The combination of sex and drugs is nothing new. Both legally and illegally, they’ve been linked throughout human history. And, today, there’s still a subculture of recreational drug users who engage in high-risk sexual activities under the influence of drugs—some to better connect with their bodies and their partners, and others simply to release their inhibitions. It’s all about what they’re looking for.

But, despite how long and how often people have mixed the vices, the reality is that drugs affect everyone differently. Some can totally enhance the experience while others can be a total downer—and, yes, they’re dangerous… which is why they’re illegal. That’s why it’s imperative you gain some knowledge on what you’re getting into before you get it on if you so choose.

1. Cocaine
Cocaine is often associated with increased energy, excitement and a lack of constraint. When cocaine is ingested, dopamine levels are increased, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. And because the drug prevents the dopamine from being recycled, excessive amounts build up between nerve cells, resulting in the high. Serotonin levels also rise, a neurotransmitter involved in mood, social behavior, appetite, sleep and sexual desire. Users have reported feeling like “sex gods” while having sex on cocaine, using descriptions like “animalistic” and “invincible.” The stimulant can increase the user’s feelings of confidence and alertness, and is considered an aphrodisiac for its ability to boost sex drive.

2. Marijuana
The THC in marijuana provokes the release of dopamine, resulting in a feeling of euphoria, which is a big draw for why people love the drug so much. People claim the drug is an aphrodisiac, and orgasms when high on it are better than sober. According to psychiatrist Dr. Lester Grinspoon, weed greatly enhances the sexual experience for many people. He says, “There’s no doubt that when people are high, they’re more sensitive to their sexual feelings and urges.”

3. Molly
Often called the “love drug,” Molly is marketed as the purest form of MDMA, which was originally developed to treat depression. When ingested, MDMA increases the activity of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which increases arousal and alertness. This promotes vigilance, enhances formation and retrieval of memory and focuses attention. According to a 2014 study, MDMA also makes you super sensitive to touch, enhances feelings of sensuality and makes you more outgoing and flirty. One participant noted their body sensations being in “full effect.” The 23-year-old said: “Getting touched, just anything kind of stimulates it.”

4. Hallucinogens
Psychedelics and dissociatives (DMT, LSD, ketamine, PCP, etc.) are difficult to rely on, since they’re so heavily understudied and have been reported to have such varying effects depending on who you are, where you are and the state of mind you’re in. And so, trying to describe hallucinogens on sex is a bit tricky. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these drugs work by disrupting the interaction of nerve cells and serotonin. Based on psilocybin studies, Matthew Johnson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University, thinks a positive psychedelic sex experience is best for long-term couples looking to rekindle romance and find new sparks and connections. Why? Because hallucinogens seems to require a comfortable, familiar environment.

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