It's nothing new to quickly pop a pill to improve an erection. However, things get really interesting when the pill in question is not the blue one from the pharmacist, but colorful ones with stamped illustrations sold by your trusted dealer.
Drugs are ubiquitous in our society and consumption happens everywhere, especially among young people and not just in dark clubs. Drug use is normal both in private contexts such as dates and wild sex parties and it affects the experiences and performance of the participants.
This raises the question: Can you even party "hard"?
"Coke Dick" - When sex goes wrong on coke
"Coke Dick" is a colloquial term used to describe the negative effect of cocaine on a man's ability to achieve an erection. In other words, the penis simply won't rise due to cocaine. Just like cocaine, speed (or pep) belongs to the so-called "uppers" and has a stimulating and euphoric effect. The counterpart to "Coke Dick" is charmingly called "speed dick."
But why is that? Doesn't cocaine actually have a reputation for almost belonging to excessive sexual escapades? Yes and no.
Cocaine causes vasoconstriction (medical term for blood vessel narrowing) and can thus affect almost every organ. Myocardial infarction, cerebral ischemia and bleeding, aortic dissection, intestinal ischemia, and renal ischemia are possible consequences. But a reduced ability to achieve an erection is also among them. An erection occurs when the arteries expand, allowing blood to flow more easily into the penis's erectile tissues. However, if the arteries are constricted due to cocaine use, the erection cannot occur as hoped. The result: frustration and, in case of doubt, two disappointed party-goers.
Those who use cocaine often like to drink one or two glasses (or bottles) of alcohol alongside it. Apart from the fact that excessive alcohol consumption isn't particularly helpful for potency, cocaine also numbs the feeling of drunkenness. When the snorting tube, including the plate, is passed around during a social evening, the second bottle of champagne quickly feels like the second glass. An unnoticed overdose of alcohol is therefore not only dangerous for the ability to achieve an erection but also for general health and can, in the worst case, end up in the emergency room.
Long-term effects of cocaine use on potency
In the best case, cocaine only leads to an unsatisfactory sexual experience, and in the worst case, a heart attack. However, even the long-term effects of cocaine are not to be underestimated even without addictive behavior. Especially with regard to potency, there are some things to consider.
On the one hand, there are initial findings that cocaine can promote delayed ejaculation. Repeated cocaine use over a longer period of time has been linked to permanent vascular damage (the vascular system is also known as the circulatory system and consists of the vessels that transport blood through the body). This could possibly lead to long-term physical erectile dysfunction.
Libido and arousal may decrease in the long term with excessive cocaine use. This is because cocaine increases dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline levels (the happiness hormones) in the 15- to 30-minute high after taking the drug. Repeated exposure to high concentrations of these hormones can make the body less sensitive to pleasurable activities over time.
Cocaine use can lead to a medical emergency called "priapism". This is an erection that does not go away even hours after stimulation. There are some medical studies that suggest that cocaine can interfere with the usual process of "relaxation" of an erection. This means that the blood vessels remain narrowed and the erection becomes "stuck". In these cases, the penis does not receive enough new, oxygen-rich blood to keep the tissue alive.
This can lead to significant damage to the penile tissue or even penile gangrene (where the loss of blood supply causes the tissue to die). This may sound very scary, but fortunately, it only occurs in rare cases. Priapisms must be treated urgently to avoid long-term erection problems.
Colorful pills for potency
Popping pills, dancing wildly, the sexual desire increases with every passing second, picking someone up, ending up in bed together ... and then nothing. While the pupils get bigger and bigger, other body parts get smaller and smaller.
Amphetamines such as MDMA or ecstasy have mood-enhancing, communication-enhancing, and contact-enhancing effects - and make you pretty horny. While some men deliberately consume amphetamines or methamphetamines to prolong the time until ejaculation or to experience a more intense orgasm, others struggle to get an erection at all. Opinions on this are clearly divided: some celebrate amphetamines as the ultimate sex drugs, while others stay away from them because nothing works anymore.
But what is true? A research team from Taiwan surveyed 1,159 men who consumed amphetamines and no other drugs about their sex life. In comparison to the sober control group with a proportion of 12% of those affected by erectile dysfunction, it became clear that 29% of the consumers suffered from erectile dysfunction. Although the research did not find out whether amphetamines have a long-term effect on the erectile function of men, there is a likely correlation.
As with cocaine, amphetamines can have serious long-term effects such as decreasing libido, damaging the nervous system, psychological dependence, and others.
The chemsex favourite: GHB
Especially popular in the gay party scene and at the same time one of the most dangerous drugs is GHB. GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate) is closely related to the neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), which regulates, among other things, the waking/sleep states and stimulates growth hormones in the brain. GHB (pronounced in English) is also known as GBL or simply the letter G.
GHB provides a feeling that is most comparable to an alcohol high. It leads to a state of relaxation, strong euphoria, increased drive, intensified perception with acoustic and optical hallucinations, and strong sexual stimulation. The duration of action is 1.5 to 4 hours. The range of effects of GBL is very similar to that of GHB at lower doses, but the effect sets in faster and is described as "harder" (stronger kick).
Since GHB causes strong sexual arousal, it has quickly become a favourite for "chemsex" (sex under the influence of chemical drugs). The drug is particularly established in the gay scene, as muscle relaxation is one of its effects, making anal sex easier. However, it is important to note that after taking the drug and engaging in sexual activity, personal boundaries must remain conscious and clearly set. In any case, it must be clarified beforehand which practices are acceptable and which are not. In the euphoric "high," rationality and order can quickly be abandoned, so caution is always advised!
GHB has also become known in the media as "date rape" drugs. Due to its stimulating effect, the victims of date rape drugs in their drinks are not always aware that they have not entered into the sexual act consciously and voluntarily. Therefore, we strongly urge you to always keep an eye on your drink to avoid possible assaults!
The biggest difficulty with GHB lies in dosing and mixing it with other drugs. Since it is taken in liquid form, it can be unclear how much has already been consumed or should still be consumed. In general, it is always advisable to avoid mixing several drugs or alcohol with drugs, but with GHB, a special sensitivity is urgently needed. As high as one can fly with GHB, one can also fall just as quickly and end up in the hospital in the worst case.
Smoking pot and erectile dysfunction
Almost the "lesser evil" compared to chemical drugs can be found in marijuana (colloquially called weed), cannabis or hashish. The plant is also the most popular drug next to alcohol: 48.2 million Americans have used marijuana at least once. The process of consumption is colloquially known as smoking pot and is now well established in common language.
THC (short for "tetrahydrocannabinol") is an active ingredient in weed. When it enters the body, it attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the hypothalamus (the area in the brain controlling sexual behavior). There is evidence that THC attaching to cannabinoid receptors in this area may cause some men to become physically difficult to arouse. However, this area has not been researched far enough to make any definitive statements here.
Some people find that smoking pot makes them more aroused and relaxed, so smoking pot before sex can become part of their sexual routine. Unfortunately, this can lead to feeling like they can't have sex without weed or even develop a fear of sober sex. This can lead to sexual performance anxiety.
It is common knowledge that marijuana can make depression, anxiety, substance abuse, paranoia, mood swings, and schizophrenia more likely. Pre-existing mental illnesses such as depression can affect sexual arousal and erections in general, and marijuana use can further exacerbate this. In a study in the American Journal of Men's Health (Pizzol et.al., 2019), five case-control studies with data from 3,395 healthy men found that the incidence of erectile dysfunction was nearly four times higher in marijuana users than in control subjects.
CAUTION: Cannabis is also reported to be able to lower blood pressure. Viagra and other PDE-5 inhibitors also lower blood pressure. Not only can this lower the effect of Viagra, but it can also lead to life-threatening low blood pressure.
Psychological effects of drug use on potency
Drugs are used by some people to increase their energy levels, self-confidence, or sexual desire. Aside from the physical dangers, there is always the potential to become psychologically or physically dependent on the drug. This is also not to be discounted in a sexual context.
For some men, it can become an addiction to use the drug to gain sexual confidence, have extra power in the bedroom, or achieve a higher libido. A fear of drug-free sex may also develop. After drug use, inhibitions decrease, self-confidence increases, and as mentioned earlier, some drugs even promote sexual steadiness and performance (at least in the short term). Here, an association with taking drugs and the thought of having to be a "successful lover" can develop, causing one to become psychologically dependent. Likewise, one may become too attached to unrestrained escapades while under the influence of drugs and fail to build a sober sexual self-confidence.
These side effects can also be felt away from the bed, with the use of cocaine or MDMA leading to feelings of stress, anxiety, paranoia, panic, and even depression. This is particularly observable in the context of a "comedown" (a period of time after taking drugs when the effects wear off, often accompanied by intense periods of low mood or depressive tendencies, as well as physical weakness).
Help with excessive drug use
The Addiction & Drugs Hotline can be reached by calling 01806 313031. It offers telephone advice, help and information from experienced professionals in the field of drug and addiction support. People with addiction problems as well as their relatives, friends or colleagues can contact the Addiction & Drugs Hotline. There is a charge for the service: €0.20 per call from the German fixed network and from mobile phones.
Just about every city has counseling centers for people with addiction problems and their relatives. Some of these counseling centers specialize in specific addictive substances or forms of addiction.
The facility database of the German Central Office for Addiction Issues (DHS) provides all important information on the more than 1,400 outpatient addiction counseling centers nationwide, as well as 800 inpatient addiction support facilities.