Anyone who hangs around the bars understands there is a phenomenon that happens after a few or five cocktails that seems to make the world a more beautiful place than it really is. On beer one, the scene might appear more as if management turned a pack of drunken hyenas loose than a place where humans go to drink. It’s like your favorite watering hole has all of a sudden started moonlighting as a shelter for weird-looking animals with beer bellies and speech impediments. But then somewhere around the third vodka and soda, something miraculous starts to happen. Wait, what’s this? All of the beady-eyed varmints mingling around the room are starting to look just a bit more appealing than when you first walked in. You think to yourself for a moment: Perhaps the crowd changed when I wasn’t looking. But, oh no, that’s not it at all. The more likely scenario is that you’re now riding the barstool with your booze goggles on.
Interestingly enough, it’s not just alcohol helping ugly people hook up. Our old pal marijuana has also been known to inspire its fair share of regretful encounters, which may or may not have started with the phrase, “Hey baby, what’s shaking? Want to get high?” Yep, we are fully aware that we could use a little help with our pick-up lines, no doubt. But here’s the thing: With weed, there may not be a need for any smooth-talking when trying to pick up a partner for the night. It could be as easy as getting stoned and just allowing all of the annoying hang-ups we might have about a person slip away into a cloud of smoke. It’s something that the pros are calling “weed goggles,” which is where the buzzed brain makes a person think their prospective love interest — one who might only have one tooth and reek of cheese — is totally doable.
The problem with weed goggles is, just like when alcohol is involved, people can wake up the next morning and think, “Sweet Jesus, what in the hell did I do?” Ah, yes, the hot sexual conquest has transformed into a ghastly beast that doesn’t come anywhere close to passing standards. This realization is hard to swallow, too, and it can spawn the kind of loathsome regret that makes a person want to gnaw their arm off at the shoulder to make a daring escape. But there’s always a chance — always — that they’ll get caught trying to bolt and have to make up a dumb excuse to avoid staying for breakfast. Admittedly, these “oh, crap” moments are not as common in those sexual prowlers who consume marijuana as it is in those who like to get drunk.
But there is undoubtedly a level of unsafe, questionable sex that often transpires because two people got high.
“While alcohol reportedly led to riskier sexual behavior, both drugs appear to potentially increase risk for unsafe sex,” concluded a study published several years ago in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
What is most telling about this study is it suggests that the marvel of weed goggles may have more to do with marijuana being illegal in most places than anything else. Lead researcher Joseph J. Palamar, Ph.D. claims that people are more likely to hook up because of the situations they find themselves in when trying to get high. “If you’re older than 21, you’re able to drink anywhere you want. But when it comes to marijuana, at least in most of the U.S., it has to be in a hidden area where you can’t get arrested,” he told Inverse. “If you get someone to come home with you to smoke weed, there’s a way to facilitate getting a sexual connection, for better or for worse.”
Some of the latest research on the subject of sex and marijuana finds that people are just having more of it in states where it is legal. A study published in the Journal of Health Economics shows daily marijuana users are having 20% more sex than their sober counterparts. But before you get too excited, you should also know that these people are also having more babies and contracting more sexually transmitted diseases. States with medical marijuana laws on the books saw a 2% increase in yearly births, the study shows, and most of these kids got brought into the world by unmarried parents. Presumably, this is because single people are getting high and jumping into the sack with strangers. It’s this impaired judgment (weed goggles) that the study attributes to a temporary increase in gonorrhea. The idea is that people are just getting stoned, getting naked and getting it on without much consideration for contraceptives.
There is no denying that marijuana and sex go hand in hand. But it’s not supernatural. Marijuana enhances the senses, lowers inhibitions and makes average, everyday gobbledygook just a little better. So, toss in some good music and a pizza with those affairs guided by the so-called weed goggles and that’s just about as perfect a night as they come. It is worth mentioning, though, that there has been a spike in STDs nationwide over the past several years – some of which are incurable – so sexual stoners might need to start getting serious about using condoms. Because while the regret of sleeping with the unattractive can be hard to stomach, it has nothing on the despair of finding out that you’re about to have an ugly baby with herpes.
TELL US, does cannabis play a role in your sex life?