Cocaine has been known to increase the sex drive or libido of those who use it, but that effect is likely only temporary. In the long-term, cocaine use can negatively affect sex drive and the quality of the sex you have, as well as lead to unsafe sexual activity.
Cocaine addiction, or any substance use disorder, can make a healthy sexual relationship difficult to achieve.
Cocaine & Sex Drive
Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant drug that releases a relatively large amount of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine into the pleasure centers in the brain. It does this by attaching to the dopamine receptors and causing a build-up of the neurotransmitters. This is what causes the euphoric effects.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), these euphoric effects can also enhance sexual pleasure, increase sensitivity in touch, and increase blood pressure and body temperature. Cocaine can also affect sex by:
- increasing energy
- prolonging sexual intercourse
- increasing sexual desire
- increasing the intensity of an orgasm
- increasing sexual assertiveness
While cocaine can increase your sex drive in the short-term, long-term cocaine use can decrease your sex drive and lead to all kinds of sexual dysfunction.
The euphoric feeling that comes the first time you have sex while on cocaine diminishes and can quickly turn into anxiety, paranoia, and irritability.
Over a long period of time, cocaine can affect your sex life by:
- decreasing sexual desire
- decreasing sex drive
- contributing to a loss of control
- decreasing sensitivity
- leading premature ejaculation
High doses of cocaine and prolonged use of the drug can also lead to difficulty achieving orgasm. This can ultimately lead to sexual frustration and a decrease in sex drive.
Cocaine & Unsafe Sex
While people may use cocaine to enhance their sexual experience, that’s not always the case. According to Psychopharmacology, a peer-reviewed journal, cocaine lowers inhibitions, increases impulsivity, and negatively affects decision-making. Because of this, it can lead to:
- more risk-taking behaviors like unprotected sex/not using a condom
- an increased risk of contracting a sexually-transmitted infection (STI)
- exposing yourself to more dangerous situations
- an increased number of sexual partners
- an increased risk of unwanted pregnancies
Cocaine & Sexual Dysfunction
Cocaine intake, especially over a long period of time, can also cause issues with sexual function and performance. It can lead to issues like:
- premature ejaculation
- decreased sensation
- decreased lubrication
- difficulty having an orgasm
- decreased blood flow to the penis
- lower sperm count
- fertility issues
- prolonged erections
- erectile dysfunction
- increased risk of fallopian tube damage
- changes to the menstrual cycle
Cocaine & Sexual Assault
Drug use, especially cocaine use, can also increase the likelihood of sexual assault. People who use cocaine and engage in sex can not actually consent because of the way the drug alters the brain. While on the drug, many people may do things they normally wouldn’t.
And, depending on the circumstances, sex while under the influence could be considered sexual assault. It doesn’t matter if one or both people participating in sex have used cocaine. It may still be considered sexual assault under the law.
Though sexual assault is an issue for both men and women, there are gender differences in who is more affected. According to a study in BMC Psychiatry, women who use cocaine have a higher frequency of experiencing sexual violence than men.
Side Effects Of Cocaine Abuse
Beyond the ways cocaine can affect sexual activity, it can also bring on many other intense side effects. This is especially the case if the drug is combined with alcohol abuse and psychostimulants like Adderall and Ritalin, or methamphetamine. These effects can include:
- heart attack
- dilated pupils
- stomach pain
If you or a loved one struggles with cocaine abuse or another form of drug addiction or substance abuse, please call our helpline today.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options
Outpatient Drug Rehab for Addiction Treatment
Taking advantage of outpatient rehab can help a person overcome the substance abuse lifestyle, while gaining access to group counseling, individual therapy and classes. People in recovery can learn skills to help manage stress and...
12 Step Program for Addiction Treatment
Substance Abuse Group Therapy
Day Treatment – Partial Hospitalization (PHP)
Evidence Based Treatment (EBT)
- BMC Psychiatry — Gender differences in patterns of drug use and sexual risky behaviour among crack cocaine users in Central Brazil
- John Hopkins Medicine — Study Affirms That Cocaine Makes Users More Likely To Risk Unsafe Sex
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Sex and Gender Differences in Substance Use
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are the short-term effects of cocaine use?
Northeast Addition Editorial Team
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