Rehab 4 Addiction

Known as a ‘party drug’, people often abuse cocaine to improve or enhance their sex life.

Because cocaine’s short-term effects include increased confidence, energy, sex drive and a strong sense of euphoria, this is no surprise.

People often believe the dangerous myth that cocaine increases the pleasures of sex. In contrast, cocaine brings with it a whole host of adverse side effects when used as a sex aid.

Sex and cocaine: the short-term effects

Short-term effects

To understand why cocaine has such an ill effect on the sex drive, it’s vital to look at how cocaine affects sex.

In doing so, it’s easy to see how a person can mistake cocaine’s immediate effects as positive.

Cocaine’s immediate effects increase sexual pleasure by heightening neurotransmitter levels in various body cells, which send pleasure signals.

Cocaine use also increases dopamine in the body, a common chemical signal that promotes any pleasure feelings.

As a stimulant, cocaine users experience several short-term side effects that increase sexual pleasure. These include:

  • Longer lasting sex
  • A sense of euphoria
  • A heightened awareness
  • Increase in the quality of sexual pleasure
  • Feelings of control or assertiveness during sex
  • Cocaine orgasms (orgasms with heightened pleasure)

As with all drugs and alcohol, these ‘positive’ side effects don’t last long.

As the perceived positive side effects wear off with increased use and heightened tolerance, many negative consequences come into play, including addiction.

The negative consequence of cocaine & sex

Negative consequences

Whether using cocaine as a sex aid purposefully or not, combining cocaine with sexual intercourse leads to various negative consequences.

First, of course, prolonged cocaine use leads to many physical, psychological, and social impacts, as discussed below.

Cocaine leads to unsafe sex 

Cocaine use often leads to increased sexual activity because the short-term effects include an immediate increase in sex drive.

Unfortunately, combining this with increased impulsivity due to cocaine use and a dangerous pattern of poor decision-making and unsafe sex is common.

Extensive research shows that cocaine users are less likely to use a condom when engaging in sex unless a condom is readily available.

Moreover, extended cocaine use can result in an inability to satisfy sexual desire, resulting in increased sexual partners over short spaces of time.

Other unsafe sex practices due to cocaine use include unsafe sexual acts and compulsive sexual behaviour (hypersexuality).

Cocaine, unsafe sex and disease

Cocaine combines with unsafe sex to put users at risk of unwanted pregnancy and dangerous sexually transmitted diseases, including:

  • HPV
  • HIV
  • Syphilis
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Genital herpes
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

As mentioned, cocaine use increases sexual activity, impulsivity, poor judgment, and unsafe sex practices.

In addition, these combinations put cocaine users at risk of contracting the above STDs, some of which are incurable.

Cocaine’s impact on sexual dysfunction 

Although the immediate side effects of cocaine can increase an individual’s sex drive and sexual pleasure, the adverse long-term effects are almost guaranteed to result in sexual dysfunction for both men and women.

A strong sense of frustration occurs for long-term cocaine users due to an imbalance between their sexual desire and the inability to function during sex.

For example, prolonged cocaine use leads to sexual dryness and pain for women, whilst men often find it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection.

Even if sex is possible, users have intense problems achieving orgasm, leading to more frustration.

In addition, the myth that cocaine use aids orgasms creates problems when people use cocaine to intensify and elongate their orgasms.

Although the short-term effects discussed above may allow this to occur, long-term use makes it almost impossible to achieve orgasm.

Cocaine & sex: the long-term effects

Long-term effects

As long-term use of cocaine brings increased tolerance, a person must consume more and more to experience the desired effect.

But this long-term use brings more long term-health consequences, such as those based around sexual dysfunction.

These long-term sexual bodily effects include:

  • Premature ejaculation
  • A loss of sexual sensation
  • Decreased sex drive (or libido)
  • Lack of feelings of sexual control
  • A decrease in blood flow to the penis

You may not notice the damage caused by cocaine initially.

Still, cocaine-induced erectile dysfunction often results from vasoconstriction as blood vessels tighten and deliver less blood and oxygen to the body’s cells.

A healthy erection relies on this blood flow and relaxation of the penile blood vessels.

As the soft tissue of the penis fills with blood during erection, cocaine constricts this by tightening and narrowing the blood vessels.

Cocaine and the brain in sexual functioning

Cocaine and the brain

Sexual functioning can be impaired by more than just the sexual organs themselves.

The brain has an important role to play in proper sexual functioning. As cocaine use continues, it inhibits the brain’s ability to respond to sexual stimulation.

The high levels of dopamine that cocaine releases into the brain will eventually desensitise your neurons, so they react less to sexual stimulation.

So ultimately, even when sober you may not feel the same levels of arousal as you did previously.

Sexual aggression and assault with cocaine use

Aggression and cocaine

For those who still have all their sexual desire but no sexual functioning, cocaine brings sexual frustration.

Unfortunately, this increased sexual frustration and the impact of cocaine on decision making increases the risk of aggression, rough sex, and sexual assault.

Because cocaine will heighten a person’s senses, they are more likely to engage in aggressive and rough sexual behaviours.

Furthermore, cocaine users often find it difficult to obtain consent for sexual acts as their judgement becomes clouded.

Cocaine and fertility

Fertility

Those in loving relationships have a good chance of ruining their fertility with long-term cocaine use.

Cocaine can cause infertility in both sexes.

Couples or individuals attempting to conceive should stay clear of cocaine or any drug use.

Where cocaine harms the sperm counts of men, ovulation and quality of the fallopian tubes in women also sees a decline.

Even when women can achieve conception, cocaine use in pregnancy and breastfeeding is also hazardous.

For example, using cocaine during pregnancy increases the risk of:

  • Miscarriage
  • Placental abruption
  • Premature birth
  • Birth defects

Using cocaine at any time during pregnancy carries these risks.

Cocaine’s negative effects on romantic relationships

Cocaine and relationships

Cocaine addiction lowers your sex drive in the long run.

As a person’s libido decreases, it can be problematic to continue romantic relationships with a healthy, non-addicted sexual partner.

With increased use and heightened tolerance from long-term cocaine addiction, these apparently pleasant short term effects wear off.

An apathy for hobbies, passions, and even sex results in almost wholly reduced sexual needs.

Cocaine addiction also has a severely adverse effect on a person’s mental state.

Thus, long-term cocaine users often lack interest in sex due to decreased energy or increased mental illness.

As these problems ingrain themselves into an addict’s life, romantic relationships can be challenging.

For long-term users of cocaine who cannot satisfy or connect with their partners, a breakdown of the relationship can ensue.

However, for those who do find their sex drive and sense of impulsivity increased by cocaine use, relationships can deteriorate due to infidelity and sexual assault.

Treating and preventing the effects of cocaine use in sex

Treatment and prevention

The damage from cocaine use on sexual desire and functioning can be permanent.

For example, sexual functioning can be impaired even after consumption of cocaine has ceased.

If cocaine use goes on for too long, it becomes imperative to get professional support.

Treatment programmes can include individual therapy, family and couples counselling and holistic therapies to give you the best chance of life-long sobriety.

Even if you are currently suffering any of the effects of cocaine on your sex drive, substance abuse treatments or cocaine rehab centres can be highly effective.

You can return to a time in your life before cocaine addiction.

If you’d like to lead a life free from the effects of cocaine on your sex drive and want to get sober, everyone here at Rehab 4 Addiction is ready to help.

boris

Boris is our editor-in-chief at Rehab 4 Addiction. Boris is an addiction expert with more than 20 years in the field.  His expertise covers a broad of topics relating to addiction, rehab and recovery. Boris is an addiction therapist and assists in the alcohol detox and rehab process. Boris has been featured on a variety of websites, including the BBC, Verywell Mind and Healthline.