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Study Examines Drug Use and Sexual Behavior
A new study from Concordia University examined the effect of several drugs—including alcohol—on sexual behavior. The results, published in the journal Hormones and Behaviour, show that using drugs recreationally can actually decrease your sex drive, not increase it as some believe.
Concordia psychology researcher Dr. James Pfaus and colleagues at Concordia’s Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology analyzed data from more than 100 different studies, including their own, examining the effects of drugs on sexual performance, and found that drugs and sex don’t mix well together, and that “aphrodisiac” drugs don’t exist.
Dr. Pfaus and his colleagues have been studying the effects of so-called aphrodisiacs on sexual behavior for several years, narrowing their research to animal models, as animals can provide direct cause and effect data and physiological information.
Using stimulants (like caffeine and cocaine) and depressants (like alcohol and morphine), the researchers found that the majority of the drugs decreased sexual performance. However, acute amounts of cocaine facilitated penile erection in male rates, acute caffeine consumption facilitated sexual behavior in male and female rates, and low levels of alcohol reduced inhibitions. Although high levels of alcohol disrupted sexual performance, the effect wore off with time.
Dr. Pfaus said that drugs can enhance sex under some circumstances, but in the majority of situations, drugs decrease sexual performance.