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I'm Doing Drugs, Having Sex ... and Wondering If I Should Stop 

Dear Athena,

My friends and I have been partying a lot lately. I never experimented much when I was younger, so this is new to me. We've been having a lot of fun and staying up all night doing drugs. Since I started going out more, I've been meeting more girls and getting a lot more action. I've always been shy. I lost my virginity at an older age and was always embarrassed about it. But when I'm high with my friends, I don't care as much and it's easier for me to connect with women and perform better in bed. I feel so free and uninhibited. Is this bad? Should I stop even though I'm having more fun than ever before?


High on the Ladies

Dear High,

I can't condone the use of drugs. You didn't specify what kind you're using, but considering that you're staying up all night, I can only imagine. My short advice is this: Take a time-out, buddy. You may be having fun, but that will end if you ruin your health and develop a serious addiction. And do I have to remind you that the drugs are illegal? Have you thought about the trouble you would be in if caught?

Sorry to haul out the Nancy Reagan cliché, but it's time to just say no — both to the drugs and the false sensations they give you. The solidarity you feel with your friends is part of the fun but won't help you in the long run. And drugs don't make sex better. That's also part of the illusion. Being high might quash your inhibitions, but that's no substitute for real self-confidence, or real intimacy with a woman. (By the way, women don't care how old you were when you lost your virginity. Get over it.)

All this fun may seem like a dream come true, I get that. But the good times will be brief. Very soon you will start to suffer the physical and emotional repercussions of these all-night binges. You are inviting dire consequences for temporary euphoria. And I'm going to guess all that sex you're having is unprotected. Have you heard of STDs? HIV-AIDS? Those risks are quite real.

Does drug-fueled partying really sound like a good life plan?

I suggest talking to a counselor ASAP. Get ahead of the problem before it gets you. You simply have to realize that drugs aren't helping you. When you wake up the next morning — or afternoon — you are still you, with the same baggage and quirks and characteristics that make you who you are. There are healthier ways to find, and improve, yourself.

What interests did you have before drugs and partying became your lifestyle? Find people who share those interests — social groups exist for just about everything. Or push yourself beyond your comfort zone and learn brand-new skills. Take an improv class or a sailing workshop or salsa lessons. Join a gym. Take a cooking class. Learn a new language. There are so many ways to connect with people, to form solid relationships that are based on something real.

One last thing: You say you "perform better" when you're high. Whether or not that's true, you believe you can do it. My point is, somewhere inside you, that self-confidence exists. Trust me, you don't need drugs to find it.



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