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Sex. Love. Life.

Telling it how it is

Trade Sexual Health is a health charity working with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGB&T) communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (United Kingdom).

What we do.

All about Trade

Trade Sexual Health is a health charity working with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) community of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

We offer a range of free and confidential support and advice services around sexual health and HIV information; one-to-one emotional and practical support; support in ‘coming out’, sexuality and relationships; rapid HIV testing; community based men’s sexual health clinics; safer-sex packs for men and women; and a fully qualified counselling service.

Services.

How we can help

Trade offers FREE and Confidential advice, information and support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) community of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

We believe that by providing you with these services, you will be able to make more informed choices about your sexual and overall health.

Sexual health.

Safer Sex

Practicing safer sex means protecting yourself and others from sexually transmitted infections and HIV infection by taking the necessary precautions during sex and foreplay.

Support.

Keeping you up-to-date

There are a whole host of of support organisations specifically for the LGB&T community within Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Within this section we aim to give you an idea of what services are available for a range of differing needs. We try to update this on a regular basis, however if there is a service you know of that isn’t listed, or one you cannot find please contact the Trade office on 0116 254 1747.

Social life.

What’s happening?

This area is to help you find your way around groups, services, venues and events for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

We continue to update this section on a regular basis, but if we miss something or a LGB&T service, group or venue is not listed, send us an email or give us a ring and let us know.

Professionals.

Get the facts

Welcome to Trade’s section for professionals working in the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) health, or for those Healthcare professionals who just want to widen their knowledge base. In this section there will be resources, links and information covering a wide range of topics from healthcare to transphobia/homophobia and schools to safer-sex as well as Trade’s bespoke training packages, which could help your organisation become more LGB&T aware.

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Cannabis

Cannabis

What’s the Score?

Cannabis is also known as marijuana, Mary Jane, dope, pot, spliff, hash(ish), weed, puff, grass, herb, draw, wacky backy, smoke, ganja, hemp, or skunk which is a much stronger variety.

It’s a psychoactive (mood changing) drug made from the buds or flowers of the cannabis plant. It can come as a block of soft, greenish/brown resin or can look like dried herbs, in which case it’s known as weed, marijuana or grass. THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main active chemical in the drug that causes the high.

Sex on Cannabis

Cannabis can make you feel horny, increase your sense of touch and lower your inhibitions. If you take too much its tranquillising effects get in the way. Orgasms may seem weaker but more sensual and not just felt in the dick. There can be a stronger sense of connection to who you’re with, with sex being more ‘touchy feely’.

But the drug can also make people feel withdrawn and less interested in sex. If you smoke it with tobacco, you have the same long-term higher risk of erection problems that cigarette smokers have.

Taking Cannabis

Cannabis resin is usually mixed with tobacco and smoked in joints. It can be smoked using a bong which is a kind of water pipe, eaten, for example baked in cakes, or drunk in warm drinks.

Highs and Lows

You can be high or stoned for up to four hours after taking cannabis. This can make you feel chilled out, sociable, talkative and giggly. You might feel you have new insights into life and experience touch, sounds and colours differently. It can also cause a distorted sense of space and time, and you might hallucinate. Cannabis can also make you feel hungry, sleepy or light-headed, and it can dull pain.

Cannabis can leave you feeling ‘woolly headed’ and can cause short-term memory loss, confusion, co-ordination difficulties, and slower reflexes which makes driving dangerous. Higher doses can make you feel sick, anxious, paranoid, or panicky.

A Long Term Relationship?

You can become dependent on cannabis. It can leave some people with a poor memory and less able to concentrate or stay motivated – the classic ‘dope head’.

Researchers are looking at the link between cannabis and mental illness as the drug seems to trigger mental health problems, including schizophrenia, in a small number of people. This is more likely to happen in people who already have depression or anxiety or who are vulnerable to mental health problems, although they usually won’t know they’re vulnerable.

Mental illness seems more likely if you use cannabis as a teenager, if you use it a lot, or if you use the stronger types.

Cannabis with Other Drugs

Tobacco – smoking cannabis with tobacco has a high risk of addiction to nicotine and smoking-related illness like cancer, heart disease and breathing problems. People smoking both cigarettes and cannabis take in very high levels of cancer-causing tar.

Alcohol – using cannabis and alcohol together can have negative effects. You may feel sick or lose track of how much of each substance you’ve taken. This also leaves you open to taking risks you might not otherwise.

HIV drugs – there are no known dangerous interactions, however, one study has shown that marijuana decreases the levels of Atazanavir in the blood.

Useful to Know

Cannabis smoke contains more harmful substances than cigarette smoke.

Smoking it with tobacco has the same health risks as smoking cigarettes, such as cancer, chest and breathing problems. The risk may be higher because cannabis smokers breathe in deeper and for longer.

Eating it gets round these drawbacks but it’s harder to control the dose and the effects can be much stronger than you might want.

Using bongs is more harmful than joints because you breathe in more drug and smoke.

The Law

Cannabis is illegal. In 2009 it was reclassified upwards from a Class C drug to Class B. Possession can now mean up to five years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Intending to supply cannabis, which includes giving it to your mates, can mean up to 14 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

Trade Sexual Health, 2nd Floor, 27 Bowling Green Street, Leicester LE1 6AS

Sex. Love. Life. Telling it how it is Trade Sexual Health is a health charity working with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGB&T) communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

Cannabis vs. alcohol: which is better for sex?

As legalization brings cannabis out into the open, sex is becoming a major area of interest for brands as well as smokers. It may even make some consider turning to cannabis instead of the most well-known sex-enhancing drug, alcohol. How exactly, then, do the two substances compare?

According to a new survey by the vibrator startup Lioness , the answer is unequivocal: Cannabis wins. Of 432 people surveyed, 66% said cannabis makes orgasms more intense, compared with only 2% who said the same of alcohol. Similarly, 55% said cannabis led to more satisfying foreplay, compared with 3% saying the same of alcohol, and cannabis gave 57% of people longer sessions (though it decreased the time it took to reach an orgasm), while alcohol did the same for just 6%.

While this study was sponsored by a cannabis company and is not the most objective, there’s other research supporting this point . A 2007 study in the Journal of Pharmacology compared people’s reports of sex with alcohol and sex with illicit drugs, including cannabis and ecstasy. While cannabis wasn’t studied individually, the researchers found that people reported greater willingness to experiment and more satisfying experience overall with illicit drugs compared to alcohol.

Dr. Becky Lynn, Director of the Center for Sexual Health and Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Louis University, who studies how cannabis affects women’s sex lives, says her own patients are more likely to report enhanced libido and orgasm with cannabis than alcohol. Some women with severe pain during sex find alcohol more useful, she says, but this comes at the cost of being less present during the encounter.

Sex coach and CannaSexual creator Ashley Manta says her clients also much prefer cannabis as a sexual aid. “The phrases I hear most often from clients with regard to alcohol and sex are ‘disconnected,’ ‘sloppy,’ and ‘numb,’ ” she said. “With cannabis, I hear ’embodied,’ ‘heightened sensation,’ and ‘euphoric.’ ”

Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, family physician and medical adviser for loudcloudhealth.co , agreed with Manta.

“Alcohol tends to numb us,” Djordjevic said, while “sex on marijuana makes us more aware and enhances our sensations.” Issues such as erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, and falling asleep during sex are also more likely to happen with alcohol, he said. However, cannabis is more likely to cause anxiety and paranoia, which can certainly hinder one’s sexual enjoyment.

One advantage to cannabis is that there are more ways to use it, Manta points out. There are even cannabis sex products that won’t intoxicate you at all, such as topicals and cannabidiol (CBD) products . Lynn cautions, however, that there isn’t solid evidence to support the effectiveness of cannabis lube.

Stoned sex is the best sex

Many people agree based on personal experience that stoned sex is superior.

“On booze, sex is sloppy, graceless, incoherent, and too often incomplete,” said Russel Barth, a 50-year-old author and cannabis advocate in Ottawa. “On cannabis, sex is like a ballet with full-orchestra crescendo. On booze, you are not completely present in the moment. With cannabis, you are deeply in tune with the moment and with the person you are interacting with. The climax can be transcendental.”

“Getting high [on cannabis] makes me ridiculously horny because every sensation is amplified,” said Suzannah, a 23-year-old student in South Africa. “I enjoy having sex while I’m tipsy, but the drunker I get, the more numb everything is, and I also just generally don’t enjoy not remembering a lot of it.”

Some sexual advantages of cannabis for sex are indirect. It makes Michele Parrotta, a 55-year-old entrepreneur in Ontario, Canada, “way less nervous” during sex. Ryan, a 33-year-old who works in sales in Washington, D.C., says cannabis actually makes him shier, but that has the benefit of making him more gentle and giving, while alcohol can make him overly bold, selfish, and rough.

Phrases describing sex after alcohol consumption include “disconnected,” “sloppy,” and “numb,” says sex coach Ashley Manta. (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

Not everyone feels that way, though. Shad, a 26-year-old marketing professional in San Diego and Los Angeles, actually prefers tipsy sex (though not full-on drunk sex) to stoned sex. With weed, “neither person has as much energy and is more likely to chill out vs. get creative and have a great orgasm,” he said.

Joe, a 31-year-old writer in Southern California, sees pros and cons to both. While drunk sex is “more adventurous,” stoned sex is “deliciously slow and contemplative,” he said.

Emma, a 25-year-old graduate student in Portland, Oregon, says sober sex is the best of all, but stoned sex can occasionally be fun because it makes partners “giggly” and more comfortable expressing what they want.

Risky Business

Another perhaps surprising difference is, research shows that cannabis actually decreases sexual risk-taking, while alcohol increases it, said Matthew Johnson, associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that alcohol is more likely to make someone sleep with a stranger, but cannabis is more likely to make them sleep with someone they already know.

One study suggests that cannabis and alcohol create divergent risk perceptions. (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

“A very likely reason is that alcohol has major effects on GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, and drugs that work on this system tend to have strong disinhibiting effects,” Johnson said. “People don’t put their mental brakes on, so to speak. But cannabis affects the endocannabinoid system, which plays much more of a modulatory role.”

There also might be an upside to cannabis’s potential to induce paranoia, he said: People may be more likely to worry about things like pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Whichever substance you are using, doing it in excess can hinder your sex life more than it helps. One study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, for example, found that men who used cannabis daily were at higher risk for sexual dysfunction such as inability to orgasm, premature ejaculation, and delayed ejaculation.

So, while many people have long been singing the praises of stoned sex and will likely continue to do so, it’s still not a cure-all, and there can be too much of a good thing.

Cannabis provides more intense orgasms, enhances foreplay, and extends sessions compared with alcohol, according to a survey commissioned by Lioness, a maker of high-tech vibrators. (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

Sex is a major area of interest when it comes to weed. Some are turning to cannabis instead of alcohol. How exactly do the two substances compare? ]]>