Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pot and your Sex Life

Recently, I listened as a prominent sex researcher summarized the sexual impairment caused by dozens ofdrugs, both legal and illicit. Her list included marijuana. Afterward, several in the audience asked why.

"Because it's sex-inhibiting," she replied. "No it isn't," several countered. They all agreed it was sex-enhancing.

The presenter immediately pulled out her citation, one lone report published 40 years previously showing that marijuana reduced testosterone by up to half, enough for many women and some men to suffer libido loss.

Returning home, I delved into the literature and discovered what this researcher had failed to mention. The study she cited triggered a flurry of reports on marijuana and testosterone. Those studies, published in the late 1970s, showed no significant marijuana-induced suppression of the hormone, and no significant loss of libido or sexual impairment in lovers who used it, even frequent users.During the 1980s, several studies considered pot's effects on lovemaking. The results were all over the map, from strongly sex-inhibiting to strongly sex-enhancing. The best report, based on interviews with 97 adults in Kansas City, showed that "over two-thirds reported increased sexual pleasure and satisfaction with marijuana use. About half of both sexes also reported increased sexual desire while using marijuana. Emotional closeness and physical enjoyment of snuggling were also enhanced." But one-third said the drug was not sex-enhancing, and half reported no increase in desire. [Weller, RA and JA Halikas, "Marijuana Use and Sexual Behavior," Journal of Sex Research (1984) 20:186.]

For the rest of the article, please visit Psychology Today.

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