Any conversation about sex and marijuana must include, and in this case start with, famous astrophysicist Carl Sagan.
That’s right. The brilliant mind who gave us the original “Cosmos” series and made incredible contributions to science also liked to partake of cannabis from time to time. In fact, he actually wrote an essay about marijuana use under a pseudonym, “Mr. X,” that later appeared in the 1969 book, “Marihuana Reconsidered.”
Sagan wrote that marijuana enhanced eating, music and also sex. He also wrote that marijuana led to “exquisite sensitivity” and made sex last longer. He even wrote that there is a “religious aspect” to some marijuana use.
So was he on to something, once again a man ahead of his time?
Marijuana & Sex: Research On the Issue
Most studies through the years have found a majority of respondents felt that marijuana enhanced their sex life, although some called it a libido killer. Research has been difficult in the United States because of marijuana’s continued illegal status at the federal level.
However, a new study from Europe released in late 2016 suggests that not only is marijuana good for sex, it might even be used for those experiencing sexual dysfunction issues.
Researchers from the University of Catania in Italy and Charles University and Masaryk University in the Czech Republic worked on the study. About half of those surveyed said marijuana had an “aphrodisiac affect’ and 70 percent said it enhanced pleasure and satisfaction.
Those findings almost exactly mirror the findings of a study in the 1970s by author Erich Goode as well as a 1980s study published in the Journal of Sex Research.
So What’s The Answer?
No one knows absolutely for sure, but the study findings certainly suggest cannabis enhances sex for a majority of people.
It’s important to also note that some researchers have suggested dosage has a lot to do with how marijuana affects sex. A small amount might enhance the experience, while a larger amount could actually diminish the libido, according to a study by Wayne Koff in 1974.
The issue also involves two very complex situations. Scientists still are researching how marijuana reacts with the brain and how it affects the neurological system. And sex remains an area of study as enjoyment or lack of enjoyment involves many biological and psychological factors.
Still, there are those 70 percent numbers from the studies. And there’s Carl Sagan.
More From Sagan
Since you have found yourself reading an article about Carl Sagan and marijuana – and who knows when that will happen again – here are some other aspects of marijuana that Sagan wrote about as “Mr. X.”
He wrote that marijuana “has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I’m down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse.”
He also wrote, “I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of racism in terms of gaussian distribution curves.”
Which is the sort of thing that apparently happens when you are Carl Sagan. The point is he spent the next hour writing what amounted to 11 essays on a variety of topics, much of it used in lectures and commencement speeches. And all of it, he said, came to him after he had used cannabis.