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Dr. Doe: A few weeks back I talked about Sex and Alcohol: The good, bad and ugly and I showed how a main effect of alcohol is on the mind - using milk and food coloring to demonstrate this. By definition, drugs have a physiological effect - they change the mind and often the function of many other body systems. What does this mean for sex?

-- Intro Cut Scene --

Here's the info on Sex and Alcohol (already covered). Next up: Caffeine.

On one hand, caffeine is known for boosting the energy, stamina and enjoyment people "need" to function. If they can't live without coffee then surely sex without it is going to be a struggle. On the other hand, a study at Duke University Medical Center found caffeine compounds stress. It causes the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol, the stress hormone, which correlates negatively with testosterone. Cortisol up, testosterone down, and with it sexual interest, erections, ejaculation and ejaculate. So when it comes to sex and caffeine, sex and it's stress relieving benefits actually impact caffeine way more than the other way around. Quick note on chocolate, which has caffeine in it: chocolate also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which triggers the release of dopamine in the brain, the hormone released naturally during sex and orgasm. Meaning, chocolate can stimulate arousal, and/or substitute for sex - at least chemically. For the best sex results, choose a darker chocolate. These have higher levels of PEA and lower levels of caffeine. 

Nicotine - the drug in tobacco got a reputation for being sexy early when it was rolled up in little sticks and held phallically between the lips. In films, smoking a cigarette was a way to symbolize a sex scene - two people in bed, passing a cigarette between them, meant they did it, and liked it. Now a quick search of sex and smoking or nicotine or cigarettes will pull up a lot of research saying "Don't." 

In these ways, nicotine changes the body's physical appearance. It can also make you less fit for the physical activity of intercourse. Harder to breathe, harder to have sex. Furthermore, studies have found nicotine lowers libido, limits erections, and (for those of you who care) decreases penis size.

Cannabis - Marijuana, pot, weed, dare I say "Nature's Viagra" produced mixed results for sex. Some consider sex way better, with quote "time losing all meaning, higher levels of sensitivity, and more focus on sensations rather than goals, and better orgasms if they're had." But these same characteristics can result in humping for hours, distraction from actual sex, feelings of disconnect, never reaching orgasm, and vaginal dryness. Ironically, there's lubricants infused with cannabis, so you can be high and wet at the same time. They're designed to apply directly to the vulva or anus, like other personal lubricants, except the cost is about $3 per use and the intent is to relax the body into a feel good state. Lowered inhibitions and relaxation are two of the most prominent effects of cannabis. Which can be exciting in the case of asking someone out, or trying an intimidating position, but can also be very dangerous - like foregoing STI testing or protection. When it comes to any drug interacting with your body, there are two main considerations: The dosage, and the experience you want compared to the one you have. The higher the dose, the more risks there are, so be clear with your intentions, start as prescribed, and take notes. If your intention is better sex, there are cannabis strains that are reputed for this and more on the way as places legalize its use. 

Over the counter and prescription drugs may not benefit your sex life like this, but hopefully they don't harm it. In the case of over the counter drugs, there are more than 300,000 of them and very little research on their short or long-term sexual effects. But you can still ask about them and do research. Log onto forums, consult your provider, document the sexual changes yourself. One benefit of taking over the counter drugs appropriately is better health. If you have a headache or allergies, alleviating them improves you. The same way decongestants can facilitate kissing, and laxatives can curb collision dyspareunia, which is pain during intercourse - in this case from a tilted uterus hitting constipation.

Prescription medications are the same. They're prescribed for your health, not against your sex life. So it's reasonable to say ""Doc, my anti-depressant is killing my sex drive" or "such and such drug makes it very difficult for me to orgasm. What suggestions do you have. What alternatives are there? What drug can I take to cope with the sexual side effects of the one I'm on?" There are many other drugs to discuss, including a much more extensive run down of pharmaceuticals. Until then I've listed a lot of resources on the topic of sex and drugs in the description and as usual, I encourage you to Stay Curious.

-- Outtakes --

Lowered inhibitions and relaxtion....relaxation.

Feelings of disconnect and ah ha ha ha

Produces *stumbles over line*