An Expert Explains What Happens When You Combine Various Drugs with Sex

In this edition of Ask Hole, we ask the founder of the Global Drugs Survey to explain why some recreational substances can lead to disaster—and some to paradise—in the bedroom.
February 22, 2017, 2:30pm
Photo by kkgas via Stocksy

First off, let's count our blessings. How lucky are you, in these dark and turbulent times, to have both access to the recreational drug of your choosing and a significant other to smush your genitalia on? Some people don't, so let's take a minute to spare a thought for those benighted souls.

OK, so you've checked your drug-and-fucking privilege now. It's hard to quantify the effects of combining sex with recreational substances, because so much comes down to three variables: quantity, your gender, and your partner.

"For men, drugs are all about performance," says Dr. Adam Winstock, a consultant psychiatrist who is the founder of the Global Drug Survey. "It's all about the dick. If drugs make your dick bigger, harder, or let you have sex for longer—that's all that matters. For women, it's generally more to do with the sensuality of the experience."

Read more: Why Molly May Be More Dangerous and Deadly If You're a Woman

"The drugs people generally think are best for sex are stimulant drugs," he says. These would include cocaine, MDMA, or amphetamines: "Stimulant drugs give you energy, so if you're engaged in sex and want to move around vigorously, then having something that increases your stamina, performance, and energy can be a useful thing."

The downside? Stimulants tend to dry you out, so invest in some lube. "They tend to dry your mucus membrane, which can make sex more traumatic and risky."

Photo by Jaki Portolese via Stocksy

Winstock says that weed is also good for sex, provided you manage to stay awake. "Cannabis tends to have quite a positive effect on women," he explains, "but if you're too stoned you can fall asleep." He adds with understatement, "Having a partner who falls asleep during sex is probably a bit dull."

Within the stimulant category, consider the benefits of MDMA (or molly, as it's often known). "With a drug like MDMA, that's going to enhance intimacy and trust with someone you already know," he says. He warns, however, that the drug could give you a "false sense of intimacy with a complete stranger." Remember, the one-night-stand you picked up at the rave probably isn't the love of your life—that's just the molly talking.

If you're a guy, cocaine is probably going to be bad news. "Fact is, coke can end up shriveling your dick," Winstock explains, "which isn't so useful." For some women, coke may be an aphrodisiac. "It increases confidence and energy, but too much can make you feel wired and agitated."

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When it comes to psychedelics, he believes that less is more. "A little bit of a psychedelic may cause you to be so distracted by what's going on in your head, meaning you can't stay sexually aroused," he cautions. "For some people, a small dose of LSD etc can heighten the experience. Too much—if you're seeing things or hearing things—I can't imagine sex is high up on your agenda."

Poppers, on the other hand, are great—if headache-inducing. "Poppers seem to increase the quality of orgasm on a fairly short-term basis by increasing blood flow and dropping your blood oxygen levels," he says. Just don't accidentally drink them, which I once saw someone do.

Anyway, drugs aren't the solution to your shitty sex life. Winstock explains using a condiment-based metaphor: "Drugs and sex are like ketchup. Don't put ketchup on everything or you lose a taste for everything. If you're going to combine drugs and sex, it should probably be the exception—not the norm. Because otherwise you lose the ability to go back and enjoy sex without the drugs."

Stay safe, fuck responsibly, and don't douse everything in ketchup. (Ketchup is gross!) Also, it helps if you can actually stand the person you're fucking.

"You could take the best drug for fucking in the world," Winstock argues, "but if you're having sex with someone you don't like, or shouldn't be having sex with—it's not going to work."