It’s National Orgasm Day, an official holiday to celebrate all things about sexual climax. So it’s only fitting to explore one of the more exciting recent findings about sex — namely, that many women have found they can orgasm more easily with pot.
In a study published in the June 2019 issue of Sexual Health, researchers from Saint Louis University asked women to compare their sexual experience with and without using marijuana beforehand. Of the close to 400 who participated, 68 percent described sex proceeded by marijuana to be “more pleasurable,” 60 percent reported an “increase in sex drive” and 52 percent found an “increase in satisfying orgasms.”
Among those polled, roughly 50 percent described themselves as “non-marijuana users,” with an overall majority identifying as white and heterosexual. The research proposes an interesting solution for the more than 80 percent of women who say they can’t climax easily, and aligns with earlier studies on marijuana and pleasure.
An oft-cited 1984 study, published in The Journal of Sex Research, found evidence that marijuana use “enhanced lovemaking” in roughly 66 percent of those polled. The largest such study was published by Stanford University in October 2017, in which they surveyed more than 28,000 women and 22,000 men to see if marijuana use impaired their sex drive. On the contrary, the researchers concluded that “pot users are having about 20 percent more sex than pot abstainers.”
That’s not to say everyone benefits from pre-sex smoking. In a 2011 survey by Michael Castleman, a well-regarded sex researcher, some users reported having worse sexual experiences on marijuana. “My boyfriend and I have smoked (fairly heavily) for the past year and I would say that it 100% has a terrible effect on our sex life,” one user wrote. “It's been a huge libido killer for our relationship."
Others seemed to illustrate the positive association from the 2019 St. Louis study. “I've had some of the best orgasms of my life after using marijuana,” one told Castleman. “Some of it makes you feel more introverted and thoughtful."
But even for those whom it benefits, researchers still aren’t exactly clear why. “The question of how marijuana leads to these positive changes in sexual function is unknown,” the authors of the Sexual Health study write. “It has been postulated that it leads to improvement in sexual function simply by lowering stress and anxiety.... It may lower sexual inhibitions and increase confidence and a willingness to experiment.”
On top of that, the researchers point to marijuana’s ability to simply “heighten” our senses — increasing the sensations of touch and encouraging more physical closeness. Perhaps one user captured in best to Castleman: “[Marijuana] makes the whole experience much more enjoyable.”
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