What Is It Actually Like Having Sex On MDMA?
The Debrief: The following article is not a recommendation to take it, it's a window into the effects for those of you as curious as I am...
We need to talk about Molly, because sodding everyone is talking about Molly. On my Twitter feed, in Vice articles, and during the one festival I dragged myself to over the summer. Molly (otherwise known as MDMA) is obviously an illegal drug – a class A drug to be precise – and if you're wondering why it's suddenly getting all this coverage, the cynical marketing manager that lives in my head is telling me it's because of the rebrand. MDMA (or 'Molly', 'Mandy', or whatever your mate Gaz calls it when he offers you a snort at a party) is essentially just Ecstasy.
Back in the 90s, ravers used to take Ecstasy to give them a bouncy, ravey high (or just to make club music more palatable, depending on who you ask). It came in pill form, and you'd buy a couple off a dodgy bloke in a club. These days, MDMA often comes in powdered or crystal form, and you don't just find it at raves: it's in the bedroom too.
Now, before I begin I need to do the necessary: drugs are bad for you. MDMA can be incredibly dangerous. It's also illegal, and if you're caught with it then chances are you're not going to get the quick wrist-slap that you'd get if you dropped a small bag of weed in front of a festival steward. However, drugs – like sex and rock and roll – are naturally fascinating because they alter people's mental state as well as their physical sensations. As a lifelong fan of altered-state sex (basically begging my long-term lovers to shag me under the influence of cider, weed, and that anaesthetic you get if you go in for dental surgery), I was curious to know whether Molly affected the way that people fuck. The following article is not a recommendation to take it, it's a window into the effects for those of you as curious as I am.
The lovely couple @HighKinks, who have a Twitter account on which they share some of the hot things they get up to behind closed doors, told me they take MDMA together a few times a year. The guy half of the couple was happy to chat to me about the sexual effects of a Molly-fuelled shag:
'While alcohol reduces the sensitivity, MDMA increases sensitivity, all over. On drink, genitals can feel numbed. On MDMA everything becomes really sensitive. Orgasms become much easier to trigger. Want an orgasm just through nipple play? Or even just a foot massage? MDMA has resulted in orgasms through touching areas not usually that responsive.
'MDMA can affect erections, though. You get so relaxed that all of you can feel very flaccid. But it's usually accompanied by feelings of wellbeing and trust, so not as frustrating as you might think. I have taken Viagra and MDMA together, and that was pretty awesome all round as a combo. Apart from that, there's a risk of feeling a comedown a few days later, though it depends what you did to yourself while on it. As a rule I'd only use it if I had a full day to recover after. Personally, I don't really get much comedown, but it's not the same for everyone.'
He's right – the effects can vary a lot, depending on the person and the dose as well as what you do while you're high. The next person I spoke to asked to be 'As Anonymous As Possible', so we'll call her AAAP. She tried MDMA for the first time last year at a festival, and says that she tends to end up shagging more the day after:
'What people don't really talk about much is the after-effect. Like, you have a long night, and you're chewing the insides of your face and probably also drinking too much and caring too hard about how cool your hands look when you wave them in front of your face. It's fun but I don't find it that sexy. But the day after I always get this floaty-soft feeling. It makes me cuddly, and a bit horny, want to squash myself into someone.'
@HighKinks also mentioned this feeling of closeness:
'As a couple, we've usually felt more bonded than ever after using MDMA as it's a very intimate experience to share. It has a history of use in therapeutic environments, and you can see why. The feelings of enormous wellbeing and contentment do fade, obviously, but I get a sense that the body learns sensations that it can experience more easily when you try the same stuff again straight.'
He mentioned that his partner feels her feet are more erogenous than they were before, after a session of MDMA-enhanced foot massage. @EasilyTempted, who used to take MDMA occasionally a few years ago, also highlights the physical stuff:
'Everything is heightened. Every sense, so the music becomes earth shatteringly meaningful and amazing. The touch - fingertips become like the most sensitive pressure pads, everything feels amazing, the softness, the hardness, the wetness, everything is just more. The smells, the sights, all senses really are on perhaps a more animalistic level as other thoughts are given no room. Inhibitions are gone too - there is no voice in your head saying 'ooh, you are going to look crap in that position' I remember getting totally mesmerised by licking everywhere. You feel powerfully sexy. I wonder what it would be like with a stranger, but with someone you love it heightens that too.
'Orgasms are hard to come by. But even for me who is incredibly orgasm-centric it didn't matter.'
This seems like a good point to introduce Bill (again not his real name – hardly anyone's called Bill these days), who was less positive about the whole thing:
'With the heightened sense of touch and scent, music and images it would seem an obvious choice to enhance sexual encounters. That's certainly what I expected after the first evening being bombarded by amazing sensory experiences from every direction. Unfortunately, for me, there's definitely a this-feels-too-awesome overload circuit wired somewhere between my brain and penis which prevents climax during the actual high. This is obviously completely unfair.'
One of the things I noticed in chatting to everyone for this article was how many of them said that MDMA 'heightened' their sensations – sexually and otherwise. This is something that scientists and some therapists have been exploring for a while (in a controlled environment, not just after their mate Keith said he could get two wraps for sixty quid). Naturally I'm not telling you to get lubed-up, start rolling, and do an experiment of your own, but I am definitely saying that people take drugs for many more reasons than to just make dance music sound half-decent. The drug debate in the UK has ramped up in recent months – in July the mother of a girl who died of an overdose released a statement saying that legalising drugs would help keep people who take them safer. Scientists in the US are looking into controlled trials of MDMA during therapy, as a treatment for social anxiety. And some people take it when they shag, to enhance the erotic sensations. Naturally I'm not going to tell you to rush out and buy some: MDMA can be incredibly dangerous, and can also cause some properly horrible comedowns. But I'm definitely saying that as long as there are drugs, there will be people who use them for sex. Just like alcohol, weed, or my dentist anaesthetic, the pull of altered-state sex is strong.
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