Total mood-killer? Instant turn-on? Somewhere in between?
The only thing we really know for certain about cannabis and sex is that it's different for everyone. A 1984 report found smoking pot enhanced lovemaking in two-thirds of respondents, but wrecked it for the other third. Later studies from 2003 and 2008 show that about half of respondents called the drug "sex-enhancing," while half said it wasn't. An informal poll by Psychology Today found that 67 percent of respondents found cannabis boosted their sexual encounters.
But couples have been smoking cannabis to get busy for thousands of years. In ancient India, where cannabis has been used for at least 3,000 years, the Indian Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbi medicine systems used cannabis to increase libido, conquer impotence, and cure other diseases. The hippies back in the 1960s, of course, also knew all about the salubrious effects of cannabis on love-making.
Here are seven reasons you and your lover might want to test it out.
1. Livens it up
"A change is as good as a rest" - cannabis takes your mind places it wouldn't, under normal circumstances, go. You might find yourself unduly lingering over the softness of your partner's shoulder, or appreciating types of touch that you wouldn't normally go for. Roll with it.
2. Turns you on
There's been a lot written about marijuana and sexual arousal - and while it has an aphrodisiac effect on both genders, it seems to get women the most revved up. For men, it's a little more complex: a review of studies, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that while some men also reported enhanced desire, heavy marijuana use could also increase the risk for erectile dysfunction. Thankfully, even if you get a temporary case of weed dick, you'll be all the more blissed out at the prospect of making her happy.
3. More partners
Results in a 2009 Australian study suggested cannabis consumers had more sexual partners than those who abstained. Women said they partook frequently were more likely to have had sex with 2+ partners in the previous year - and in men, any consumption doubled their likelihood of reporting two or more partners.
4. Increased intimacy
Common ground. Bonding. Quality time. Like any other non-structured time you spend with each other, getting high as a couple is an escape from everyday patterns of relating. It's important that the way cannabis effects you meshes well - if one partner gets introverted and dreamy, it's preferable that the other isn't hyper and giggly. Being on similar wavelengths translates to sizzling chemistry.
5. Keeps it light
With looming work projects, kids clamouring for supper, and un-vacuumed dust bunnies rolling across the floor like tumbleweeds, sex can feel like a chore. But a buzz allows you to channel your inner teenager: laughing at the little things, ignoring the stress and the mess (however temporarily) - and regaining a bit of teenage libido, to boot.
6. Makes guys last longer
The upside to marijuana-induced erectile issues is that, if you get the dosage right, you can last much longer without orgasming. Although considering marijuana's well-documented effects on the perception of time, maybe the guys in the study just thought they were lasting forever in the sack.
7. Slows you down
With marijuana's ability to stretch out each moment, imbuing it with relevance and possibility, sex while high can be akin to a spiritual experience. Take a breath. Enjoy. Maybe it'll take you back to why you fell in love (or lust) in the first place.