In the mid-20th century, psychedelic substances like LSD were explored for treating mood disorders and alcohol dependence. Their association with the 1960s ‘hippy’ movement led to a halt in research, but recent years have seen a revival, especially in treating anxiety and depression. Major depressive disorder (MDD), often accompanied by sexual dysfunction (SD), significantly impacts quality of life. Psychedelic therapy, notably with psilocybin, has shown promise in improving MDD and SD symptoms, outperforming some traditional treatments like SSRIs. The role of psychedelics in enhancing mindfulness and emotional connections, which are key to sexual well-being, is also being investigated. This research is crucial for both clinical applications and understanding the broader impact of psychedelics on sexual health and satisfaction.

A recent study titled “Psychedelics and sexual functioning: a mixed-methods,” published in Scientific Reports, investigates the post-acute effects of psychedelics on sexual functioning. It combines data from two studies, one large naturalistic study and a smaller, controlled clinical trial. The research finds that naturalistic use of psychedelics is linked to improvements in various aspects of sexual functioning and satisfaction. Similarly, in the clinical trial, patients treated with psilocybin reported positive changes in sexual functioning compared to those treated with an SSRI, escitalopram. The study is significant as it is the first to quantitatively explore the effects of psychedelics on sexual functioning, suggesting potential benefits.

For a detailed overview, you can read the full study here.