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Everyone seems to be fascinated with drugs and sex. The reason for this insatiable curiosity is not hard to understand; both drugs and sex can be very powerful experiences, and curiosity is high when knowledge is low. This is why marijuana supporter Laurence O. McKinney covered the topic in-depth for Head magazine. Drugs and sex have both been unbelievably sensationalized during this century. You can always explore the inside of your head for a couple of bucks, and, given the right sexual partner, anyone can be a king or a queen. Since both experiences are extraordinarily personal, you really can’t find out about them until you try them.
Drugs have the same effect on sex that sauces have on food. Béarnaise sauce is great on steak, and tomato sauce is fine on Italian meatballs. However, chocolate sauce would be miserable on tilapia, and only a madman would douse French pastries with Worcestershire. Some dishes are too finely-flavored to require any dressings at all, while a select group of yahoos will slop ketchup over anything on a dish. In other words, there's a bagful of possibilities ranging from the exquisite, through the ludicrous, to the simply awful.
Comparison of Weed and Sex
There is nothing as unique as your mind—it's the most personal thing that you have. The chemicals in two Molly tablets may be identical, but no two brains have the same biochemical makeup. Not only is your brain chemistry unique, but your personal experiences constantly rearrange and modify your feelings and values. The interaction of any mind-altering drug with your one-of-a-kind mind will always be a one-of-a-kind experience—never before and never again the same.
A sexual sharing between two individuals is, likewise, a unique personal experience. Ask anyone you know with more brains than a turtle, and you’ll get the same answer: the better the mental and emotional match between the two partners, the better the sexual experience. It's your mind that moves your body, after all, and gives that movement meaning.
As a result, the finest experts in sex or drugs might be able to come up with personal opinions or very generalized descriptions. The former won't pertain to you anyway, and the latter won't tell you what you really want to know. Nobody in the world will ever be able to tell you what it will really be like for you, nor will you be able to tell what it will be like for anyone else.
The fact is that "sex-and-drugs" have been popularly tied up with what I call the Jekyll and Hyde syndrome. Ever since Robert Louis Stevenson's short story, the concept of a mind-altering drug has been sensationalized as some sort of potent elixir which dramatically changes one from the sensible to the sensual—from the rational to the debauched. For years, the anti-drug forces have treated everything, from marijuana to heroin, as the long-lost Jekyll and Hyde potion, capable of transforming the finest young sprout of pure innocence into a slavering brute.
It is an interesting aside to note that Stevenson, the author of Jekyll and Hyde, himself occasionally used cocaine. Of course, in reality, drugs are like sauce. They do change the flavor in a number of interesting—and occasionally most uninteresting—ways. They can also backfire. It's this last possibility which should be avoided, and forewarned is forearmed.
Drugs in General
There are two general statements which can be unequivocally applied to sex and drugs:
- Too much of any drug will eliminate both the desire and the ability to indulge in any sexual activity at all
- A person may relate all sorts of experiences as having been the result of the use of one or more drugs
This relation can in fact occur when there was no drug present, or in such negligible quantities as to be unable to cause the effects described.
Getting into the latter statement first, it has been observed by everyone from Mesmer to Maharishi that the human mind is enormously open to the right sort of suggestion, especially if the person has a desire to believe. Just as an older acquaintance of mine has related stories of getting uproariously drunk during Prohibition on a pitcher of “martinis” which turned out to be ice water (not to mention the old Coca-Cola and aspirin chestnut), there are a lot of people in the poorer sections of our major cities who will swear on a stack of little silver spoons that cocaine made them into towers of sexual powers. Ghetto coke is usually so stepped on that it could barely resuscitate a mosquito, far less a human. I have personally witnessed a supposed aficionado of the superfly set do up a line of pure xylocaine (a local anesthetic often used as a cut) and exclaim with dazzled eyes, “Now that’s real coke.” I’ll bet he had a fine time later on.
The power of suggestion is often the chief ingredient in a drug-enhanced sexual experience. Drugs are, of course, just one category of substances which are flim-flammed into aphrodisiacs, as any marketer of perfumes and aftershave lotions can attest to. The only thing a mind-altering substance is going to change is your perceptions of what's going on; it can't, in the absence of mutual attraction, make sex happen.
The other statement about drugs relates to the function of the brain itself. Aside from being the source of feelings, emotions, and personality, the brain is essentially a very delicate biochemical balancing device. It keeps a careful watch on the millions of little biological balancing acts which keep you alive, from regulating the amount of oxygen in the blood to the rate at which you grow your toenails. If you are going to alter a control device, you can only do it in two ways: you can make it speed things up, or you can make it slow things down.
All mind-altering drugs, therefore, can be placed in one of two categories: stimulants or depressants. The reason that they may seem to have the opposite effects at times is simply due to the fact that the brain is never played with voluntarily; as you speed it up, it tries to slow down, and vice versa. The laid-back, sleepy feeling which often comes after getting stoned is the aftereffect of the stimulation which was the major part of the high; the unpleasantness of a hangover is largely a heightened awareness of light, noise, and all the irritation you caused your gastrointestinal tract with the alcohol. The brain is designed to keep you in balance—otherwise you'd be dead. If you speed it up, it'll try to slow down—slow it down, and it'll try to speed up. By the time your kidneys have dumped the stuff into the bladder, you are left with just about the opposite of the effect you wanted, equal in power to whatever the drug- induced effects were.
In the case of your consciousness, this stimulation or depression can be seen as “more aware” or “less aware.” Your normal awareness is what you start with; as you go in either direction, things will become less and less cohesive to you. This helps to explain why too much of any drug eliminates sexuality—at one end of the spectrum you're so fired up and fascinated by everything that you haven't got the patience for anything as complex and drawn-out as sex. On the other side, you're so deadened that you're stretched out cold. You're most in touch with your personal version of reality right in the middle of the spectrum, with your sensitivity and awareness right where they normally are. Of course, variety is indeed the spice of life, and there are a number of ways to spice up the brain with various drugs to get some very interesting effects.
Marijuana and Sex
But does marijuana increase sexual pleasure? Well, yes—and no—and maybe. Here's how it works:
Marijuana is a stimulant. Any brain stimulant will increase your awareness in some way or another, depending on what part of the brain is being stimulated. The effect is that your awareness and feeling of things is heightened. In the case of marijuana, the stimulation seems to occur mainly in the higher thought centers rather than in the deeper emotional centers. Since these higher centers have a lot to do with your imagination, speech, and vision, you tend to become more attentive to things happening outside of you, and you think about them a lot. Since marijuana causes you to focus the “thinking” part of your mind on things, you get more into intrinsic values rather than their personal emotional meaning to you. You are, generally, more fascinated than moved; there is great delight in the details of thought and experience, but less cohesive integration into your “normal” way of perceiving and feeling things.
Bringing your moment-to-moment experience into this sort of sharp focus can be useful as well as fascinating. We all tend to get habituated into certain ways of thinking about things; bringing them into this be-here-now sort of focus can often bring out details which we may have overlooked at other times. This minute examination of the momentary is also the cause of that time-delay effect which all marijuana users are very familiar with: “It’s only been fifteen minutes?”
When it comes to sex, the natural effect would be to get more into the details. You are far more attentive to touch, smell, taste, and the appearance of things. The experience may be drawn out considerably, and it may be sensually amplified. But it is the details which could be amplified, rather than the wholeness of the experience. While sensuality is increased, intimate emotional communication could be dampened. Sex could perhaps be much more erotic, but it may not be as loving or sharing. With an old friend, lover, or mate, this will not be a problem. You know each other very well anyway—this sort of sex will be lots of fun and very gung-ho. You can compare notes later, even if you may have been on totally different sensual head-trips during the action itself.
On the other hand, this same fascination with details can backfire if you aren't already comfortable and at ease with your partner. No matter what they say, marijuana is a lousy seduction drug. It makes you think more—not less. The tendency to hone in on the immediate can completely interfere with a seduction scene; a seducer has to keep his or her mind on the plan of action, which can be awfully difficult when you’re stoned out of your gourd. You may get totally involved with the sun glinting off her bracelets, and she may be there wondering why you still have Spider-Man sheets. Also, you may discover that that cute little nose suddenly bears a tremendous resemblance to the nose of your grandmother's Pekingese, rendering you incapable of contemplating anything remotely affectionate until you can stop concentrating on it.
Back to the plus side, marijuana doesn't affect your muscular coordination the way alcohol might. It’s a mild enough drug that you may lose interest in sex, but you won't usually go through any emotional horror shows. If it doesn't work, you can always try again, and there's no harm done to either partner. With a comfortable partner, it can add some very exciting and fascinating dimensions to good old, blatant sexuality. That increased sensitivity combined with the time-delay effect can help build up—and finish off—some truly shattering climaxes. It can be one hell of an experience. And, of course, no hangovers the next day.