Does getting high make you want to get it on?
While there isn’t a wealth of studies examining the intersection of marijuana and sex, a budding number suggest the link is more than smoke.
A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine last November found a "positive association between marijuana use and sexual frequency" in both men and women, across all demographic groups. Of 50,000 men and women questioned for the study, those who used marijuana reported "significantly higher sexual frequency" compared with non-users.
"What I realized about having sex with marijuana is that my level of awareness and sensuality can be heightened." -Bonnie
A separate U.S study focusing on marijuana and sexual function in women found that among respondents who used marijuana before sex, nearly 70 per cent said it made the sex more pleasurable and 62 per cent said it increased their sex drive.
Bonnie, a one-time "enthusiastic smoker," can relate. Now in her late 60s, Bonnie doesn’t smoke marijuana like she once did, but attests it had a positive effect on her sex life.
"You sort of get out of your head and get into the spiritual experience of connecting with someone," Bonnie said. "What I realized about having sex with marijuana is that my level of awareness and sensuality can be heightened."
The sexual benefits of using marijuana are not just mental, but physical, Bonnie said.Advertisement
"It increases the intensity, and all the nuances you experience on the way to orgasm are elevated," she said. "It makes it more profound and explosive."
Bonnie said she must have a strong connection to the person she is having sex with to enjoy the positive effects of marijuana.
Marijuana "makes me super, super sensitive," she said. "If I don’t feel like I’m connected to that person, I’m less likely to want to engage in any physical or sexual activity when I’m under the influence, as opposed to if I were drinking wine, for instance. If I were drinking wine, my defences would be dropped, but in a different way, I would be less selective.
"It’s an enhancer, there is no doubt about it, but the connection has to be, for me, profound and real, otherwise it’s not going to work," she said.
Anthony began combining marijuana and sex when he was still a teenager.
"It’s definitely an aphrodisiac," said Anthony, who did not want to provide his last name. "It enhances your sex life, makes you super horny for half of your life."
But not forever, he said. Now 53, Anthony said marijuana, which he always used in tandem with alcohol, stopped working as a sex supplement when he hit his mid-40s.
"When you smoke marijuana all your life, the paranoia kicks in and you question yourself whether you can perform or not," he said. "The will is always there, it’s just that sometimes the paranoia creeps up."
"Pot is sort of a prelude to sex. You get stoned and then you have sex... Everybody should do it." -Doug
Doug, a self-described "old hippie" has been smoking marijuana off and on — mostly on — since he was 18.
"Pot is sort of a prelude to sex," he said. "You get stoned and then you have sex... Everybody should do it."
Doug said he "gets into" sex more when he smokes marijuana and is "more focused."
Doug quit smoking marijuana 11 years ago on the advice of his doctor after suffering a heart attack, but picked it up again three years later.
Doug said he’s "a lot less interested" in sex when he’s not using marijuana.
"When you do it so long, it’s like Pavlov’s dog — you get stoned and you know you are going to have an orgasm," he said.
Ashley Manta, a California sex and relationship coach, says marijuana can help people overcome barriers to intimacy, pleasure and connection.
"For example, if someone is anxious and stressed, cannabis can quell the anxiety and help people get into their bodies," Manta said. "A caveat is that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) has opposite effects at high and low doses, so I encourage folks to start with just a little and see how they react before consuming more."
Manta began researching the link between sex and marijuana in 2013 after relocating to California and receiving a prescription for medical cannabis to treat her migraines and anxiety.
"It was suggested to me that cannabis may help with the PTSD side-effects and therefore help my sex life. It worked" -Sophie Saint Thomas
"I found the access and quality of the cannabis in California to be much more conducive to monitoring effects," she said. As a sex educator, "I was naturally curious about the impact of cannabis on my sexual experiences."
Sophie Saint Thomas started using marijuana in 2013 after she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following a sexual assault.
"I was experiencing PTSD flashbacks that interfered with my sex life," said the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based sex writer and podcaster. "It was suggested to me that cannabis may help with the PTSD side-effects and therefore help my sex life. It worked."
Thomas said her flashbacks decreased over time and she found herself "more emotionally and physically in tune" with her partner when having sex.
"It just felt really good to have sex high," she said.