Nootropics & Sex: Can smart drugs help you in the bedroom?

Nootropics can be used for a variety of purposes based on their biochemical properties.

Usually, we think of them as being used for intellectual endeavors such as studying or getting ahead at work.  

However, many of them have been known for being useful for entertainment purposes as well.  

As humans, what is usually considered entertainment at the most primal and highest level?

Yes my friends, we are talking about sex.

Sex is often one of the last things we think about when we think about smart drugs. But it is quite possible that a person can combine intellectual biohacking with a superior experience in the bedroom.  

Many of the substances that we trust to enhance our productivity, or creativity, or even our logic can have a range of peripheral (or even central) effects on our bodies in regards to sexual performance and enjoyment.  

We’re certainly not talking about sexual-enhancement drugs like Viagra. Rather, are there nootropics that make you smarter and ignite your wild side?(as a side effect).

But aren’t nootropics NOT supposed to have side effects?

Nootropics in general are expected to be free of “side-effects”, however, this is a fairly blanket assumption because drugs simply affect a variety of systems within the body.  

We can ask that a nootropic drug should be free of negative side effects, such as headaches, nausea, and brain fog.  Such effects as say, sexual nerve stimulation and an increase in physical stamina could be considered bad side effects at some times, but for the purpose of this article we will say that we WANT such things to occur in addition to an increase in mental acuity.

Now that we have the question of mixing sex and nootropics covered, we need to take at some common sexually stimulating nootropics:

PDE Inhibitors

Perhaps a good place to start on the discussion of sex-enhancing nootropics is the world of Phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors.  

This broad class of drugs generally works by preventing the body’s degradation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) or cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP).  

These chemicals might be especially familiar to those of you who read our article on the CILTEP stack, which is a powerful nootropic formulation that aims to greatly enhance learning ability.  

Not a bad combo if you’re learning new tricks in bed with a partner.

The various PDE inhibitors, denoted by number, can cause varying effects across the human body, including ones of a notable sexual nature. As a demonstration of the ability of PDE inhibitors to help get a person rowdy, take the example of Viagra.

The “little blue pill”

Viagra is the brand name for sildenafil, is a well-known PDE5 inhibitor known for increasing the ability for a man to achieve an erection when suffering from erectile dysfunction.  

It works by inhibiting a cGMP-induced restriction of blood flow to the penis.  The drug appears to be reliable in users who need it, but it does not have a nootropic effect associated with it.

On the brain-enhancing side of PDE inhibitors, you specifically have PDE4 inhibitors.  Note that I said 4 not 5.

PDE4 inhibitors are also known for causing sexual stimulation, which is especially noteworthy in females.  

In a study done with rats, the synthetic PDE4 inhibitor rolipram was administered in an attempt to relieve depression and enhance the sex drive of a female subset.  

The result was a notable swelling of the clitoris – no doubt an effect that would enhance sensitivity and pleasure for the animal.  

In humans, however, rolipram is rarely used because of its emetic (vomiting) side effect– certainly not sexy to most people.[1

One example of a naturally-occurring (and non emetic) PDE4  inhibitor is Luteolin, which can be found in the extracts of artichoke as well as in trace amounts in celery and peanuts.  

Interestingly, the chemical quercetin, which is found in blueberries, has similar effects as luteolin.


Now we’re onto much more specific substances that aren’t as big of a pain to talk about as PDE inhibitors, phew!

Those of you who have dabbled in bodybuilding or other competitive athletic activities may be familiar with the name Yohimbine.  

Extracted from the bark of the Pausinystalia johimbe tree of west-central Africa, this substance is not only great for mental focus and motivation, but also well known as a potent aphrodisiac..

Yohimbine works in the body primarily by blocking the action of alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, which increases sympathetic activity in the central nervous system.  

Sympathetic activity is typically associated with heightened energy levels as norepinephrine is released – increasing factors such as heart rate, faster breathing, and alertness.  

However, it is also one of the drivers required for a person to achieve orgasm along with the parasympathetic system. Yohimbine is noted for its ability to relax muscles in the penis to allow better blood flow, hence harder erections.  

There is great consensus among clinical trials that Yohimbine enhances erections, as well evidence that its stimulatory effects can be helpful for reducing fat stores.  

After all, what more enjoyable way is there to lose weight than getting that cardio done in the bedroom?  😉

Supplements containing yohimbine are quite common – they are a key ingredient in many fat-burning and aphrodisiac supplements, as well as some exercise pre-workouts.  You can also purchase pure yohimbine powder from bulk sellers such as Liftmode suggests the following dosing for pure yohimbine (note that different extracts of its parent tree bark contain varying concentrations — proceed with caution):

  • 14 mg for a 150lb person
  • 18 mg for a 200lb person
  • 22 mg for a 250lb person

Maca Root

Like the bark of the johimbe, maca root is a naturally-derived ingredient that benefits both your mind and your sexual performance.  

However, the key difference is that maca doesn’t seem to affect the sexual organs directly as the PDE inhibitors or yohimbine do. Maca appears to affect the mind alone, and exerts its effects from there.

Maca itself is officially known as Lepidium meyenii, a cruciferous vegetable which grows in the Andes mountains of Peru. It is similar to cauliflower or cabbage, and the root can be eaten in a similar fashion as a carrot (oh, the phallic nature…).  

The root has a very solid nutritional profile, leading some people to consider maca as a superfood.  Some people have reported increased energy levels, and a higher sense of well being from the consumption of the plant.  

The mechanism by which maca acts on humans’ sexual desire is somewhat of a mystery, with the known active ingredients called macaridine, macaene, and the macamides as well as unique alkaloids to the plant.  

However, it has been shown that the effects are not based off of changes to hormone levels, which can be seen as a positive characteristic.  

Sexual stimulation caused by maca is described as an increase in innate desire, not harder penile/clitoral erections nor increased sensitivity to those areas.  

It appears to be an effective treatment sexual dysfunction in those taking SSRIs, as well.

Which type of maca works the best?

Maca actually comes in three “flavors” if you will.  There are red, yellow, and black varieties of the powder.  

The black version is advertised as being the most potent for sexual effects and “adrenal support”, but all three powders are excellent as overall health supplements.  

Ideally, you want to buy maca powder that is gelatinized, for far better digestion and absorption by the body.  

I tried black maca root powder from Maca Team myself, and I can verify that it gave me an almost overwhelming primal sensation.  😉

Has a pretty decent taste too I might add, and now I’m going to use it to make Maca pancakes

(Disclaimer: Corpina is not responsible for any ‘side effects’ you or your partner may experience after eating a stack of Maca pancakes)

Phenibut and sex

A discussion of nootropics for sex wouldn’t be complete without Phenibut. At once a nootropic, mild stimulant, and treatment for social anxiety, Phenibut seems like a wonderdrug on the surface.

However, any Phenibut user knows that getting the dosage right is incredibly important. Otherwise, you may overdo it and suffer horrific withdrawal symptoms.

At home, I keep Phenibut in stock always, usually having 100-200 grams on hand. I mainly use Phenibut to treat occasional bouts of social anxiety, being (imo) a safer alternative to prescription medication like Xanax.

However, the effects are similar to Xanax in a few ways. First, you feel great when it kicks in (usually 1-2 hours after taking it on an empty stomach). Second, having sex on Phenibut is, well, awesome.

For guys, Phenibut helps you have total control, but not by desensitizing anything. You still have the full sensation of sex, amplified slightly. (One Corpina reader actually said that Phenibut worked too well, and he was unable to finish.)

I haven’t met any women who’ve used Phenibut for sex, but imagine it would be a great experience (if you have, I’d love to hear how it worked).

A heads up though: sex is a very natural and pleasurable experience as is, without the use of nootropics. I recommend trying it out with very small doses of Phenibut (250mg or less to start), rather than taking a lot and hoping to have some kind of porn star experience. Just my 2c. 🙂

Avocado – An anecdotal report

Besides some of the more well-known and proven aphrodisiac nootropics out there, I have noticed a definite correlation for myself between avocado and my sex drive.  

Without fail, I have noticed an increase in sexual desire whenever I eat more than half of an avocado, or an equivalent amount of guacamole.  

Usually the increase in desire occurs between 2-4 hours after eating the avocado, and the effect is quite pronounced.  

The cause of this aphrodisiac effect could be related to the overall benefits of healthy fats on our brains. We need a steady supply of fats and cholesterols in order to produce both hormones and the materials of nervous tissue.  

While the sexual benefits of fats likely come from hormone production (such as testosterone), the fortification of our brain tissue can have nootropic effects over time.

Honorable mentions

There are a handful of other nootropics which have, according to user reports, sexual benefits. However, I haven’t used these myself so can’t speak to their effectiveness:

  • Velvet bean: prolactin suppression, shorten refractory period, increase libido -> dopaminergic so long-term unsustainable
  • Dapoxetine: delay orgasm -> short term serotonergic (ssri) but long-term unsustainable
  • Vardenafil: harder bigger erections, shorten refractory period -> i think unsustainable in young people (not sure?)

Other stuff:

  • Tongkat Ali
  • Horny Goat Weed
  • Tribulus terrestris
  • Muira Puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides)


Who says we can’t combine the power of nootropics with the joy of aphrodisiacs?  

We know a set of potent, scientifically-viable chemicals that do wonders for both sides, and there are many more out there no doubt waiting to be discovered.  

So go ahead, whip up a delicious batch of maca pancakes, grab a capsule of yohimbine or CILTEP, and let the good times roll!

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