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Cannabis for Couples

Enhance Intimacy and Elevate Your Relationship

Published by Park Street Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

A step-by-step guide for using cannabis to deepen relationships emotionally, sexually, and spiritually

• Explains the difference between getting high alone and as a couple and explores what happens from a psychological and neurological perspective

• Offers techniques to maximize the effects of being high, facilitate bonding, and resolve relationship issues, plus how to use cannabis as an aphrodisiac

• Examines marijuana’s effects on the chakras, including its impact on the heart chakra, and how to harness these effects to expand consciousness

When couples enjoy cannabis together in the proper set and setting, the experience can deepen relationships through honest sharing and compassionate bonding, as well as boosting sexual pleasure, emotional growth, and spiritual togetherness.

In this step-by-step guide to harnessing the benefits of getting high together, psychologist John Selby explores how to use cannabis as a powerful and effective path to strengthen your relationship and nurture your intimate life. Drawing on his own NIH brain research on the emotional impact of psychoactive chemicals, he explains the difference between getting high alone and as a couple and examines from a psychological and neurological perspective what happens when you get high. Revealing the seven primary types of inner experience and outer behavior stimulated by THC, the author shares stories from his four decades of practice as a couple’s therapist, discussing the power of THC and other cannabinoids to help heal emotional wounds and boost intimacy--and how to determine if using cannabis together is right for you and your partner.

The author explains how to properly prepare for a cannabis session and how to use breath, meditation, and other focusing techniques to deepen the effects of being high and facilitate bonding. He reveals how cannabis-assisted relating can not only deepen relationships but also help to heal anxiety, depression, and PTSD. This book also explores the use of cannabis for sexual pleasure and how the “muse of marijuana” can serve as an inner therapist to work out relationship issues. Shared laughter and emotional freedom are likewise encouraged. Selby also explores cannabis’s energetic influence on the chakras and how to balance and integrate the seven energy centers together with your partner during a cannabis session.

Combining decades of counseling experience with scientific research, Selby encourages couples to enjoy recreational use and begin using cannabis as a unique tool for connecting as a couple and growing together emotionally, sexually, and spiritually.


Chapter Five: Tapping into the Magic

Just as you begin to feel the effects of the cannabis you’ve ingested, many habitual defense patterns can get activated that are important to note and deal with. For instance, if you’ve mostly used marijuana alone, or if this is your first time trying the herb, cannabis might tend to shift you into a mostly inward journey. This is fine--unless you’re with someone who wants to relate with you. And indeed, as we’ll see in coming chapters, sometimes even during a duo high, it’s quite appropriate to retreat into your inner realms of individual experience.

But usually if you’ve agreed to get high together, you’ll want to maintain your intent to be outward focused, socially available, and intimately connected.

Our assumption in this book is that you do want to share your high experience. There are lots of ways to achieve this intimacy intent--but that might defeat the whole idea of being spontaneous together. Instead, you can use your partner’s physical and emotional presence as the impetus to “stay here” rather than drift off.

By purposefully focusing on your friend as your inspirational muse, you can keep your attention directed outward quite effortlessly. But you do need to get clear inside your own mind and feelings that you are freely choosing to remain present and responsive. And this means that, even before you get high, and certainly right after, you will want to tune into your own heart feelings and look to see honestly how receptive you are to your friend.

We talked earlier about how getting high with your partner is risky. It is! Marijuana can make you seriously transparent. It can also make you bluntly honest. You’re liable to find out how you really feel toward this person, beyond social and intimate obligations. So sure, there will be a tendency to just duck out of the encounter and go relatively unconscious to avoid looking clearly at your relationship.

But I’ve found that in most cases, marijuana does just the opposite of breaking up relationships. By helping you to temporarily let go of being phony and defensive, cannabis can open your hearts and souls to a new level of closeness and mutual appreciation.

I remember a client telling me, “the second time we got high together, we had been arguing about something, I don’t even remember what. I just remember feeling tight and contracted, but we had our plan of smoking weed together, and I went along with it. Len was feeling about the same. So we puffed and sat there not saying anything, still a bit angry at each other. And a few minutes later we were just kind of staring at each other, impatient for the effects to start--and then . . . well, we just stared a long time hotly at each other. And then guess what? We both burst out laughing at the same time. And once we were done laughing we talked and talked about how we’d been fighting just like our parents had fought, and how stupid it was to still be acting like them.”

What’s important is not ducking out and avoiding whatever might arise between you as you get high. The thinking mind can always come up with something to argue about, or be judgmental about regarding your partner. If you get high and find your thoughts drifting negative and pulling you down, you do have the freedom and power to shift away from all those thoughts altogether.

The trick is to remember to let awareness of your breathing drop your attention down into your chest and your heart and, who knows, even further down.

As soon as you find yourself high and drifting into negative thoughts, cannabis is there to help you. As soon as you let go of an upsetting fixation and relax into the high, you’ll find that the muse of marijuana is ready and eager to carry you along on its magic carpet into uplifting feelings, lighter ideas, and enjoyable pastimes. And when you include your partner in your experience, in your personal bubble of awareness, you will naturally flow into shared moments.

Your partner in smoke is of course also having a parallel experience, and when you look and listen and touch, you bring your separate experiences into congruency. Be sure not to think that you have to “do” anything at all, in order to engage. That’s the thing about getting high together--you’re not agreeing to do anything at all except just that: spend time together while high. Let go of all your usual busyness habits. Let go of feeling responsible for the outcome. Put aside all ideas of what you should do, or what you want to accomplish. Getting high is off time. It’s free time to share space and love and attention with your friend--it’s not at all goal-oriented.

To just be with your lover or friend, without feeling you need to do anything at all. That’s your only goal. Nothing is required of you, except maybe offering your loving attention. You’re finally free to just let go and be the natural you . . . and then see what happens!

I know this runs opposite to all your social training and conditioning, your relationship habits and unspoken assumptions. Cannabis can be such a great therapeutic tool because when you risk all and just be you, you can actually discover that you’re a loving person, you have the capacity to ease up and laugh about life, to drop down and look to the heart of things, to open up and let your love flow!

You also have the capacity to drop your inhibitions and share your most delicate feelings and intimate space with your loved one--and the marijuana muse will be there to guide your flow of mutual exploration into new realms.

About The Author

John Selby is a psychologist and author of 30 books in 14 languages, with a degree in family counseling and pastoral psychology from UC Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union. A developer of numerous mindfulness programs, Selby researched psychedelics and meditation at the Bureau of Research in Neurology and Psychiatry. He has a private cannabis-assisted spiritual-counseling practice and lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Park Street Press (June 2, 2020)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644110416

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Raves and Reviews

“A thorough examination of what it means to mindfully get high together. This daring book offers a road map to navigate grown-up cannabis experiences that may well be new to you. No matter where you are on the spectrum of smoking, it will help you discover, and rediscover, your world together.”

– JULIE HOLLAND, M.D. & JEREMY WOLFF, contributors to The Pot Book

“If you’ve ever imagined that there might be a kind older person with decades of personal and professional experience on how to best use cannabis, who would share in depth a multitude of ways to improve your experiences, you’re going to want this book. John Selby is all of the above and a lot more. This book will lead you into more pleasure, more awareness, greater depths, more sensory excitement, more fun, and more wisdom. Spoiler alert: the last few chapters take what you’ve learned from the rest to a whole new level. Consider this book to be a gift to yourself, your partner, and your relationship.”

– James Fadiman, Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide

“John Selby’s years of experience supporting couples on their journey of intentional cannabis use shines throughout this wonderful book. Sharing the cannabis space with a partner is a deeply meaningful experience--and rich with connection and depth. When used intentionally, cannabis can bring couples together in ways that are truly magical. John’s teachings are sincere, incredibly skillful, and pragmatic. He takes all of the trial and error out of the equation, and this allows couples to immediately benefit from safe and sacred cannabis use. He outlines a wonderful foundation that can support years of sacred intimacy between loving partners. I highly recommend this book.”

– Daniel McQueen, executive director of the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness

“John Selby has provided a higher education for couples. His chapter on marijuana and sex, ‘Tapping Eros Transformation,’ is a true gift, especially for couples transitioning into middle age or beyond. With specific exercises designed to deepen intimacy, this book makes plain how cannabis can make love bloom anew. One can only imagine what such rarely spoken of information can do for a couple in their 20s or 30s! I highly recommend it!”

– Charles Wininger, LP, LMHC, author of Listening to Ecstasy

“John Selby’s new book is an excellent guide for couples considering bringing cannabis into their lives or expanding the range of their current use. The guidance is also just as useful for individuals looking for reliable, extensively ‘field-tested’ information. The book covers all the important bases, is direct and intimate in tone, and chock-full of accessible suggestions, checklists, affirmations, and anecdotes. I’m confident that reading Cannabis for Couples and putting the information to use will revitalize many a relationship. And, again, it’s not just for couples.”

– Stephen Gray, editor of Cannabis and Spirituality

“Do you and your partner want to take your relationship to a whole new dimension of ecstatic interaction? Are you openminded enough not to be bothered about our culture’s mostly foolish admonitions against a simple, completely natural herb like cannabis? If so, here’s a simply great guided program for you and yours on how to elevate your intimacy. Highly recommended!”

– Will Johnson, author of Cannabis in Spiritual Practice

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