Sex and weed is a beautiful combination. I love the prolonged sense of delightful physical sensations and the blissful haze that envelopes me; I experience a euphoric warmth, which is a union of both my lover’s energy and the effects of THC. As someone who has a difficult time relaxing, a toke before a poke melts me into the moment; it carries me off on waves of pleasure and away from my oppressive thoughts.
Marijuana & Sex
There has been much research into the effects of THC in relation to sexuality; these are mainly positive accounts, although there are some counter arguments as well. For example, archives of High Times Magazine feature various articles ranging from the best strains of bud for ‘bedtime,’ to the aphrodisiac effect of weed on women, to whether or not marijuana can change the shape and quality of sperm. In the September 2015 edition of the online blog Thought Catalogue, Anthony Franciosi covers six positive effects of THC which, ‘will make your sex life a thousand times better.’ Personally, I could not agree more with these sentiments — all of them resonated true for me.
The marriage between smoking weed and sexual activity dates back to the 7th Century in places like Egypt and India. In a 1998 Cannabis Culture Magazine article, Terry Necco explores the ancient Indian traditions of using marijuana in Tantra and Serbian rituals involving a ‘marijuana porridge’ (called ‘nasha’), eaten by virgins before their first sexual intercourse to lessen the pain.
While there are many historical and modern accounts on the positive effects of marijuana and sex, there are some that argue that marijuana can cause abnormal sperm quality, disengagement during sexual activity, and even paranoia. Of course, like any substance, reactions can differ between individuals; an aphrodisiac effect in one person may cause an adverse reaction in another.
Acts of smoking/ingesting marijuana while having sex have been well-documented, but what about the parallels between cannabis culture and the culture of actual sex clubs?
On October 17, 2018, the Government of Canada unveiled its new laws regarding the legal consumption of cannabis. Oasis Aqualounge — a water-themed, clothing-optional adult playground in downtown Toronto — then created a cannabis policy inside the venue so that guests who embrace 420 culture can consume it to complement their own sexual experiences.
As the Marketing Director/Event Producer for Oasis Aqualounge, I wanted to explore the ways in which these subcultures unite and share similarities. While Oasis Aqualounge does not allow ‘illegal’ substances on-premise, many of the patrons/staff (myself absolutely included) embrace 420 culture and use it to complement their own sexual experiences and beliefs — figuratively and literally.
A Sharing Community
The act of sharing is common in both cannabis culture and sex club culture. There is a golden rule of ‘puff puff pass’ when sharing a joint within a group. Sharing marijuana creates a bond between the smokers, and the high can be intensified with the embrace of communal energy. It creates openness and allows a group to take a beautiful journey together.
Sex clubs like Oasis Aqualounge cater to a variety of people: those who identify as polyamorous; swingers; those who are in monogamous relationships; and some who are ‘in-between’ or just exploring different fantasies and desires. While sharing partners (or ‘swapping’) isn’t common to all guests, there is a universal understanding that it's okay to openly share your sexual experiences — in whatever form that may be. Exhibitionists welcome voyeurism, and some partners enjoy their significant other performing sex acts on others. Concepts of jealousy and relationships are broken down and openly discussed — we share our passion and our sexual selves within the environment, and it often creates a unique bond between guests.
One wonderful similarity between cannabis culture and sex club culture is the willingness to share information and skills within a group setting. Since both subcultures are constantly evolving, workshops are available to those who want to learn about different areas. There are countless speakers, presentations, forums, conferences, workshops, and smaller group gatherings that are devoted to continuous education about health, food, relationships, identity, etc. My personal belief is that subcultures are not treated as seriously as other, more ‘conventional’ types of societies and, thus, were never given a traditional platform of education. Therefore, we chose to create our own and, through grassroots movements, larger communities were born to the point where we can now educate ourselves.
Questioning of Social Norms
Cannabis culture and sex club cultures break down traditional/conventional beliefs — either through organized political action or by the act of simply choosing what feels right to the individual. The Oasis Aqualounge mission statement affirms: ‘We believe that our current society stifles sexuality between consenting adults. In particular, we want to encourage women to move past limiting beliefs and body consciousness.’ The very act of attending a sex club is in and of itself an act of rebellion against social norms that perpetuate gender stereotypes of sexuality and often serve to oppress women’s bodies and experiences.
In cannabis culture, the use of marijuana to treat illness offers an alternative way to look at not only prescription medication but the medical industry as a whole. While the act of using marijuana as a treatment dates back thousands of years, doing so in this day and age puts you at legal risk and could condemn you in certain social circles. In fact, up until 2018, consumption was considered illegal. An example of this was the 2016 raiding of 43 medical marijuana dispensaries, which resulted in 90 arrests and 257 criminal charges being laid. While the Canadian laws have recently changed, using marijuana still holds a social stigma, and there are strict provisions regarding the sale of marijuana and who can hold such privilege.
Smoking weed and having sex are activities that most people enjoy-often paired together. What makes these two actions more profound is the human element and the supportive communities that can be found within each subculture. Sex club culture and cannabis culture not only share a ‘bed,’ but also a brain and a heart. It is truly a beautiful and complete relationship.