We asked sex therapists about the good, the bad—and the cuddly
Mind-altering substances can transform and enhance any experience—and since sex is capable of producing altered states of consciousness in of itself, sex on drugs appeals to many psychonauts. MDMA may carry extra appeal because, well, it makes you feel really, really good—a goal that many share for their sexual encounters.
But sex on molly is not something to jump into hastily without preparation, as it carries its own risks, as well as benefits that you can maximize by approaching it thoughtfully. Here are a few things to know before trying sex on MDMA.
Vulnerability, Fears, and Desire: What Happens When Having Sex on Molly
MDMA—also known as molly (when in powder form) or ecstasy (when taken as a pill)—is known for creating a euphoric feeling as well as a sense of connection with others. It spurs the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which reduces fear, explains Dr. Cat Meyer, a licensed psychotherapist specializing in sex and psychedelics. These effects can allow people to open up to their partners in ways they normally wouldn’t.
“Individuals are more likely to perceive the other person as trustworthy, safe, and supportive,” says Meyer. “We become more curious, compassionate, and self-compassionate, and we desire to be close physically and emotionally. Often, it can feel like a merging of selves and ‘oneness’ in that the care of both individuals becomes a priority.”
This removal of walls is a double-edged sword: It can facilitate bonding between partners, including discussions about sexual likes and dislikes, and boost sexual confidence. But if you’re with someone you don’t know well or someone who doesn’t have good intentions, MDMA can prevent you from exercising judgment around that situation. For this reason, it’s best to have sex under the influence of MDMA with someone you already feel comfortable with.
Even if you’re with someone you trust, you might feel some embarrassment afterward regarding how vulnerable you’ve been. Discussing these feelings afterward with your partner may be helpful. “It’s a good idea to have an intentional time for integration and aftercare to check in with your own and the other’s experiences to process any lingering feelings, vulnerabilities, questions, and insights,” says Meyer.
And be wary of the urge to take a relationship to the next level after an MDMA-enhanced sexual experience. “Sometimes what happens is that we experience the felt experience of ‘love’ and closeness with this individual before we have enough experiences with them to suggest that they would be a good fit for an intimate relationship,” Meyer says. Instead, take time to continue getting to know each other in a sober state.
In addition, molly will affect different people differently, so some may actually experience enhanced fear and anxiety, says certified sex therapist Aliyah Moore, Ph.D. Negative feelings are especially likely to occur during the “come down,” as the drug wears off. “Some individuals may experience heightened sensitivity to rejection or feelings of inadequacy,” Moore explains. “They might worry about meeting their partner’s expectations or fear being judged negatively during intimate moments.” It’s good to talk in advance about any anxieties that may come up and to pause and process these emotions if they are triggered.
Safer Sex on Molly: Consent, Caring, and Protection
Molly can make you feel as if you’re up for anything, which makes it important to establish what you want and where your limits are before consuming the drug. The same way you would set intentions before a psychedelic ceremony, Meyer recommends discussing intentions for sex on MDMA. “Often what happens is two people won’t know that they have different intentions: one person hopes for a deepening romantic relationship while the other person just wants to have fun or be friends,” she says.
If you have the urge to engage in activities that were not part of your original intention, Meyer suggests finding other ways to satisfy your desires for now and enjoying the anticipation of potentially expanding your repertoire further down the line. If you push yourself too far, you may experience regret afterward or even physical consequences, such as soreness. Impact play should especially be handled with caution, as MDMA may increase your pain tolerance, potentially leading to injuries.
It’s not recommended to have sex on molly if you haven’t used it before, as navigating the complexities of sex and consent under MDMA is easier when you understand how it’s affecting you. And whether or not you’ve done it before, you and your partner should do thorough research on its effects. “It is important for all individuals involved to have a comprehensive understanding of the potential effects of molly on decision-making and judgment,” says Moore.
“Maintaining ongoing communication and consent check-ins throughout the experience is recommended,” Moore adds. “Regularly checking in with partners about their comfort levels, desires, and boundaries ensures that consent remains present throughout the sexual encounter.”
As usual, make sure to have water nearby and stay hydrated. You should always attend to your hydration while using molly, but it’s especially important during sex, both because you may be sweating and because dehydration can dry out your mouth and genitals. “Having lubrication for any penetrative sexual activity—and mints to suck on to support salivation—can be helpful in addition to water intake,” says Meyer.
And lastly, it’s advised to test your MDMA before consuming it, as other substances it may be laced with can compromise not just your ability to consent but also your safety. “Many of what we find on the street is laced with meth,” says Meyer. “Some may even have traces of fentanyl, which, when ingested unknowingly, can cause overdose and death.”
Sensuality and Orgasm: Exploring the Effects of Molly on Sex
Because it increases the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain’s reward system, MDMA causes us to seek out pleasurable activities, including sex, says Dr. Ketan Parmar, a Psychiatrist and mental health expert at ClinicSpots. This means it can heighten our libido and willingness to try new things.
MDMA’s effects on the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin can also heighten our response to touch. “MDMA can inspire someone to become more sexual and connected to the pleasure in their body,” says Meyer. “Kissing feels extraordinarily delicious, as well as intimate cuddling and rolling around.” Some people also report stronger orgasms under the influence of MDMA, according to Parmar.
Since all kinds of touch become more pleasurable, MDMA may allow us to be less focused on performance or penetration. Its effects on the serotonin system can make it more difficult to orgasm, but this can actually be an advantage, as it can extend pleasure. Meyer suggests you take advantage of this effect by having sex without the goal of orgasm. This way, sex on MDMA can serve as “an introduction to the energetic aspect of sex, including subtle waves of pleasure, vibrations, buzzing, and even full-body orgasms,” she says. “There can be an orgasmic experience of prolonged heightened rolling pleasure.”
Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions on Sex on Molly
People who have had sex on molly can confirm many of these claims made by experts. “I experience a range of emotional effects, including heightened vulnerability, diminished fears, and intensified desires,” says Jazmine Becky, a 25-year-old in Kenya who works as head of marketing for Flexipcb. “I feel a deep sense of emotional openness and connection with my partner(s), which enhances the overall experience. The sensation and intensity of orgasms can vary, sometimes prolonging or delaying orgasm.”
“My typical fears about intimacy and performance went away,” echoes Heythem Naji, a 25-year-old psychology researcher in Germany. “The drug created an atmosphere of emotional safety where fears, such as not getting an erection or finishing too quickly, disappeared. Molly brought me into the present moment. Everything felt more pronounced, and I found myself entirely present with the beauty of our connection.” Although Naji’s experience was not with a serious partner, he feels that he and this person formed a special bond after having sex on MDMA.
Jason, a 44-year-old lawyer in Chicago, says molly has helped him get out of his head during sex. “And while I like to think that I’m very attentive in general I think I’m more likely to spend a significant amount of time just focusing on my partner,” he adds.”I couldn’t cum, but at the same time, I didn’t really care that I couldn’t cum.” Josh, a 33-year-old working for a public transportation agency in New York City, says it is difficult for him not only to orgasm but also to get an erection when he uses MDMA.
Still, for Josh, the emotional benefits of the drug are worth the physical side effects. “My husband and I have been together for seven years, and we’ve had sex in every state of mind you can imagine,” he says. “Even after all this time, MDMA still gets us to a place of passion and connection that’s hard to reach otherwise.”