Dear Aria, What if I can only come when I’m high?

Category: Advice

Author: Aria Vega

Dear Aria,

I’m not afraid to admit it: I like to get high! Cannabis has been a good friend for a long time. I smoke weed medicinally and recreationally, which amounts to a near daily basis. I don’t usually have any shame or doubts about my use. At least I didn’t, until I met my most recent partner, who doesn’t really partake.

He’ll smoke with me when we’re at parties but it’s not a habit for him. Which is generally fine! But when it comes to sex, we disagree about the role that weed should play in it. He doesn’t like when I’m high while he’s not during sex because he says, among other things, that I don’t seem fully present. But I find it so much harder to reach orgasm when I’m sober. It’s an impasse that I don’t know how to move on from.

We’ve been together for almost a year, and my smoking hasn’t changed much in the time since we met. Apparently, he’s been uncomfortable for a long time, but only recently just brought it up. If the tables were turned, I don’t see him entertaining the idea of giving up a substance that enabled his orgasms. Yet, I’m expected to?

My pleasure is important, and I intend to advocate for it. But I’d hate for this to end us. What’s the way through this?


Pleasure Princess

Dear Princess,

Don’t be afraid to admit you like to get high! I’m a fierce advocate for all types of pleasure, especially in plant form. I happen to be a connoisseur of cannabis myself, also for medicinal and recreational purposes. Understanding how to use this plant in the way that best agrees with me has been just as life-changing as my sexual awakening.

That’s why my first instinct is to get behind you one hundred percent. Of course, you’re entitled to the max amount of pleasure you can conjure for yourself! What else are those endorphin receptors for? However, at the same time, when someone else is involved, especially when they’re a committed partner, things aren’t always quite so simple.

I don’t know where you live, Princess, but if it’s here in the US, then you know of the rapid legal and cultural sea change that’s been underway here when it comes to cannabis. As its medicinal properties have become better understood, and recreational use has become less stigmatized and restricted by law, weed has slowly wafted into the mainstream. However, many people are still unlearning old refrains about ‘Reefer Madness’ and continue to project them onto those of us who indulge.

I wonder if some version of that might be happening with your partner, whose social setting usage is still widely considered to be more acceptable. You say he only recently brought up his discomfort with you smoking before sex, even though you’d been doing so for a year, so it’s possible there’s even more to it than that. Does he only object to your substance use prior to intimacy? Or is he secretly unhappy about other aspects of it, like the frequency or time of day that you smoke?

Understanding exactly what makes him so uncomfortable will be essential to finding the way forward. If it really is just about the sex, that’s something you two can work around. Perhaps you can suggest smoking together before you fuck sometimes, so you can enter the sexual experience on the same psychic plane. Or, for when you’re both sober, adding heightened sensual elements like massage and vibration can boost sensitivity and blood flow, and potentially make it easier for you to come.

It could be possible that ego is an obstacle here. It’s not only cis het men who think of their partners’ orgasms as a referendum on their performance. There are all kinds of people who believe they must singlehandedly ‘give’ their partner an orgasm without any additional stimulus in order to seem sexually competent. If your partner is feeling upstaged by THC, emphasize the fact that it’s not a flower turning you on, it’s him! Helping him see your high as an aid that helps you enjoy him better could be a helpful cognitive shift.

However, if the real problem is that deep down he secretly judges you, or believes that you’re abusing your medical card, that might be a reason to cut your losses and move on. It’s unfortunate that your partner thought he could convince or compel you to change a habit that had been present from the jump but it’s not your responsibility to become someone you’re not just to please him. You have the right to smoke weed when and how you like, including in order to help you orgasm.

To be totally clear, it’s not that I think cannabis is an entirely innocent substance. Smoking anything regularly is hard on the heart and lungs. Even if you opt for edibles, any substance that alters your state of mind can make it dangerous to drive, or can suppress painful emotions that come back to bite later. And as your partner has observed, it can sometimes put you on another planet, for better or for worse.

You may want to consider taking this opportunity to take stock of your own emotions about your consumption, and the role it plays in other relationships. Is your partner the only person expressing concerns? Have you always struggled to orgasm without weed, or is that a more recent development, perhaps brought on by some sort of stressor?

If you come away feeling just as sure that your precious plant is an essential source of healing and pleasure, that’s fantastic! But it’s also okay if the relationship with your partner isn’t the only one that might need new boundaries. Best of luck on this journey, which I hope sees you keep your guy.



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