Sexual Behaviour in Canada: Patterns and Problems

By Benjamin Schlesinger | Go to book overview

The influence of drugs on sexual behaviour *

ANDREW I. MALCOLM

The Romans worshipped Venus as the Goddess of Love; but in English the word venery means sexual intercourse. The Greeks adored Aphrodite as the Goddess of Love; but in English the word aphrodisiac is applied to any food or drug that excites to venery.

In spite of the passionate claims of shamans, charlatans, and old wives there is probably no drug that specifically stimulates sexual desire. There are, however, numerous drugs that alter mood and perception in such ways as to bring about a receptive attitude toward sex. No doubt the most famous of these is alcohol, a central nervous system depressant that serves to allay anxiety, dispel self criticism, and block the intrusion of inhibiting ideas.

Alcohol in moderate amounts is almost an aphrodisiac. In larger amounts, it passes from tranquillizer to anesthetic until in the end the drinker is not just unable to engage in venery; his incapacity is such that he cannot even pronounce the word!

A few years ago a patient told me that, for him, sex was a most agreeable diversion. It was like stepping off the second lowest step. Sex with alcohol, however, was even more interesting because extraneous thoughts and feelings somehow failed to distract him. It was like jumping from the top of the flight. Sex with marijuana, he said, was like leaping from the front door right onto the side- walk, if he could only remember that it was his intention to engage in such an exercise. Sex with LSD, said my patient, was like flying headlong from the top of

____________________
*
Reprinted from Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality Vol. 3, No. 11 ( November 1973), 30-33. ( Canadian edition)

-171-

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