The directions for Foria are unlike any other THC-infused product on the market:
“Apply 4-8 sprays directly onto the clitoris, inner and outer labia and inside the vagina,” the instructions begin.
It’s OK to giggle. Talking openly about sexuality is even more taboo than speaking plainly about your marijuana use, and Foria founder Mathew Gerson understands that his brand-new product occupies that very awkward crossroads where the two meet. Don’t believe him? Read out loud the rest of Foria’s directions and see if you don’t blush a little:
“Each spray contains approximately 2 milligrams of THC. Your body and its needs are unique, so it is recommended that you experiment slowly to learn what serving size is best for you. Allow 15-30 minutes to relax and absorb the medicine, a great time for foreplay or self-massage. Then enjoy alone or with a partner as desired.”
So … what exactly is Foria?
“It’s a sensual enhancement oil designed for female pleasure — a therapeutic aphrodisiac,” said Gerson, Foria’s Los Angeles-based creator. “Women have described it as relaxing, and they’ve said it’s heightened their sensations. They’ve associated it with warming and tingling, localized in the sexual region.”
Marijuana as a sexual aid is nothing new. But the creation of a lady-specific topical oil designed for sexual use directly on a woman’s genitals is new — or is it?
“I had a recollection of using marijuana in a sexual context, and it was an enhancement for myself and my partner,” said Gerson, who said Foria will land on the shelves of California dispensaries this week — and in other states in the near future. “And then I started doing more research, and marijuana has historically been used as an aid for sexuality or as an aphrodisiac. There’s a rich history there. It got me looking a little differently at marijuana historically … There are even examples of midwives using a honey-based concoction of cannabis for birthing and various other reasons where marijuana has been introduced to the body this way.”
The above directions, and even Gerson’s explanations on possible results, are intentionally vague.
“There’s a lot of shaming in the sex space on many different fronts, and to come at this with the expectation that you’re going to have an experience around the orgasm, it limits the full spectrum of introducing the medicine to the body in this way,” Gerson said. “We leave it to the women who are experiencing this for the first time, and that’s the best way to communicate its effects.”
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Enter Carol Carlson, a 60-something who lives in Marin County with her husband. Carlson had recently asked her OB/GYN, “Is there a prescription out now to help my libido? I don’t have that same drive anymore.”
Her doctor’s response started out: “If I had a dollar for every patient who asked me that question …”
“Later that night,” Carlson told us, “I was going to dinner with friends of mine who knew Mat and said, ‘Well, I have a sample of something that might help.’ I said, ‘I’ll try it.’
“With no expectations I felt the power of it. I felt relaxed and aroused. I felt every feeling a little more sensitively. When you get older, (sex) becomes uncomfortable. Your body doesn’t function like it used to. It’s also a great lubricant, and it’s not messy like K-Y Jelly. It absorbs into the body, and that’s an added plus.
“I’m enjoying sex again, and my husband’s thrilled about that.”