Does puffin’ on the sticky icky make you want to do the horizontal bop or sit on the sofa and play video games nonstop?
For decades now, people that partake have been inquiring as to whether using marijuana enhances sexual experiences or in reality causes your sex drive to seize into couchlock mode.
As it turns out, marijuana has been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years. Before the era of Barry White and Courvoisier, the ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine systems used marijuana to not only increase sexual desire, but produce long-lasting erections, delay ejaculation, facilitate lubrication and to loosen ones inhibitions.
There are also individuals practicing the fine art of Tantric sex that use a concoction appropriately referred to as bhang, which is a type of spiced marijuana milkshake that is ingested in order to enhance the sexual experience.
In 19th century Serbia, long before K-Y decided to get into the jelly business, female virgins would consume mixtures of lamb’s fat and marijuana that was given to them on their wedding night with the intention of making their consummation process less painful.
There’s even been reports that numerous Middle Eastern and Northern African cultures used marijuana for sexual purposes as recently as the early 20th century in a potent concentration known as kif.
So what is it about using marijuana that seemingly livens up an individual’s libido?
According to William Novak, author of the 1980 book, High Culture: Marijuana in the Lives of Americans, an increased heart rate coupled with changes in blood flow and respiration are just a few of the reasons why, for some, using marijuana arouses sexual desire. “Neurochemistry, hormonal systems and brain regions such as the temporal lobe are affected by both marijuana and sexual arousal,” Novak penned.
Why is that exactly? And do Cheetoh-stained fingers have anything to do with it?
Well, maybe fingers stained with orange-colored artificial cheese doesn’t factor in here, but science shows us that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana, not only releases dopamine in the brain causing the sought after “high”, but actually replicates the effects of a naturally occurring neurochemical known as Anandamide. Said neurochemical is an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter. Its name is taken from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means “bliss, delight”, and amide.
So it’s all blissful and delightful, right? We take a few bong rips and it’s off to the bedroom for a rousing round of boot-knockin’! Well, it just so happens that marijuana doesn’t make everyone feel so eager to bump uglies. Which could be helpful to those that have chosen a lifestyle that involves abstaining from sexual activity, such as a monk or an Information Technologist perhaps.
For the most part, it seems that the correlation between marijuana use and sexual desire depends on the individual consumer. There are those of us that take a few tokes and feel our inhibitions start to strip away, along with our clothing. And then there are those among us that toke the same amount of bong snaps and are ready to anchor in for a Deadliest Catch marathon on the Discovery channel.
Most of us that use marijuana on a regular basis consider the substance to be relatively harmless in terms of its effects on the end user. But it just so happens that chronic use of the chronic can actually have a unfavorable result on ones desire to bust out the buffer and wax that ass!
According to Dr. Juan C. Paredes, board-certified psychiatrist based in South Beach Clinic in Miami Beach, Florida who sub-specializes in sexual medicine for men, excessive marijuana use could be leaving you shortchanged in the orgasm department. Meaning your “Big Oh” could be diminished to a lowercase “oh, oh….. is it over? Oh, oh well.”
“Marijuana users might experience very weak orgasms or not experience them at all,” Dr. Paredes explained. “The mechanism for marijuana to contribute to erectile dysfunction is unknown. However, it might be related to an increase in prolactine production, which has also been linked to decreased testosterone. This hormone is important for processes such as erection, ejaculation and orgasm.”
What about fertility? Can using marijuana on a regular basis affect the number of a man’s strong swimmers?
“Men who smoke marijuana frequently have significantly less seminal fluid, a lower total sperm count and their sperm behave abnormally, all of which may affect fertility adversely,” adds Dr. Dennis Lin, sex therapist, psychiatrist and attending physician at the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, NY.
Oy vey! I guess the little guys just get too stoned to swim to their final destination. “Dude, you go ahead. I’m going to rest here awhile.” (Sperm yawns.)
Well, what about prolactine? What is it and how vital of a role does it play in terms of sexual behavior?
“Prolactine is a hormone produced in the brain’s pituitary gland — it’s essential for breast feeding and elevated during pregnancy and breastfeeding. When elevated, prolactine has negative effects on the production of other sex hormones, such as testosterone, and is associated with decreased libido,” Dr. Paredes declared. “Marijuana is one of the drugs that can increase prolactine production and therefore it acts on libido and other testosterone-mediated functions, such as erection, ejaculation and orgasm.”
Dr. Paredes went on to point out how “high prolactine levels produce down regulation of dopamine brain receptors, a neurotransmitter essential to stimulate sexual behavior in animals and human beings.”
Dr. Lin believes that using “marijuana regularly or habitually is related” to individuals experiencing poor sexual health. In addition, she feels unrestrained marijuana use “increases risk of erectile dysfunction, and in men and women it may be linked to overall reduced interest in sex.”
Oh doctor, say it isn’t so! Too much jane will make you want to abstain?
“As a rule, habitual use of marijuana or any illicit substance will lead to long-term detrimental consequences on one’s sexual health and function, as well as general health and well-being,” explains Dr. Lin. “Therefore, it should be avoided.”
Now wait a minute, doctor, that seems somewhat extreme! Can we comprise here a little bit?
Well, it seems that for the most part it really boils down to the individual consumer in terms of what role marijuana use plays in your sex life. Some say it’s helpful and some say it’s harmful. Until scientists have an opportunity to conduct legitimate studies on this widely debatable subject, I say we should all continue collecting anecdotal evidence on a regular basis. (If you can get it that often, that is.) In anticipation of that long-awaited scientific evidence being revealed, toke on and take your turn sleeping on the wet side of the bed for once! Now that sticky truly is icky!