More and more people are smoking marijuana recreationally, and this has led to an increase in people wondering how it could affect their sex life.
The basic question is: can cannabis improve your sex life, or does it make it worse?
On top of that, how does using cannabis within a relationship add to that pleasure, or stress, in the bedroom?
It’s a complex subject, so let’s simplify right now, and give you the lowdown on exactly how marijuana can affect your sex life and relationships.
Is Marijuana An Aphrodisiac?
Many people claim that cannabis is an aphrodisiac. But how accurate is that?
It’s definitely part of the appeal of smoking marijuana before, or during sex, but that could partly be a misconception, based on how the cannabis affects people at the time.
In terms of sexuality generally, marijuana can help to enhance mood, and also to lower inhibitions. So on one level it can act as an aphrodisiac, in exactly the same way as alcohol can.
However, on the other side of that coin, just like alcohol, although the mind is eager, this doesn’t lead always to a situation where the body is willing, or competent.
And in complete contrast, some people report that when they are stoned, they don’t really even consider sex, and certainly wouldn’t want to do it.
Which means there’s literally no consensus. Yes it might get you in the mood, but equally it might not. It really depends on the person, the situation you are in, and the people you are with.
How Cannabis Effects Sexual Encounters
Let’s get into the meat of this topic now by talking about how cannabis can positively, and negatively affect sexual encounters themselves.
There are several researched pros, and anecdotally these are backed up by people stories as well:
- People tend to have an increased sexual desire after smoking marijuana. This increased libido is generally accepted as something that happens. Some scientific studies have confirmed this can be the case, but they have been far from conclusive.
- A lot of people report an increased physical and emotional sensitivity after smoking marijuana. Basically what they mean is things just feel better when you’re feeling high.
This is usually linked to relaxation, the lowering of inhibitions, and the euphoria of the high. The same as with most things in life, if you are relaxed and do not have any concerns, then things usually go better, flow better, and feel better.
- Perception can change after smoking cannabis, which means that the sexual experience can feel better than it actually is. Time also tends to feel more slowed down under the effects, so something which in reality, if you watched it back on film, is basic, at the time could feel far more intense and intricate.
- Some people, especially women, report that orgasm is more intense after smoking cannabis. They report the best orgasms they ever have are when they are high. However, that’s countered by many women also reporting being high on marijuana makes it more difficult then to achieve orgasm at all. So it could be that the time and stimulation getting there, makes the release more intense.
This intensity is not reported as much in men, however where it is, it could be the same delay in getting their that makes the rush and release bigger. Scientifically, there is no evidence to date that suggests THC has any effect biologically on orgasmic response.
In terms of the negatives, cannabis has been linked with several detrimental effects on the sex act itself:
- The more you smoke, the less you can do it. Basically, the more high you are, the less likely sex is to be concluded, if it’s attempted at all.
- Regular marijuana use lower sperm count and potentially testosterone levels. This can lead to a lack of desire in starting sexual encounter at all.
- Just like in the mouth, cannabis can dry out the mucous membranes in the vagina. Which means the more you smoke, the less lubrication there will be, and the less positive the experience could be.
- Smoking marijuana can lead to high risk encounters. This is the same with alcohol, and in fact any drugs. There’s nothing more likely to kill passion than a sudden realization you are in an unsafe position, or the realization you might be pregnant or carrying an STI. Once this happens, it can lead to a mindset that is negative when under the influence in the future, killing the chance for what could be good experiences.
Cannabis Use In relationships Can Change Your Sex Life
One area in which cannabis use can affect drive and sexual experience is within the larger sphere of how it can affect a relationship overall.
Although it has the ability to bring people close together in the moment, long-term marijuana use can drive a wedge between people in relationships. This is because of the physical and emotional effects it can have, especially things like paranoia.
If communication and closeness starts to break down, then it stands to reason that sexual encounters will be less trusting and passionate.
And if it’s only one person who is heavily involved in cannabis use, this can lead to fear and resentment in the other person, and then not being able to get through to them, making them feel isolated.
Scientific Studies Give A Mixed Message
So the relationship between marijuana and sexual activity is complex, and no “one size fits all” set of positive or negative effects can be stated.
Let’s finish by looking at a scientific study in 2017, that helps to show this complexity, even in this more enlightened age, where sexuality and science are more advanced.
A team of researchers at Stanford University School of medicine, in California, conducted a study into how marijuana effects sexual frequency and quality.
Their preliminary research in rats found that the endcannabinoids ingested led to an increased frequency of sexual encounters.
They then took things further by conducting a survey. More than 28,000 heterosexual women, and nearly 23,000 heterosexual men were asked questions around their sexual frequency, experience, and marijuana use.
This study, although far from conclusive, found that in both men and women who had the highest sexual frequencies, was also mostly the same group who smoked marijuana.
The tentative conclusion is that marijuana use leads to an increased frequency in sexual intercourse. How successful this intercourse was, compared to people who didn’t smoke marijuana was not studied however. So it could be that frequency does not equal quality.
It appears that there is a link between marijuana use and sexual activity, but that it’s also a deeply personal thing, based on a lot of independent factors.