I Did It For Science: Sex on Drugs

Five substances, one girlfriend, three days.

by Grant Stoddard

In honor of Burning Man, an event where sex, drugs, and sex on drugs are all pretty commonplace things, we're taking a look at an old favorite: how a few of the more popular intoxicants on the market affect the oldest drug in the book.


I've never really had sex on drugs, but they've always been linked in my mind. Maybe that's because the guys who did drugs in high school were also getting sucked off by girls. Even today, I'm convinced that a boring, homely acquaintance of mine can truthfully claim an Elle cover model is his girlfriend only because he has an endless supply of Bolivian marching powder on hand.

But this experiment is about sex on drugs, not sex for drugs. Therefore, I plan to conduct the sexual act in its purest, most apolitical form — while being totally off my head. My goal is to find a dependable accessory to sex.

In other words, I want to find My Drug. It's like when you're sixteen, and you rummage around in your parents' liquor cabinet trying to determine which drink will be Your Drink. (Embarrassingly, mine's still Malibu and Coke.) The question I intend to answer: is sex on drugs even better than the real thing, or, like the inclusion of "Hotter Than Hell (Demo Version)" on the reissue of Motley Crue's Shout at the Devil, just an unnecessary augmentation of the sublime?


Viagra (1, 50 mg)
Ecstasy (1, type: "Ninja Star")
Cocaine ($40 worth)
Marijuana (1 nugget, strain: "Juicy Fruit")
Girlfriend (1)


I was an impressionable kid, and I was made leery of drugs at a young age. My fourth-grade teacher was an unkempt hippie who wore shirts with yellow pit stains and stored bits of lunch in his formidable beard. Once he told our class how two of his friends tried some magic mushrooms and keeled over right there, in some English meadow. Now, imagine your teacher telling you that when you're nine years old. It was some cold shit, I assure you. I was scared straight before my time. (Note of context: I saw Dark Crystal that same year and soiled my pants right in the theater.)

Adolescence brought me neither sex nor drugs. Since then, I've taken full advantage of everything I missed out on during a little period I like to call "the 1990s," but a move to New York only compounded my drug-based anxiety. Namely, I started to equate an old girlfriend's casual cocaine use with infidelity. I resented the way she'd disappear into a tiny scuzz-bar bathroom with her shady hook-up guy, then return to my side with a sly grin and sparkly eyes. Who knows what they were doing in there? Why was some other dude being drafted to make her feel good?

My current girlfriend went through what she calls her "drug phase" a long time ago. Let me put it this way: if drugs were crayons, Erica started with the sixty-four pack. By the age of twenty-one, she'd done ketamine, meth, opium, whip-its — a maelstrom of substances that'd render her dangerous to cremate. When I requested her assistance with this experiment, she launched into an excruciating monologue about the finer details of being in a K-hole. It left us both slightly nauseated. Reluctantly, she agreed to participate, but only if she could stay clean and serve as a witness.

My editor decreed that the study would involve five substances. Crank, crack, inhalants, and the big H were ruled out at an early stage. We settled on ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana, mushrooms, and Viagra. Each would be evaluated by six criteria: immediate physical effect, tactile response, duration of sex, mental images produced, lab assistant's reaction, and comparison to usage outside the sexual realm.

Getting the drugs wasn't a problem. I had a pretty good idea which friends and co-workers could hook me up with what. I put out the call, and during the next week, nondescript envelopes appeared in discreet areas of my desk like four visits from the drug fairy. Only Bob Dole's little blue friend proved elusive. Online Viagra vendors were too expensive, and borrowing from someone's prescription wasn't an option: because my co-workers are women in the twenty-five to thirty age bracket, they aren't exactly in the prime demographic for erectile dysfunction. I finally turned to Craigslist, an infamous online bulletin board where one can obtain "a slippery hand job, no questions asked," from a bored stay-at-home mom as easily as one can acquire a used Thighmaster.

Sure enough, some guy had posted a "Viagra Available" ad. He had a few pills left at $30 a pop. After a quick email volley, I met "Mac," a buff Latino dude, outside his gym in an upscale Brooklyn neighborhood. He invited me to "take a little walk" with him. As we strolled down a tree-lined residential avenue, every apple-cheeked, stroller-toting family looked like a team of undercover narcs. "You've done this shit before, right?" Mac asked. I nervously replied that I had not. He assured me that I was going to have "a real good time." It was then that I became acutely embarrassed: here I was, talking to a stranger — a drug dealer of sorts — about the award-winning, four-hour erection he was going to help me achieve. "Half of one of these will be plenty," Mac said, handing over a little envelope containing the goods. "You've got four great nights there!" We shook hands, and he asked if I needed anything else. I wasn't sure what he meant. Some Preparation-H, some tough-actin' Tinactin, perchance? The man was like a walking Rite-Aid.

Back in Manhattan, Erica and I were determined to get right down to business. We wanted to keep the experiment pure, minding two very important guidelines:

1. Have sex while as high as possible.
2. Cleanse the palate between drugs. It would be scientifically irresponsible to hoof a baggie of blow while in the throes of a "moody Tuesday" brought on by Sunday's ecstasy.

Of course, everything went pear-shaped. Typically, Erica and I will get it on wherever, whenever, but for the next several weeks, whenever we were together and horny with a couple of hours to spare, the gear would be sitting in the other person's apartment across town. I started carrying everything with me at all times. For a week, I walked the streets of New York like a living sampler plate of narcotic treats. Still, we couldn't get our shit together: whenever I was free, Erica had to work, and vice versa.

All told, I had two months to plan, execute and deliver the assignment.

I ended up doing all five drugs within seventy-two hours.

Next: What's Viagra do to someone who's not Bob Dole?

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