MDMA/Ecstacy was the original designer rave drug used in the early ’90s.

It is the tablet form of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a loose white powder, and is branded with logos such as Mitsubishi, Superman, doves, smiley faces or Rolex. Ecstasy increases your perception of colours and music, making it the most commonly used drug on the club, music and festival circuit. It is also known as ‘pills’, ‘sweeties’, ‘Eccies’, ‘disco biscuits’, 'molly' and ‘E’.

Taking it

Ecstasy can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or inserted up your ass. Unlike other drugs, ecstasy will not numb the area it comes into contact with so, if you booty-bump or snort it, then it can hurt. 


Ecstasy has mild hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like qualities. It is favoured by clubbers and men who have sex with men alike due to the intense feelings of love, happiness and sexual desire it creates for those around you. It can also make you feel uninhibited. The effects begin after 30-60 minutes after taking it and last for 6-8 hours, although it may make you lose track of time. You can develop a tolerance to Ecstasy with prolonged use over time so the dosage is often increased to achieve the same effect. 

Sex on Ecstasy

Sex on ecstasy can become more sensual, increasing the feeling of intimacy, love, and euphoria, as well as making you feel more alert. However, many men find they are unable to get hard or cum while on it. Some guys mix ecstasy with Viagra, which is known as ‘sextasy’.


Ecstasy can increase your body temperature and heartbeat and, it can give rise to paranoia, dehydration and even depression. Feeling very tired and low after taking ecstasy is very common. This is known as a 'comedown', which can last up to three or four days and can result in sleep problems.  Other downsides to Ecstasy include:

  • It is illegal to possess or supply, as it is a Class A drug. The maximum penalty for possession is 7 years in prison plus a fine. For supply, it is life in prison and a fine.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Dietary problems.
  • Feeling depressed or anxious.
  • Colds, flu, and sore throats can also increase.
  • Cold sores.
  • Short-term mood changes such as the ‘mid-week hangover’ after weekend use.
  • Loss of short term memory.
  • There have been indications of liver damage in some users.
  • If you have a heart condition, problems with high blood pressure or epilepsy, it is possible to have a very serious reaction to the drug, which could be fatal.
Reducing Harm

The best way to maximise your enjoyment, stay in control and minimise the risks of using ecstasy is to take regular breaks and cool down. This is important if you are having a heavy sex session. You may want to drink lots of fluids but be very careful as drinking too much water can be fatal. Try not to sip more than a pint of water every hour. If you have a heart condition or are on heart medication, it is not advisable to take ecstasy. It is important to know your limits.

Ecstasy & HIV Medication

Using ecstasy while taking HIV medication is not advisable as one drug will affect how the other works in your body. For example, Ritonavir can interact with ecstasy leading to higher levels of ecstasy in your body. This may increase the risk of negative effects. If you are thinking of taking ecstasy, talk to your HIV consultant.

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