The world of drug-fueled sex

Love & Lust (11th Annual Sex Issue)

Rock-N-Roll may be out of style, but we still have sex and drugs. For some of those planning a passionate and romantic evening for your partner this Valentine’s Day, chances are there will be a special substance both at the dinner table and in the bedroom. We would be naive to think that none of our readers will be using anything stronger than a couple of drinks and some dark chocolate to set the mood.

According to a study by Oregon State University, LGBTQ individuals, especially youth, consume tobacco, marijuana and alcohol at higher rates relative to their heterosexual peers of the same age.

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Even though we might consider our Valentine’s Day more fun, it’s important to remember the risk factors associated with mixing substances and sex. According to North Carolina Public Health reports 64 percent of all new diagnoses for HIV were between men who reported having sex with other men, as opposed to less than 30 percent of new diagnoses of heterosexuals. Although HIV is on the decline in the Carolinas, rates of gonorrhea and syphilis have steadily increased over the past few years. Of course, being diagnosed doesn’t mean you can’t ever be intimate, but taking substances that can impair your decision-making skills may not be the best idea if you and your partner are at risk for transmission. But if you “wrap up” before you light up, drink up or otherwise indulge in your substance of choice, then you and your partner can enjoy a nice consensual evening of expanded sensation and intimacy. If you can be safe and can communicate your boundaries and desires with a trusted partner, then any number of common drugs can be a safe and sexy way to enjoy your Valentine’s Day.

Who hasn’t gone all the way on a couple of drinks? Alcohol is probably the most common drug that’s mixed with sex, what with it being legal and easy to purchase. Sadly, drinks and sex have bad connotations with sexual assault, regrettable hookups and having to clean up puke from your bed sheets. Then there’s the other elephant in the room when it comes to drinking and sex. Shakespeare may have said it best when he wrote that drink “provokes desire, but unprovokes performance.” The way that alcohol constricts blood vessels can negatively impact one’s ability to hold an erection, leading to the dreaded and all-too-real “whiskey dick.” Thankfully, that can be avoided by having better drinking habits than a college freshman. As most romantic dinners and private, at-home Netflix binges will inevitably include a couple of glasses of wine or beer, we can’t realistically say that you won’t ever have drinks before having giggling, uncoordinated sex, but if you do, remember that moderation is key.

With recreational and medical marijuana still outlawed in most of the country, it’s difficult to get concrete data from accredited researchers about the effects of weed on the body in or out of the bedroom, but many people swear by marijuana as a natural sex enhancer. For some, smoking weed can make sex last longer, extending the sex session to really tap into learning a partner’s body. Although some report this can make it difficult to reach orgasm, that typically only happens if you smoke too much. Everyone’s tolerance is different, but a steady buzz should be enough to heighten your experience. Like with alcohol, moderation with weed is the way to go. We at qnotes can’t officially advocate illegal activity, but the law has always had a hard time keeping LGBTQ people from doing what they love. If the lingering smell, ash on your pillow cases and the coughing of your partner hasn’t killed the mood, then you should be in for a satisfying experience.

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Given its association with the hippie movement and “free love”, one might think that LSD and other hallucinogens like saliva and DMT might be great additions to your sex life. It is, however, hard to recommend substances that have even more subjective effects than weed or alcohol, and the occasional “bad trip” or disassociative episode might make sex actively dangerous or unpleasant.

If conventional drugs and altered states are not your thing, then perhaps you might want to try “flavor tripping.” Synsepalum dulcificium, more commonly known as “miracle fruit,” is a legal, non-controlled substance that drastically alters the sensitivity of your taste buds, which makes a variety of foods taste sweeter. Though it is a fruit, it is often sold in tablet form in packs of around 10 to a dozen which can be bought online. Some who take “miracle fruit” tablets have flavor tripping parties where they try bitter, sour or bland foods like plain bread, lemons and vinegar and report potent, candy-like flavor. It is conventionally marketed as a diet aid for people who want to eat healthier, less sweet foods, but many have reported that miracle fruit also has more erotic applications. Since it causes bitter flavors to become much more sweet, it may enhance the taste of your partner and make oral sex and general biting and licking much more pleasing to the palate. If it can do all that, and make a Valentine’s Day dinner of lemons, vinegar and raw garlic taste like candy, then it really must be a miracle.

If either you or your partner don’t want to be in an altered state during sex, then it shouldn’t happen. As with all sexual encounters, protection and consent are vital, especially when you and your partner are experimenting with any substance that might impair your judgment and lower your inhibitions. If you plan it well, and both consent, then maybe this Valentine’s Day you’ll find a new way to indulge with your partner.

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