What does sex have to do with… Marijuana?

There are many arising arguments relating marijuana use and sex drive. In a simple Google search, I found multiple articles on the concept, coming from all types of websites, ranging from psychologists, doctors, sex bloggers and frequent weed users.

Unlike any other drug, weed seems to be the most versatile when it comes to response. A lot of people like the high, meanwhile a lot of people hate the feeling. Being under the influence of alcohol has never been known to decrease sex drive. However, mensfitness.com does claim that excessive amounts of alcohol are bad for libido, as well as harm erection and decrease orgasms. The same website does argue that alcohol in small amounts may enhance libido. However, this website did not state that the state of being drunk decreased sex drive, and no website made that claim.

            So why are the effects of marijuana different?

Many studies have been made on the effects marijuana has on sex for the past 45 years. The studies have all made completely different claims. The earliest study, done in the 1970s claimed that marijuana “destroys sex”. However, this study was contradicted by multiple studies through out the years that wanted to prove this wrong.

Psychologytoday.com claims that sex can in fact spoil your sex life in 4 ways. First, they claim it can affect fertility. “THC, can impair fertility by lowering sperm count and semen volume. It can also make sperm swim too fast too soon – a type of supercharging that causes them to burn out early and lose the energy to reach their destination. Even if the woman is the only one in the relationship using marijuana, sperm mobility can still be affected because the THC makes its way into her reproductive tract.” Second, it has been linked to erectile dysfunction. They claim that it might increase desire, but it decreases performance. Third, marijuana gets in the way of experience. Marijuana might have different effects on each partner. One might think that sexual intercourse has been lasting a long time, meanwhile the other partner, perhaps sober, realizes time on a realistic level. The person on the drug may also become more connected to the drug than they are with the actual person. The fourth and last reason that psychologytoday.com claims is that all of the negatives sure do outweigh the positives. Marijuana may seem great on the surface level, but at the end of the day, satisfaction is most likely not worth it.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHFBgIJNGZw

Here is a link to a short video provided by UCLA Health

 

Do you think that alcohol inhances sex drive?

Do you think that smoking weed might take away the intimacy of the over all experience?

Do you think weed decreases sex drive?

Do you feel there is a definitive answer, or that studies will continue to remain a mix between satisfaction and dissatisfaction?

It’s a Date

In the second chapter of her book Hooking up, Kathleen Bogle describes the history of how the dominant intimacy script shifted from dating to hooking up. She begins by responding to calls from various media outlets for a return to a more conservative sexual morality, which usually involve condemnations of hookup culture. She points out that dating is also a recent phenomenon, and that it replaced what came before it just as mush as hooking up replaced dating. The point of this chapter is to detail the transitions in intimacy scripts that led to dating, away from dating, and to hooking up.

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Football, Fraternities, and Rape

With students attending college now more than ever, the hookup scene and culture have grown in popularity. Whereas college was once a male dominated space, the presence of women on college campuses has surpassed that of men. In Hooking Up, author Kathleen Bogle writes that for every 100 women on campus, there are approximately 80 men. T Continue reading

What’s Sex Got to do with … Kim Kardashian

To many people, sex has everything to do with Kim Kardashian. Kim Kardashian rose to fame after her sex tape Continue reading

Final Concept Analysis: Social Constructions

When we began discussing social constructions in class, I was wowed. Of course, I have been living my whole life immersed in society and accepting all the messages it was sending me, but I never realized that all of it was just made up. We do, know, and think so many things that allow us to function within society, but most of this was learned. I didn’t inherently know that I was supposed to wear clothes when I left my house, brush my teeth twice a day, or eat three meals a day. I wasn’t born knowing that I was a white, German-blooded, Catholic female who lived in the US, and yet, I’ve grown up with these things as facts of life. Really though, those are all social constructs that have been made up by people and societies who’ve lived before me and taught to me by the people around me. Continue reading

Wait, What’s Hooking Up?

Sociologist Kathleen Bogle, a woman who experienced the early stages of the hookup scene herself in the early 1990s, found herself intrigued after trying to explain the hookup culture to a fellow member of the sociology department who was a member of the dating-era. Upon this episode, she was urged to follow up and do a study on it. To do so, she conducted a series of interviews throughout northeastern college campuses, and began to collect data. All of the information that she gathered was organized, forming her book, Hooking Up. She seeks to reveal many aspects of the current hookup scene on college campuses today, including what hooking up is, the shift from the dating scene, the existing double standard between men and women, and life after the hookup scene. the most interesting aspect of all of the studies to me personally is the question of what it means to hookup.

The main assertion in Bogle’s chapter about what it means to hookup is that there is no concrete definition; the definition can change based on the people involved, the situation, and the environment. This chapter features an interview with a man named Tony who attends a State University and helps explicate this idea further. In the interview upon being asked to define a hookup, he said that it could be taking someone home, spending the night with them, and having intercourse- but it could also mean just kissing, having sex, or other sexual acts. In Bogle’s dissection of this interview and others, it became clear that the term, “hooking up,” is very ambiguous. It can refer to multiple things, such as having sex, oral sex, making out, sexual touching, and just kissing. Students are aware of the ambiguity of this term, and it is clear that different people use the term differently. Because of this, saying that you have “hooked up” with someone begs follow up questions to clarify exactly how far the hookup went.

This is the problem with the term “hooking up”. The obscurity leaves room for people to make assumptions and form ideas of what happened when they really cannot be sure unless follow up questions are asked. Because of this obscurity, it is easy for people to blur the lines of hooking up, embellish stories, and downright make up stories of what happened during a hookup. The issue with this term is not what constitutes as a hookup, because clearly, the definition will shift based on the person that is asked and the situation, but it is the uncertainty that follows the term because of the ambiguity of the term itself. A person saying that they hooked up with someone is normal, and expected of college students; however,  problems can begin to arise when others make assertions about someone else’s hookup.

In class when asked to define hooking up, most everyone had different answers, similar to Bogle’s interviews, yet some were the same. The definitions really do vary based on a student’s age, friend group, environment, social scene, upbringing, etc; agents of sexual socialization could also play into this. The definitions also shifted between males and females. From these discussions, it has become evident that the “bases” metaphor to hooking up no longer stands and has shifted, and that there is a disparity between what these terms and ideas mean whether you are a man or a woman. It seems as if the bases are beginning to go further than they have previously. What is now “first base (making out accompanied with sexual touching” is what used to be second, and what is now “second base (oral sex)” used to be third. Some might even argue that oral sex comes with first base, but not necessarily both male and female oral sex; oral sex performed on males is now expected to happen prior to oral sex performed on females in heterosexual relationships.

Relating all of the assertions made in Bogle’s book, formed and class and made by me, myself, proved to be very interesting when relating them to the social groups I am involved on here on Vanderbilt’s campus as well as other college campuses across the country. Once again, the definition of hooking up varies based on the person. In my friend group here, hooking up seems to mean having sex to the more sexually experienced girls, whereas to the less sexually experienced girls, it could mean kissing, making out, or possibly oral sex. To those who are more sexually experienced and hooking up means sex, they would say they just made out if that is all that happened rather than saying they “hooked up.” This is very normal here on Vanderbilt’s campus, but compared to other schools, there are disparities on the hookup scene and definition of hooking up. My three best friends go to Arizona State University, University of Kansas, and University of Portland. At Arizona State, my friend said that the hookup scene is so prevalent that hooking up, regardless of who the person is, almost means sex. The same goes for at Kansas, yet not quite to the same level ASU. However, at Portland, the scripts are much like here at Vanderbilt.

Why do think that the hookup scenes vary from campus to campus? Why is Vanderbilt’s so unique? Does region and prestige play in a role in this? How influential are the agents of sexual socialization in someone’s definition of hooking up?

 

Merrill Durham’s Doula Presentation

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A few weeks ago, a local Nashville Doula (named Merrill Durham) came into our class to explain what she does for her profession and why. A doula is a woman who helps pregnant women throughout the magical journey of pregnancy. Doulas provide both essential moral and necessary physical support to expecting mothers and guide them through the grueling nine-month process of being with child. The word doula actually comes from the Greek meaning “a woman who serves.” Doulas understand birth as an irreplaceable experience that women will remember for the entirety of their lives. Doulas offer a close companionship and comfort to pregnant women and help lead them through their processes with reassurance and encouragement.

Merrill Durham was first introduced to natural birth only a short 4 years ago in 2010. Immediately after experiencing her first home birth, she began to understand how natural, normal, and pure birth is and should be. She began to attend multiple in home natural births over the next few years. She studied up and read every book and watched every movie on natural births and doulas and fell in love with the profession. It was clear in class as she was presenting how passionate she is about her work and about in home births. Merrill, herself, then became pregnant in the year of 2013 with her own child and her passion for natural births continued to grow. She birthed her daughter in her own home and experiencing the birth first hand only made her realize how special and natural birth really is. Merrill Durham was in labor for four days. While this seems crazy (opposed to a hospital birth in which labor typically is much shorter), Merrill loved the experience and it brought it her closer to her daughter in a unique way.

Studies have shown that there is an increasing amount of benefits to having a doula available at births and throughout pregnancy. When doulas attend a birth, there tends to be 25 percent shorter labors, a 50 perfect reduction in Caesarean births, a 40 percent reduction in pitocin use, 30 percent fewer requests by women for pain relief, and 60 percent fewer epidural requests by women. A lot of women also choose to do home births instead of hospital births because there are multiple benefits. While hospital births are now most popular and well known (due to their convenience), home births historically have been very normal. A lot of women choose to have a natural in home birth because they are in the comfort of their own home and are mentally much more open to giving birth. Also, it is more beneficial for the child because the mother is in a much more relaxed environment. Furthermore, the absence of medication is better for the mother as well as the children in the long run—and doulas often encourage a completely natural birth with no pain medication.

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For some reason, there are various myths about pregnancy that have been spread over the years that scare expecting mothers. While pregnancy should be thought of as a wonderful, happy, and joyous experience—it is stereotypically categorized as extremely painful, tiring, and altogether terrifying. This is where doulas come in. Most doulas grow to be very close to their pregnant patients because they spend a lot of intimate time and help the expecting mothers get rid of all of their pregnancy fears. A lot of women think that pregnancy will ruin their body and stretch out their vaginas, which is very untrue. Women also think that pregnancy is going to be the most painful thing they will ever experience—and that will make it a horrible experience.

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After Merill Durham’s presentation in our class, I thought a lot about in home births versus hospital births. Although most people do not traditionally use a doula, I think I definitely will when I decide to have children. The way Merrill explained her experience—it made it seem like she grows extremely close with her patients and they are exceptionally comfortable around her. I think it is very important to have that tight nit relationship with the people and doctors involved in your own pregnancy. Women who have negative experiences during their pregnancies most likely are unfamiliar and distant from their doctors and nurses. I feel that if I had a doula who I was close with while going through my own pregnancy, it would be much more pleasant and comfortable. Doulas usually attend births for women who desire to have natural births without medicine or painkillers. I am not sure if I could have a baby with no medication—although Merrill explained natural births as being very beautiful. Whether or not I have a natural birth or choose to use pain medication, I will definitely hire a doula. I want my pregnancies to be as sacred and memorable as possible and enjoy the process instead of being uncomfortable and scared.

 

Would you prefer to have a home birth or a hospital birth? Do you want to have a doula present at your birth? Why do you think there’s a certain stigma on doulas and in home births? What stigma do you see associated with them? Why do you think women aspire to be doulas instead of nurses? Aside from the physical benefits, what are the mental benefits (provided by the doula) for a woman giving birth?

The Dome of Sex: AKA a College Campus

Most people see college as the easiest time to have sex with friends, classmates, or strangers.  It is probably the only period in life where thousands of young people live in the same community and have (for the most part) a similar goal in mind: sex.  For this reason, I see college campuses as domes of sex, and this sexual vibe will not disappear anytime soon.  In Chapter 5: The Campus as a Sexual Arena of “Hooking Up”, Kathleen A. Bogle analyses the prominence of sex in college and how it elicits misperceptions and certain behaviors among students.

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