Sex on the Grass by Fatima Mechtab

Sex and weed is a beautiful combination. I love the prolonged sense of delightful physical sensations and the blissful haze that envelopes me; euphoric warmth, which is a union of both my lover’s energy & the effects of THC. As someone who has a difficult time relaxing, a toke before a poke melts me into the moment; it carries me off on waves of pleasure and away from my own oppression thoughts.

There has been much research into the effects of THC in relation to sexuality; mainly positive accounts, although there are some counter arguments as well.  For example, archives of High Times Magazine shows varies articles, ranging from the best strains of bud for ‘bedtime’ to the aphrodisiac  effect of weed on women to whether or not marijuana can change the shape and quality of sperm.  In the September 2015 edition of the online blog Thought Catalogue Anthony Franciosi covers 6 positive effects of THC which ‘will make your sex life a thousand times better.’ Personally, I could not agree more with these sentiments-all of them resonated true for me.

The marriage between smoking weed and sexual activity dates back to the 7th century, in places like Egypt and India. In the 1998 Cannabis Culture Magazine article   Terry Necco explores the ancient Indian traditions of using marijuana in Tantra, and Serbian rituals involving a ‘marijuana porridge,’ (called ‘nasha’) eaten by virgins before their first sexual intercourse, to lessen the pain.

While there are many historical and modern accounts on the positive effects of marijuana and sex, there are some which argue that marijuana can cause abnormal sperm quality, disengagement during sexual activity and even paranoia. Of course, like any substance, reactions can differ between individuals; an aphrodisiac effect in one person may cause an adverse effect on another.

Acts of smoking/ingesting marijuana while having sex has been well documented but what about the parallels between cannabis culture and the culture of actual sex clubs? As the Marketing Director/Event Producer for Oasis Aqualounge- a water-themed, clothing optional adult playground, in downtown Toronto-I wanted to explore the ways in which these subcultures unite and share similarities.  While Oasis Aqualounge does not allow ‘illegal’ substances on premise, many of the patrons/staff (myself absolutely included) embrace 420 culture and use it to complement their own sexual experiences and beliefs-figuratively and literally.

A Sharing Community

The act of sharing is common in both cannabis culture and sex club culture. There is a golden rule of ‘puff puff pass,’ when sharing a joint within a group. Sharing marijuana creates a bond between the smokers and the high can be intensified with the embrace of communal energy. It creates ‘openness’ and allows a group to take a beautiful journey together.

Sex clubs, like Oasis Aqualounge, cater to a variety of people; those who identify as polyamorous, swingers, those who are in monogamous relationships and some who are ‘in between’ or just exploring different fantasies and desires. While sharing partners (or ‘swapping’) isn’t common to all guests, there is a universal understanding that is ok to openly share your sexual experiences-in whatever form that may be. Exhibitionists welcome voyeurism and some partners enjoy their significant other performing sex acts on others. Concepts of jealousy and relationships are broken down and openly discussed-we share our passion and our sexual selves within the environment and often, it creates a unique bond between guests.

 Community Education 

One wonderful similarity between cannabis culture and sex club culture is the willingness to share information/skills within a group setting. Since both subcultures are constantly evolving, workshops are available to those who want to learn about different areas. There are countless speakers, presentations, forums, conferences, workshops and smaller group gatherings that are devoted to the continuous education within the areas of health, food, relationships, identity, etc. My personal belief is that subcultures are not treated as seriously as other, more ‘conventional’ types of societies and thus, were never given a traditional platform of education. Therefore, we chose to create our own and through grassroots movements, larger communities were born, to the point where we can educate ourselves.

Questioning of Social Norms 

As a ‘subgroup,’ cannabis culture and sex club culture break down traditional/conventional beliefs-either through organized political action or by act of simply just choosing what feels right to the individual. The Oasis Aqualounge mission statement affirms ‘We believe that our current society stifles sexuality between consenting adults. In particular, we want to encourage women to move past limiting beliefs and body consciousness. ‘ The very act of attending a sex club is in and of itself an act of rebellion against social norms that perpetuate gender stereotypes of sexuality and often serve to oppress women’s bodies and experiences.

In cannabis culture, the use of marijuana to treat illness offers an alternative way to look at not only prescription medication but the medical industry as a whole. While the act of using marijuana as a treatment dates back thousands of years, doing so in this day and age puts you at legal risk and could condemn you in certain social circles.  The saddest example of this was the recent raiding of 43 medical marijuana dispensaries, which resulted in 90 arrests and 257 criminal charges being laid.

Smoking weed and having sex are activities that most people enjoy-often paired together. What makes these two actions more profound is the human element and the supportive communities that can be found within each subculture. Sex clubs culture and cannabis culture not only share a ‘bed,’ but also a brain and a heart. It is truly a beautiful and complete relationship.

This original piece of writing first appeared in High Canada Magazine, June 2016 edition.

Fatima Mechtab