Sex & Relationships

The Current State of Sex and Drugs: What People Are Taking To Get In The Mood

Whether it takes place on a marriage bed or on a single person’s living room couch, sex triggers a complex cocktail of chemicals in your brain and body. But for some people that’s just not enough.

A recent study by researchers at the clinical psychopharmacology unit of University College London analysed data from the 2013 Global Drug Survey, which featured information on over 22,000 individuals from the UK, United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. The study revealed the most popular drugs that people imbibe before and during sex, either to help them let go of their inhibitions or to enhance the act itself:  


No surprise here: alcohol has been lowering inhibitions and getting people in the mood for thousands of years. The study found that more than half of men (58.6%) and women (60.4%) reported having sex after drinking. Interestingly, while alcohol was by far the most common drug, it was not top of the list of drugs that actually enhanced the sexual experience.


Next up, 37% of male and 26.3% of female respondents reported having sex after smoking pot, though most said it provided only a “mild” enhancement to the sexual experience itself. This collective “meh” was shared by…


10.2% of males and 9.7% of females said they had sex on cocaine, though it didn’t exhance the experience as much as other drugs such as…


Roughly 15% of both men and women said they had had sex on MDMA, and the drug (AKA Ecstacy and Molly) received the highest rating when it came to improving the sensual and emotional intimacy of the experience. Not a huge surprise, as MDMA is known for creating a sense of euphoria, extreme intimate connectedness, and intense pleasure in the tactile.

Other Pills and Powders

The study assessed other drugs as well. Viagra was deemed the best performance enhancing drug by the majority of men (big surprise), while GHB/GBL and methamphetamine were rated highly by women.

What Does It Mean For You?

If the novelty of your sex life starts to wane after a few years of marriage, or if you just want to add some zing to an already spicy pot, drugs might help.

We’re not judging—whatever floats your boat, etc.—but neither are we endorsing, as some of these substances are illegal, and all of them potentially harmful if abused.

While the study found that some drugs improve the sexual experience for some people, it also found that drugs can increase the possibility of unwanted pregnancy, the spread of STDs, and significantly confuse signals when it comes to consent. So before you get your pharmaceutical freak on, exercise a little moderation. Ultimately, to paraphrase the great Grace Jones, love is the drug you should be looking for.

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