Enhancing sexual desire and experience: An investigation of the sexual correlates of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) use

Máté Kapitány-Fövény, Barbara Mervõ, Ornella Corazza, Gyöngyi Kökönyei, Judit Farkas, Rõbert Urbán, Gábor Zacher, Zsolt Demetrovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Various studies have dealt with gamma-hydroxybutyrate's (GHB) potential role in sexual assaults, while the sexual correlates of intentional recreational GHB use have not well been highlighted. Our study aims to explore GHB's sexual effects, the patterns of choice of sexual partners, the frequency of experienced blackouts, and endured sexual or acquisitory crimes as a result of GHB use. Methods Sixty recreational GHB users filled out a questionnaire on experienced subjective, somatic, and sexual effects of GHB, the frequency of blackouts due to their GHB use, and items on their sexual experiences in relation to GHB use. Results Of the sample, 25.9% reported increased sexual arousal as well as more intense attraction towards their sexual partners and increased sexual openness when using GHB; 34.8% had sexual intercourse with strangers, or with others, but not with their partners when using GHB; and 8.6% were victims of acquisitory crimes, whereas 3.4% were victims of a sexual assault. Furthermore, 24.6% typically experienced blackouts when using GHB. Conclusion Gamma-hydroxybutyrate seems to be a potential substitute for both stimulant and depressant substances. Increased sexual desire and disinhibition may lead to a more frequent and potentially more riskful sexual activity. Experienced blackouts need to be considered as risk factors for suffering sexual or acquisitory crimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015


  • GHB
  • acquisitory crimes
  • gamma-hydroxybutyrate
  • recreational use
  • sexual assault
  • sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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