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Observations placeholder

Masters and Houston - 3 Psychedelics and sex



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 2


A description of the experience

November, 1967 Playboy Sex, Ecstasy and the Psychedelic Drugs - by R.E.L. Masters

Side effects

Possibly such a great demand is now discouraged by recent evidence linking LSD to chromosomal abnormalities. This charge must be considered in proper perspective. The fact is that no one, at the present time, can say how important LSD-caused chromosomal damage may be.

We do know that rather similar chromosomal changes are produced by many products widely used - caffeine (in coffee and cola drinks), alcohol, antibiotics and a wide range of drugs about which no such furor has been raised.

Live measles vaccine, in particular, quickly produces chromosomal breaks.

We know, too, that LSD has been in use for a quarter of a century, apparently without causing cancer or deformed infants - the two main specters with which chromosomal damage of this kind seems to confront us. Moreover, the U.S. Government continues to sponsor a few LSD therapy projects, so Government scientists must not feel the risks are too great. The sensible position must be to weigh LSD's value against possible, but not demonstrated, dangers. The evidence is sufficient to warrant withholding LSD from pregnant females.


In the case of LSD and the 'milder' psychedelics, the chances of unfortunate results can be reduced by following a few basic precautions. Since psychedelic experience can magnify tendencies in oneself, in others and in the surroundings, psychedelics should not be taken in an environment that will threaten or displease. When this precaution is ignored, there can be bad trips - whether or not intercourse is a part of the experience.

Sexologists always urge a pleasant setting for intercourse - as well as a partner one respects and relates to positively. This becomes even more important when the couple has taken psychedelics. With LSD, a drab, dirty room that might ordinarily be ignored can become a filthy, sordid pesthole, and this perception of the room can saturate the total experience. Similarly, sex with a person about whom one has negative feelings can become, with LSD, an experience of extreme repulsion - with guilt, depression or anxiety as a result. In two cases I know of, males took LSD, picked up prostitutes and had very bad trips. Both men, of course, had basically negative feeling about prostitutes and these emerged in a much heightened form during the sexual act.

Both men were initially aroused, but soon began to feel degraded and then powerfully repelled by the situation. One felt that the woman's body was coated with "a dirty, poisonous substance" that rubbed off on his own body and infected him. He managed to get her out of the room, was near panic for a long while and, after the effects of the LSD had worn off, he went into a depression that lasted for some days. In fact, his perception might not have been completely imaginative, since he contracted gonorrhea as a result of this contact. In the other case, the male found the girl becoming more and more ugly as he looked at her. Then the room became similarly ugly. He became nauseous, then was overwhelmed by feelings of guilt .

With LSD, some people may become aware of what they feel are opposite-sex components of their personality. Some males ......have felt they were undergoing a physical sex change. Their bodies seemed to have female breasts and genitalia. .......

One should never regard drug-state as necessarily more revealing than other types of experience. With LSD-type drugs, what might be a passing and easily dismissed idea can become a prolonged a vivid mental event. But this doesn't mean that it necessarily has greater validity than the passing idea would have ordinarily. Such phenomena are best regarded as drug-state curiosities that will not effect the normal personality and behavior.

When negative perceptions or emotions occur, and if they last long enough to be distressing, it is best not to analyze them. Try to get interested in something else. Psychedelic veterans have learned to do this. Similarly, it's often easy to divert the partner, should his or her distress become obvious. This might be done with an especially interesting or amusing remark or by telling the other person how much pleasure he or she is giving. If, as ought to be the case, the two people are lovers or good friends, then it is likely that they will know how to help each other, should the need arise. For this reason, too, psychedelic experience is not a desirable arena for casual sex between two strangers.

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