I want to start this piece off with a few points. I’m not here to preach to anyone about not taking drugs. I do not care what people do in their spare time. This isn’t an anti-drug column, it’s a sex column. This article isn’t to preach one way or another, but to shed light on the relationship between drugs and sexual activity. The most I can tell you to do is be safe, take care of yourself and your friends if you’re taking anything, and always know the risks.
Getting the ride after a night out (RIP to those) used to be class. You’re suitably drunk, maybe you’ve taken something or smoked stuff, and the other party is looking better than a vegan sausage roll from Centra. But when you get down to it, you realise that maybe your body isn’t acting like it normally would during situations like this. Or even if it is, you find yourself acting a bit riskier than usual and not using a condom. No big deal, right? Unfortunately, this is a pretty big deal. Drugs of any kind influence the way your body functions, both during sex and during everyday life. And while this isn’t always a bad thing, it’s better to know the risks and have a semi-sober thought in your mind before you get down to a bit of slap and tickle with someone.
Firstly, to expand on a point that we all already know: Alcohol is a drug. Having a few drinks with friends, we all have them and we all love them. Nothing like a sexy glass of wine to get you in the mood, or maybe you get a cocktail into you and then you start looking for a cock and tale, if you catch my drift. Alcohol impacts people both physically and psychologically, and this factors into sexual activity as well. As it is a depressant, it lowers your inhibitions and judgements that in a regular situation would stop you from acting a certain way. This means that you’ll often engage in more risk taking behaviours when you’re drunk, which can translate into not using contraception during sex. This can lead to contracting or spreading STIs, pregnancy, or generally just hurting or injuring yourself or your partner. Physically, we all get the wobbles when we’re drunk because the alcohol in our system lowers physical awareness, balance and coordination, and this doesn’t translate well during sex. Erectile dysfunction and vaginal dryness can also occur during sex, and if it does happen to you or your partner, don’t make a big song and dance – odds are they’re feeling just as awkward as you are about it. Regardless of your gender as well, alcohol is also reported to prolong orgasm and decrease the amount of pleasure you achieve from orgasm.
Something that I can’t skip over is the prevalence of Date Rape drugs, generally put into drinks with the intention to assault someone. The most common ones are MDMA, Rohypnol (Roofies), and GHB. It is not your fault if your drink gets spiked, but it is good to know what you can do to prevent it. Covering your drink and keeping an eye on it as the night goes on is one of the best methods, and something I would recommend is researching or possibly purchasing some Undercover Polish – which is nail polish that will change colour if inserted into a drink that contains something nasty. Given the current restrictions you should not be going out to massive parties anyway, but if you do feel like you are a victim of spiking the best thing to do is get in contact with the Gardaí. They can administer a full drug test and see if you were spiked or not, as well as offering support and aftercare.
Some kids smoke weed. A study published in 2019 by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction reported that 13.8% of young people in Ireland smoke weed, and this figure has been consistent over the last few years. Looking at how it impacts sex and sexual activity, there wasn’t a lot of research, making my job a bit harder. Most of the studies or personal stories that I used for research all conclude an increase in physical and sensory pleasure, alongside some of the usual physical and mental side effects of getting stoned, like dry mouth for instance. Many of the more formal studies do point to long term effects such as decreased sperm count and a decline in sexual performance, but still high reports of sensory pleasure. Obviously, many of these may be unreliable, so if you’re shagging when you’re stoned it mightn’t be “to the book” per se. How you chose to smoke also comes into play. Smoking a joint will impact your body differently because there is the added tobacco. Prolonged tobacco usage reports arousal problems in sexual situations, such as increased vaginal dryness or erectile dysfunction, whereas using a bong or a pipe and just smoking straight weed will eliminate the tobacco and the side effects associated with it, leaving you with that afternoon delight feeling that you came for.
Interestingly, with the rise in popularity of Cannabis and CBD Oil products, CBD lube has also grown in popularity. Cannabidiol (CBD) is similar to weed, only it doesn’t have the “psychoactive” element that weed does, essentially meaning no munchies. CBD can be used to treat anxiety, epilepsy and physical pain such as arthritis or chronic pain, and in lube form it is reported to increase sensitivity and decrease pain that is often associated with penetration. People suffering from things like PCOS, vaginismus, vaginitis or just vaginal tearing have also reported that CBD lube aids them during sex, as it helps to relax and decrease tension on the pelvic floor. Unfortunately, there is often not a lot of regulation when it comes to CBD products, so use at your own risk.
If you went out on a regular Thursday night at any point before quarantine, odds are you encountered at least one person who was buzzing chops. According to the same report by the European Monitoring Center, 4.4% of young people in Ireland reported to have taken MDMA, and similar to the statistics on weed this figure remains consistent. MD makes people feel fantastic, and this is because of the serotonin release it promotes neurologically. Physically it also makes you more sensitive to touch, and all the studies that I researched for this piece also concluded that most people riding on MD feel a desire to stop and talk about their feelings. Like most other drugs, MD will lower your inhibitions and make you more susceptible to risky behaviours. MD also makes it hard to get erect, so for those of you with a penis it might be a quiet night downstairs despite the circumstances. The biggest thing about MDMA is that it will also burn through your serotonin like it’s nothing, so the comedown may make you never want to have sex again.
Cocaine, Coke, Snow. That white stuff that made Pablo Escobar famous. Usually ingested into the body by sniffing, a reported 17% of young people used cocaine in 2019. Cocaine makes people really aggressive in general, and this follows suit during sex. Physically, you can be hornier than normal, feel stronger than normal, and as always, be more risky while you’re getting frisky. Aggression in sex can be quite a turn on sometimes, but often if you’ve got two aggressors where the tension is high enough without the cocaine, it can be frustrating. Physically a lot of reports of people who have had cocaine-fuelled sex often report damaging themselves or their partner physically because of the increased roughness, which ain’t cute. If you’re bleeding from your genitals and you don’t know it, it can make it easier for something nasty like an STI or a bacterial infection to slip in. Cocaine as a stimulant generally lends itself to giving more sexual stamina, but it can also lead to longer orgasmic latencies, and also harder, less satisfying orgasms in comparison to a regular sober orgasm.
Again, I’m not here to preach about taking drugs, but what I am going to preach to you about is not going out while we are still in lockdown. You know better. If you’re trying to be more responsible with what you take and how you take it, check out USI.ie or Drugs.ie for resources about how to have safe nights while rolling. There is no point in screwing yourself over with drugs, so please stay safe and stay sexy. Got an opinion? Wanna be a plug? Get onto me at firstname.lastname@example.org.