Anyone who’s tried stoned sex is familiar with the highs and lows that come with having sex after smoking a blunt. Generally speaking, most sexually active folks who like to use the helping hand of these substances agree that sex just feels better when you’re stoned compared to when you’re drunk or sober even. This is because marijuana makes you feel relaxed and magnifies all your sense which is considered a perfect recipe for great sex. On the other hand, alcohol is known to increase your desire but it, unfortunately, numbs your senses and skews your thinking leading to poor choices, disappointing performance, and subsequent regret. To dig deeper into the different effects these substances have on our sexual behavior and satisfaction levels, researchers from the New York University have interviewed adults who’ve recently smoked marijuana before sex. The researchers found that there were more negatives in drunk sex than there are in stoned sex.

Some background info

The new study, which was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior was conducted by researchers who are affiliated with the New York University’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR). Because there’s an obvious rise in the popularity of marijuana smoking in the US, the researchers at the New York University wanted to examine if marijuana use increases the odds of risky sexual behavior in US adults. As Joseph J. Palamar, Ph.D., MPH, an affiliate of CDUHR and an assistant professor of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center (NYULMC) explains it: with marijuana becoming more accepted in the US due to the implementation of liberal policies, examining the effects these drugs have on sexual behavior is important in order to inform users of the sexual risks and harm of marijuana use.

About the study

The study team recruited a total of 24 adults ages 18-35. These adults were all heterosexual, HIV-negative, and the gender ratio was 50/50. All adults said that they had recently smoked marijuana before having sex and gave plenty of info regarding their experiences with that type of practice. Some of the questions asked had to do with partner choice, ambient, perceived attractiveness of self and others, and feelings of regret following sex. Other questions touched upon the physical aspects of sex such as if there was sexual dysfunction like premature ejaculation, body sensation, length and intensity of the sex, and the quality of orgasms. In general, alcohol use was mostly associated with outgoingness and easier partner connection but lead people to choose partners they were less likely to hook up with when sober. As a result, alcohol consumption was likely to lead to post-sex regret which wasn’t the case with marijuana.

The different effects marijuana has on sex

An interesting finding from this study is that alcohol was used to meet new partners while marijuana was more likely to lead to sex between people who already know each other. The reason for this discrepancy is simply because alcohol is legal and available in bars, clubs, and other places where people tend to meet. Marijuana, on the other hand, is still illegal in most states so people have to smoke it in private settings and the ritual seems to encourage intimacy between people. These findings suggest that marijuana use may be associated with less risky behavior than alcohol consumption.

Some similarities of marihuana and alcohol

But the researchers also found some similarities between both types of stimulants. The participants said that they found that both drugs led to a loss of sexual inhibitions, but the effect was nevertheless greater when alcohol was consumed. While both alcohol and marijuana heightened the overall sexual experience, in some cases both led to unfavorable sexual outcomes. Marijuana was linked to vaginal dryness while alcohol led to erectile dysfunction. But unlike alcohol, marijuana did not impair judgment, so people were pickier about who they had sex with when stoned. Another side effect of marijuana use was increased anxiety and apprehension when smoked in unfamiliar settings which were never the case with alcohol. All these effects, when taken together, led the researchers to conclude that marijuana was less likely to lead to risky sexual encounters than in the case of alcohol.

Similar studies

The study is not the first to examine the sexual side-effects of marijuana use. A study published in a 1988 issue of Alcohol found that neither alcohol nor marijuana use had any effects on the sexual behavior and frequency of sex in women. An even older study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that marihuana use was in most cases associated with greater sexual enjoyment and the study concluded that marihuana might be of some value in the treatment of sexual disorders. But in general, marijuana was more often than not associated with greater sexual satisfaction and functioning while this was never the case with alcohol. The THC compound in marijuana enhances feelings of well-being and relaxation while simultaneously intensifying the senses. This effect of marihuana can help get you in the mood for sex, but it may also make you less interested as marijuana is known to cause apathy in some cases and even lower testosterone levels.


With marijuana legalization taking place, we should expect a rise in popularity of this psychoactive drug. Because drugs and sex often go hand in hand, researchers are concerned about the effects marijuana use has on sexual behavior. The study conducted by New York University researchers found that marijuana may be tied to less risky and much more enjoyable sex than alcohol consumption. But we’re still far from seeing marijuana being recommended as a sexual dysfunction cure or aphrodisiac. Although marijuana can help make sex more fun, it can cause anxiety in some cases and make you feel too lazy for sex. The effects marijuana has on sex hormones is also concerning so men may want to stick to testosterone boosting supplements like Alpha Fuel XT  to make sure that their hormones are in check.