Everyone has a wild hookup story, or at least nowadays it always seems that way. And while I immensely enjoy listening to my single friends’ theatrically illustrate the details of their casual sexcapades, I can’t help but spot a common thread throughout their range of stories…pain.
Some prefer to call it discomfort, feeling that pain is too harsh a term. Regardless, I noticed that pain, in some way shape or form, is always involved in casual penetrative sex.
It is not only the pleasure gap that we are up against, but it is also the presence of pain in a disempowering way.
Let’s face it, pain and pleasure often go hand in hand, especially during penetrative sex. However, when pain is derived from a place of insecurity or due to a lack of communication, it seems to disrupt the pleasurable aspects of the encounter rather than intensify the overall experience.
For many, a healthy amount of pain or discomfort during penetrative sex feels normal, if not perferable, and helps eroticize the whole process. Some enjoy a bit of hair pulling, some prefer light choking or slapping, the list goes on and on. The main takeaway is that pain and pleasure are not in contrast to one another. In fact, “using sophisticated brain-scanning and a carefully controlled way of inducing muscle pain” scientists at the University of Michigan uncovered that dopamine, aka the “pleasure chemical,” is directly linked to pain response in humans.
Clearly, pain can lead to pleasure. That said, my question is what happens when pain inhibits pleasure? From what I have observed through my personal experiences, and from listening to my peers, pleasure is derived from pain only when it is coming from something within your control. When the pain is out of control, due to a multitude of reasons, the pleasure that the pain stimulates is negated by the emotional discomfort it causes. With this in mind, I decided to use my unimpressive Instagram following to further investigate the connection between pleasure and pain during penetrative sex.
I knew from enough morning-after conversations with friends that casual penatrative sex seems to come with dryness, irratiation, and sometimes injury. Citing my social media poll, some of the factors that lead to this include: lack of communication, fear of one’s male partner perceiving dryness as an inability to get their partner wet, fear of one’s partner perceiving slightly uncomfortable sex as bad sex, a lack of accessibility to lube and general insecurities around asking for lube.
When asked: “do you use lube on a regular basis during causal penetrative sex” 87% of the 15 people said no. When asked: “do you usually experience pain during/after penetrative sex?” over 50% voted yes. Isn’t it ironic to think how easily the second problem would be fixed if the first problem was addressed? If lube was present, I’d bet the stats on painful penetrative sex would go down.
“When I said yes to pain, I meant more discomfort than being dry,” said one friend/poll respondee on the topics of pain, pleasure, and lube. “It’s not necessarily painful, but it’s not enjoyable.”
“With a one night stand, there’s sometimes just a lack of access to it (lube). In a casual setting, I feel like you’re still walking on eggshells a little bit around (men), and in my experience I’m nervous they would associate me being dry with them not being able to turn me on… It’s the same reason I’ll fake orgasms, it’s like wanting things to go smoothly at the expense of my pleasure.”
This experience was a commonly held one amongst the people I polled. In short, it concludes that the pain and pleasure divide is ever present in casual hookup culture.
I know, you’re probably like, “what the fuck.. is there any way to even have genuinly pleasurable casual sex without disempowering discomfort?” I get it, and I’m here to say, yes. There is. And the answer is with moisture… lots of it.
Sex involves friction and movement, so lubrication is vital to keep everything running smoothly. Anxiety, menopause, side effects from SSRIs or the classic alcohol induced dryness, there are about a million reasons why someone might not be able to create enough natural lubricant for sex to be the wet and wild experience it should be. On a physical level, dryness can lead to irritation and even infections, but for many of us, it goes deeper than that.
Most of the time, sex starts in the mind. Your mind can be your worst enemy. In the bedroom, your brain often retaliates by making it harder for you to focus on your pleasure, which often leads to dryness, which often leads to discomfort, which often leads to less pleasure. It’s really a vicious cycle. So, it is not just an issue of physical discomfort leading to a lack of emotional or erotic stimulation. Rather, it is also an issue of emotional discomfort being the catalyst of physical discomfort, ultimately disrupting pleasure.
One medicinal way people broke the code, increased wetness, and improved comfort during penetrative sex is through — you guessed it — smoking weed!
To me, there is nothing more arousing than rolling up a jay and smoking it with my partner before we have sex. The instant the smoke hits my throat and I feel the stress release from my body I know that I am moments from feeling my best, most sexy self.
In particular, cannabis helps my mind disengage from external distractions and brings a sudden wave of ease over my body. The THC gives my brain a rush of stimulation and the CBD gives my body and excuse to let go, making me aware of my flesh, bones and muscles in a way that helps me feel in control before high energy sex. Staring in the mirror as I look at my face through a more introspective lens that the psychoactive elements of THC provide, I see a more intimate, organic version of myself that turns me on as much as it reminds me of the power of my feminine sensuality. I know I look hot when I smoke, so when I do it before I have sex, even just the practice of putting my lips up against the phallic imagrey of a bong or a joint puts me in the mood.
Cannabis’s ability to seemingly slow down time, elongates foreplay and enables me to be aware of my physical presence in an empowering way. CBD is the main contributor to the beneficial bodily effects of cannabis because it is said to increase lubrication and provide aftercare. Thus CBD of any kind is beneficial for non-smokers to dip their toes into because it allows the benefits of the plant to be harnessed without that person having to smoke cannabis.
That all said, not everyone reacts to cannabis the same way, some of us get paranoid or anxious around new people when we smoke. So, topical CBD allows less frequent users to enjoy the magic of cannabis and sex, without the awkward side effects. It is also a practice that should be adopted by avid smokers who typically underutilize the magic of CBD because the market for smokable cannabis is oversaturated with strains that have incredibly high levels of THC and minimal levels of CBD. With all of this in mind the questions still stands, does CBD actually make sex better or is it all a farse?
Scientifically speaking, this subject is wildly understudied for one good reason: the war on drugs. Weed has been illegal or taboo for the majority of US history and the medical field has turned a blind eye to a potentially magical medicinal plant. However, according to Dr. Jen Gunter, the author of “The Vagina Bible,” “some hypotheses include increased blood flow to the vagina, improved nerve signaling either in the vagina or brain (i.e., cranking up the chemicals that tell you that you are feeling good), or a reduction in anxiety and inhibitions helping women let go sexually. The tachycardia (increased heart rate) that can come from cannabis may make some women feel as if they are aroused.”
Integrating weed into your foreplay is not going to get your pussy stoned, and with the lack of research available it could be a placebo effect for all I know. If there is any reason for you to consider bringing weed into the bedroom, it is because it hits two birds with one stone: lubrication and aftercare.
Now this is where lube comes into play, specifically CBD lube. If there is one product I think can solve the issue of pain and pleasure in causal sex, it is the Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD (formerly Intimacy Lubricant) from an amazing brand called Foria Wellness.
I hesitate from comparing such a desirable act to the mundane, there is a benefit in looking at your sexlife in the same lens you would a pre/post workout routine or a skin-care regimen. When you’re engaging in penetrative sex, you’re body is in full motion — there is friction, there is heat, there are beautiful bodily fluids and you’re (hopefully) experiencing immense pleasure and an ultimate rush or two of euphoria. You should treat your genitals with the same type of care you give your face when you are layering up multiple different products during your night routine. For people engaging in penetrative sex, this means taking time to nourish and mousituize your vagina or anus because believe it or not, they love moisture.
In my experience, most lubes suck. They’re sticky, they’re runny, they leave residue and they have bottles that are wildly unarousing. Unlike these gel based lubes, Foria Wellness’s Intimacy Oil with CBD works wonders during sex and does so without being gross or unsexy. The bottle is a beautiful amber shade with a delicate logo and detailing that makes it an amazingly aesthetic addition to my night stand. If that wasn’t enough to sell you, this lube also smells subtly of coconut and has the luxurious texture of facial oil. The cherry on top is that it does not leave a residue that most lubes do. In the most dramatic of descriptions, this lube makes me feel like an effortlessly wet sex goddess, and my partner and I cannot get enough of it.
If you take anything from this spiel, I hope its a desire to be more real when it comes to pain, especially during penetrative sex. When we become aware of the way our muscles move, tune into the subtle sensitivities of our flesh, and acknowledge our bodies ability to self-heal, we come into control of our physical form in a way that allows us to give into pain during sex in an empowering way. Hopefully, this leads to pleasure. Next time you have some money to spare, think about making an investment in both your sexual health and your erotic pleasure, and order yourself a bottle of Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD. Not only is it a luxurious lube that will counter discomfort, but it’s also a playful way to take autonomy over pain and pleasure in the bedroom. Once you start having consistent wet and wild sex, you’ll know who to thank.
Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD can only be used with poly-urethane condoms, such as: Trojan Polyurethane, FC2 Polyurethane Female Condom, Unique Polyurethane Condom here is more info from Foria Wellness’s guide to first becoming intimate with the oil 😉