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Long ago, hidden in secret corners of the opulent palaces of the great Sultans existed some very special rooms.

Rooms dedicated exclusively to the arts of pleasure.

Dim light cast by oil lamps illuminated the lush, pillowed furnishing and pulsing, swirling clouds of fine incense that filled the air. Soft, sumptuous music played by unseen musicians emanated from alcoves, disguised by ingenious screens.

This is where the Sultans took their harem, special women highly skilled in sexual pleasure. This is where the Sultans smoked the finest hashish and indulged in sexual ecstasies.

Cannabis was used at the highest levels of society as an amplifier of sexual pleasure. Perhaps we might learn something from their example?

Cannabis and Pleasure

So much is made of the medical wonders of cannabis these days. It’s as if this is the only way we can politely talk about this sensory-heightening, rapture-bringing herb in our paradoxically puritanical and hyper-sexualized society.

Yes, absolutely there are plenty of profound medical benefits cannabis brings, but let’s get really real here. That’s not why most people use it.

Most people use it because it’s enjoyable!

That is to say, it brings pleasure. It makes music richer, it highlights the details of the veins branching leaves. The scent of the rain becomes an olfactory amphitheater of depth and memory. It raises the contrast of colors and helps you feel more deeply into the easy, natural bliss of being.

It’s no coincidence that one of the primary endocannabinoids —anandamide—is named for the Sanskrit word for bliss, ananda.

And, in the right set and setting, with the right dose of the right strain and with the right partner, it can also heighten sexual pleasure.

Beyond Anecdotes and Stories: The Data

The actual data that exists looking at the real relationship between sex and cannabis use is pretty scant, but the few studies that have been done are revealing.

One study surveyed participants engaging in sex. Seventy percent of all participants—both men and women—reported an enhancement of pleasure and satisfaction. Half reported “aphrodisiac effects”. In another study, 75% of participants affirmed that cannabis increased sexual stamina.

There are a few other reports from the ‘70s and ‘80s, but they all say pretty much the same thing: in a majority of cases, a little cannabis improves sex.

Using Cannabis to Rekindle Your Sex Life

So what about you? Maybe your sex life is getting a little stale and you want to give this a try. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Dose really matters. The same studies also reported that a higher dose of cannabis decreased sexual desire and satisfaction. So know your tolerance and go light.
  2. Strain matters. Heavy indicas can be a little too sleepy but a strong sativa may be a little too heady and create emotional distance. Go for a hybrid.
  3. It’s about sensuality. Many of the participants reported that the increase in pleasure was not from the genitals. It was from the full sensory experience. Slow down, relax, breathe, be present.
  4. Cannabis has a tendency to dry out your mucosal membranes. We are not talking about cottonmouth. Plan accordingly.
  5. Cannabis is also known to increase risk-taking and novelty-seeking behavior. This is technical language for “try new things.” Break your habitual intimacy patterns, and explore your own wonderful world of uninhibited sexual ecstasies.