Lead illustration by Heather Benjamin
Welcome back to Stoned Sex, the column where I’ll be exploring the intersection of sex and sativas, intercourse and indicas, often through first-hand experience and interviews with experts.
For this week’s edition, we’ll be discussing the ins-and-outs of having sex while tripping on psilocybin-filled shrooms. Stoned Sex will be running every other week, so make sure to stay tuned for the next dose.
*Some names in this story have been changed to protect anonymity
The liberation of psilocybin is upon us. Earlier this year, Denver voted to decriminalize magic fungi and activists are now lobbying congress to do so nationally. Shrooms aren’t having a moment; they’re reclaiming their rightful place at the table. So let’s address the most important question: What’s it like to have sex on them?
“Time slowed down and we could appreciate all the little moments of sex like we never could before,” said Judas Kane, a self-professed Atlanta-based hedonist, about having sex on 2.5 grams of magic mushrooms. “While we were inside each other, an iridescent fractal pattern would emerge.”
But before you turn your orifices into kaleidoscopic pools, let’s discuss how to negotiate consent on psilocybin and other wisdom that horny psychonauts need to know.
Consent Is Imperative
A trip can begin at a concert and unwind under the covers. Regardless of how or why mushrooms are taken, when tripping with a partner, I let them know that psychedelic sex is something I want to experience with them to ensure they’re on the same page.
“The number one issue with psychedelics and sex is consent and the ability of both partners to maintain appropriate boundaries by being able to express consent in a clear way,” said Brad Burge, the director of strategic communications for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. He notes that legally, you can’t consent on psychedelics because you’re technically not in a sober state-of-mind. But that doesn’t stop couples from having sex on shrooms with enthusiastic consent.
Once you hop on a mushroom ride, it’s impossible to know what lies ahead. If you happen to trip with a romantic partner on a camping excursion, or at a music festival (hey, sometimes you crave sweaty shroom sex), it’s smart to consider your intentions and boundaries before expanding your state of mind.
That’s because psychedelics usually produce profound experiences — for better or worse. For instance, a couple may merge in a realm of ego-disintegrating, ethereal orgasms. Alternatively, another sexy psychedelic encounter might cause one partner to become overwhelmed with the oddness of bodily functions, making them bug out. Bad trips happen. And considering how intimate sex is while sober, adding mushrooms to the mix raises the stakes.
“Talk about it beforehand to discuss intentions and boundaries,” said Michelle Janikian, the author of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion: An Informative, Easy-to-Use Guide to Understanding Magic Mushrooms. “When you’re actually tripping it will just make everything go smoothly so everyone is on the same page.”
Shrooms Can Facilitate Emotional Bonding
Before we go any further, let’s be real about something: strangers will fornicate while tripping balls. It’s human nature. And there’s nothing wrong with making magic mushroom love to a sexy mermaid you met in the dust at Burning Man. Just be sure to check in with each other before the drugs hit, and understand that while this is a new partner, there may be nothing casual about the sexual experience. “These drugs can enhance intimacy in a way where people can learn a lot about each other at a deep level very quickly,” Burge said.
What would normally be a casual encounter can transform into feelings of love and connection when psychedelics are involved. You may end up marrying your Burner mermaid, or leave with immense gratitude for the experience. Or, it’s possible you’ll have a harsh reality check. Maybe you realized you're deeply in love with someone else (your ex, your main squeeze, or your 4th grade lover who came back into your life last Mercury Retrograde) and you're suddenly not in nirvana anymore. Understanding that shrooms facilitate intimacy — in a way other substances, like alcohol, simply do not — will better prepare you for potentially heavy comedowns.
“The bond with partners strengthens due to the intimacy of such an intense and out-of-this-world scenario,” said Starla*, a 37-year-old woman who enjoys sex on shrooms. “This was a singular moment that will be like no other time we will witness again. Not together, not with anyone else. It stands alone in your memory of lovemaking, often marking steps toward a better understanding of how we fit together.”
Couples also report falling in love while porking on psilocybin. Colin*, a musician in California, recalls having sex while camping with a new partner. It was pouring rain and they were the only ones at the campground. They each consumed 1.5 grams of psilocybin.
“It was like the entire universe became her lips, and the closeness of her body, even through our rain jackets, was incredibly stimulating,” Colin said. “I knew that I loved her in that instant, and I'd never felt so connected to someone. We quickly made our way into the tent to continue.”
While Janikian was researching her book, she said many couples reported falling in love on shrooms. “You know how they talk about psychedelic therapy being ten years of therapy in one day?” she asked. “I feel like if you trip with someone it can be like six months of dating in one day because you get to know them on this new level.”
Janikian says a moderate dose for facilitating connection is somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 grams of dried mushrooms. She notes, however, that tripping with someone at all increases the likelihood of a quick intimate connection.
Dose Matters — So Does Set and Setting
Some people reading this may feel that sex on shrooms is absurd. It’s hard enough to pee while tripping, let alone going balls deep. But keep in mind that you don’t have to consume a heroic (or more than 3.5 gram) dose.
“If you take a moderate dose, it’s probably going to be fun and keep you present in your body and with your partner,” said Janikian. “If you’re at a higher dose [around 3 grams and above] you might feel overwhelmed or very vulnerable. With so much sensation the thought of having sex on top [of tripping hard] can be too intense.”
She suggests starting with less than three grams. For those interested in the therapeutic benefits of microdosing, starting with a tenth of what would produce a hallucinogenic experience (which usually happens around 3.5 grams) is suggested. A popular low dose is between .25 and one gram. You can always take more, but start low and go slow.
Combined with the dose, the environment in which you trip also plays a crucial role in the experience. For instance, Colin’s life-altering mushroom sex experience was undoubtedly influenced by the beauty of a campground and a rainstorm.
Marisa*, an artist living in New York, said she had one of the best kink experiences of her life thanks to psilocybin. It was at a play party held on a boat, and she was consensually flogged by a cat of nine tails whip while shrooming.
“BDSM is very much a spiritual endeavor. Mushrooms have been used for many, many civilizations as a tool for provoking spiritual experiences,” Marisa said. “My feeling was that I was both facing inward and facing outward. I felt that the unification between these two parts of myself, that are really separate, just created this cathartic release of pain and anguish and ecstasy coming out of my pores.”
When Marisa recalled her kink-a-delic foray out at sea, most of the excitement involved being on a boat. And combined with the shrooms, it made for a more memorable BDSM experience.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins say that there’s a distinct synergy between setting and proper dosage. Take a moment to recall the best sex you’ve ever had. Chances are it was with someone you were really into and in a comfortable or exotic setting, such as on vacation. The same concept can be applied to psychedelic sex. Mushrooms amplify everything — both the good and the bad. So, a comfortable setting in which you’re safe and relaxed is essential for a good trip.
In addition to the drugs and a nighttime boat, Marisa had a companion with her throughout the night — a good idea even if you’re playing with others. “I was in a very safe and caring environment,” she said. “If I hadn’t had someone with me, I wouldn't have had that same experience.”
Sensations Are Heightened
You don’t just feel things when you’re on mushrooms. They make you psychically understand and absorb your surroundings. So, while Judas Kane typically is a top, a mushroom trip inspired him to switch it up. “It allowed me to relax into and enjoy bottoming more, and I spent significantly more time doing it than I would otherwise.”
Kane also explained that colors became more vivid throughout his encounter. “I could see the beads of sweat on my lover’s body and how the lights in the room refracted through them. I could see every beautiful micro-expression on his face.”
He also reported a heightened sensitivity to sound. “I could hear every instrument, every synth in the music playing individually, how the sound echoed off of each of the walls, and how our breathing and panting eventually matched the drums of the track.”
And, of course, Kane’s sense of touch was also amplified. “I could feel his pulse everywhere along his body, but particularly when we’d take a break from actively fucking and would lay there, inside of each other.”
All these sensory changes melted into one another to form a sexy, cohesive experience.
Fucking on fungus can make sex so great that you fall in love while stuck in the rain. It’s also an experience that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Consent, boundaries, dosage, setting, and companions must all be considered. Since shrooms are safe — so safe they’ve been dubbed the safest drug — the biggest risks are psychological. However, if you start small and get it on with someone you trust, psychedelic sex offers a cosmic way to level up in relationships... and orgasms.
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If you’ve tripped on psilocybin (a.k.a., magic mushrooms) before, you’re already well aware what an intense experience it can be. And if shrooms can take an average activity like listening to music to an entirely different universe, you can probably imagine what sex on shrooms might feel like.
As intense and amazing as mushroom sex can be, it can also be an incredibly negative experience if you’re not careful. Most psychotropic substances are best experienced when you curate the right set and setting, and sex on magic mushrooms is no different.
How Do Magic Mushrooms Affect The Body?
Much like cannabis, shrooms will affect each person differently, depending on experience, dosage, genetic makeup, and your current state of mind or health. There are quite a few different factors to consider, especially when trying shrooms for the first time.
Psychedelic mushrooms have been used throughout the centuries for spiritual and religious purposes, as they tend to induce intense altered states of consciousness that allow the consumer to view the world in a very different way.
Its effects are comparable to other psychedelics like LSD, but the intensity of your experience will vary greatly depending on how much you consume.
“Microdosing,” a.k.a., taking about 1-2 grams of shrooms, or even less depending on your tolerance level, will result in a mild euphoria similar to the effects of serotonin: colors are brighter, music sounds better, and it’s hard to wipe the smile off your face.
On the other hand, taking an eighth (3.5 grams) or more at a time will likely result in a full on “trip,” which may cause users to see, feel, taste, or hear things that aren’t really there. Senses become distorted and heightened, resulting in users claiming phenomena like “hearing color” or “seeing sound.”
Taking shrooms in the wrong state of mind or environment can result in a “bad trip,” and you may experience panic or paranoia. This is why set and setting is so incredibly important.
Sex on Magic Mushrooms: How to Set Your Setting
Tripping on mushrooms can transform the most mundane task into a transcendent experience, but what if you decide to get hot and heavy in this altered state of mind?
As magical as this experience can be, there are quite a few factors to consider before committing to this level of intimacy.
Just as you can experience a “bad trip” anywhere else, you can definitely experience a “bad trip” in the bedroom. Or, even worse – you can have an intensely vivid and amazing experience, only to realize the next day that you’ve done it with the completely wrong person.
Here are some important things to keep in mind before you decide to combine shrooms and sex:
1. Full, sober consent is first and foremost.
Just like you technically can’t give full legal consent after you’ve had a few drinks, you definitely can’t consider someone saying yes to sex while tripping on shrooms actual consent.
In order to ensure you and your partner(s) are in a safe, mutually agreed upon environment, it’s essential that everyone consents before you turn on, tune in, and drop out.
Even then, it’s important to make sure everyone stays comfortable and enthusiastic throughout the experience. It can be difficult to stay tuned into other people’s body language when you’re all tripping, which is why it’s better to do it with people you already know and trust.
2. Make sure you’re with someone you fully trust.
Again, I really can’t stress this enough. Tripping and fooling around with a one-night stand might sound fun on paper, but if you’re not with someone you’re already familiar and comfortable with, this could quickly turn into a very negative experience.
A Vice interview featured the experiences of couples who’d had sex on shrooms – both those who knew each other well, and casual hookups who had met that same night.
“I was going down on her for a while, hard to say exactly how long because I was tripping...and suddenly, she started bugging that I would suck her clit into my mouth and not let it out,” an anonymous interviewee told Vice.
“It seemed like something triggered all these bad emotions with an ex who had been very rough and not responsive to her saying she didn’t want it so rough.”
Psychedelics can dig up trauma and hopefully help users work through it, but if you’re not in a safe environment to do so, it can easily turn into a negative, highly-triggering experience.
3. Set yourself up in a sexy, safe environment.
Have we mentioned the importance of set and setting yet? These are vital things to consider with any psychotropic experience, but when we’re dealing with sex on mushrooms, it’s especially important.
Sex on shrooms is best experienced with someone you’re comfortable with, and that experience gets even better when you’re in an environment you feel safe in.
If you’re doing it at home, throw on some fresh sheets, set some cozy mood lighting, and maybe even light a few candles.
Many people like to trip while camping or at an outdoor festival. If that’s the case for your experience, make sure you’re in a protected and private area so you can soak in the nature without being constantly worried you’re going to get caught.
4. Know your limit.
Magic mushrooms affect everyone differently, depending on the amount you take, the size of your body, how much you’ve eaten that day, your tolerance level, and more.
Because of this, it’s important to know your limit and figure out just exactly how hard you want to trip before you engage in sexual activity. You might feel more comfortable microdosing, especially if it’s your first time.
Stay safe and start slow. You can’t reverse the trip if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
5. Time the trip correctly.
Another important element to consider is the timing of it all. Most users who regularly incorporate shrooms into their sex lives report that the experience is best when they wait until after the trip’s peak.
Having sex at the peak can be way too intense, especially if you’re rendered speechless or completely overwhelmed by the shrooms’ effects.
Instead, the comedown might be the perfect time to get intimate: sensations are softened, and you’re likely basking in the afterglow of a spiritual experience.
6. Be prepared to experience cosmic lust and make a real connection.
When having sex on shrooms, you never know how intense the experience might be.
Simply tripping with a friend and ordering food together can bond you in ways you never would have expected, so imagine what that can feel like when you’re orgasming.
Shrooms are known for the feeling of connection and “oneness” with the world, and this can definitely be felt during sex.
This is why it’s so important to do it with someone you’re fully comfortable with. Shrooms and sex can make you feel like you’re falling in love, and if you’re not with the right person, that can leave you in an incredibly vulnerable position.
Stay safe, be smart, and proceed with caution, enthusiasm, and an open mind to what can be a truly incredible experience – if done right.
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The first time I ever tripped, a couple of friends and I split a bag of mushrooms at Venice Beach. It was early January, and even in southern California, it was chilly. "I'm shivering, but it's not me," an 18-year-old me said through chattering teeth, my consciousness somewhere outside my body. We headed toward the drum circle and plopped down on the shore to watch the sunset. I remember feeling each and every grain of sand sift through my fingers and squish between my toes, as if I were just born and discovering sand for the first time. Everything mundane all of a sudden felt so novel, kissed with a touch of magic.
Boy oh boy, if sand felt this good shrooming, what would sex feel like? To be honest, I've never so far had a trip as good as that first one, and I've never had sex on mushrooms. But I've learned through the years that who you trip with is as important as your state of mind and environment going into the trip. So, call me conservative and excuse my Yiddish, but who you shtup when you shroom is serious business that should be a carefully made decision.
That said, as life tends to go, not everything is always so planned out—at least not for the various people I interviewed for this story. From the longterm couple who got engaged just a few months after psychedelic sex inside a tiny tent on a rainy camping trip (one of them says the visuals were best during climax) to the pair traveling in Thailand who shroomed and had sex within 17 hours of meeting each other, everyone has a different tolerance for when, where, and with whom they can trip (and hook up with). One source, calls sex on mushrooms "transcendent," but advised caution: "It can make you fall in love before you're ready."
"Sex, like everything else on psychedelics, is amplified," says Neal Goldsmith, a New York-based psychologist and author of Psychedelic Healing. "Psychedelics enhance what's already there, they put you in touch with reality with greater clarity and intensity than you generally experience." Because, he says, "sex is so different than everyday walking life, such as going to the grocery story," or making sandcastles for that matter, sex on psychedelics could also be very "emotional, visceral, hormonal, or psychological."
"You never know what's coming your way when you're tripping," Goldsmith adds. "That's part of tripping in general—surrendering, being open, having an accepting, philosophical attitude toward the events that might come your way." One minute, you'll be in total bliss, and the next, even something miniscule could turn your whole trip around.
"Nuances of voice or facial expression might set you off in a way that they wouldn't if you weren't in an enhanced state of consciousness or perception. Of course, that can be a very positive thing, too" he says. Even so, for novices planning to have psychedelic sex, Goldsmith says it might be better to do it "after you've peaked, once things have calmed down a bit."
And ideally, you'd do it with someone you trust. Take these two of the many pairs I interviewed: the first a couple, the second a casual hookup. Both sets of partners ended up on different wavelengths. In the couple, the woman had the "experience of a lifetime," and her partner was so anxious that he had a bad trip. Yet both say it made the relationship stronger.
The casuals, on the other hand, had less of a foundation over which to bond and work things out. "I was going down on her for a while, hard to say exactly how long because I was tripping…and suddenly she started bugging that I would suck her clit into my mouth and not let it out," one of them, who wishes remain anonymous because drug use would put them at risk of losing their job, tells me. "It seemed like something triggered all these bad emotions with an ex who had been very rough and not responsive to her saying she didn't want it so rough."
Psychedelics can be a powerful tool for digging up trauma, depression, or anxiety, and hopefully working through it. Depending on the dose, that deep dive inside your psyche can be very revealing, but it's important you have the tools to handle that level of subconscious truth. Unless you're in a controlled setting, with a trained guide or someone you trust, the lower your chances of healing from deep-seated trauma.
Classical psychedelics like acid or mushrooms enhance your sense of touch and are valuable tools for introspection. Substances like MDMA, on the other hand, are less variable and can facilitate positive connection with another person. Known more colloquially as "Molly," MDMA promotes the release of oxytocin and prolactin, hormones associated with trust and bonding, which helps psychedelic-assisted therapy patients openly discuss painful memories, says Brad Burge, director of strategic communications for the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. It also reduces activity in the amygdala, which regulates fear and is overactive in people with PTSD.
MDMA can also help a person who's suffered from sexual trauma overcome the pain of their experience, and ultimately engage in safe, consensual, and enjoyable sex. But even MDMA can be make sex difficult in lay use, Goldsmith says, as it tends to be useful less for sexual arousal, and more as a "hug drug." Burge says that there are no measures of sexual satisfaction in his trials, so that element remains a mystery to him as well.
While other psychedelics could have the same potential as MDMA, in lay settings, it seems they're used less often for sexual arousal—they could put an unwanted spotlight on past trauma. "Although both have a time and place, in general, I would prefer to work on sexual issues or PTSD with MDMA than with LSD," Goldsmith says.
This is not necessarily a new idea: As the late psychologist and ex-Harvard professor Timothy Leary put it in a 1966 Playboy interview, "LSD is the most powerful aphrodisiac ever discovered by man." Goldsmith adds that, while mushrooms tend to be a little more "down to earth and physical," acid is a little more "clinical, high contrast spotlight." While it's a matter of personal preference, for this reason, some may choose to have sex on mushrooms rather than LSD.
Ben Lawson, a "tantric counselor" from Los Angeles, advocates for ceremonial sexual healing with mushroom medicine and frequently incorporates psychedelics into his sex life. In his experience, psychedelics help people achieve a "silent mind." He advises starting out very slow with small incremental amounts, adding that having sex outside, while on shrooms, can enhance the overall experience.
But that's not to say there's no risk involved—intention is as vital to your safety as setting is, whether you're aiming to heal from sexual trauma or to connect with a loved one. Lawson even suggests having a third party present, so the person working through trauma or any sexual holdups can feel safe. With the right tools and intention, sex on psychedelics can be quite healing. "It's not just fucking to get off, [or] just racing to orgasm," he says.
Read This Next:Magic Mushrooms Could Be the Future of Antidepressants
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Do Shrooms Make You Horny?
Shrooms — they make you smile, giggle and believe your friends are heavenly beings dispatched from the spiritual realm to guide you on a mystical odyssey. But, um, do shrooms make you horny?
For answers, I asked the psychonauts of r/Shrooms, and boy did I open a can of worms.
Some were in the “no” camp: “For the first 3 hours my pee-pee is like a shriveled up tater tot that rolled under the stove 4 months ago.”
Others were in the “yes” camp: “I get so horny that I want to absorb my husband. Then I kind of do. It is fun! Sex on mushies is fabulous.”
And a few were in the “WTF” camp: “If you boof ‘em.”
Among the many responses, there was one fairly agreed upon opinion: A smaller dose of shrooms is more likely to make you horny, because larger doses will make you so easily distracted that anything even remotely sexual will be impossible to focus on. Shrooms can at times be tough to dose, because certain strains have different concentrations, but one gram is typically considered to be a light dose.
For a more nuanced answer to my question, one r/Shrooms navigator suggested I read up on psychedelic sage Terence McKenna and his “Stoned Ape” theory, which proposed that prehistoric primates consumed magic mushrooms they found in the wild, causing a profound change in their consciousness that accelerated their evolution into humans.
And a crucial part of that acceleration, he said, was an increased libido caused by the psychoactive effects of shrooms: “It means you feel alert, you feel interested, you want to boogie, and also, if you’re male, you can sustain an erection. So arousal means arousal. So then, this stuff is an enzyme promoting sexual activity at that level. Well, sexual activity — you know, the number of copulations that occur within a population is directly related to the number of successful impregnations. So suddenly you have these horny primates with more interest in sexual contact and partners and all this. This means that these psilocybin-using creatures that are now more successful at hunting and more interested in sex have all kinds of pressures on them that will force them to outbreed the dull, uninteresting folks who don’t use mushrooms at this point.”
While all of this seemed kinda sorta reasonable, for one final opinion on shrooms and sexual desire, I reached out to Grace and PJ, “experienced travelers of inner and outer realms” and professional trip sitters at Akasa Journeys. “Mushrooms, like all psychedelics, are dependent on set and setting,” they explain via email. “Set is your mindset, attitude and mental state at the time, and setting represents the actual physical surroundings where you are while tripping. The other concern is dosage. Given all that, if one’s mindset is already horny, and the setting is conducive, and the dose isn’t so high that one can’t concentrate, it can be quite the experience. Lower doses are better for sex on shrooms, if it works at all.”
So, do shrooms make you horny?
Guess there’s only one way to find out.
Ian Lecklitner is a staff writer at MEL Magazine. He mostly writes about everyone's favorite things: Sex, drugs and food.
I warned you, but you did not believe me said Voilenfour, turning into Andrei Surganov Begite. Or you will be devoured now. Dorofeev, or what was called, once by the name of Dorofeev, looked around and saw a huge tyrannosaurus.
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Hello, hello, Alla answered him and immediately gave out: - Vera. -I understood everything, -they here all hold us for lesbians. -Well, what a bitch.