Sex, Intimacy + THC & CBD Part Trois
It’s February and we are going to be inundated with messages about love and sex. Retailers are going to flood our feeds and tv commercials with messages about sex and love hoping to cash in on the Valentines “holiday”. The profitability of sex is rooted in the fact that sex and intimacy are foundational to human connection. Companies have made a mint exploiting their understanding of how sex (the physical acts between individuals) and intimacy (the emotional bonds that tie these acts to deeper feelings of closeness and trust) are so very important to the fullness of our existence. When done right, there are very few things that can come close to matching the feeling- we feel things we cant quantify. Btw, if you're really stimulated by this topic, we've actually touched on this a few times before which you can find here and here.
In the past few decades, science has come around to supporting what we’ve always known; sex and intimacy are important parts of our overall health and well being. Making space in our lives for us to freely and safely explore these elements is crucial for holistic health: optimizing our physical, emotional, and psychological operations.
Pearl : Couples engaging in consistent intimate communication report higher satisfaction levels, not just in their relationships but also in their personal well-being.
Pearl : Emotional intimacy has been linked to lower cortisol levels, suggesting a direct impact on stress reduction.
🎶🎶 Baby I feel Good, Baby I feel Good all Over 🎶🎶
High quality and regular sex and intimacy provide a lot of health benefits to the people getting it in. From boosting the immune system to enhancing mental health. Regular sexual activity is associated with reduced stress, improved heart health, and even a longer lifespan.
Pearl : Regular sexual activity is linked to improved immune function, with sexually active people taking fewer sick days. (even if they’re taking those days off to have sex )
Pearl : Engaging in intimate relationships and activities can lead to an increase in oxytocin, the "love hormone," which promotes bonding and stress reduction.
I’m Sorry Baby, It’s Not You…It’s Me 😔
Sometimes, despite our best intentions there can be a failure to launch. Both male and female rockets can get stuck on the launch pad, unable to reach ignition. Sexual dysfunction manifests differently across genders, with men often experiencing erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, and women facing conditions like arousal disorder, lubrication issues, and orgasmic disorder. Factors influencing these conditions include age, health status, psychological issues, and lifestyle choices.
Who's Really Down Bad?
Sexual dysfunction's prevalence varies significantly across genders, ages, and races. For instance, erectile dysfunction is more common in older men, particularly those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or obesity. Women's sexual dysfunctions, including arousal and desire issues, often have a psychological component, such as stress or past trauma, but can also be influenced by hormonal changes post-menopause.
Differences in race and ethnicity have been noted, with some studies suggesting that African American men are more likely to report severe erectile dysfunction than Caucasians. Interestingly, these differences can also be attributed to socioeconomic factors, access to healthcare, and comorbid conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol rather than race alone (race affiliated with all those conditions). Maybe it’s not you... 🤔
Pearl : Up to 52% of men experience some form of erectile dysfunction, with the prevalence increasing with age.
Pearl : Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) affects approximately 40% of women, with arousal and desire disorders being the most common.
Pharmaceuticals Running Game on You
Pharmaceutical options like Viagra for men and flibanserin for women offer chemical pathways to enhance sexual function, though they come with potential side effects like dizziness, heart palpitations, nausea and constipation. For many people, those side effects are serious enough that these are not viable options. For some others, who may have underlying medical conditions, they are a major help. Despite the effectiveness of the drugs, it’s also important to consider that they may be keeping some of us from acknowledging that our health: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, financial plus every combination is very poor.
Pearl : Viagra, while effective for erectile dysfunction, does not work for 30-35% of men who try it due to underlying conditions.
Pearl : Flibanserin, approved for premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, has shown modest improvements in sexual desire and satisfaction but carries side effects like dizziness and fatigue.
Flibensarin was originally designed to be an antidepressant by working on serotonin production (remember this). It didn't work well on depression but female study participants did mention they had a more frequent desire to get busy. 💃🏾
Viagra was originally designed to treat hypertension and chest pain by dilating blood vessels and thereby increasing flow to the heart. During trials, researchers discovered that the true location of a man's heart is his penis proving the drug worked exactly as intended. Yeah its a dad joke, I had to do it 😂
The Old Man is Making a Guinness Shake 🤢
When I was a kid, whenever one of my older brothers said that, they would all start acting weird- some making crass insinuations and others giggling. With the closest one in age to me being 5 years my senior, they had a certain understanding of the nuances of male-female relationships that I had not yet developed. I thought Guinness tasted nasty (it still kinda does) and yes mixing a raw egg in there like he did was even nastier although the milk and sugar took some of the edge off it lol. Heck, even though Rocky made it seem like raw eggs were an important contributor to his power and stamina. I didn't understand what all the fuss was about until I got older. Suffice to say, at some point in my twenties, I found myself drinking Guinness regularly.
Throughout history people have had a number of different sexual enhancers, elixirs, aphrodisiacs and performance enhancers. I can mention several off the top of my head: spanish fly, horny goat weed, tequila, mamajuana, ginseng, maca root and those honey packets that have hit the streets in the past few years. Some other enhancers include tribulus terrestris and yohimbe which are traditional herbal remedies purported to boost testosterone levels and improve erectile function; Muira puama, used as an aphrodisiac in Amazonian traditional medicine; and Ginkgo biloba, sometimes taken for its perceived ability to increase blood flow to the genitals (concept sound familiar)?
Despite the purported claims, we have to remember that many of these supplements can have just as serious side effects (if not worse) than pharmaceuticals if not prepared or taken properly. There can also be some serious drug interactions, and some simply just don't work. The best holistic approaches address sexual dysfunction through lifestyle changes, therapy, and natural remedies, focusing on the mind-body connection and aim at providing the most benefit with the least risk.
Pearl : Regular physical activity can enhance sexual function in women by improving physical health, body image, and reducing stress levels. *VERY IMPORTANT*
Pearl : Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been effective in treating premature ejaculation, improving sexual confidence in up to 58% of men. Some of us are doing it to ourselves, but not in the right way.
Speaking of doing it to ourselves…
Masturbation: You Kinda Feeling yourself, huh?
Masturbation is a natural and healthy sexual activity that is often overlooked in discussions about sexual well-being. For most of the population it is their first sexual experience, but it is often stigmatized which can contribute to sexual repression and dysfunction that may persist throughout life much in the same way traumas can.
Self play serves multiple functions in both male and female sexual health, acting as a means of self-exploration, stress relief, and sexual satisfaction. Slowly but surely we're moving past the taboos and myths historically surrounding it. Modern medical and psychological thought leaders are more comfortable highlighting masturbation's role in promoting sexual health, understanding personal desires, and even improving sexual relationships and confidence. We can all agree that a person who is very in tune with their sexuality is very sexy. Make sure you tune your instrument before you go letting others perform with it. 😉
Masturbation and Health Benefits:
Stress Relief and Sleep Improvement: Masturbation releases endorphins and dopamine, neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of happiness and relaxation. For many, this activity can lead to improved sleep patterns and reduced stress.
Sexual Function Enhancement: Regular masturbation can help individuals understand their bodies and sexual responses, leading to better sexual experiences with partners. For men, it can also improve erectile function and for women, enhance lubrication and sexual arousal.
Pearl: Studies suggest that masturbation can contribute to improved cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes by improving glucose tolerance.
Pearl: Regular masturbation is linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer in men, likely due to the release of toxins from the prostate gland. Be careful though- you still might go blind. (just kidding 🤣).
Cannabis, CBD, and Their Role in Sex and Intimacy
The use of cannabis and CBD in sexual activities is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to their ability to enhance sensory experiences through serotonin (sound familiar?), reduce anxiety, and alleviate physical discomfort. Here's how they contribute to sex and intimate activities:
Enhanced Sensory Perception: THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, is known for heightening sensory perception, making touch, sound, and sight more intense during sexual activities. This can lead to more enjoyable and satisfying sexual experiences.
Anxiety Reduction: CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, which are common barriers to sexual arousal and enjoyment. By promoting relaxation, CBD can help individuals feel more present and connected during intimate moments.
Pain Relief: For those experiencing discomfort or pain during sex, such as women with conditions like endometriosis or men with chronic pelvic pain, CBD offers anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Pearl : A survey revealed that approximately 20% of people who use cannabis for sexual enhancement report longer and more intense orgasms.
Pearl : CBD lubricants are gaining popularity for their ability to enhance lubrication, reduce pain, and increase sensitivity during intercourse.
Incorporating Cannabis and CBD into Intimate Activities
When considering using cannabis and CBD in intimate settings, it's important to communicate openly with your partner and start with low doses to understand how these substances affect your individual and shared sexual experiences. Products designed specifically for sexual use, such as CBD lubricants or THC-infused oils, can offer targeted benefits while minimizing potential discomfort.
Wrapping It All Up
Something we didn't mention was safety. We all know the old saying that safe sex is the best sex. If you’re not in a committed monogamous relationship (and honestly/ unfortunately, even if you are) the best sex is always safe sex. That is not just limited to the use of condoms and barriers to prevent contracting sexually transmitted infections (STI’s, which used to be known as STD’s, which used to be called VD). Safe sex also involves absence from fear, physical violence, coercion and the freedom to express the fullness of your being.
Most of all, we need to remind ourselves that sex is not just a pleasure, it's a health issue. Your personal sexual journey is going to differ from others and that's ok. Be safe, have fun and make sure you live a lifestyle that makes you feel good.