Health Tips! Here are the effects of drugs on sexuality

The current trend, in some people, is to use euphoric drugs to practice sex. Drugs and sex form an explosive mixture wherever you look.

Naked feet of a man and a woman next to a bottle of wine.

“The apparent and initial ‘erotic benefits’ of drugs hide a dramatic end to erotica. Drugs, in addition, do not improve the capacity for seduction, nor the relationship between the sexes, but rather deteriorate it.

“The balance between benefit and risk is devastating for the erotic and the art of loving people, “says Santiago Frago, medical director of the Institute of Sexology and Psychotherapy Amaltea, in Zaragoza.

“The knowledge we have about the effects of drugs on sexuality are, unfortunately, very scarce and disparate; in the same way that it is difficult to separate the chemical effects from the psychological ones.

“The true fact is that there are no general sexual effects of drugs, but particular ones derived from the singularity and personality of individuals and the effect of them in the short, medium or long term, “says the specialist in Sexology.

According to Frago, the type of consumption constitutes a fundamental variable in order to evaluate the effect of drugs on the sexual response. ” Incidental consumption is not the same as intermittent, occasional, habitual or compulsive consumption.

The really worrying thing about drugs is not so much the physical and psychological addiction that they bring, but the compulsive personalities whose behaviors force certain people to do something that goes against their interests and that they can not avoid doing it; without forgetting the tendency to polydrug use “.

Are the effects on sexuality different according to the drugs that are consumed? “Yes. The fundamental differences are the initial effects (relaxation or euphoria), although with all substances disinhibition is facilitated. The current trend is to consume drugs of the second type (euphoric), usually linked to mass sexual practices and with less emotional connection, “says Daniel Anadón Mateo, a psychiatrist at the Clinica Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Madrid), of the Hospitable Order of San Juan de Dios. Experts then detail what effects drugs have on the sexual response, both male and female:


“It is a myth that alcohol is an aphrodisiac, ” says Frago, commenting that “there is an apparent increase in erotic desire after a moderate alcohol intake, but the reality is that it hinders female orgasm and precipitates erectile dysfunction in men.

“Not to mention the couple’s conflicts that result from the abusive intake of alcohol, since it exacerbates jealous behavior and predisposes to violence.”

In the words of Anadón, ” alcohol at low doses has a disinhibiting effect and increases sexual self-esteem . At moderate and high doses it is already depressant, and in the long term decreases testosterone, growth hormone and estrogen increase “.

Providing a bit of history, this expert recalls that “William Masters and Virginia Johnson, some of the first sexologists, already found out in 1983 that very low concentrations of alcohol have a mild intensifying effect of desire, excitability and erection, but with the concentrations in blood corresponding to two or three glasses of liquor erections are slightly suppressed and ejaculation, delayed “.

With the passage of time, continues Anadón, alcohol consumption decreases the hypothalamic neurons that produce oxytocin involved in the sexual response of both sexes.

This is the cause of the high frequency of anorgasmia in male and female drinkers . Specifically, 30 to 40 percent of female drinkers have long-term excitability disorders and 15 percent anorgasmia. In addition, excessive drinking can alter hormones and block ovulation .

Cannabis Derivatives: Marijuana and Hashish

Regarding the substances derived from cannabis, such as marijuana and hashish, “there have been cases of women with decreased vaginal lubrication, which sometimes makes intercourse more painful. Its continued use often leads to disinterest in sex, “says the medical director of Amaltea. For his part, Duck says that “cannabis increases sensory perception and causes distortions in the notion of time, but 15 percent of women complain of vaginal dryness. Prolonged consumption can also reduce testosterone levels and seminal fluid, as well as ovarian function in women.”


Cocaine, explains Frago, gives rise to a controversial effect in relation to sexual response: “Its sporadic use can increase bodily sensations, but its habitual use causes, at times, erectile dysfunction and priapism (painful and permanent erection), as well as an important loss of sexual desire . This drug has been shown to be a powerful local anesthetic, reducing genital sensitivity, in addition to magnifying the celotypic behaviors – out of control “.

In this regard, Anadón explains that with cocaine “there is the idea that it is a powerful sexual stimulant, which is not true, even if it is a stimulating and euphoric that helps initiate any contact.”

The expert provides the following data: “62 percent of men addicted to cocaine suffered from erectile dysfunction, according to a study by the American psychiatrist James Cocores published in 1988. Sixty percent of crack smokers were anorganic and 72 percent A hundred of the men suffered from erectile dysfunction. Addiction ‘sex-coca’ every day is more frequent because of this facilitating effect of relationships “.


According to the psychiatrist of the Clinic of Our Lady of La Paz, amphetamines cause insomnia in both sexes, an increase in physical and intellectual performance and great euphoria. 

“That’s why they act on orgasmic sensations. But there is a rebound effect, preventing maintaining the erection for several hours in men, and raising the cardiac risks in both sexes . ”


“If we talk about heroin, there is an inhibition of orgasm and ejaculation, inhibited sexual desire and erectile failure in the male . In the woman ‘s appears anorgasmia, lack of desire and menstrual disorders,”said Frago.


Even nicotine, an addictive substance contained in tobacco, can have effects on sexuality. “It narrows arteries and facilitates erectile dysfunction in men , as well as lubrication problems in women, ” concludes Frago.