Previous studies have shown that cannabis use can make for better quality sex, both physically and emotionally, but this is the first investigation to exclusively focus on non-straight men. Published in Culture, Health and Sexuality the researchers sought to identify how cannabis use features within the sex lives of young sexual minority males in a setting where non-medical cannabis was recently legalised (Vancouver, Canada).
Forty-one men aged up to 30 years were recruited to participate in the study, which was supported by the Canadian Institute for Health Research, and which involved in-depth, semi-structured 1-2 hour interviews about the mens’ experiences with cannabis and sex.
As might have been expected, many men described using cannabis to reduce inhibitions and increased sexual pleasure.
But there was another large section in the group that described how use of cannabis prior to sex reduced feelings of anxiety and shame.
In an article for The Conversation the authors of the study, based at the University of British Columbia and the University of Montreal wrote: “In other words, the sexualized use of cannabis can help sexual and gender minority men overcome feelings of anxiety and shame resulting from internalized homophobia, biphobia and/or transphobia, so that they can more fully enjoy the sex they want".
Many subjects also said that cannabis helped them deal with anxiety connected to their own physical appearance, especially when meeting new sex partners via hook-up apps.
It’s not possible to draw sweeping conclusions from the study, as researchers only recruited a small number of men from one specific geographical region. However, the authors do point out that cannabis is a much safer alternative to illegal “chemsex” drugs, such as crystal meth, which may appeal to the demographic of groups like this.
As such it would definitely be relevant for further study to investigate how cannabis may be able to reduce or replace more harmful drugs used during sex, perhaps leading to safer sex as a result.