As a counselling sexologist and cannabis coach, I see couples from all walks of life working through a myriad of issues relating to sex and love. Most often I hear they have lost desire or connection with their partner, and are unsure about how to restore passion and intimacy. This commonly occurs because of the stress and distractions of daily life—they have trouble letting go of it all, living in the present.
I especially enjoy working with the older generation. Some are first-time cannabis users, but many have fond memories of using cannabis when they were younger, back in the ‘60s. With the onset of retirement and more free time on their hands, they often take stock of their lives and realize their senses have been dulled—there’s no juice, no passion. The story they now have is a pared-down list of half-forgotten events that can be slightly embarrassing in the retelling. They come to me with basically two questions: what happened back then, and how can I recover some of those passionate feelings?
Research presented at the Gerontological Society of America found that older married couples who still engage in sexual activity are more likely to report happiness in their relationships and with their lives overall, so it’s no wonder that the 55+ age group are the largest demographic of new cannabis users. When couples don’t seek out and invite sensuality into their daily life experience, why would they be sensual while having sex? Rather than suggest new positions or techniques to have more sex, I encourage my clients to first experience some less challenging forms of sensuality. Take time to rediscover the simple pleasures: listening to music, preparing a good meal, a leisurely hike. Awakened sensual awareness most often leads to mutually satisfying sex. Sex organically springs from that place. And all of those passions are enhanced when using cannabis.
Science is now confirming all the incredible medicinal aspects of cannabis, but the powerful psychological benefits of the plant are often overlooked. When used in small amounts (micro-dosing), it facilitates a faster connection and creates an opening on a deeper level—it creates a Zen-like quality, grounding the couple in the here and now. One also notices the quieting of our inner censor, that voice that discredits and blocks rich intellectual, spiritual and sexual experiences. Another familiar hallmark of cannabis is laughter. Not only is laughter therapeutic for the body and mind, but it can also be a form of foreplay. It floods our bodies with dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, and that rush makes us want to cuddle and be playful.
Sebastian Marincolo describes the “cognitive bouquet of effects” cannabis offers in his book High: Insights on Marijuana. He describes a hyper-focused attention, enhanced episodic memory retrieval, and enhanced pattern recognition, just to name a few. The hyper-focus keeps us in the moment and connected to our partner. It also gives accent to our surroundings — the ambience, lighting, the smell and sounds. I suggest that couples play the music they enjoyed when they first met, bring out old photographs to stir memories and reignite their initial passion. Enhanced episodic memory retrieval is great at bringing couples back to the exciting start of the relationship. During lovemaking on cannabis, pattern recognition can help identify a sexual rut and a sense of your partner’s mood. So turn off the television, shut down the Internet, hide the cell phone and plan to spend the night experimenting with your partner.
Trust me, you can relive the glory days. Start by finding a good dispensary with a knowledgable budtender—someone who can provide knowledge about individual strains and suggest products. Every one of us has a unique physical and psychological makeup, so you may have to try different strains of cannabis to find which one works best for you. Be patient and enjoy—it’s a fun journey. I find one that one of the most pleasurable aspects of cannabis is the social element. Remember the fun parties and community we had back in the days?
When it comes to cannabis, I can’t overstate the fact that less is more. You want to get high, not stoned. So start out with very little and wait to see how you feel. There are so many different methods of enjoying cannabis today, from smoking or vaporizing to a plethora of edibles. I recommend staying away from the edibles until you know what you’re doing, as it is very easy to take too much. Cannabis is legal now, so talk to your friends and share knowledge. You can also check out my book, The Passionate High, which is filled with how-to information and ideas on how to create a more passionate life.