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Living with ED

| April 1, 2021, 12:52 CDT

Don’t Let Your Sex Life Go Up in Smoke

For me, marijuana was a godsend for help with several issues—but not erectile dysfunction.

I’ve dealt with erectile dysfunction (ED) for nearly 15 years. For me, there’s a major mental and emotional component to the issue. The more I care about my partner, the more problems I have performing in the bedroom. What happens when I have little or no emotional connection? No problems at all—usually.

Because of this, I thought marijuana might help me relax and eliminate the mental and emotional pressure I felt with the partners I care about most.

Yeah, that was a bad assumption.

Giving weed a chance

For nearly 10 years, I’ve had a friends-with-benefits (FWB) relationship with my former high school and college sweetheart, who happens to now be my best friend. We don’t have sex often, but it happens from time to time. I care about her more than any other woman, and I have some sort of performance issue nearly every time we’re intimate.

My penis usually works well enough to have sex, but it’s a struggle. My FWB is incredibly patient and kind, so it hasn’t been an ordeal.

My FWB smokes marijuana daily, and she finally convinced me to try it to see if it would help me get to sleep at night. I asked if she knew whether weed helped with ED. She didn’t know, but she said smoking right before sex greatly enhanced her sensations and orgasms, so we decided to give it a shot.

The first time we smoked together, I intentionally didn’t smoke too much, since I wanted to attempt to function. But I was definitely high. When the time came for sex, nothing happened. No erection. No excitement. No sensation. It was as if my body had no idea what was happening in the moment.

Despite the less-than-ideal results, we eventually decided to try it again.

A few months later, we went on a trip together. We stopped at a marijuana dispensary as soon as we arrived, and both of us were high by the time we got to the hotel. We immediately began to make out and, again, nothing. Room service saved me from further embarrassment by knocking on the door as I struggled to find any signs of life downstairs.

Do your homework

I could have avoided some of that embarrassment with a little research. A 2019 study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health suggested a strong tie between cannabis use and erectile dysfunction. The research analyzed almost 3,400 men. More than a thousand of them (1,035) smoked marijuana; the other 2,360 did not. Of the men who smoked, more than 69 percent suffered some sort of ED issue. The prevalence of ED issues in non-smokers was only 34 percent. The study noted, however, that more research is needed to confirm or disprove this connection.

While there’s no definitive proof that marijuana use causes ED or increases the risk of it happening, it definitely did for me. Weed has been a big help in many aspects of my life, but not in the bedroom.

*The writer's name has been withheld to protect their identity. Unfortunately, sexual health issues still carry a stigma that makes many people uncomfortable airing intimate details of their lives in public. One of Giddy's aims is to make this stigma all but disappear, and to help create a culture that promotes open and honest conversation about all matters related to our sex lives. We understand this type of shift takes time, and we hope you join us in this pursuit.

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