Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sex, drugs, and ...more sex and drugs.

I'm super tired but wanted to write a blog post, so I brainstormed until I thought of something. Two of my favorite things--sex and drugs!! (Disclaimer: I do not do drugs). Drugs are fun. Sex is fun. What is it like to put two really fun things together? And then I realized I could write a blog post on how certain drugs affect sex drive and performance.

Alcohol--Drinking does a lot. One of the things it does is lead to one-night-stands. The old running joke that a woman gets more attractive the more a man drinks is not so much of a joke. Alcohol impairs judgement, loosens you up, lowers your inhibitions. So, that co-worker that always hits on you, but you never found very attractive could become your newest mark on your bedpost after a night of drinking. Some women even wonder whether or not they were taken advantage of after a night of drinking, since they were too drunk to remember whether or not they consented to an act of sex. But what does alcohol actually do to our sex drives?
 --Alcohol is a depressant. Prolonged acts of drinking can wear you out, mentally. Physically, it dehydrates, leaving women less likely to become lubricated. Apparently, less lubrication can cause a condom to break. Also, the less lubricant involved, the more painful sex can be. It also can affect a man's ability to get or keep an erection. Ever heard the term 'whiskey dick'? And Sharon Aliza, manager of the University Health Education Leadership Program, makes a good point: Being drunk can cause you to not use a condom properly. Or, you could become confused, like the situation in Knocked Up, where Katherine Heigl says, "Just do it already!" meaning just put the condom on, but Seth Rogen thinks she means forget the condom, just start banging me. And guess what? She ends up pregnant, hence the title.
Anyways, the point here is that a little bit of alcohol can help increase your sex drive and lower inhibitions, but too much can negatively affect your sex life.

Cigarettes--Well, some obvious things are that smoking can cause you to develop a really attractive hacking cough and yellowed skin, not to mention the yummy tasting breath. Anna Kaminski, associate medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest says, "Just like smoking narrows small arteries in the heart, it does so in the penis." This can make it more difficult to get an erection and therefore, having an orgasm. It can also affect a woman's ability to have an orgasm. Also, women who are on the pill and smoke cigarettes have a higher risk of things such as heart attacks and blood-clotting. Really, cigarettes have no positive effect on sex.

Weed--Ahh, good old maryjane. There's a bit of conflict between whether or not pot helps sexual activity. Weed can make you lethargic, tired and listless. “A big part of sex is pleasing your partner. ... If you’re feeling a lack of motivation, you’re not thinking what the other person’s needs may be,” Aliza says. This is true. You may be so high you don't really want to do anything but lay in bed and watch the shadows dance around the ceiling in that really cool way. An article from Psychology Today discusses a few studies where couples were asked to gauge how weed affected their sex drives. The results spanned from increased it, decreased it, or did nothing to it. There is really no definitive answer for this one. For some people, smoking marijuana causes heightened sensitivity to touch and the other senses, making sex feel really good. For some people, they are so used to the feelings that it really does nothing to increase or decrease it. And for other people, it makes them too tired and lazy to feel like putting the energy in to love making. It also causes women to not become as lubricated. Conclusion: If it works for you, light it up.

Cocaine--This one was surprising to me. In small doses, cocaine can give you that euphoric happiness, increasing your sex drive. But prolonged use actually does the opposite. According to a clinic's website, in small doses, cocaine can make erections and orgasms easier, but in larger doses, while still having a bit of an increased sex drive, it may be harder to achieve orgasm. An article on Ask Men also says that some men can't get hard while under the influence of cocaine, and women are dehydrated and aren't lubricated, much like the effects of alcohol. Plus, the high from cocaine lasts such a short amount of time that if you are having difficulty achieving an erection, by the time you get it working, you're pretty much sober. So basically, cocaine could help your sex life, but I wouldn't put it at the top of your list.

Ecstasy--Here we go, the one everyone's been waiting for. The one drug that is known for it's connection to sex. A hit of ecstasy is a hit of pure happiness. Everything is wonderful and everyone is attractive and you just looooove everryyyythiiiing. In fact, ecstasy used to be legal. I've heard tales of therapists prescribing ecstasy to couples in marriage counseling in order to recapture the 'spark.' Ecstasy increases serotonin, the chemical responsible for making us feel happy, high, elated. Of course, E is pretty expensive, and prolonged use isn't good, much like any drug. Because of how happy you feel while on E, the lows are pretty damn low, and chronic use can cause serious depression. Plus, because it's a man-made pill, you never know if you are taking pure MDMA or a mixture of some other chemicals, or even a water pill. Conclusion: Ecstasy can make for one hell of a sexual experience, but only on a purely recreational basis.

Psilocybin (mushrooms)/Acid--It's pretty hard to find anything about these drugs and their effect on sex. Of course, reading things on message boards shows that having sex while on psychotropic drugs is out of this world. One thing I have found though, is that psilocybin is being used more in studies. Apparently, prolonged use of small amounts of the drug can have a positive affect on your overall personality. It can help with depression and anxiety, and may even help smokers quit smoking. I can only assume that if you are feeling more positive and happy as a whole, your sex life can only become better because of that. However, I don't know how psychedelics work on the body.

Meth--I probably wouldn't have even thrown this one in here if it wasn't for my recent obsession with Breaking Bad. Here's what I found on PBS.org that I found absolutely fascinating..."For example, in lab experiments done on animals, sex causes dopamine levels to jump from 100 to 200 units, and cocaine causes them to spike to 350 units. "[With] methamphetamine you get a release from the base level to about 1,250 units, something that's about 12 times as much of a release of dopamine as you get from food and sex and other pleasurable activities," Rawson [Dr. Richard Rawson, associate director of UCLA's Integrated Substance Abuse Programs] says." Wow. That's crazy! So, basically, meth increases your sex drive by an insaaaane amount, but that's only the first time. The next few times might do the same, but after awhile the body craves the meth because nothing feels quite as good without it.

Heroin--Heroin decreases sex drive, is highly addictive, and severely dangerous. There's really not much to say about it. It's not going to help your sex life, or your life in general.

Antidepressants--While each person is different, antidepressants are known to cause decreased sex drive. However, they do lower your depression/anxiety, which may cause you to become more confident, open and wanting sex.

Birth Control Pills--Just like antidepressants, birth control affects each woman differently, but for the most part, low sex drive is a common complaint amongst users. Birth control also prevents ovulation, which is the peak of sexual longing in a woman's cycle. If you recently went on the pill and have noticed a huge drop in sexual desire, talk to your doctor. You may want to stay on it until it's better or switch to a different form on birth control.

There's a lot of studies on drugs and sexual performance, so I don't have all the results of them, so I'm sorry if this information is not complete/slightly off.

What I really want to know is--
Have you had sex while high on a drug? Which drug, and what did it feel like?

The Daily of the University of Washington. 
IHA Cares. 
Ask Men. 
CAMH Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. 
USA Today--Your Life. 
Psychology Today. 
American Council for Drug Educations.