At 67 years old, Playboy magazine has had to evolve with the times. But one thing that has stayed consistent throughout the sex-positive publication’s storied history is its commitment to bringing cannabis consumption to light, particularly when it comes to its role in the lives of artists.
In 1960, Playboy interviewed jazz greats Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie, who talked about drugs and music. Later on in that decade, they published Pot: A Rational Approach, which challenged readers to think about how cannabis could even be helpful to people’s lives.
“Not only is marijuana comparatively harmless on the face of all the evidence,” wrote psychiatrist Dr. Joel Fort at the time, “but there are even reasons to believe it may be beneficial in some cases.”
Now, in the age of growing support for federal legalization in the U.S., the mag has carved out space for regular cannabis coverage. For three years, Ariela Kozin served as their features editor and frequently focused on topics related to weed.
A new piece, The Five-Step Guide to Cannabis for Sex, says cannabis can have such renewing effects on intimacy, it can be like “losing your virginity all over again” — and underlines some of the better research around cannabis and its potential to increase pleasure during sex — particularly for women.
“Most women who use cannabis before sex report increased drive, heightened orgasms and a decrease in pain,” she writes. Here are the highlights.
Talk to your partner
This seems a little obvious, but opening the lines of communication when it comes to sex can be sensitive and tricky on its own — let alone proposing something new like weed.
“The activity should, of course, be pleasurable for both parties (or all parties; we’ll stick to parties of two for simplicity’s sake), and you can’t achieve mutual pleasure without talking candidly about what each of you wants,” Kozin writes.
Choose a product
This sounds easy, but to me, seems like one of the bigger challenges for partners. Kozin suggests choosing a cannabinoid first, then consider a method of ingestion.
“If you want an all-body high and don’t want to wait to feel the effects, smoking or vaping is a good call,” she writes. “If you’re concerned about getting too high too quickly, an edible or a drink could be the perfect fit.”
I would add that you should both (or all!) try out a few products first on your own to see how they make you feel. Explore cannabis-infused lubricants — they don’t make you feel high, but they can increase sensitivity in a way that you may not have imagined possible. Look at the ingredients to make sure cannabinoids are actually infused in the product — hemp oil is moisturizing and is technically cannabis-derived, but it does not contain any cannabinoids.
And the same goes for edibles and various smoked or vaped strains. These things all take effect differently depending on the person. One person might prefer an edible to a vaped product — and that’s okay! There’s no reason why both parties need to use the same thing. It’s all about what works for you, and what your partner is comfortable with, too.
Get your dosing right
“The key is to err on the side of caution — smoke little by little, eat little by little,” writes Kozin. “You can always take more, but nothing’s less pleasurable than having your partner fall asleep on top of you just before you climax.”
To add to this: A little goes a long way, especially when you’re trying to connect with someone (rather than disassociate from reality as you might in a different setting).
Everyone’s experience of cannabis is different, writes Kozin. “So once you and your partner start getting busy, it’s crucial that you take your time — especially if it’s your first time combining the two.”
This is probably why I’d also suggest trying some products out on your own or in a non-intimate setting to see how you’ll react. That will make the above suggestion easier to think through before you get down.
It could take time to get it right
Practice makes perfect. Or in this case, trying a few different approaches will help you figure out what works best for you — just like learning how to have sex for the first time, writes Kozin.
“Incorporating cannabis into your sex life is like losing your virginity all over again,” she writes. “You have to retrain your body to move with your newly heightened senses.”
Personally, the thought of losing one’s virginity for the second time sounds excruciating, and I don’t think it needs to be that uncomfortable. Again, try some lubes on your own, or explore vaping, smoking and edibles to see if you can tap into the body and mind sensations that usually make you tick.
And if it’s just not working for you, don’t torture yourself trying to get high and have great sex. There’s no shortage of other ideas, and it won’t be for everyone.
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