Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000187210.53010.10
Article

Common Use in the General Population of Sexual Enrichment Aids and Drugs to Enhance Sexual Experience

Foxman, Betsy PhD*; Aral, Sevgi O. PhD†; Holmes, King K. MD, PhD‡

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Abstract

Background: We describe the prevalence of ever and current use of sexual enrichment aids and of using drugs to enhance the sexual experience, and correlates of that usage.

Study Population: Participants in a random-digit dial survey conducted in the Seattle area between 2003 and 2004 among residents age 18 to 39 years of age with fluency in the English language.

Results: Use of sexual enrichment aids and drugs to enhance sexual experience during a typical 4-week period were reported by 27% and 13%, respectively, of participants. Among those reporting using a drug to enhance their sexual experience, the most commonly used drugs were alcohol (83.7%), marijuana (34.7%), ecstasy or “sextasy” (ecstasy combined with sildenafil) (8.2%), and sildenafil (7.5%). Persons reporting use of sexual enrichment aids and drugs to enhance sexual experience were more likely to engage in sexual behaviors associated with a higher risk of acquiring and transmitting a sexually transmitted infection (STI),such as having nonmonogamous partnerships and multiple partners in the previous 12 months and sexual repertoire.

Conclusion: Whether use of sexual enrichment aids and drugs to enhance sexual experience is causally associated with STI risk or merely an additional marker of high-risk behavior or sensation seeking cannot be discerned from a single cross-sectional survey. However, these behaviors occurred frequently, and usage was common across all age, gender, ethnic, sexual, and income groups. Further studies in STI and other populations are required.

© Copyright 2006 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association

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