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Sex and drugs

Te moe tangata me te kai whakapiri

Within our communities, sex is often enjoyed alongside a variety of different drugs. Drugs can feel different for everyone, and while they can enhance the pleasure of sex, they can also change how we assess risk and impact our decision making, including around safer sex practices.

When taking drugs as part of sex, it’s really important to understand dosages, how to reduce risks around STIs and HIV, consent (giving and interpreting), and how your thinking, reasoning and behaviour will be impacted, especially when it comes to perceptions and attitudes towards people living with HIV when we're under the influence.

This page gives a broad overview of everything you need to know when having sex on drugs, and includes a variety of resources for further information, so you can stay informed and ensure a safer and pleasurable experience for everyone involved.

Ngā mihi nui to the New Zealand Drug Foundation to their generous contribution to this content!

What drugs are we talking about?

When we say ‘drugs’, what exactly are we talking about? Well, the list is practically endless! But for brevity, here’s a bit of info on the most common drugs you’d expect to find associated with sex in Aotearoa.


Meth (or P) is the most common drug used during PnP (more on this below) and typically increases both energy and sex drive. While meth can be highly pleasurable, using regularly and for long periods has the potential to cause significant problems. Make sure you are clear about boundaries before you get high and have your own sterile equipment if needed. If you are trying to hook up without it, remember that both Grindr and Scruff allow you to indicate that you’re abstaining from substances. Find out more about meth and sex.

G (GHB/GBL/1,4-BD):

These are actually three separate drugs that are often talked about interchangeably (and are all shortened to 'G') - and if you’re familiar with them, you’ll never look at those little fish-shaped soy sauce packets the same way (IYKYK). They can make you incredibly horny and can lower your inhibitions. They can also be tricky to dose and easy to accidentally overdose on, especially as you may not know which of the three you have taken, so it’s a good idea to use drug checking services. You can find more info here!


Poppers *pop* up (sorry) everywhere, from being passed around the dancefloor to being huffed in preparation for a very intense fuck. While the effects of poppers don’t last long, they can make you feel invincible. We have a few extra resources on the history of poppers, and also a renaissance in single-use popper ampoules.

There are also a bunch of other drugs that you might find associated with sex – you can read up on all of them on our full glossary below (plus more info on the three above), including tips on dosage and how to stay safer while using them.



Most of us will be familiar with the effects of alcohol (aka booze, liquor, drink etc), which is the most common but also the least likely to be associated with drugs. Yes, alcohol is technically a drug, so if you drink but “don’t do drugs”, guess what – this page is still very relevant for you 😉

Often underestimated in its dangers, alcohol can be really problematic for some people and it does some pretty nasty damage to the body over time. For others, it's a manageable way to loosen up and have some fun.

Know what you’re in for:

  • A feeling of relaxation
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Reduced reflexes
  • Increased confidence
  • Heightened mood: feeling happier or more depressed than usual
  • Lowered inhibitions

Most of us will be aware that the comedown from alcohol (the hangover) can be an unpleasant and painful experience. Rehydration is the key here and if you can keep food down, that's a bonus. Grab a sports drink and prepare for a day of Netflix under a duvet, depending on the severity.

Abuse of alcohol over time could result in:

  • Erectile dysfunction and infertility
  • Memory loss and/or brain damage
  • Difficulties with pregnancy and becoming pregnant
  • Depression
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Drug dependency
  • Reduced kidney and liver function
  • An increased risk of heart disease

Methods of taking:

  • Ingested/Drunk


Alcohol has reported negative interactions with most other drugs.

  • Alcohol + other drugs classified as depressants (GHB, Ketamine and certain prescription medications) are a dangerous combination. Together, they may increase the risk of overdose by reducing heart rate and breathing to dangerously low levels.
  • Alcohol + Cannabis may cause nausea and vomiting. Feelings of anxiety and paranoia may also occur when the drugs are taken in combination.
  • Alcohol + Cocaine will strengthen the stimulant effect of cocaine and places the heart under extreme stress. This condition has been linked to sudden death.
  • Alcohol + Ecstasy generally lessens the overall effect of ecstasy. It can, however, dangerously increase these effects, speeding up the process of dehydration.



Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush, widely known by many street names, including coke, snow, blow, nose candy, crack, freebase etc.

Sought out for its quick onset of a euphoric state, reduced inhibitions, and increased energy and motivation, cocaine has quite a short sharp high and is highly addictive. It's easy to build a tolerance to cocaine, meaning continued use can require larger doses to achieve the same results.

Coke can give you more confidence and enhance your libido, but it can also cause you to be self-centered and pay less attention to your partner, so knowing boundaries from the outset and checking in with them regularly during sex is important. Some folks might use coke to keep them going when their body would ordinarily want to crash, so is more common in long sex sessions (or can turn a regular sex session into a long session).

Harder to get a hold of here in Aotearoa, coke is notably expensive - meaning cheap/affordable "coke" is likely methamphetamine.


  • Increased confidence and motivation
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Dilated pupils
  • A dry or pasty mouth
  • Increase in heart rate
  • A reduced appetite
  • Excess sweating
  • Increase in libido

Snorting cocaine may result in nose bleeds, infections of the nasal passage, a perforated septum, and long-term damage to the nasal cavity and sinus.

Also, the comedown is no cakewalk! Try and look after yourself when coming down; do something relaxing with people you trust, as you're likely to experience the below:

  • Restlessness/irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Radical mood swings
  • Lethargy/exhaustion
  • Anger

Methods of taking:

  • Snorted/sniffed
  • Injected
  • Ingested/rubbed into gums
  • Smoked (Crack and Freebase)
  • Most commonly snorted, cocaine is the original line on the mirror.

Dosage info:

  • Active dose: 20-50mg
  • Common dose: 50-100mg
  • Risk of overdose: It is hard to pinpoint the cocaine dose that will cause an overdose - tolerance, weight and purity of the drug all confuse this number. One thing to remember is that cocaine use often promotes compulsive redosing - making it harder to track how much is in your system as the night goes on

Prolonged use can badly damage the tissues in your nose, even eating away at your septum - use alternate nostrils where possible. Make sure you're not sharing snorting equipment as cuts and irritations could result in blood passing from one nose to another. It's a good idea to rinse your nostrils out after a hit kicks in to avoid the drug damaging tissue.

If you are injecting, it’s important to use clean injecting equipment and to avoid sharing needles or other injecting equipment.


  • Cocaine + Alcohol will strengthen the stimulant effect of cocaine and places the heart under extreme stress. This condition has been linked to sudden death.
  • Cocaine + other stimulants (ecstasy, amphetamines) will put the heart under pressure and will increase the risk of overdose.



GHB/GBL (both commonly referred to as ‘G’, despite being different drugs) are depressants that slow down the body’s functions with effects of euphoria, disinhibition and relaxation lasting up to 2.5 hours with after effects of up to 4 hours. They have a lot of different street names, so you may encounter the street names G, Fantasy, Waz, G-riffic, Goop and Liquid G.

The major risk for G is that the active dose is very small - 0.3ml - and it’s easy to accidentally use too much. It is also common to lose track of time and not be aware of when you last used.


  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Increased libido
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Relaxed muscles - especially in the anus
  • Memory lapses
  • Clumsiness and or loss of motor control
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Lowered body temperature and heart rate
  • Nausea, diarrhoea or difficulties urinating.

The effects of GHB/GBL are felt within 15 to 20 minutes and may last up to 3 or 4 hours depending on the strength of the substance and quantity consumed.

Little is known about the long-term effects that G has on the body. This is because the chemical composition of GHB/GBL varies, largely due to the method in which it is manufactured. What we do know though is this - it’s very easy to take too much G. The difference between the amount needed for a high to that of a fatal dose can be difficult to judge.

The effect of G depends on a couple of factors. For starters, you need to be sure whether you have GHB or GBL on your hands, as GBL (which is converted to GHB in your body) actually has a faster onset and is often more potent. Next, think about your body weight: if you are lighter, use less. Matching a playmate or friend’s dose is not the way to go, as bodyweight and tolerance could mean they are taking way more than you should. People often feel effects at very low doses, so remember to start with less.

Methods of taking:

  • Measured and drunk (usually diluted)
  • Not injected
  • Not sniffed or snorted
  • Not shafted/booty bumped

Use a syringe (without a needle) to measure the dose rather than guessing or swigging from a bottle. Don't let others dose you - stay in control of your own doses. Diluting in a small amount of water or soft-drink can help avoid chemical burns from G.

Dosing info:

  • Active dose: 0.3 – 0.9ml
  • Common dose: 0.6 – 1.5 ml
  • Risk of overdose: 1.5ml or more

At 2ml or more of GHB, unconsciousness is likely, and death is likely at 5ml or more. If people are unresponsive, they need immediate medical attention, so dial 111 and request an ambulance. Remember that GBL can be more potent, so start with a smaller dose if you know you're using GBL.

Keeping track of how much you have used and when is very important. You can set a timer on your own phone to wait at least 3 hours before using again. Remember - it's VERY easy to overdose on G. It's not uncommon to assign a "G mama" or "tripsitter" to help people keep track of doses and timing. You may even be organised enough to create a little spreadsheet or timetable that could be stuck to the fridge (or anywhere obvious) to track who's had what doses and when.

Another handy tip; G is a clear liquid that could easily be mistaken for something else. Consider storing it in a container that isn't a drinking receptacle to avoid someone else (or yourself) picking it up and taking a massive dose by mistake. You could also use a food colouring to avoid this.


The effect of G in combination with other drugs, including over-the-counter or prescribed medication, is unpredictable. Here are some of the known interactions between GHB/GBL and other drugs including prescription medications:

  • GHB/GBL + Alcohol - Do not take GHB with alcohol. Just don't do it. If you have been drinking alcohol and use GHB the risk of overdose is very high. Both these drugs are depressants and the effects compound which can lead to unconsciousness, coma or death.
  • GHB/GBL + Benzodiazepines greatly increases the chance of overdose.
  • GHB/GBL + Amphetamines or Ecstasy places strain on the body and increases the risk of seizure. Using GHB/GBL to help with the come down of stimulants may lead to a cycle of dependence on both drugs.



Often represented as 🐎 due to ketamine’s traditional use as a horse tranquilizer, ketamine, or simply K, is an anaesthetic that has hallucinogenic properties and produces increased feelings of happiness.

However, too much K can pull you into a K-hole where you may not have full control over your body. For this reason, having a sober friend or experienced user that you trust with you to tripsit in case the state becomes overwhelming, or your dissociation becomes dangerous (i.e. not seeing a staircase, pool or road, etc.).

Ketamine is often found in a crystalline powder form, and sometimes found as a pill or liquid. It's known to be hugely dissociative, which means people using ketamine may find themselves completely disconnected from their surroundings and bodies as strong hallucinations affect sense of sight, smell, taste and feeling.


  • Increased feeling of happiness
  • A sense of detachment from your body – falling into the "K-hole"
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion, clumsiness and lowered pain sensitivity
  • Increased heart rate and/or blood pressure
  • Slurred or slow speech
  • Anxiety and panic attacks

Ketamine bladder syndrome: Taken in large, repeated doses, ketamine may cause a painful ongoing condition known as ketamine bladder syndrome. Symptoms include incontinence and ultimately ulceration to the bladder.

Coming down from a ketamine session can be pretty disorienting. You may experience memory loss, clumsiness, and have your judgement/reasoning impaired.

Methods of taking:

  • Snorted
  • Injected (into muscle rather than a vein)
  • Shafted/Booty-bumped
  • Most commonly injected.

Dosage info:

  • Active dose: 5-10mg
  • Common dose: 50-125mg
  • Risk of overdose: Ketamine is not as easy to overdose on as with some other drugs, but the dissociative and numbing effects mean harm to the user can be from being injured by interactions with their environment in this state - e.g. drowning.


  • Ketamine + Alcohol or Opiates may lead to a reduced awareness of the amount of combined depressants being taken. This could result in overdose. Signs of overdose may include nausea and vomiting, slowed heart rate and breathing, coma and possibly even result in death.
  • Ketamine + Amphetamines, Ecstasy and Cocaine place an enormous strain on the body, leading to an increased heart rate and the possibility of heart failure and/or stroke.



Whether you snort it, swallow it, dissolve it, or shelve it, Molly is likely to be at most parties. MDMA is affectionately known as the love drug, so can lower your inhibitions when it comes to sex and intimate connection.

Molly is often found in pill, capsule or powdered form - and is usually taken to induce a euphoric state and heighten sensory awareness.

Sometimes, people think they’ve had MDMA when they’ve actually had something else, so it’s a great idea to test your drugs beforehand.


The desired effects of MDMA are felt somewhere between 20 minutes to an hour after the drug has been taken and can last upwards of 6 hours in the body.

  • Increased confidence and feelings of euphoria
  • Dilated pupils
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Clenching/grinding of the jaw and teeth
  • Heightened sensory awareness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and reduction in appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased risk of dehydration
  • Restless sleep patterns and or insomnia
  • Heat stroke
  • Long-term use may eventually cause depression, memory loss or cognitive impairment, dependency, anxiety or reduced kidney and liver function

Come downs from MDMA can be quite intense and sometimes emotional. Monitor your feelings - having a cry is totally fine, but if you're feeling super low, call a trusted friend to come and give you some support.

It's important to stay hydrated when you've taken MDMA, as it will help regulate your body temperature. MDMA also introduces a risk of overhydration - so make sure to enjoy your water slowly rather than chugging constantly. Having an electrolyte-heavy beverage like a sports drink can help with this too. Also, remember to pee!

Methods of taking:

  • Ingested/swallowed
  • Snorted
  • Rarely injected
  • Most commonly encountered in pill form.

Dosage info:

  • Active dose: 40-75mg
  • Common dose: 75-125mg
  • Risk of overdose: It is hard to pinpoint the MDMA dose that will cause an overdose - tolerance, weight and other compounds present in the pill all confuse this number


  • MDMA + Alcohol may increase your risk of dehydration or consequently it may result in the drinking of too much water.
  • MDMA + Amphetamine may increase the potential for anxiety and reduced brain functioning. This is due to the depletion of dopamine in the brain. Enormous strain is also placed on the heart and body and this has the potential to lead to stroke.
  • MDMA + SSRIs (anti-depressants/anti-anxieties) can be risky as with mixing any drugs, as it is hard to predict how one drug will interact with another. Avoid using MDMA if you are on anti-depressants (MAOIs or SSRIs) as they act on the same areas in the brain making the effects unpredictable and dangerous.



Methamphetamine is a stimulant that has effects of intense alertness, energy and, in this setting, increased sex-drive and euphoria. It's also known as Crystal Meth, P, Tina and Meth. The main effects last up to 8 hours with after-effects up to three days later. Using larger doses over longer periods can result in agitation, mood swings, paranoia, hallucinations or seizures.


  • Increased confidence and motivation
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Dilated pupils
  • A dry or pasty mouth
  • Increase in heart rate
  • A reduced appetite
  • Excess sweating
  • Increase in libido

Like with many chems, using meth (particularly if using regularly) may result in unwanted or detrimental effects:

  • Agitation and mood swings
  • Paranoia and hallucinations (you may have heard of this as meth psychosis)
  • A reduced appetite
  • Seizures
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Restless sleep patterns and or insomnia
  • Ongoing dental problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Respiratory issues
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Snorting meth can damage the nasal passage and cause nose bleeds

Methods of taking:

  • Smoked
  • Injected (slammed)
  • Shafted (inserted rectally)
  • Snorted

Methamphetamine is more commonly smoked, which is the safer way to use it when it comes to risk of HIV transmission. Some people shaft meth, which means inserting it into the anus. Shafting meth can increase the risk of acquiring HIV because it can damage the lining of the anus, creating a potential entry point for HIV. If injecting (also known as slamming), always use sterile equipment (spoon, needle and syringe) and never reuse or share.

Remember, you can get free sterile needles and syringes from Needle Exchanges and some pharmacies, as well as return used equipment to be safely disposed of.

Dosage info:

  • Active dose: 5 – 10mg (half – one point)
  • Common dose: 10 – 30mg (one point – three points)
  • Risk of overdose: More than 30mg (more than three points)


  • Amphetamines + Antidepressants or Alcohol/Cannabis/Benzos - Because amphetamine speeds up the body, when it’s combined with depressants it may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Use of uppers and downers at the same time places the body under a high degree of stress. As your body attempts to deal with the conflicting chemical messages produced by different drugs, you significantly increase the negative side effects and this could result in overdose.



Poppers are the most common name for a type of inhalant – usually Amyl or Butyl Nitrite – that are used for their dilatory, muscle-relaxing effects and short-term euphoria. Renowned for their effects on anal sex, poppers may be quite a common encounter.

Most safely used by inhaling the vapour (and the vapour only!). This can be done by placing the bottle near the nose and inhaling for a maximum of five seconds. If you want an extra huffer-buffer you can drop some on a tissue or cotton and inhale from this to further reduce the chance of accidentally having the liquid enter your nose.


  • Pretty much instant effects
  • Sense of warmth and euphoria lasting 2-3 minutes
  • Relaxed muscles – especially the anus
  • Lowered blood-pressure – which can cause light-headaches and increased heart-rate

Swallowing poppers is extremely dangerous and potentially fatal - they should only ever be inhaled as they can potentially cause users to fall unconscious or slip into a coma.

If you, or someone around you, swallows poppers - you should immediately call 111 as urgent medical care is required.

If you've got heart problems – it’s best not to play with poppers

Methods of taking:

  • Huffed/inhaled
  • Never drunk
  • Never injected


  • Avoid using poppers with drugs like Viagra or blood pressure medication as this can be dangerous. It lowers the blood pressure, which can cause fainting, or even fatal drops in blood pressure. When mixed with stimulants such as speed, meth or cocaine, Viagra increases the stress levels on your heart and puts the body under a lot of pressure. GHB also lowers blood pressure, so mixing with poppers can be dangerous as it increases the chance of losing consciousness or respiratory issues.



Viagra is a prescription medication used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. It acts by increasing blood flow to the genitals and, voilà; you've got a somewhat instant boner (you'll still need to be aroused, of course).

Viagra is simply a brand name - the active ingredient in Viagra is sildenafil citrate. Other medications such as Cialis have similarly acting active constituent, produce the same result and will affect the long and short-term health of users similarly.

Viagra is found in tablet form. All sildenafil citrate products are manufactured either as a pill or an oral jelly.


  • Relaxed blood vessels in the penis resulting in long-lasting erections
  • We’re talking 2-5 hours where you may have more than one prolonged boner
  • Overdoing Viagra or any similar product can result in priapism (which is doctor-speak for a painful erection that won’t go away)
  • Impotence and permanent penile damage can occur if you maintain an erection for more than four hours

Methods of taking:

  • Ingested (pill or jelly)


Want more?

The Level NZ also has some great info guides on each of these drugs (including drug interactions and more). 

A small drawer beside a messy bed including a collection of sex and drug-related paraphernalia, including condoms, cock rings, lube, tissues, and a syringe.

Party and Play

PnP | 💎 | 🧊 | ☁️

If you’ve ever seen one of these on Grindr and wondered what they mean, look no further – these are all references to ‘party and play’ (sometimes referred to as ‘chemsex,’ wired play, or ‘high and horny’).

PnP describes a certain way of taking drugs for the purpose of having sex, and is specific to gay, bi, and other men who have sex with men (and their sexual partners). It implies the use of certain drugs (usually methamphetamine and GHB/GBL in an Aotearoa setting), as well as typical behaviours that come with combining these drugs with sex.

While sex can often happen when engaging in general drug use (i.e. using MDMA or cocaine), in PnP drugs are intentionally used to enhance and amplify sex.

People may also use these drugs to empower them to have sex that they might ordinarily be uncomfortable having when sober – for example, due to internalized homophobia, or feelings of shame around specific types of sex (i.e. remember when Troye Sivan said “getting fucked hard in the ass like a big bottom, bareback bottom, raw dog bottom bitch” on Drag Race? Yes – something like that).

Find out more about PnP in our Party and Play 101 guide!


Staying safer when having sex on drugs

If you’re planning to have sex while on drugs, here are a few things you can do to ensure you stay safer.

  • Condoms and lube: If condoms are part of your HIV and STI prevention method, make sure to have this conversation upfront – when you’re sober – with your partners, and consider having some laid out on a table for easy access. Also, having lots of lube – whether or not you’re fucking with condoms – is the best way to ensure a smooth and pleasurable experience for all involved
  • Test yourself: Testing every 3-6 months (depending on your level of activity) is the best way to ensure you are continually checking in on your sexual health. You can use our testing frequency calculator if you’re not sure how often you should get tested
  • Test your gear: Testing your drugs is also important - we have partnered with The Level NZ to host several ‘Test your gear, test yourself’ events throughout the year – so you can test your drugs and test yourself at the same time at our centers.
  • PrEP: Even if you’re a regular condom user, being on PrEP is still a great way to stay safer – not only can PrEP be up to 99.9% effective at preventing HIV (with perfect use), it also ensures you’re in a three-month testing routine.
  • PEP: If you are worried you may have been exposed to HIV, you can get access to PEP; the morning after pill for HIV. Since July 2022 the criteria for PEP was expanded, so this is now easier to access around the motu; remember PEP needs to be taken within 72 hours of exposure, so don’t delay if you think you may be at risk.
A tangle of male limbs on a white sheet in the throes of passion, with one clutching a poppers bottle beside an open lube packet and a container of G.

Sex, drugs, and people living with HIV

Some HIV medication such as ritonavir (Norvir), and possibly other protease inhibitors, can exacerbate the effects of drugs (particular MDMA/Ecstasy and methamphetamine), making them overwhelming and potentially dangerous.

HIV drugs may also slow down the elimination of recreational drugs from your system which may lead to elevated amounts of the drug active in your body. There have been reports of fatal overdose resulting from combining GHB and some antiretrovirals, in particular protease inhibitors. This significantly increases the chance of negative side effects with potentially fatal results.

You can check for interactions between recreational drugs and your antiretroviral medication at the University of Liverpool webpage.

If you are living with HIV and are into sexualized drug use, it is important to consider a few things:

  • Medication adherence: People may find it harder to remember to take their HIV medications when engaging in sexualised drug use, particularly with PnP as this usually means longer sessions and longer comedowns. This can affect people living with HIV’s adherence to medication(s). Setting alarms to remind taking medications is a good way to keep on top of that. This is also applicable for folks taking PrEP.
  • Mixing drugs: Some HIV medications can interact with recreational drugs. Make sure to check what drugs are you going to take and cross check them. Check Body Positive’s page on this.
  • Stay on top of your health: It's a great idea to check in regularly with your GP, an experienced HIV medical practitioner, or your HIV specialist. 


HIV disclosure during sex with drugs

If you are not living with HIV and having some fun using recreational drugs, you may want to know the HIV status of one or more of your prospective sexual partners.

Asking people "are you clean?" to find out whether they are HIV negative or have an STI is not the best way to go (see here for more, including a very catchy song). Another common question is "are you on PrEP?" However, saying this to a person who might be HIV positive corners them into disclosing they have HIV, as only people not living with HIV take PrEP. This is a situation that makes people living with HIV vulnerable to HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

A better question to ask is simply "what’s your HIV prevention method; condoms, PrEP, or U=U (Undetectable=Untransmittable), or a combo?" 

A few other ways might be to ask "do you know your HIV status?" or "have you recently tested for HIV or STIs?", or "do you have any symptoms or reasons to think you may have been exposed to HIV or STI recently?"

We get that some of these don't roll off the tongue quite as easily - but these questions will facilitate conversations about HIV disclosure and make it easier and less stressful for everybody. For people living with HIV who already face stigma and discrimination, it can be difficult to safely disclose in a sexualized drug environment. In the era of U=U, where there is zero - yes ZERO - risk of acquiring HIV from a person living with HIV if they are undetectable, there is no reason to discriminate or reject having sex with people living with HIV solely on their HIV status.

For people who are not HIV positive, having respectful but playful and sexy conversations about HIV status will make you a great ally for people living with HIV.


Sex-related consent:

Drugs can lower your inhibitions, which makes it harder to negotiate consent in a sexual context. If you’re worried about trying to navigate the blurry line between ‘ok’ and ‘definitely not ok’, you could consider the concept of enthusiastic consent with partners; this essentially means looking for the presence of a ‘yes’ rather than the absence of a ‘no’, via both verbal and non-verbal cues.

Remember, regardless of what has been previously discussed or agreed to, consent is not a one-off event, and can be given and withdrawn at any time. This includes dirty talk and sexting – so if he calls you a dirty fucking slut and you’re not ok with that, you’re absolutely entitled to say so, even if he’s called you that before (and even if you previously liked it). 

NB: KnowYourStuff have a great recent article that could help with any thinking around this.


Drug-related consent:

Informed consent extends to drugs, too. You deserve to know what you’re taking and what the effects could be – if you don’t know, ask. If someone is trying to convince you to take drugs, it’s a bit of a red flag and you absolutely have the right to question them, or to say no at any time.

Remember that just as drugs can enhance the pleasures of sex, having sex can enhance the effects of drugs: your normal dose tolerance for having a great time on the dance floor might be quite different from your dose tolerance in bed (or the park). If you’re experimenting with sexualised drug use, it’s often a good idea to start with a smaller amount than you normally would, and remember that some drugs can take up to an hour before you feel their effects—patience rather than immediately re-upping can help you have more fun for a longer time. 

Drug and sex-related paraphernalia scattered across a bare mattress, including a jock strap, shirt, dildo, condom, lube, cock ring and syringe.

Group sex

If you’ve ever received *that* 3am text, you’ll know that sex and drugs can easily lead to group sex, which is essentially any sex involving multiple people who are engaging with one another (i.e. not just within couples).

Now, a lot of us love a group sesh, but more people means more potential access to additional substances, and more people with whom to navigate consent, both with sex and with drug use. Group sex can also easily lead to a herd mentality where it’s harder to say no to things that are going on, due to implicit or explicit peer pressure. Remember; it’s okay to be on a different buzz from the rest of the group – you can still have a hot time even if you’re not on the same drugs or if you’re sober.

Our Group Sex 101 guide gives plenty of great ways to have a great time while staying safer in a group environment.


Anon sex

Sex on drugs may also increase the possibility of having anon sex (i.e. sex with people you don’t know). This might get your rocks off, but it also holds some inherent risks. Check out our 7 tips for staying safe during an anon hook up.


Support and resources

If you’d like some support when it comes to your drug use and how it’s impacting your sex life, we have a few options for you:

We also have a list of external resources if you need more information:

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