While more people use alcohol as a social lubricant than they do pot, “alcohol was more likely than marijuana to lead to atypical partner choice or post-sex regret,” the abstract reads.
Marijuana seems to have something of the opposite effect, both because of its illegality in most states which causes it to be a more private and intimate experience than, say, bar hopping, and because it has a tendency to make people want to socialize with those they already know and with whom they feel comfortable.
This leads to sexual encounters that are less likely to be between strangers.
Researchers interviewed 24 adults, an admittedly small sample size, about their experiences having sex under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, which they had to have smoked before sex at least once in the past three months.
“With marijuana becoming more accepted in the US along with more liberal state-level policies it is important to examine users’ sexual experiences and sexual risk behavior associated with use to inform prevention and harm reduction,” lead author Dr Joseph Palamar said.
“Results can inform prevention and harm reduction programming that will allow us to design more realistic programs and to craft interventions, which guide potential users to make safer choices,” the study says.
Alcohol was also reportedly connected with more increased aggressiveness, potentially causing issues surrounding consent.
“It feels like you get a lot more primal (on alcohol),” said a 27-year-old man who participated in the study. “Like ‘I need this,’ and I’m just going to do whatever. But being high — it’s not something like you’re like, ‘Oh, I need to go out and get some girls.'”
“Sex being drunk — it’s more aggressive. Sex on alcohol is more like savage sex. I go in with the mind frame of I’m going to hurt this woman. She’s going to go home and she’s going to tell all her friends,” said a 33-year-old man.
Both men and women told researchers that they had woken up regretting who was next to them.
“You might wake up next to someone you never intended on doing anything with them, just because you didn’t have control and you were drinking so much. I was actually, the next day, thinking, what did I do?” a 26-year-old woman said.
Another woman said alcohol made her more likely to have unprotected sex.
Marijuana was found to lead to riskier sexual behaviors as well, but not to the same extent as alcohol.
The authors recommend larger studies be conducted. All of the participants were heterosexual.
So, let’s do our own little “study.” What are your experiences of drunk and high sex? Let us known in the comments.