Since marijuana is almost mainstream right now, the scientists are trying to pay attention to every aspect of its use. Recently, the researchers from the New York University's Center for Drug Use and HIV Research have published a new study on sexual experiences related to the use of alcohol and marijuana. The researchers' task was to compare how weed and alcohol use influenced the risks for unsafe sexual behavior.
The state policies are now more liberal, and more people are starting to consume marijuana with a legal right to do so. Joseph J. Palamar, a professor at NYU Langone Medical Center, claims that it is important to conduct such research to inform people and prevent the harm.
The study included 24 subjects—12 women and 12 men. All test subjects identified themselves as heterosexual and had no HIV. All of them had recently used marijuana before sexual intercourse.
In general, alcohol use appeared to be associated with social outgoingness and assistance in the connection with a potential sexual partner. At the same time, alcohol was stronger at influencing and altering the typical choice of a partner. Besides, alcohol often led to post-sexual regret.
It is interesting that one of the reasons why alcohol was used as a way to meet potential sexual partners is because drinks were widely available at most social gatherings.
However, many users report that marijuana also leads to sex due to its illegal nature. Considering that the recreational use of weed is still illegal in most states, the herb is consumed in a private setting, which often leads to a more intimate connection between the users and escalates into a sexual experience.
While the subjects described many beneficial effects of marijuana and alcohol on their sexual encounters, both substances had some negative sexual effects as well. For example, the list of negative marijuana effects included vaginal dryness. Alcohol, on the other hand, was more likely to cause impotence among males.
The study showed that the average sexual effects among males and females were similar, and both substances were associated with the loss of inhibitions. It is safe to say that both substances cause the increased feeling of self-attractiveness; however, alcohol makes us bolder and more social.
The main difference in the effects of the examined substances turned out to lie in the choosing of a partner. While most subjects reported that marijuana increased their standards for a partner, alcohol was reported to make people not very selective and lead to the connection with an atypical partner.
Dr. Palamar summarized the reported effects and concluded that alcohol did not provide post-sex satisfaction, and the participants regretted sex on marijuana less than drunken sex. After the consumption of marijuana, many adults reported an increased sense of awareness and sometimes even anxiety, which does not lead to casual sex as much as alcohol does. Besides, sexual encounters with strangers are a more common effect of alcohol consumption; marijuana brings together the people who already know each other.
As we all see, alcohol use often leads to a riskier sexual behavior. Studies on sexual effects of marijuana have to continue because most people who favor marijuana do not receive any harm reduction information, especially in the sexual aspect.