Over the last few years, you probably noticed the abundance of cannabis products hitting the shelves in nearly every store across the country, particularly in light ofrecent laws being passedin several states. When I saw these plant-based products hit shelves at my local supermarket, I had to check them out.
I’ve triedCBD topicals and lotionsfor sciatic pain and inflammation, used CBD capsules as asleep aid, and have experimented with various methods and combinations of THC and CBD for anxiety; hell, I’ve even tried CBD doggy treats for the family dogs (which they LOVE btw). Every product I’ve tried has been really helpful, and so, more recently, I began to experiment with the combination of sex and cannabis; and boy, has it beenrevolutionary.
I’ve found that mixing cannabis with sex has changed my sex life by making me feel more present in my body and in the moment (which also makes it a whole lot easier to orgasm!!). It takes me out of my own head and allows me to completely forget about all of the annoying *ss insecurities that often swim around in my mind right before sex.
I am not new to the world of cannabis but I still have a lot to learn, especially with regards to its impacts on sex, so I decided to speak with two experts in the field.
The first was Kiana Reeves, Chief Educational Officer atForia Wellness, a women-owned and “vulva-centric” plant-based sexual health and wellness brand offeringTHCandCBD infused products. I absolutely LOVE that they use their platform to promote female pleasure and the use of non-toxic ingredients (something that Lovability also preaches with theirvegan and toxin-free condoms) so knew I had to ask for their input.
Tips and Tricks for Cannabis Newbies
Foria’s plant-based formulas can be intimidating to those who have never tried a product with cannabinoids before. For those people, Reeves recommendsstarting with topicals, which give you all the benefits without any psychoactivity (aka they won’t get you high). Topicals arevasodilators, which means that they dilate blood vessels; for people with vulvas these topicals can be incredibly stimulating because the lining of the vulva and vagina are ultra absorbent so when applied they allow more blood to flow from the capillaries, which equals more sensation, lubrication, and pleasure 😉
When buying CBD or THC products for your genitals, you HAVE to look out for the ingredients (gotta know what you’re putting inside you, just like with condoms). Knowing how the plant is grown, how it’s extracted, whether it’s been tested, etc. Answering these types of questions, along with a batch-specific COA (certificate of analysis), will be good indications of quality. Now I know you’re probably wondering what the heck cannabinoids are and how they differ product to product. There’s a lot of confusion in this market, so it’s only natural that you have questions (and you should!). I myself am still figuring all this out, but hopefully I can answer a few questions for you.
The Science Behind the Smoke
If you’re somewhat of a geek like me, you could spend hours (yes, HOURS) pouring through the science and the data on cannabis before you even get to talking about sex. To begin with, there are around108 unique typesof cannabinoids in the cannabis plant alone.THC, or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is most the well-known of the cannabinoids due to its psychoactive properties (this is the one that gets you f**king stoned). On the other hand,CBD, or cannabidiol, doesn’t get you stoned but itdoesprove to be useful in terms of itsmany therapeutic benefits, including anxiety and pain relief. Combining the two seems to (and I say seems to, because most evidence is anecdotal as a result of federal restrictions on cannabis research) enhance the positive effects of both, something that I found to be put on blast in the cannasex philosophy.
I didn’t stumble across the term “cannasex” until I listened to an episode of“D is for Desire,”where award-winning sex educator and cannasex coach Ashley Manta was invited on to discuss her discovery of and experiences with combining sex and cannabis. Ashley’s journey withForia and their THC and CBD-infused lubricants changed her relationship with penetrative sex forever. When I spoke with Ashley, she told me using cannabis allowed her to identify mental blocks around sex (such as pain, shame, and anxiety) and move past them, something she has been helping others to achieve in herprivate coaching sessions and group workshops.
She’s coined the term cannasexual to describe “anyone who mindfully and deliberately combines sex and cannabis to deepen intimacy and enhance pleasure whether solo or partnered”. Intent is what distinguishes cannasex from a random hookup between fellow stoners — it’s about digging deep and putting in work to find what products work best for you and your partner.
5 Tips For How To Mix Cannabis And Sex
With all that said, here are a few things to keep in mind before you try combining cannabis products with sex:
1. Negotiate before you medicate!!
Talk with your partner (and with yourself prior to some solo action) before you mix CBD and/or THC with sex. It is important to know each others boundaries with cannabis products and with sex, andespeciallywhen you’re mixing the two together. Talk to your partner beforehand and make sure they know what verbal cues or body language to look for should things go wrong with a product or you become uncomfortable. And please, PLEASE do not try the product for the first time the night of–if you aren’t sure of what to expect you won’t be able to fully immerse yourself in the experience.
2. Find your own sweet spot.
It’s never going to be as simple as someone telling you exactly what dosage to use. Go on a journey of self discovery!
If youarea seasoned smoker, you might have a better idea of where your sweet spot is; try starting a journal or logbook and take note of which strains,terpene contents, smells, andmethodsachieve the buzz you’re looking for. (Helpful tip: avoid heavy-duty dabs and unpredictable edibles because you’ll have much less control over dosage). Keep checking in with yourself if you are getting high–you might feel horny or you might end up feeling glued to the couch.
THC and other cannabinoids have what’s called a biphasic effect— meaning they have opposite effects at high and low dosage. A low dosage can cause euphoria, the munchies, and pain relief, but once you cross over the threshold (which is different for everyone!!) you may find yourself anxious and paranoid. That’s why Ashley recommends that when it comes to dosage you go as low as you can for as long as you can (remember: you’re not in college trying to prove that you can out smoke everyone else).
4. Don’t give up if a particular product doesn’t match your expectations.
Cannabis products are not going to be for everyone, and that’s OK. That being said, there are a LOT of options out there, so don’t give up after the first try. Not everyone will respond the same to a product and some people might be more sensitive to a certain ingredient, which is why Kiana suggests doing a patch test on another part of the body first.
5. It’s OK to be skeptical, but don’t let that hold you back.
You may very well be unlocking the door to a whole new world of mind-blowing sex — do you really want to prevent yourself from reaching new orgasmic heights? If you are skeptical, it may be helpful to know that this is by no means a new method of using these plants; cannabis has been revered in herbal traditions as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years. Ancient Indians would consume a cannabis-infused milk beverage called “bhang” prior to tantric sex rituals to increase sexual pleasure and enhance spiritual enlightenment. Sounds to me like they got plenty of bhang for their buck 😉 (C’mon it was right there I couldn’t not make a pun.)
I’m not pretending to have all the answers when it comes to combining cannabis and sex — I’m still on this journey myself. I’m just someone who’s taken an interest in these products and who’s seen firsthand their positive effects.
What Idoknow is that using cannabinoids can increase your libido, sensation, access to orgasm, pleasure, and can diminish pain associated with penetration, which sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. If you keep your mind open and think of it as a sort of sexy, stoned, choose-your-own-adventure, you too can reach new orgasmic heights of pleasure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A senior double Anthropology and Women’s & Gender Studies Major at Kenyon College in Ohio, Liza Brilliant (@brill.ant on Insta) is devoted to destigmatizing conversations around sexuality and promoting a healthy, sex positive femininity. Liza hopes to one day work in law and public policy, specifically around destigmatizing and decriminalizing sex work. She firmly believes that sex positivity has the power to influence broader political and social norms, changing the world one orgasm at a time.
Have a fantasy you want to make into reality? Here are 6 tips for sharing your fantasies with your partner – to help ease you into initiating those kinds of convos, and have the fantastic sex you’ve been fantasizing about.
Low libido affects many people, regardless of gender. The loss of sex drive can manifest in little or no sexual desire. You’ve probably had those days when instead of having sex with a partner or masturbating, you would rather read a book or go straight to sleep. While it’s completely normal to experience sexual roller coasters during our lives, libido issues might also affect your relationships and the way you feel about yourself.
For a long time, I’ve believed that just by being young and healthy, I should pulsate sexual energy. In reality, I have a job, I need to pay my bills, there’s a pandemic going on, and sex is sometimes the last thing on my mind.
Why can’t I get “in the mood”?
Sexuality is a complex concept influenced by both your mental and physical well-being. You should feel secure, respected, and appreciated to get turned on by yourself or a partner. Your physical state is also important. When I’m tired, in pain, or even hungry, I can’t think about having sex. I might try to push myself, but I feel worse in the end, and my partner feels guilty for even starting something.
Aside from basic human needs, there are countless reasons why you can’t get horny. Here are some of the reasons you might experience a lower libido and ways you can unleash your sexual energy again.
7 Reasons For Low Libido
Your medicine cabinet
You may be surprised at how many common or prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet come with unexpected side effects.Steroids, antidepressants, opioidsmight mess with your reproductive hormones and reduce your desire for sex. Usinghormonal birth controlmay also be a factor. People report that low sex drive is one of the most common side effects. Hormonal contraception lowers both testosterone and estrogen, which also affects your libido.
Stress and anxiety
Stress is the leading causeof people struggling to unleash their sexual energy. When you experience a lot of stress, your brain releases the hormone cortisol. Too much of this hormone leads to a lack of sexual desire. For instance, duringthe COVID-19 pandemic, many couples said that they had more time to have sex, but they were too stressed to enjoy it.
During the lockdown, I felt pressured to have sex with my boyfriend. Social media and countless articles were talking about the joys of limitless sex during the quarantine. But that wasn’t my case. I wasn’t feeling sexual at all. Just because we were locked in the same apartment, didn’t mean we forgot about the outside world. But it’s completely normal to feel off in stressful times, especially when the world is panic mode.
Negative body image
Low self-esteem makes it challenging to relax and enjoy pleasure. Instead, you might get nervous and start judging your body and thoughts. Many sex therapists agree that the way we see ourselves and live our lives reflects on our sexuality. If you feel ashamed of your body and the way it looks or feels during sex or masturbation, it takes away your focus from arousal.
Psychological, physical, or sexual violence is a violation of your mind, body, and soul. If you’re in a toxic relationship, you lose a sense of security and respect. Your body can’t be pushed into arousal without your mind reciprocating. Each time you try to have sex, your body goes into a defense stage.
Sexual health issues
And I’m not only talking about STDs. You might experience a lack of sexual desire if you’re going through other reproductive health issues such asvaginismus, PCOS,endometriosis, or experience an erectile orprostate dysfunction. Also, if you recently had a related surgical procedure, you might want to prioritize recovery instead of forcing yourself to have sex.
Alcohol, smoking, drugs
Alcohol and other drugs work as depressants—large amounts of alcohol lower testosterone levels, affecting your sex drive. While one glass of wine might heat things up, too much of it can lead to a lack of vaginal lubrication and a decreased desire for sex. Also, alcohol and drugs make you feel more fearless, which often leads to unsafe sex and breached boundaries.
If you’re coming from a conservative background or where your family or friends talk negatively about sexuality and shame it, it might shape the way you see sex. The heritage of damaging views on sex can make you feel ashamed of yourself, your body, and sexuality. It could also be why some people struggle to reach orgasm during sex or get an erection because they associate sex with shame and not with pleasure.
How To Boost Your Libido
If medication or a medical condition is why you’re experiencing low libido, try consulting with your doctor to find what could be done to improve your sexual function. But not all causes are physical. Your psychology is equally, if not more, important in having a satisfying sex life. The way you see yourself and live your life will influence your sexuality and relationships with people.
But it all starts with small steps you can take right now to boost your libido.
Physical activity to get physical
I mentioned that during the lockdown, my sex drive dropped to its lowest. I was eating more junk food than usual. My physical activity included a walk from my bed to a desk. When the confinement was lifted (I live in Spain), I felt my sexuality surging back to normal. I had more time to exercise, get enough sun and fresh air, eat local food.
It’s important to keep your body active and healthy to have a satisfying sex life. You should find what feels good, and don’t push yourself to fit a certain frame, but some exercises such as jogging, walking, yoga are shown to improve stamina and sexual pleasure.
Improve your diet
Food is essential as well. Try adding some fatty fish and seafood to your diet. Some say that seafood, such as oysters, works as an aphrodisiac. If you are vegan or vegetarian, add green leafy veggies such as spinach and kale to your diet to boost sexual hormones in your body.
Self exploration to discover the causes
Often, we see our sexual pleasure as other people’s responsibility. But it’s not their duty to discover your sexuality if you haven’t done it yourself. Explore your pleasure zones, find what makes your toes curl, and connect with your body. You can’t find fulfillment in a relationship or dating if you don’t have it within you.
Find the right birth control method
Most of my reproductive years, I’ve been on the pill. Many people take the pill for years without knowing how it affects their sexuality and mental health. Recently, I switched pills, and it came with a bunch of side effects. I noticed that my sexual desire was nowhere to be found. Also, the pill caused vaginal dryness, making sex unpleasant and even painful.
You should know your options to enjoy safe sex. There are plenty of other birth control methods that don’t mess with your hormones as much. The first and foremost iscondoms. Condoms prevent unwanted pregnanciesandprotect you from sexually transmitted diseases. If you are in a monogamous relationship, you can trycopper IUD. Although this method is more invasive, it provides long-lasting protection from unwanted pregnancy.
Analyze your relationship
It’s entirely normal to experience periods of no sexual desire in a long-term relationship, but if it affects your life, there might be a problem. Usually, your sex life is the first to suffer when there’s something wrong in a relationship. Perhaps your body sometimes knows better, huh?
For you to feel the desire, a relationship has to check all the boxes. You should feel secure, respected, and your boundaries should be taken seriously.
If one of these is missing, that is a problem you shouldn’t ignore.
Relax and find your sex zen
The two biggest mood breakers are stress and anxiety. If stress doesn’t let you enjoy your life and has a significantly negative impact on you, perhaps the wisest solution would be to see a therapist. But you can also try some of the stress relief methods such as meditation, sports, or mindful breathing, especially before sex or masturbation.
Mindfulness techniques help you relax before sex or masturbation and increases your chances ofreaching an orgasm. A few deep breaths before the act calm your body and muscles, allowing you to delve into pleasure.
So, here you have it. Low sex drive isn’t a death sentence, and it can awaken with a few lifestyle changes. The thing to remember is that if you’re not in the mood, you shouldn’t force yourself to feel aroused. It does more damage than good.
If you’re in a relationship, you may also want to talk about it with your partner. Communication gives clarity and builds intimacy between you and your partner. And if you keep struggling with your sexuality, it’s better to see a sex therapist to find the right solution for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Egle (Instagram@egleraa) is a freelance writer and blogger focused on women’s health, femtech and entrepreneurship. As someone with a keen eye for detail and a dedication to creating compelling content, she thrives on turning words into stories. Egle’s work has been featured in The Startup, Interesting Engineering, and Fearless She Wrote.