This article contains descriptions of drug use and sex. This writer is not suggesting the purchase or consumption of illegal drugs. In the spirit of harm reduction, this writer strongly urges folks who choose to use drugs (whether legal or illegal) to research how this may affect them and/or interfere with prescriptions they already take.
People partake in drugs to feel pleasure. Monique Tula, executive director of the New York-based National Harm Reduction Coalition, speaks to adrienne maree brown about drug use in Pleasure Activism, saying: “First and foremost: no one should be punished for what they put in their own body if it doesn’t cause harm to other people.”
“Pleasure is that ‘I’m alive’ feeling that can intersect with addiction, control, coping, escape, trauma and so many other experiences of harm.”
(adrienne maree brown, 242)
I am not promoting drug use, but I am suggesting that people exercise critical thinking before judging someone for using. It’s also important to question the reasons a substance is illegal. A quick Google search into the racist history around cannabis prohibition should explain the importance of paying attention to motives.
“Sluggish, lazy, stupid, and unconcerned.”
(Rosie Watson quoted in Frank Ocean’s “Be Yourself”)
The above quote is a mother pleading with her child to not smoke cannabis. I’ve been smoking weed for years, and, yes, she’s right that weed can make a person act in those ways. But it has also been a wonderful medicine for myself and many others. Now that the Canadian government has deemed weed legal to consume, much of the stigma and derogatory language once attributed to it are slowly disappearing.
I take an SSRI antidepressant every day to thrive (and function). In a way, it has helped my sex drive, because wanting to die is not a very sexy feeling. But one side effect of SSRIs can be difficulty climaxing.
Cannabis has once again shown up in a very helpful way in my life. It helps me tune into the delicate sensations required to climax and tune out unwanted distractions. Diane di Prima writes about fucking under the stars while stoned out of her mind: “(We) made love, and made love again, smell and touch alive as never before, all our skin one flaming organ of touch.”
I will never forget the first time I had sex on mushrooms, because it was beautiful, and because it was the first time I ate ass. It is incredibly vulnerable to be high with someone you are having sex with, even if that person is yourself. Sensations are heightened, the ego disappears, and an uninhibited ability to feel it all takes over.
An hour into my mushroom trip, my skin begins to tingle. I look at the hairs on your chin like tiny evergreen trees, and I count them while my eyes dilate. The blue around my pupils disappears. The television screen is paused, and a giant, glowing orangutan is watching us fuck. We will never climax, only get closer and closer, like an asymptote. The present is stretched beyond my comprehension of time, warped so that this moment is now forever. I cannot comprehend how much love I feel for you pulsing through my entire being.
I’m thankful for the sex I’ve had on drugs. I’m thankful for those overwhelmingly gorgeous moments of connection with someone I love, my own being and the living, breathing earth around me. These moments have served as reminders for me to stick around, to take time for holy pleasure.
Madeline Rae is a pleasure activist, writer and artist living on Treaty 1. Rae holds a BFA Honours in performative sculpture and is graduating with her BA in psychology in June 2021, while pursuing a career in sex therapy. She is trained in client-centred sex education and harm reduction. She can be found at motherofgoo.com.
Published in Volume 75, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 20, 2021)