you’re having sex on MDMA, you feel this intense emotional connection with the person. When I was having sex with my friend, there were moments when I felt like I was in love with her. Even the next morning, when I was walking down the road, I thought to myself, Oh my god, I’m actually in love, that was incredible! Afterwards, I realized it was just chemically-induced.
Not all my experiences of having sex on drugs have been so positive. I recently had sex with a guy when we were both on cocaine, and the cocaine ended up bringing out some not-so-positive traits in him. The sex was quite rushed and it felt like he had a lack of awareness of what was really going on, like he wasn’t really in the moment. There was a general sense of detachment. It was pretty disappointing.
He’s a fairly regular cocaine user. I think when people do a lot of cocaine, it trickles into their own, everyday way of behaving. Studies have shown that things like impatience can become common in people who do cocaine a lot. Having sex with him felt quite scripted, like: OK, this comes first, and then we do this for a bit, and then we move onto this bit, and this bit. There was no real awareness of what I might actually want. I’ve never actually had a good sexual experience with a man on drugs. I don’t know if that’s just coincidence.
Some drugs are really not good to have sex on. Ketamine is probably the worst. Ketamine is not a drug that makes you want to have sex at all. I've had sex on it, and it was absolutely disgusting. I was with a guy I was seeing at the time at a house party, and he was kissing me on the sofa. I remember thinking, Wow, this feels fucking weird. After the party, we went back to my flat and ended up having sex for a bit, even though I wasn’t aroused. When you’re on ketamine, being touched doesn’t feel so good. Quite the opposite, actually. I remember feeling like I was a big slug.
I've learned a lot about myself having sex on drugs. It's been beneficial for me to see things from another perspective in an altered state. In the right environment, with the right person, it can be a positive experience, like when I slept with my friend on MDMA for the first time. Because I already had a connection with her, it became emphasized by being high, and it just made the overall experience so much better. But it's important when you're on drugs to check in with yourself and be aware of how you're feeling, physically in your body. Because drugs can affect you in different ways that aren't always obvious. So take the time to work out what you're feeling, and listen to those feelings.
Editor's note: We do not advocate or encourage the use of drugs—which are illegal to sell or possess—whether you're using them during sex or not. As Chloe found out, drugs can also lead to scary or confusing situations, especially if you combine them with sex. For us, it's always better to approach the bedroom safely, consensually, and soberly.