Serious researchers studied how sex is different when you’re high vs. when you’re drunk
Marijuana is going mainstream. Attitudes toward the drug are changing, rules governing its use are shifting and more and more states are voting to legalize it.
With widespread acceptance will come, theoretically, more widespread use. And that raises a whole lot of interesting questions for public health researchers. How will legal marijuana affect our children? Our jobs? Our relationships?
Or how about our sex lives?
That latter question inspired a research project by Joseph Palamar and his colleagues at New York University. "Since the landscape is changing, and marijuana continues to increase in popularity, research is needed to continue to examine if and how marijuana use may influence risk for unsafe sexual behavior," they write in the July issue of the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
To that end, Palamar and his colleagues recruited 24 heterosexual adults to take part in a series of in-depth interviews about prior sexual experiences that happened under the influence of either alcohol or marijuana. This isn't a national sample by any means, and it's not meant to be. Rather, the purpose was to obtain a rigorous qualitative assessment of the different effects of alcohol and marijuana on people's sexual behaviors and to use this as a jumping-off point for future quantitative research.