This is Exactly How Legal Weed Can Improve Women's Sex Lives

Cleo Stillers Story appeared in Fusion

The last time I got high, I woke up on my couch with an empty jar of Nutella in my hand—so that was the last time I got high. You know what I mean?

But it's very likely I haven't been doing it right: A growing number of women are turning to cannabis in states where it's legal to improve their sex lives—and in some cases, experience sexual pleasure for the very first time.

In San Diego, California, where cannabis is legal with a doctor's prescription, I met with Nick Karras, a sexologist and vocal proponent of using marijuana to treat sexual dysfunction. Karras has spent years collecting data on the effects of cannabis on sexual activity, "with the hopes of promoting wider discussion of the possible uses of cannabis in the realm of sexual medicine."

According to Karras, with the right strain and dosage, cannabis can decrease anxiety, slow down your thinking, help you connect with your partner, and heighten your sense of touch. "Cannabis increases your ability to have empathy with other people, so that you can get into their shoes and get into their feelings," he says. "All of your senses are alive. You can feel your skin and touch is so sensual when you're high."

While the plant can have positive effects on both genders, its benefits hold particular promise for women, whose sexual satisfaction so often hinges on the body-mind connection.

During my visit, Karras connected me with Ashley DeMarco, a 26-year-old yoga instructor who has recently become an evangelist for cannabis in the bedroom. "It wasn't until I was using cannabis that I had my first amazing sexual experience," she told me.

As more states move to legalize marijuana, more women will likely experience the fireworks that Ashley describes, too.