The first time I got stoned was in the back of a car when a hot senior passed me a joint. I was in the ninth grade. I accepted to impress him, and felt a rush of endorphins from the attention that was greater than the buzz itself. A decade and a half later, cannabis is an integral part of my romantic identity—but now I have the power. I buy it. I smoke it. I pass it to my boyfriend, we get stoned, and have mind-blowing sex on it.
My early 20s were mostly spent drunk and testing the strength of my septum. By 25, it was time for a healthier lifestyle. At 28, I've found that for me, the importance of going green goes way beyond recycling: from the basil and spinach growing in the apartment I share with my partner to how I now relax, with teas and the other kind of herb.
The way we talk about weed is changing. Forget the tacky lava lamps and the Sublime blacklight posters and the Cheeto-bloated high school boys. With the sweeping legalization movement, marijuana is getting a much-needed makeover, showing up in everything from elegant wedding photography to upscale dining experiences. Marijuana is also starting to be seen as a dating tool: There are dating apps for stoners and even cannabis dating coaching.
For me, it's made me a better person—and a better girlfriend. Here's how.
1. Weed Makes Me Slow Down
How I understand mindfulness (with credit to my therapist) is simply being present. You certainly don't need drugs to practice mindfulness. In fact a sober (okay, except coffee) two-minute morning meditation is one of the best ways for me to set the tone for the rest of your day. Yet in my experience, when I'm stoned, being in the moment comes as second nature. When you're mindful (okay, and stoned), mundane activities become more fun, from finally washing the dirty dishes to giving blowjobs, two activities my boyfriend absolutely appreciates. (Sorry, honey, for referring to a blowjob as a mundane activity.)
2. Girls' Night Just Got Better
My weekly girls' night is more crucial than therapy for me—the only way to curate the patience needed to put up with your significant other is to get a night off to bitch about them. You don't need weed to have fun with your friends, but keeping a tightly-rolled joint on the table makes things a whole lot more interesting for us (although the cheese plate does disappear sooner).
3. Date Night Food Is *Enhanced*
While alcohol has long been reigning queen of dates due to her ruling of bars and restaurants, adding a packed bowl to our "Netflix and chill" night makes staying in to binge-stream House of Cards far more enjoyable. My boyfriend and I have a long-standing Sunday tradition of taking a long walk with a vaporizer in hand to catch a flick, then following it up with nachos at our favorite neighborhood Mexican spot.
4. Marijuana Helps Me Not Drink
Being drunk was not a good look for me, nor for my relationships. I was messy. I'd pass out and ruin chances of decent sex. There was a fair chance I'd make out with someone else. For me, putting down the booze and picking up the bud has been the most positive lifestyle shift I've ever made (perhaps aside from giving up veganism and returning to eating cheese). I'm kinder. I'm present. I'm loyal.
5. My Orgasms Are Stronger
Just gonna say it: Stoned sex is awesome. And should you queef, you'll really be able to laugh about it.
6. Pot Helps Treat My PTSD
Cannabis has long been hailed for its use as a treatment for PTSD. As a sexual assault survivor, I have lots of anxiety around sex—so I've integrated weed into my sex life as a way of alleviating my PTSD symptoms.
7. I'm Less of an Asshole
Being a Scorpio, I'm rather intense. Emotional regulation is not always my strong suit. When I want to put down the boxing gloves and pick up the giggles, cannabis is excellent for changing date night conversation from a lecture on the Perils of the Patriarchy to how we can use a horse suit to sneak my boyfriend into a concert I have a press pass to. Studies have shown that the THC in cannabis can aid in emotional processing, which may explain while I'm more pleasant to be around.
8. Weed Unlocks Our Dual Creativity
A mystical old man once told me that as a creative, my partner should be one as well. I take his advice with a grain of salt; I have creative girlfriends who are happily partnered with everyone from Wall Street traders to home inspectors. But for me, a benefit of dating a fellow creative is settling time apart for *joint* (heh) writing dates and helping one another with projects.
9. Cooking Becomes an Adventure
Getting stoned together and staying in to cook a meal with my partner makes me wonder why I ever leave the house. They say that cooking is an art and baking is a science. Well, the art of experimenting with spices and creating a new stir fry recipe to elegantly meet your munchies upgrades your stick figure art to a memorable masterpiece.
10. Pot Brings Us Closer Together
When I'm stoned I find myself behaving more openly and compassionately, which makes for more emotional intimacy. Plus, my boyfriend's jokes are funnier.
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