Drugs. We do them for fun. Many take them cuz we have to. (At least that's what our docs tell us.) And though they offer temporary elation or relief from the anxiety or depression we muck through each day, these pills often have a detrimental effect on our private parts and, to put it politely, can royally fuck up a good fuck.
Met a guy. Impressed me with his wit and tattoos and I decided (after my second drink and apparently his fifth) to have sex with him.
He gave me a full-body massage and was rock hard the entire hour. Then it was go-time and…wait, where'd his dick go? As I worked at it, he looked down and groaned not out of pleasure, but out of pure frustration.
He told me he's on anti-anxiety meds and, especially when he drinks, the pills render his dick lifeless. He was so mortified that he gathered his things – forgetting his phone, hat and socks – and booked it out of my apartment.
So what happens to all those hormones and brain signals that turn you on and make his dick hard when you pop antidepressants?
AfterDarkLA asked triple board certified psychiatrist Dr. Soroya Bacchus this very question. She specializes in psychosomatic and addiction medicine with a focus on treating major psychiatric disorders, and shed some light onto how selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft.
SSRI antidepressants increase serotonin production in the brain, which is why we feel happier, lighter and calmer when we swallow them. But serotonin can block the pathways traveled by the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is what turns us on, make our cocks stiff, and even give us orgasms.
“Normal sexual functioning is based on healthy functioning of nervous, vascular and endocrine systems to produce arousal and orgasm,” Bacchus said. “SSRI antidepressants increase serotonin which provides a feeling of relaxation, [but] can block sexual function. Cocaine or other stimulants cause sexual dysfunction by depleting dopamine stores with chronic use.”
And booze also can interfere with dopamine and even serotonin levels which can impair sexual function, especially when you drink enough of it. Your liver produces steroid hormones like androgen, which is responsible for making his bits work properly.
So mix alcohol with whatever recreational or prescription drug you're popping that day, and the chance you'll be getting laid that night grow pretty slim.
And what to do if these penis-flopping side effects don't subside after a few months? (Assuming you're being responsible and keeping the vodka at bay.) Bacchus modifies her patients' treatment plans, lowering the dose and even starting men on Viagra. There also are additional meds she might prescribe to minimize the sexual side effects.
But come on now, more meds to subside the negative effects of meds you're already taking? Why not give a healthy lifestyle a try and see what happens when you don't drink a handle of Smirnoff, smoke half a pack, and eat three-cheese ravioli on your first date.
That and a confident mind – we all know what power the brain has on our sexual function – just might keep your dick hard long enough for her to take you for a test ride.