Can cannabis be your sexy arsenal’s ultimate secret weapon? Spoiler alert: it sure can, and in this three-part ‘Sex and Cannabis’ series, we’re not leaving anything off the table. To kick us off, Ellen is joined by cannabis experts to explore how weed affects women’s sexual pleasure (basically, cannabis makes sex feel REALLY good). From fighting taboos to finding the right products to enhance intimacy—hello, weed lube!—this episode covers how weed can help your sex life sizzle. Stay tuned for part 2 and 3, where we’ll dive into dosing, cannabis date night ideas, and how weed can alleviate painful sex. Consider this a PSA friends, we hope you’ll keep the conversation going in your group chats!
Ellen Scanlon (00:00):
This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.
Brett Heyman (00:06):
This idea of female pleasure is a recent one. I never really thought about cannabis in that way until a few years ago, but I think it’s one of those things that once you realize what cannabis does for you, that it just makes you so sensitive to everything. It’s like, how could you not want to try cannabis and sex?
Ellen Scanlon (00:26):
Welcome to How to Do the Pot, a podcast helping you feel confident about cannabis. I’m Ellen Scanlon. You just heard from Brett Haman, the New York based founder of the cannabis brand, Edie Parker Flower. I’m so excited because today is the beginning of our new series all about sex and weed. This series is an expert-led exploration that answers the questions I get most about sex.
In today’s show, we’ll consider how the taboos around sex and cannabis may be keeping us from having a way better time in the bedroom. We’ll talk about trying weed for sex for the first time and share why you need less weed than you think to have better sex, maybe even tonight. Stay with us for the next few weeks as this series continues. We’ll dig into the perfect amount of cannabis for better sex, talking with your partner about weed, and how cannabis is helping women to combat painful sex and the challenging emotions that that can bring.
Weed and sex are both pretty taboo topics, whether it’s because of a lack of education, stigma, or cultural stereotypes. I started reading the sex expert Ashley Manta’s terrific book called Sex: How Cannabis, CBD, and Other Plant Allies Can Improve Your Everyday Life. I’ll link to it in the show notes. I realize that while we’ve covered sex on How to Do the Pot before, there’s a lot about this topic that I still want to explore. I hope today’s episode and this series helps you feel confident to start a new kind of conversation around sex, one that is open and free of judgment and inspires you to believe that more pleasure is a goal worth seeking.
Before we get into this week’s episode, I want to talk for a second about How to Do the Pot’s newsletter. The newsletter is a twice a month resource that will help you feel confident about cannabis for health, wellbeing, and for fun. The newsletter is also our direct line to you. You can hit the reply button and let me know what topics or guests you’d like to hear on the show. There are already thousands of subscribers reading and responding, and the more the merrier. We couldn’t do this without you. Please go to dothepot.com to sign up. Thank you, and I really appreciate your support for the show.
I reached out to today’s expert because I loved her book and I’m excited to introduce Ashley Manta, the California-based author and sex and relationship coach. I asked Ashley about the sex and weed taboos that she has encountered.
Ashley Manta (03:36):
Sex is stigmatized because of culture, religion, purity bullshit, and then also simultaneously kind of juxtaposed with porn, where if there is sex, then it’s this very stylized, surgically-altered bodies, professional athletes, sci-fi version of what sex looks like that we compare ourselves to. Then you have cannabis, which was not stigmatized for a long time until the US government decided, “This is a great way to screw over Black and Brown people. Let’s make it scary.” And did. Boy, did they do a good job of making cannabis into something that only hippie loser criminals do.
Even now in 2023, there are still parts of the country that you go to and if you’re like, “Yeah, I smoke cannabis,” people are like, “You’re a loser. Get out.” It’s so absurd to think that this plant that has been used medicinally from by indigenous cultures, by societies, and civilizations dating back thousands of years has suddenly become such a bad thing to deploy mindfully when people can pop pills or drink alcohol at lunch and that’s completely socially acceptable. There’s a lot of hypocrisy and I think sex and cannabis are both very natural normal things that society has decided to other as a way of creating social control. To reclaim our bodies and our pleasure and our sexuality, and to reclaim cannabis as a tool for growth and expansion is a revolutionary act.
Ellen Scanlon (05:19):
Revolutionary pleasure? Yes, please. While you’re reframing your thinking around weed and sex, maybe it’s also time to rethink alcohol and sex. Ashley Manta believes there are better options out there.
Ashley Manta (05:37):
I think cannabis is the superior choice for mixing sex and intoxicants. You can use it in ways that are not intoxicating. It’s not about getting stoned enough to have sex. It’s about using cannabis to enhance the sex that you already want to be having. You can use all these different ways to enhance pleasure without getting high, but alcohol is not something that I’ve seen as an intimacy building tool, whereas cannabis is a lot more open-hearted and positive for relationships used effectively. Just being stoned doesn’t automatically make you better at relationships, but I think cannabis makes you more of who you authentically are.
Ellen Scanlon (06:24):
Comedian, Jenny Zigrino, loves weed for sex because of its awesome physical benefits and the emotional benefits too.
Jenny Zigrino (06:33):
I do like using weed during intimacy, especially during some me time. The way to describe it is it kind of makes the orgasm echo. It just kind of goes on a little longer. It goes on maybe forever. Who knows? I do prefer cannabis over alcohol for sex, because you’re more in the moment, you’re not dizzy or drunk. I mean, drunk sex is terrible sex. No one’s ever woken up after a night of drunk sex and been like, “Oh, my God, that was the best sex I’ve ever had.” Weed keeps you alert and keeps you more connected. One of the benefits of it in the bedroom is I stay more present. I’m in the moment, I’m in my body, I’m feeling what’s happening, I’m feeling what’s happening to them, because now we’re so connected through weed.
Ellen Scanlon (07:32):
If cannabis is a tool for connection, it seems logical to think about it as a tool to enhance intimacy with yourself or with a partner. I have overcome the shyness I have about talking about sex, and I do sometimes feel shy about it because weed is so good for women for sex and it works even if you don’t want to get high. Ashley explains more.
Ashley Manta (08:02):
One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that you would only use cannabis if you were trying to get high, and there are so many ways to use it that do not cause intoxication that are incredibly beneficial to your body. Arming yourself with knowledge… Even just microdosing, right? Taking one small puff or one or two milligrams of an edible instead of 10 can be incredibly beneficial without knocking you on your ass. People early on with the sex and cannabis thing were like, “Oh, so this is just stoned sex.” And I’m like, “No, no, no, no, no, no. That’s one way of going about it and it’s fine. That’s a valid choice, but it is one of several choices that you can make.”
Ellen Scanlon (08:44):
One of those choices is how much weed you have. When I first moved to California, I remember I felt like I needed to smoke an entire joint as fast as possible to, I don’t know, get the most out of my money. But it’s been a long time since I’ve started my nights with a shot of tequila and it’s the same with weed. While I fully support you getting high however you want, when it comes to sex, I really recommend starting slowly. One or two hits from a joint, cut your edible in half. The goal is to pay attention to how it feels in your body and in your mind. Get curious and enjoy it and slow things down. Brett Heyman agrees.
Brett Heyman (09:35):
I think I smoke less weed than anybody I ever talked to in cannabis. This is a problem with sort of almost everything, alcohol, everything. It’s like you just need less than you think. I am like a one or two-puff girl and I am really happy. You need a little bit to feel all of the good feelings and all the ways that the plan is supposed to work, but you don’t need so much that you’re sort of like out of consciousness and just like useless. I need very little to feel perfectly high and perfectly happy.
Ellen Scanlon (10:10):
With so many podcasts to choose from, finding a favorite show can take some trial and error. I started How to Do the Pot Podcast, because, well, I love podcasts. And when I find a good one, I want you to enjoy it as well. If you’d like to put a podcast on my radar, whether it’s about weed or not, please reach out at email@example.com or you can DM me at Do the Pot.
Imagine two former editors at the interior design magazine, House Beautiful, who bond over their mutual love of ghost stories, haunted houses, and the paranormal. They decided to share these tales with all the other spooky story lovers out there, and so they launched a podcast, Dark House. In each episode, Hadley Mendelsohn and Alyssa Fiorentino tell the story of an infamous house that can’t seem to escape its dark history. Who lived there, who died there, and the mysterious details of how the home fell from grace.
Check out the episode on Gray Gardens in East Hampton, New York, the estate of an eccentric aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Over time, Gray Gardens fell into disrepair and was overrun by cats and raccoons and maybe something else not of this realm. Gray Gardens is also famous because of a fantastic 1975 documentary by Albert and David Maysles and a 2009 film with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, or check out their episodes about the Watcher House. Yes, that’s the one from the Ryan Murphy Netflix series. It’s a true story about a home in Westfield, New Jersey that became the target of an anonymous stalker who sent threatening letters to the new owners. Dark House will be back with new episodes this September, and in the meantime, you can listen to all of seasons one and two now, wherever you get your podcasts.
Every expert I’ve talked to about sex and weed says the same thing: less is more. And if you still feel a little intimidated, I asked Ashley Manta for a step by step breakdown of how to try cannabis for sex for the first time.
Ashley Manta (12:37):
You can do this as a fact-finding mission, as a little exploratory process of figuring out what works for your body, and the best way to do that is solo. You get a little gram or a pre-roll or whatever you got that you want to try eventually with a partner, try it on your own, wait until it hits you, go have a really lovely masturbatory experience, and then write down how it went. Then you go, “Ooh, I noticed that I had a lot of skin hunger and I wanted to be touched and I was aching to be filled and I found myself fantasizing more. I was extra vocal or my orgasms were so much more accessible.” Or conversely, “I was not remotely sexually interested and all I did was nap and watch Netflix.” Now, you know that that’s maybe not a good date night one to reach for, but there really is just so much variety and everyone is so different.
But what I will say is that less is more from a THC perspective, and this weird focus on high THC percentages as getting a better bang for your buck messaging that you’re getting in dispensaries of like, “Oh, I don’t want to smoke that 14% THC. That’s not going to do anything.” That’s bullshit, guys. 35% is not going to get you higher. If anything, it’s more likely to put you over the line into unpleasant territory before you get to experience the fun niceness, so go low. For sexy times, maybe 15%, 20% tops is all you need. Stay in that range and have a little bit of a balanced ratio with DVD and other cannabinoids and then really potent terpene profiles and figure out which terpenes you find to be especially helpful for the kind of sexual experiences that you want to create. That is going to serve you so much better than any strain I could recommend.
Ellen Scanlon (14:39):
I love strains that include the calming effects of CBD often in a one-to-one ratio, which means equal parts THC and CBD. It’s THC and THC at levels above about 20%, which is what can make some people feel anxious. That is the last thing you want with sex, right? Maybe think of it like hot sauce. Not too much, especially while you’re figuring this out. You want to work up to the heat that makes you feel your best. I can’t talk about sex without talking about weed lube. It can be hard to talk to your doctor about sex. Sex and weed? Probably not. But I was not shy about asking the fantastic New York based Dr. June Chin, “Does weed lube get you high?”
Dr. June Chin (15:41):
If you’re using a THC lubricant, it doesn’t get you high. A lot of my patients will use a combination of THC and CBD lubricant to increase the blood flow, decrease inflammation in that area. It really is up to you. You can try both and see which one you like. One of the things that you have to watch out for before you’re looking at THC and CBD is just the other additive ingredients. You want to make sure those ingredients don’t irritate the area that is surrounding your vaginal canal or your partner. You want to make sure that the added essential oils are not an irritant and doesn’t cause friction, especially if you’re going to use condoms.
Ellen Scanlon (16:23):
Ashley Manta also sings the praises of weed, lube, and even cannabis suppositories for newcomers.
Ashley Manta (16:31):
I recommend that people who are new start by employing non-intoxicating ways of using cannabis. That is the most beginner-friendly way of going. Things like topicals, things like suppositories are great for sex. They’re great for helping your body feel better without getting a head high. And that way, you can start to appreciate those benefits without feeling like, “I’m going to be out of control. What if it goes too far? What if I get anxious?” The what ifs quiet down when the head stays clear, so non-intoxicating methods are a good place to start.
Ellen Scanlon (17:12):
Some weed lubes are latex condom friendly and some are not, so check that and look for the cleanest products you can find. No yucky additives. Okay, so if you have your weed lube on standby or a joint ready in your hand and you want to learn what’s going to happen next, Ashley explains how cannabis can increase sensitivity, which makes pleasure even more pleasurable.
Ashley Manta (17:41):
There are so many erogenous stones. There are common ones and then there are ones that can be unique to individuals. Typically, there’re going to be places like ears, neck, armpits, back of knees, hair and scalp, inner thighs around the butt, can be inside of the ankles. There’s various spots that tend to be a little bit more nerve ending rich that tend to be more sensitive to touch and play. All of them can benefit from cannabis because cannabis heightens sensation. Cannabis is most especially effective with mucosal membranes, so that’s vulvas and your mouth. Your mouth has mucosa and we all have those and your ass. Ass, mouth, vulva, and vagina are going to be the ones that are especially benefited by introducing cannabis in intentional ways. Honestly, cannabis is a godsend for anal sex because it does increase pleasure, decrease discomfort, doesn’t numb, and it’s just magical.
For vulvas, you do need to let it sit. It’s not an instant gratification thing with lube. One of the reasons that, in the industry, we kind of side-eye the term weed lube, even though it has become very common in media, is because lube you put on when you need to reduce friction and then you put it on and immediately it’s slippery and you go. Cannabis infused oil that is for genitals, it’s more like a marinade. You have to let it sit and absorb for at least 15 to 20 minutes before you can really enjoy the effects also with suppositories, also with tinctures… Although tinctures, you really only need to hold under your tongue for one minute and then they take effect within 10 to 15. But, yeah, there is a waiting process that needs to happen, so planning ahead is useful in this and all things.
Ellen Scanlon (19:47):
Finding your perfect weed marinade is definitely within your grasp. In the moment it can be easy to forget, but always apply the lube and wait 20 minutes so you experience it’s full effects. Remember, weed lube is not going to get you high. It only increases sensitivity to the zones where it’s been applied. Lubes with CBD are available for purchase online and in all 50 states. Lubes with THC are only available in legal states from licensed dispensaries and definitely buy this stuff from a reputable source.
Whether you are inhaling, ingesting, or applying topically, take your time, get curious, and have fun. It’s really all about feeling confident and comfortable in your body. Tune into our next episodes in this series where we will dive deeper into cannabis as an aphrodisiac, talking to your partner about weed, date night ideas, and more.
I hope this episode has helped answer your burning questions about sex. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us at Do the Pot if you have any comments, questions, or tips to share. Thank you for listening to How to Do The Pot. For lots more information and past episodes, visit dothepot.com. Thanks to our writer, Alyssa Yeoman, and producers, Maddie Fair and Nick Patri. Ellen Scanlon and we’ll be back soon with more of How to Do the Pot.
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