What do poly people and stoners have in common? Well, quite a bit, but let’s start with this one — they tend to be more open to new experiences.
And, if you feel stuck in a rut with your current monogamous situation, cannabis can help you begin communication with your partner and explore the variety of relationship formats available to you.
What is polyamory?
The word “poly” is thrown around a lot these days, so let’s get clear on what it means. In Latin, polyamory literally translates to “many loves.” Therefore, poly people not only have sex with but date more than one person. Before you get too excited, understand that polyamory is very difficult. First, imagine all of the relationship stress just from dating one person. Now, multiply that by however many partners you desire. Factor in scheduling conflicts and interpersonal drama, and it’s quickly easy to see that polyamory is not for the faint of heart. However, if it’s right for you, being poly can mean finally honoring your truth.
People often conflate polyamory with ethical non-monogamy (ENM). ENM is an umbrella term for the various relationship formats available other than monogamy. Examples include open relationships, in which people sleep with others but try not to become emotionally involved. Some couples swing, some couples only date and sleep with others together, and others prefer a “don’t ask, don’t tell” set-up. And, of course, some people are genuinely monogamous. The only relationship format you want to avoid is unethical non-monogamy, otherwise known as cheating. Cheating hurts so severely not because someone slept with another person but because of the lies, betrayal, and deception involved. To avoid going down this path, everyone must take an honest look at their needs. If you are a serial cheater, it’s probably time to consider ENM. Cannabis can make exploring all forms of ENM, including polyamory, much more accessible. Keep reading.
How can cannabis prepare you mentally for polyamory?
Talking to your current or prospective partners about opening up a relationship is complicated. Thankfully, just like our parents warned us in high school, research shows that cannabis can lower our inhibitions. While any substance, including cannabis, can be abused, it’s doubtful that the plant medicine will cause you to blackout or become aggressive in the same way alcohol does. Instead, it tends to calmly lower your inhibitions, allowing you to bring up scary topics, such as opening up a relationship. If you’re already practicing ENM, this effect can help you communicate honestly and authentically with your partners.
Research also suggests that cannabis can enhance creativity by enhancing our ability to connect seemingly unrelated ideas, called divergent thinking. (However, while low doses can help, consuming too much cannabis can actually negatively impair divergent thinking, giving you another reason always to consume responsibly.) Enhanced creativity is not only excellent for brainstorming book ideas or writing a song, but it can help us come up with unique solutions to problems. Regarding ENM, this means working out scheduling conflicts (poly people are known to have several shared Google calendars), such as how to spend the holidays.
How can cannabis prepare you emotionally for polyamory?
It’s a myth that poly people don’t get jealous. But, of course, they get jealous, wouldn’t you? It happens all the time; poly folks just tend to be better prepared for the emotion. As anyone with anxiety can tell you, it’s hard to think straight with anxious voices filling your mind, coming up with all sorts of scenarios in which your life will implode. But that’s why we use medical marijuana to treat anxiety. Remember that once again, the dosage is critical, as overconsumption can lead to paranoia. However, if you’re familiar with your body, cannabis can help you be present and quiet anxious thoughts. From there, you can look at your emotions with an impartial mind. Why are you feeling jealous? Does your partner’s partner (known as a “metamour”) trigger your insecurities? Do they have the financial stability, family life, or hair that you crave? Usually, jealousy tells us much more about ourselves than other people. When you’re feeling calm and rational, it’s much easier to talk through these issues with your partner(s).
Cannabis can also help you view the world from a glass-half-full perspective by lowering negative bias. Not only does this help you stay in the moment, enjoying your time with each partner, but it helps folks connect emotionally, enhancing intimacy as well.
How can cannabis prepare you physically for polyamory?
And now, for the really fun part. Yes, dating or sleeping with more than one person comes with more headaches than you’d imagine. But you are still sleeping with more than one person, which is a lot of fun for a lot of people. If your form of ENM predominantly involves threesomes, as you only date and sleep with other people with your primary partner, your sex life may involve more than one person at one time. And cannabis is incredible at enhancing sex.
Marijuana is a vasodilator, meaning that it enhances blood flow. During sex, this can translate to an improved orgasm. It’s wide to keep a topical on hand. When applied to areas of the body with mucus membranes, such as the vulva or anus, pain decreases, and pleasure increases. Sorry, penises, this is one part of life that you’re left out of (but that’s what inhalation or edibles are for). If you enjoy anal sex, a cannabis suppository or lube can make penetration more comfortable without numbing you out the way over-the-counter creams can. Topicals are also fantastic to use as massage oil. Because cannabis reduces inflammation, it’s also lovely to apply a salve to any (consensual) bites, bruises, or bumps picked up during sex. Just always make sure that your product is condom-compatible, as safer sex practices become even more critical when you have more than one partner.
Finally, cannabis can enhance all of our senses. That means that you can find patterns in your partner’s eyes and get chills from the sound of their voice. Both their taste and smell can awaken a latent desire in you, and of course, we can’t forget about touch. If all of the above reasons aren’t enough to integrate cannabis into ENM, do it for the enhanced contact during sex.
Any ENM setup requires regular communication and checking in. It’s hard work, especially polyamory. However, if you have a history of ruining relationships with cheating, ENM can mean finally receiving love in a manner that’s best for you. And, what’s more, is that cannabis can be by your side for all of it.