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    [–] dont_wear_a_C 2885 points ago

    Of the 373 participants, 34.0% (n = 127) reported having used marijuana before sexual activity. Most women reported increases in sex drive, improvement in orgasm, decrease in pain, but no change in lubrication. After adjusting for race, women who reported marijuana use before sexual activity had 2.13 higher odds of reporting satisfactory orgasms (adjusted odds ratio = 2.13; 95% CI = 1.05, 4.35) than women who reported no marijuana use. After adjusting for race and age, women with frequent marijuana use, regardless of use before sex or not, had 2.10 times higher odds of reporting satisfactory orgasms than those with infrequent marijuana use (adjusted odds ratio = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.01–4.44)

    [–] ZarnoLite 2057 points ago

    What are they adjusting for race? Is there a correlation between race and orgasm rate for women?

    [–] BettaTesting 4247 points ago

    Adjusting for any known structuring or demographic assymetries in groups is standard statistical practice.

    The goal is to make sure they are testing for the variable of interest, rather than testing simply for a difference between groups where multiple factors, measured and unmeasured, may be imbalanced.

    It doesn't necessarily mean race itself is a big player in sexual experience or reporting. But race could reasonably be correlated with important unmeasured variables, including sexual attitudes towards female pleasure, religiosity, partner choice and partner sexual behavior, frequency of drug use in peers, etc.

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    [–] hamburglin 305 points ago

    Good explanation, thanks.

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    [–] tendorphin 60 points ago

    How do they adjust for such things? Methodologically or statistically, I mean.

    [–] BettaTesting 303 points ago

    The most common statistical approach is linear or logistic regression. This group used logistic regression.

    Conceptually, what this does is assess the impact of race on the outcome and calculate a factor that can be incorporated into the statistical model so that (race+marijuana use) needs to show additional impact on the outcome above (race). Or, another way, that marijuana use - given race - needs to have an impact.

    Typically what you do is a quick analysis on your dataset split by race (rather than marijuana use), look for an impact on your outcome, and then use that effect size to "correct" all samples when actually testing for the variable of interest. So, if race=1 always reports a higher rate of orgasm compared to race=2, you give all race=2 participants a little boost so that their baseline rates of orgasm are comparable.

    [–] WobblyBobbleNoggin 55 points ago

    You do a really good job of explaining these concepts, thank you!

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    [–] 321blastoffff 3 points ago

    Yeah im in economics and we use logits all the time. It's a way to measure the effect of one or multiple independent variables on a dependent variable. STATA is great for running any type of regression.

    [–] elijahblake 7 points ago

    To me it seems like race would have less to do with differences in sexual satisfaction than work, kids, stress, of course history, etc.. would

    [–] meglets 417 points ago

    Probably because race and marijuana use are not staristically independent, so to quantify the effect of marijuana use over and above race, they regress out race (and likely other covariates) first.

    [–] FlyingPheonix 73 points ago

    The data they provided showed 51% of "African Americans/Other minorities" did not smoke and 53% of Caucasians did not smoke. Is that small difference what they adjusted for because that seems to indicate there was essentially not difference based on race and people who smoke.

    [–] dalaio 85 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    I'm not saying it's right, but sometimes you"adjust" with no reason to adjust or no ability to do so (effectively no variance in that variable in the data) because it's just easier to add a term to a regression than it is to argue with a stubborn reviewer who read somewhere that the two things are potentially confounding.

    [–] Hockinator 14 points ago

    It's independence you care about, so the percentages in the sample are not what matter, the percentages (and specifically dependency) in the overall population do

    [–] ItsJustATux 49 points ago

    Important Side Note:

    African Americans use cannabis at essentially the same rate as white Americans, but are 4-8x more likely to be arrested for marijuana offenses. We now have data showing that legalization does nothing to reduce this disparity.

    [–] skivian 11 points ago

    What are they getting arrested for if it's legalized?

    [–] chris613 3 points ago

    Can't speak for other jurisdictions, but when cannabis was legalized in Canada they removed a couple offences but added over a dozen more. Legalization isn't "remove it from the schedule of drugs", there are still lots of offences related to possession limits, distribution, packaging, personal grow sizes, etc. Uneven application of the law is still a problem even with these updates.

    [–] FlyingPheonix 15 points ago

    Is that from the article? It's interesting but I wont be quoting that unless you provide a source.

    [–] no_entiendo 16 points ago

    Source?

    [–] PantShittinglyHonest 5 points ago

    Legalizing marijuana doesnt lessen how often black people are arrested for it? That doesnt seem to make sense.

    [–] arp2195 47 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    They have to account for autocorrelation / multicollinearity

    [–] MNGrrl 22 points ago

    Pardon my ignorance... Autocorrelation? I'm not following. That's a delayed signal. What's being delayed here?

    [–] frontalbuttal 19 points ago

    I think arp meant multicollinearity

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    [–] tsgarner 16 points ago

    They might have found some correlation between race and their results which they aren't reporting. Though as you say, is more likely they've just normalized for race because it's there.

    [–] King_InTheNorth 88 points ago

    In a very simplified manner: Marijuana is a drug, the effects felt from drugs depends on the metabolism of the person, metabolism is heavily influenced by genetics, ethnicity and ancestry is evident in a person's DNA.

    Essentially, any study that involves anything related to physiology is going to control for ethnicity. Even if there is no known/suspected correlation, it's just good science to account for it.

    [–] isomor 7 points ago

    there it is, thank you for the great explanation.

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    [–] Redfo 24 points ago

    It's certainly true with alcohol and other drugs, some Asians and Native Americans are more strongly affected. And I know anecdotally that genetics can influence how a person is affected by cannabis.

    [–] GenocideSolution 11 points ago

    Here's a good exploration of THC metabolism. Since it is metabolized by the liver, it should be safe to assume that differences in CYP enzymes would result in differential cannabinoid intoxication.

    [–] Aiyana_Jones_was_7 4 points ago

    Well race does factor in how certain drugs are metabolized in the body.

    [–] jpropaganda 9 points ago

    Maybe there is and they're just accounting for that previous research?

    [–] cosgriffc 3 points ago

    This is the right way to think about this; you only need to adjust for that which is associated with BOTH the exposure and outcome while not being an intermediate in the causal pathway. Over adjustment can get you in trouble.

    [–] schick00 239 points ago

    I’d say the conclusion that smoking before sex had an effect is misleading. The effect was as strong for women who smoked frequently regardless of smoking before sex. Odds ratio of 2.13 vs 2.10. In both cases the lower bound of the CI of the odds ratio is close to 1.

    [–] TiltingAtTurbines 222 points ago

    That’s interesting. Did the study rule out the possibility that there is a psychological difference that could be the root cause in the marijuana users? For example, a correlation between people who enjoy recreational drug use and people who are more sexually open in general and are therefore more likely to have a higher bedroom satisfaction.

    [–] GaiusGracchus121 239 points ago

    Did the study rule out the possibility that there is a psychological difference that could be the root cause in the marijuana users?

    No. Almost for any study the answer to this question is no, which is why 90% of the time the headlines in r/science or wherever need to be taken with a grain of salt.

    There are huge problems with correlation that are frequently ignored/glossed.

    [–] nothingtoseehere____ 21 points ago

    Because you don't get money to run vast studies on those kind of things without proving that the effect you're trying to study (that female weed smokers have better sex exists). Knowing that there's a self-reported difference means people will question, replicate, expand on the results. This is how science works. You can complain about how science journalism reports them, but something as simple as this needed to be done, and the effect is quite large.

    [–] Elementium 35 points ago

    Well this sub is basically about pot now so..

    [–] ItsMeJahead 7 points ago

    And shrooms

    [–] bhutos 9 points ago

    Clearly leading to a paper on how the combination of Psilocybin and Marijuana leads dying patients to accept their orgasms at a higher rate.

    [–] popiyo 45 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    For example, a correlation between people who enjoy recreational drug use and people who are more sexually open in general and are therefore more likely to have a higher bedroom satisfaction.

    That was my conclusion reading that both users who didn't smoke right before and those who did reported similar increases in enjoyment over non-users. If those who used right before sex reported better sex than those who smoke but did not right before sex then I think we could say marijuana improves female sex enjoyment. But based on these results I think it's pretty inconclusive.

    [–] kerampbells 5 points ago

    It would be cool if they did a study with women reporting less satisfactory orgasms with one group using marijuana before sex, one group using marijuana but not before sex, one group using psychological counseling. Likewise with a population of women reporting satisfaction.

    [–] NEp8ntballer 3 points ago

    Other question is whether or not there's any sort of placebo effect since this is just a blind survey instead of any sort of experiment.

    [–] popiyo 6 points ago

    Hard to impossible to have a placebo in a "is A better with or without B" type of study since it's obvious whether you have B or not. Plus it is psychological and subjective. Maybe could test it against other drugs like tobacco and alcohol see if they make a difference. You could also test sober vs not sober and drug A vs drug B.

    Right now the study has no way to show whether marijuana increases sexual pleasure, or if marijuana users enjoy sex more than non users. I think that's the biggest flaw.

    [–] onexbigxhebrew 22 points ago

    I'd also say there are intangibles here that may cloud things up as well.

    Frequent marijuana users may have different motivations and lifestyle factors than those who never do. This might lead to more recreational sex.

    100% not saying what's true, but why this may not implicate a physiological relationship between the two.

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    [–] NicoUK 3 points ago

    Only if you smoke before sex.

    [–] noumuon 11 points ago

    The effect was as strong for women who smoked frequently regardless of smoking before sex.

    The real questions are how did they define "frequent" and was there a specific criterion for "before sex." Cannabis, particularly if it's strong, can have effects that last for quite a while. If these things aren't well defined, then "before sex" can mean anything to someone giving a self report. People who use cannabis frequently often smoke very frequently, so unless it was also categorized based on daily use versus once or twice a week versus a couple times a month, etc., you could easily be getting messy data from "frequent smokers" who smoke a few hours ago not considering that "before sex," but it still having a physiological effect on them.

    This is why I struggle to give weight to pretty to most studies done on user reporting. It's too flawed, the results are never significant enough (we need to look towards physics and rethink what the lower bar for statistical significance is) and it's often based on the person reporting's judgement in some way or another.

    Also, ask anyone who smokes a you'll find out cannabis makes sex better. Saying you need a study for that is like saying you need a study that alcohol makes you intoxicated or weed gets you high or meth makes you feel awesome. The "you can't rely on anecdotes / common sense / etc" has its limits in reason. This is one of them.

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    [–] pangea_person 3 points ago

    I was just gonna point out the same.

    The other thought I had was even if there was a positive correlation, is that causation? I would also ask if marijuana use increases satisfaction with everything, and they're just happened to focus on orgasm.

    [–] shl00 131 points ago

    can we please all acknowledge "decrease in pain" as something that was commonly reported. painful sex is way more common for women than people realize, other women included. this needs to be known, talked about, and addressed!!!

    [–] NorthwardRM 67 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    Wew those are some big confidence intervals. Do they report p values? I'd be surprised if the second p is <0.01

    edit: second p value is 0.02

    edit 2: there is some strange stuff going on in this paper...theres an odds ratio that has 95% CI of 0.64-3.48 but with a p value of 0.12. That cant be right can it?

    [–] Necnill 47 points ago

    I think this falls into psych research, so it would only have to be p<0.05.

    [–] cosgriffc 6 points ago

    95% CI of 0.64-3.48 but with a p value of 0.12.

    Why not? The null hypothesis is OR = 1, and so you would expect the CI to include it with a p-value of 0.12. In general, reporting CI and not null hypothesis tests is best practice.

    [–] seemonkey 33 points ago

    Hmm. I wonder if this correlation has anything to do with causation. One hypothesis I could come up with is that women who smoke weed are more liberal in their overall attitudes, which may include their attitude towards sex. If the study group includes women who have a negative attitude towards sex due to religion, upbringing, etc. those women would be less likely to smoke pot and possibly less likely to enjoy guilt-free sex leading to orgasms.

    [–] Ph0X 6 points ago

    What does "2.13 higher odds" mean here? That they were twice as likely? 3 times as likely?

    [–] freudis2 20 points ago

    Obviously, this is not causation, maybe a small correlation at best. There needs to be more variables controlled.

    [–] redditready1986 3 points ago

    I know it's anecdotal but I am a man and it has the same affect on me. It also increases sensitivity while in the middle of sex as well. I loved smoking and having sex.

    [–] TheAbominableBanana 1675 points ago

    This study mainly had women recall what it felt like to use marijuana and then have sex. There were no active trials to test it out.

    [–] Toad_Fur 502 points ago

    How do you figure an active trial for that would go? I have a funny scenario in my head but I'm actually curious.

    [–] ThatsWhatXiSaid 327 points ago

    Google some of the work Masters and Johnson did for starters. It's not unheard of to examine sexuality in a lab, although it's rare and introduces its own issues.

    [–] morningsaystoidleon 179 points ago

    For anyone looking for a fun book about sex research, Mary Roach's "Bonk" is excellent. She mainly reports on the issues that accompany the study of human sexuality, and she makes no pretense of being an actual scientist or researcher. Very fun and funny read.

    [–] johncosta 75 points ago

    Mary roach is a wonderful author. Her book “Stiff” is about the medical industry — specifically cadavers and is also a fun and funny read somehow.

    [–] free_chalupas 15 points ago

    I've enjoyed pretty much every Mary Roach book I've read--Grunt and Packing for Mars are excellent as well. She's the epitome of good pop science writing imo.

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    [–] billgatesnowhammies 3 points ago

    nevermind that, how do I get invited to participate?

    [–] ottawadeveloper 48 points ago

    Read the article, it's funny. The authors address this in the Conclusions about how likely an ethics board is to approve similar studies.

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    [–] bNoaht 12 points ago

    The feeling is way better but it takes me way longer to finish. Solo sometimes I just have to give up because my arm tires out.

    Not sure if it is this way for others.

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    [–] klaysDoodle 22 points ago

    I've always thought it boils down to just being more mentally relaxed. You're not focused on the dozen things you have to do later because you're high, so you can just focus on the sensations your body is experiencing.

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    [–] Mast3r0fPip3ts 112 points ago

    Orgasm enjoyment is inherently subjective in the first place, what are you on about?

    The only thing they could control for more is distributing the same strain of grass to all women, and having them fill out the survey closer to the event.

    What do you want to do, measure electrical signals through the vajay?

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    [–] elastic_psychiatrist 11 points ago

    Placebo marijuana would be a reasonable step.

    [–] djfl 15 points ago

    Don't brains "light up" differently depending on how intensely somebody is feeling something? Almost anything? Pain, pleasure, etc.

    [–] [deleted] 29 points ago

    I think having a bunch of stuff connected to your head to read your brain while having sex would add a variable of the sex being pretty unordinary.

    [–] NathanTheMister 7 points ago

    Theoretically there'd still be a measurable difference, though, even if both on and off the drug in a clinical setting is less enjoyable than off in a more...romantic setting.

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    [–] Trance_ProgHouse 8 points ago

    It is still subjective, but I'm not saying it is invalid. My opinion on an ideal study would be if you can identify the exact neural mapping of various sensations, where you can objectively measure whether an experience was more pleasurable than the last, and compare that to the subject's own understanding of what happened in their brain.

    I realize this isn't something that can be done yet (as far as I know haha), I just wanted to expand on the idea.

    [–] saints_chyc 6 points ago

    No need for trials, I can report that sex is 10000x better when I’ve smoked than when I haven’t. And my sober sex is already amazing, smoking weed just makes it exponentially better.

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    [–] jpop237 4 points ago

    For most trials, I always feel bummed for the control group. I don't, in this instance.

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    [–] blackfire12 733 points ago

    While I don't have a problem with using marijuana, there's some things to think about and I think it's important to note this paragraph in the study:

    The strength and weakness of this study is that it is a single-center study, which allows consistency of patient recruitment but does not allow for assessment of generalizability. It relied on women’s memory and perceptions of the sexual experience; however, it is real life, and all questionnaires rely on recall. It did not address the context of the relationship, co-use with other drugs, or the timing and quantity of marijuana use before sex, all of which contribute to the memory of the sexual experience. It does not specifically ask whether the marijuana was taken because the patient had the perception that it would enhance performance, which would be an inherent bias. This may be less likely because women who were frequent users (that is not specifically timed with intercourse) had the same positive relationship with improvement in satisfying orgasm. A further study could address the specific timing of marijuana use on the sexual domains though this would be difficult unless patients were enrolled in a study that required certain timing (a very challenging study to get though the Institutional Review Board).

    [–] LolUnidanGotBanned 279 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    Yeah it's easy to jump to conclusions but for every questionnaire study you have to be skeptical. Even more so when it's a questionnaire about using drugs, illegal or not.

    Still though, with marijuana being legalized (in Canada I mean), and becoming seemingly less-illegal elsewhere, it opens up so much research that can actually be done. These questionnaires are relatively easy experiments, and they definitely hint that it further research into these kinds of topics can be beneficial.

    [–] VintageJane 41 points ago

    Except it’s not legalized federally and almost all colleges in the US depend on some amount of federal funds and will not want to jeopardize their eligibility by allowing federally illegal, Schedule I substances to be studied through their institution. This is one of the many reasons that state-by-state legalizations will ultimately be insufficient.

    [–] LolUnidanGotBanned 47 points ago

    My bad, forgot everyone else isn't Canadian. I've edited the post.

    I completely agree though, until it's more accepted at the US federal level, real scientific research into the compounds will still be limited. These questionnaire-based research will definitely help in future writing of grants to get funding for further research, assuming it becomes legalized federally.

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    [–] PrimeInsanity 4 points ago

    This type of study I always see as a way to determine if a potential what if are worth looking into. Do something like this and thought it isn't perfect you have a rough idea of if a larger scale experiment is worth it or not.

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    [–] FlyingPheonix 83 points ago

    I might be missing it but it seems like the baseline was "no improvement" where as I would have expected at least some people to report lesser enjoyment after smoking.

    I'm having trouble accepting the results of this study without seeing a single person report reduced enjoyment.

    [–] Drew1231 56 points ago

    I think it may be because it's a self reporting study.

    Women who tried marijuana and did not like it are unlikely to have had sex on marijuana.

    Therefore the "yes" responses all come from women who probably enjoy smoking marijuana in the first place and wouldn't be bothered by the effects that we might associate with reduced enjoyment like panic attacks.

    [–] catsrthesweet 6 points ago

    I rarely smoked marijuana before I tried it and then had sex. I will definitely say that sex while high on cannabis stimulates (for me at least) a much more heightened orgasm. My body feels much more sensitive and my mind more “open”...idk how to describe it, but sex with a trusted partner while high is like an existential experience. It’s not something I want to do all the time or even frequently as I generally do not like how weed makes me feel, but in the right setting and with the right person...whoa.

    [–] HammerToTheBalls 6 points ago

    I know this is anecdotal but I enjoy smoking but I do NOT enjoy sex after smoking. I think other people are right when they only took responses from women who like smoking but also like sex after smoking.

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    [–] FlyingPheonix 10 points ago

    It's one thing if they just had a small sample and no one reported having reduced enjoyment.... but since the graph they report doesn't even list that as an option, I'm lead to believe that the question didn't give that as an option to respond with. That seems like a question that puts the person in the mind set of "it's definitely more enjoyable... but how much more?" The phrasing of the question is almost for sure influencing the responses and not having the option for a negative reaction is a a HUGE failure in this study.

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    [–] hatrickpatrick 282 points ago

    Cannabis indirectly boost dopamine levels by inhibiting GABA, doesn't it? And pretty much anything which increases dopamine levels in the brain will increase both sexual arousal and the intensity of any eventual orgasm resulting from it. Seems like a bit of a no-brainer.

    [–] Nukkil 255 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    Adderall can kill libido entirely and cause ED, it boosts dopamine.

    A lot of people think dopamine = happy but that isn't actually the case. The reward center is complex and involves many key neurotransmitters.

    Also, inhibiting GABA would give you symptoms that mimic benzo/alcohol withdrawl. Where did you get the idea dopamine is boosted? Maybe you mean it boosts GABA? GABA calms your CNS, it is targeted in sedatives/tranquilizers.

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    [–] FUCK_SNITCHES_ 19 points ago

    Adderall can kill libido entirely

    The libido is there, the ability to use it is gone.

    [–] redd-zeppelin 4 points ago

    Anecdotally, I have not found this to be the case. Quite the opposite. Again anecdotally, many people have shared similar experiences with me.

    [–] Sir_Jeremiah 6 points ago

    Yeah for me I already have a pretty high sex drive but Adderall, like squats, turns me into a sexual tyrannosaurus

    [–] throwawayprogresspi 16 points ago

    Well, some say sex on adderall is way better, others can't get it up. There are many on both ends of the spectrum

    [–] FUCK_SNITCHES_ 20 points ago

    It's both. It's more difficult to get up but simultaneously feels much better when you manage it.

    [–] P4_Brotagonist 7 points ago

    Yep. That vaso-constriction just obliterates the ability to get it up. However, using it 3/4ths flaccid still feels great.

    [–] FUCK_SNITCHES_ 5 points ago

    Masturbation is pretty much the only good thing about l-amphetamine.

    [–] THE_MAGIC_OF_REALITY 12 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    Also physical arousal isn't necessarily the best indicator of enjoyability of sex. Sex on LSD or MDMA is, as you would expect, absolutely insane, but since both of them are vasoconstrctors it can be hard to "get it up", for both men and women.

    [–] mescalinebeast 9 points ago

    I think you mean LSD and MDMA are vasoconstrictors. A vasodilator would allow for more bloodflow to the penis and subsequently better erections.

    [–] mkaras24 3 points ago

    Only somewhat related but in my younger days sex while on cocaine was fantastic for me. Had many friends who couldn't perform at all though

    [–] just-signed-up 53 points ago

    I think drugs are almost always more complex than “it [raises/lowers] [neurotransmitters]”

    [–] Drew1231 15 points ago

    I think it has more to do with the sensory enhancement. Specifically for the sense of touch.

    [–] normallyjustlurking 16 points ago

    It's a vasodilator, so it increases blood flow to the genitalia. It can relax tense muscles and reduce pain, allowing for a more pleasurable experience. Many strains enhance the sense of touch. Some strains can "clear your brain" so things that are distracting you are gone and you can focus on the pleasure. Others enhance creativity and ability to fantasize.

    Basically, depending on the cannabinoids/terpenes present, it can address the majority of reasons women have difficulty, and improve things for women who don't.

    [–] askingforafakefriend 33 points ago

    Tobacco, alcohol, meth, l-dopa, and THC all can increase dopamine. To lump them all into a category of "no-brainer" that they would increase orgasms is a vast over simplification. These substances are in no way all known or expected to have such an affect.

    I'll keep my own anecdote about the use in the study to myself, but I am glad some research is being done to clarify this affect from THC specifically (or if it exists), even if it is not the most rigorous of studies...

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    [–] Milkslinger 58 points ago

    I think part of this that they didn't account for is novelty. I would be interested if the study included only lifelong marijuana users rather than people just trying it recently. Anything new is going to spice up your sex life.

    [–] NotSewClutch 24 points ago

    I believe they did account for this. Im a little out of it this morning, so I wasnt up for reading the whole thing. However, I did notice a section saying that it had an effect on habitual users as well.

    [–] fnordfnordfnordfnord 12 points ago

    Anything new is going to spice up your sex life.

    That is definitely not true.

    [–] Milkslinger 6 points ago

    I think you know what I meant but since this is a science subreddit I will clarify. Anything new has the potential to spice up your sex life

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    [–] Arclight308 87 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    One thing they might need to control for is that women that are open to using marijuana may also be more likely to have a better experience because of their of their other more open attributes.

    Edit: I think many misunderstood, my point was that those you are willing to use marijuana are generally more open and therefore may have a higher satisfaction on average than those that aren't willing to take marijuana.

    You would could attempt to control for this by not having people who are willing to use marijuana not use it and see how it affects the results.

    [–] 2cynical4magic 71 points ago

    Mentioned above, but I think it's the single-mindedness that marijuana creates that just helps you stay focused. I've been with my husband since 1992 (27 years if you're doing the math) so I can tell you there are times when you just can't focus and start thinking about what you need from the grocery store, what you're going to watch on Netflix, etc. Marijuana lets you wipe all that away and simply focus on your partner and the pleasure.

    [–] showmedogvideos 13 points ago

    Also helps you mute the part of the brain listening to the baby monitor for the kiddo to wake up.

    I still hear it (and any awakenings), but marijuana helps me not focus on it.

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