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  • The Effects Of MDMA On Sex

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    The Effects Of MDMA On Sex

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine is an illicit synthetic drug more commonly known as MDMA, Adam, Ecstasy, and Molly. And, as far as illicit substances go, MDMA has developed a certain reputation for sexual enhancement.

    But what are the actual physical and mental effects of MDMA on sex? And, is taking MDMA before a romantic encounter a safe option?

    Mental Effects Of MDMA On Sex

    MDMA increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, as well as dopamine activity to a lesser degree. 

    It also acts as both a mild stimulant and a hallucinogen with entactogenic properties, meaning that MDMA tends to energize those who take it while also distorting perceptions, increasing sensory experience, and boosting self-awareness, empathy, and emotional warmth.

    In terms of sex, studies have found that the self-reported effects of MDMA have increased sexual desire in up to 90% of respondents.

    But this effect also appears to be highly conditional. Studies have demonstrated that when ecstasy users take the drug they feel a closeness and connectedness to others that isn’t necessarily sexual. 

    In fact, the effects of the drug more closely resemble those of sexual afterglow, when closeness, intimacy, and touch are emphasized over sexual arousal or urgency.

    Physical Effects Of MDMA On Sex

    While having sex on MDMA may feel like a rushing river of emotional connectedness and overwhelming sensation, the drug’s effects on sexual performance tell a different tale.

    MDMA actually tends to strongly impair human sexual function and sexual performance in several different ways:

    • about half of men have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection after ecstasy use
    • many women report reduced lubrication
    • orgasms tend to be delayed and may not be achieved at all
    • participants may be more distractible and unable to focus on sexual activity

    These effects are broadly similar to side effects associated with some antidepressants, or drugs that also influence serotonin levels in the body and interfere with sexual arousal and function.

    MDMA & Erectile Dysfunction Medications

    Some people may wish to experience the increased sensations that come with having sex on MDMA but struggle with the drug’s effects on erectile function. As a result, they may take erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis before having sex on MDMA.

    However, while there is anecdotal evidence that this combination (sometimes known as sextasy) does restore sexual performance, healthcare professionals warn that the combination can cause increased blood pressure and even ‘anatomical’ damage.

    Risks Of Using MDMA For Sex

    Unfortunately, MDMA use and other club drugs for sex is strongly associated with risky sexual behavior in young adults, including unprotected sex and the spread of STIs.

    MDMA reduces a person’s flight or fight response, anxiety, and inhibitions, which can make sexual risk-taking feel more natural in the moment, despite the long-term consequences that may result.

    Unregulated Street Drug

    And while MDMA inhibits sexual function, street ecstasy is often mixed with a other substances like methamphetamine and amphetamine as well as psychoactive drugs like LSD and ketamine. 

    These drugs can have effects that can increase sexual urgency, cause blackouts and amnesia, and reduce your level of consciousness. This may put you or others a very high risk for sexual assault or rape.

    Mental Health Issues

    There is also a risk that MDMA users will not have a positive, sensual experience while on the drug. They may instead feel strong anxiety, guilt, or fear, or simply be overwhelmed by the intensity of sensation and emotion that MDMA drug use brings on. 

    And difficult feelings of depression, low sex drive, fatigue, irritability, and anxiety are also extremely common in the comedown period, after the effects of the drug wear off.

    If you or a loved one struggle with the abuse of street drugs like MDMA, we can help.

    To learn about our treatment options, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
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