It’s not hard to figure out why boozy nights often lead to hookup regrets (oh, hey, impaired judgment and beer goggles), but it is interesting to know that getting super high doesn’t have the same effect, according to a new study by researchers at New York University. Not only that, but having sex when you’re stoned is also likelier to give you more pleasure, in addition to fewer regrets.
The small study, which was recently published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, involved in-depth interviews with 24 straight adults about sexual encounters they’d had under the influence of marijuana or alcohol. The feedback they got indicated that having sex when you’re drunk is generally a lot riskier than when you’re high.
People said they had worse judgment when drunk than when stoned; were likelier to black out and forget who they were with, what they were doing, and whether they used protection (yikes); were more apt to feel dizzy or throw up while having sex drunk; and more often reported feeling regret, shame, or embarrassment after having sex while drunk. They were also likelier to have sex with strangers. “Once you start drinking, everybody looks good,” said one 34-year-old female participant.
The negative effects of getting laid while blazed were different and less dangerous: feeling paranoid, less motivated, or distracted, for instance. “You’re so high, you start thinking sex is weird. ‘What is sex?'” said one woman. People also reported feeling more control overall, even if they were mentally impaired or thinking paranoid thoughts.
But we haven’t gotten to the best part yet. While we’re not advocating that anyone needs mind-altering substances of any sort, if you’re on the fence about which kind of night you want to have with your S.O. (or even a girls’ night out that could lead to meeting someone new), this might tip the scales in favor of weed: People had significantly better-feeling sex when they were stoned, reporting longer and more intense orgasms under the influence of pot. One female respondent said hers were “magnified by at least five times.” Five times!
“Everything is sort of blunted and muted [with alcohol], whereas with marijuana it’s intensified,” said one male respondent. And the numbing effect of alcohol was also associated with longer-lasting sex—a.k.a. whiskey dick—but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. “It sometimes lasts too long,” said one woman. “Compared to when you’re high—it feels so great and it might be a little shorter.”
Oh, and if you’re not sold yet, cuddlers, take note: The study also noted that high sex tended to be “more tender, slow, and compassionate” and “involve more sensation and sensuality than alcohol.” In other words, if you’re a HSP (highly sensitive person) and already shy away from casual sex and one-night-stands with strangers, getting wasted on shots probably isn’t the best way to loosen up before having one. If you’re going to get fucked up on one substance or another, weed is probably the better pick.