Ecstasy Abuse And Sexual Behavior
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Ecstasy Abuse And Sexual Behavior

Ecstasy abuse and sexual behavior is not uncommon. Often users feel encouraged to have sex while under the effects of ecstasy, because their inhibitions disappear and the body responds to each sensation more acutely. Ecstasy (also called MDMA) is a mind-altering drug with both mild hallucinogenic- and amphetamine-like qualities. On one hand, MDMA is associated with a long list of serious negative health consequences, but, as you can tell by its street name (Ecstasy, Love Drug, Hug Drug, etc.), ecstasy abuse and sexual behavior is popular due to its many positive sexual effects.

The fact that there are contradictory reports on the impact of ecstasy abuse and sexual behavior may have to do with recent studies. The fact that (in animal studies) the effects of ecstasy seem to be related to the both serotonin and dopamine, which have been implicated in both facilitating (dopamine) and inhibiting (serotonin) sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm.

Always remember that drug effects are rarely simple, and there is no true"wonder drug"' that will give you every benefit without any drawback. Also, because sex is more than just a physiological process, ecstasy abuse and sexual behavior may impact your psychological and social experience of sex in unpredictable ways.

Ecstasy Abuse and Sexual Behavior: Does ecstasy make sex better?

  • Most people report that the sexual effects of ecstasy take the focus away from intercourse; many qualitative studies have found that both men and women report heightened feelings of emotional and sensual intensity, without a desire for sexual intercourse. 
  • One qualitative study found that while the majority of men did not report a desire for sexual intercourse, most women did. 
  • Users report that ecstasy decreases inhibitions, enhances their emotions, and facilitates a boost in self-confidence. These effects can lead to more sexual experimentation (that the individual may have been interested in but uncomfortable to pursue).

Ecstasy Abuse and Sexual Behavior: The Bottom Line

Ecstasy does seem to increase subjective satisfaction, desire, and sensitivity. But results vary and it may be that sexual response to ecstasy has as much to do with our own sexual predispositions as the drugs (e.g. Ecstasy may enhance sex for people who already enjoy it, but may have less of an impact on people who do not get satisfaction from their regular sex life).

Ecstasy Abuse and Sexual Behavior: Does ecstasy make sex worse?

  • For some men (just under half in several studies) ecstasy makes it difficult or impossible to get an erection. 
  • People report delayed orgasm with ecstasy use. In one study 45 percent of men and women reported ecstasy inhibited their arousal and/or orgasm 
  • Many studies have shown a link between ecstasy use and risky sex. While risky sex may not feel like a negative at the time, the results (unintended pregnancy, STDs) can be quite negative after the fact.
  • Ecstasy is associated with many serious health effects and its use has been linked to fatalities. Most recently significant memory loss has been associated with the use of ecstasy. Ecstasy may have unknown long-term negative impacts on sexuality because of the way it affects your body when you are not using the drug.

Ecstasy Abuse and Sexual Behavior: The Bottom Line

Ecstasy can result in several negative sex effects, including inability to get an erection, delay in achieving orgasm, and a greater likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behaviors. It has been hypothesized that the increased levels of prolactin in the blood during the use of ecstasy may mimic a post-orgasmic experience, and this may be related to the negative ecstasy abuse and sexual behavior.

Ecstasy Abuse And Sexual Behavior
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