Short-term rental startup Kasa raises $30M

first_imgEmail Address* Message* TagsCommercial Real EstateProptechReal Estate Investment Full Name* In general, short-term rentals have been hit hard by the pandemic, as travelers were forced to cancel plans and stay home. In June, Sonder raised $170 million, but companies like Lyric and Stay Alfred have gone out of business.Pedan said Kasa’s sales rose 50 percent during the pandemic as customers looked to escape city life. Still, the company is not yet profitable, he said.After an initial drop-off in bookings, Airbnb has also said its business is picking up. The company is looking to raise $3 billion in a December IPO. It burned $1.2 billion over the past year, according to news reports.[Forbes] — E.B. SolomontContact E.B. Solomontcenter_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Roman Pedan (Linkedin)The hospitality industry has been battered by the pandemic, but there’s a small glimmer of hope: Short-term rental startup Kasa Living has just raised $30 million.The company, which rents out vacant hotel rooms and apartments, will use the Series B to improve its software and streamline operations, Forbes reported.The round was led by Ribbit Capital, with RET Ventures, Zigg Capital, FirstMark Capital, Allegion Venturs and BoxGroup. The funding brings Kasa’s total to more than $50 million; last year, it raised a previously undisclosed $20 million Series A.Based in San Francisco, Kasa was started in 2016 by Roman Pedan, then a student at Stanford business school. Piggybacking on Airbnb’s popularity, his concept was to create a standardized experience for guests in underutilized hotels and multifamily buildings.Since 2018, the company has grown from 100 rooms to nearly 1,000 in 35 cities. It claims to have 100,000 bookings a year with annualized sales of $30 million.Read moreAirbnb banked on short-term rentals. Now what? Sonder raisese $170M despite hospitality apocalypse Airbnb tore through $1.2B in year before IPO last_img read more

Flower mellows amid spotted leaves

first_imgOne does mellow with age… so do a flower – – No matter if the leaves are spotted behind. But does that burn the zeal? Questions can fly in from nooks. The beginning is birth – – when a gem shines amid all jewels. The fact grows true because the value of a colour can rise its roots from deep. Practical life blend in handshakes – – Give and Take.And ambitions for love never fails a motive… Where one needs to aspire high. But the possessions can sometimes leave one blind in satisfaction. However, the truthfulness lies in open givings. Till a conscience prick one, and if… a humble sorry does lead to embracing forgiveness.Born in lows or elites – – the hunt should remain for light. An orator and preacher… is where the difference keeps in the gap. However, a point arises where both meet and mingle. In some knowledge religion is the identity of a person… but a ‘Holy See’ has no book of binding in pious view.Jesus ~ Krishna… walk hand on hand, and can the global village remain in nerds? This is a heartfelt cry for equality in all faces. When we count our takings… a sacrifice may appear to the fore for sacred reasons. The process of gettings should at a certain point stay countless in time flows of life.And relationships are about keeping ‘Love’ waves all through. So, ambitions have no limit… but one shouldn’t bay hindrance for the other. The age is no more in ‘Othello’ and ‘Hamlet’… but those taught a lesson too – – burns are not all for killing. Diamond is cut out from mines too.A good realization worth more than a billion-dollar one owes. Tastes are in tongue corners, but moral values all its takings. Bitter grudges shouldn’t insist for a bad outcome. Thoughts do materialize for a giving.last_img read more

EC National Award Nominations are Open

first_img Horse Sport Enews Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! SIGN UP Email* We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Equine Canada (EC) National Awards and will remain open until March 31, 2016 at 3 p.m. ET.It’s time to celebrate the impressive achievements of individuals, equines and organizations who have contributed to the growth and success of the equestrian community over the past year.EC registered participants, sport licence holders and provincial/territorial sport organizations (PTSO) members are welcome to submit nominations for the following awards:• Lifetime Achievement Award• Junior Equestrian of the Year – The Gillian Wilson Trophy• Horse of the Year – The Hickstead Trophy• Canadian Breeder of the Year• Builder of the Year• Boehringer Ingelheim Equine Canada Health & Welfare AwardIf you know a person, horse or organization who deserves the honour and recognition of an Equine Canada National Award, be sure to submit your nomination by the deadline of March 31, 2016 at 3 p.m. ET.Full award criteria, information and nomination forms can be found here.Nomination forms can be submitted via:Email: [email protected] Fax: 613-248-3484Mail: Equine Canada Awards Committee c/o Christine Rowland, 308 Legget Dr., Suite 100, Ottawa, ON K2K 1Y6The EC National Awards for 2015 will be honoured at the 2016 EC Awards Gala, taking place on April 22 during the 2016 EC Annual Convention in Montreal, QC. This year’s Gala will be one for the books, with National EC Award presentations, gourmet appetizers and dinner, exciting, themed games and entertainment, and the grand unveiling of the new EC brand. Don’t miss out – buy your Gala ticket today by visiting the Convention Registration portal. Tags: Equine Canada National Awards, EC National Awards, More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business.last_img read more

Russian partybreakers at Women’s EHF EURO 2018 start

first_imgRecommended for you ShareTweetShareShareEmailCommentsThe Olympic champions from Rio, Russia, have been partybreakers in the opene of the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France. Team of Evgeny Treflov beat the host team, world champions France 26:23 (11:11). Beside strong defensive performance, Russian girls had a leader in playmaker Daria Dmitrieva, who netted 8 goals, one more than left wing Daria Samokhina.In the second match of Round 1 will play Slovenia – Montenegro.France-Russia 23-26 (11-11)France: Orlane Kanor 6, Allison Pineau 3, Siraba Dembele 3, Camille Ayglon 2, Laura Flippes 2, Beatrice Edwige 2, Pauline Coatanea 1, Grace Zaadi 1, Manon Houette 1, Estelle Nze 1, Alexandra Lacrabere 1.Russia: Daria Dmitrieva 8, Daria Samokhina 7, Polina Kuznetsova 3, Kseniya Makeeva 2, Elizaveta Malashenko 2, Luliia Managarova 2, Antonina Skorobogatchenko 1, Yaroslava Frolova 1. ShareTweetShareShareEmail Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Swedish defensive lesson to Russia Dibirov, Zhitnikov and Atman lead Russia at WCh 2019 Related Items:Russian handball team, Women’s EHF EURO 2018 Click to comment “Russian Fairy tale” in Egypt: Petko boys beat Slovenia!last_img read more

University releases campus climate survey results

first_imgThe University released the results from the 2015 Campus Climate Survey on Monday in an email to the student body, shedding light on the status of student perception and understanding of sexual violence on campus and related University policy.The email, sent from University President Fr. John Jenkins, included a 28-page survey report as well as the Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention’s (CSAP) recommendations moving forward and a one-page results overview.The questionnaire, conducted last January and February, asked questions about sexual assault and the campus atmosphere as it pertains to sexual assault, harassment and misconduct. Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said this was the second administration of the Campus Climate Survey — the first occurred in the fall of 2012.“We do a survey every other year, and we do focus groups in the intervening years to be able to learn more information in conversations with students to compliment this overall assessment that we have of the entire student body,” she said.Lauren Weldon | The Observer According to the report, the survey, which was administered to all enrolled Notre Dame undergraduate and graduate students, had a completion rate of 38 percent — 33 percent among male students and 43 percent among female students.Deputy Title IX coordinator Heather Ryan said the response rate was sufficient to draw conclusions about the campus as a whole, but she hoped to increase the number of responses for the next administration of the survey.“I think we are comfortable in that number in using the results to really evaluate our programming and our efforts,” Ryan said. “I do think, as an assessment subcommittee, we would like to get better results and response rates.”Jenkins said Friday the results reflected both encouraging changes in student perceptions and attitudes since 2012, but also unsettling numbers in terms of the current situation.“I didn’t find anything in there that jumped out or was terribly surprising,” he said. “There’s sobering news, and some good news. It seems that we’re making progress in some areas, but in others we need to do more work.”Among the more sobering numbers found in the report, six percent of female respondents and two percent of male respondents reported experiencing non-consensual intercourse (defined as “any sexual intercourse without your consent; it includes oral, anal or vaginal penetration, to any degree with any object”) while a student at Notre Dame.Additionally, 16 percent of survey respondents — 25 percent of female respondents and six percent of male respondents — reported experiencing non-consensual sexual intercourse or other forms of non-consensual sexual contact while enrolled at Notre Dame.Hoffmann Harding said these numbers reflect a national trend, but also give the administration a better idea of how many students chose to not report sexual misconduct or assault to the University.“We’re not unlike any other institution in the country in this issue nationally,” she said. “There’s under-reporting of the numbers. I’m troubled in two ways — one is the reports aren’t coming to us. Most importantly, so we can offer support, help and response. But secondly, that they’re happening at all, and that they’re happening to that degree.”The “Perceived Barriers Preventing Victims from Reporting” section of the report compiles the questions that asked students what would make them less likely to report sexual harassment, misconduct or assault. The strongest perceived barriers were a reluctance to discuss details of the incident (64 percent), fear for one’s personal reputation (61 percent) and “afraid to get in trouble for other violations of University policies” (56 percent).Jenkins said the latter barrier, which pertained mostly to parietals and underage drinking violations, reflected a misunderstanding of University policy.“There’s some reluctance to reporting because people feel they’re going to be accused of a parietals violation or some other thing, and that’s not true,” he said. “We won’t do that, because we think sexual assault is so serious.”The survey also looked at barriers to reporting for third parties or witnesses. While the strongest listed barrier to reporting was “respecting the wishes of the victim who would rather not report it,” with 72 percent of respondents listing it as a serious barrier, 59 percent of respondents also listed “would rather stay out of it” as a serious barrier.“That was one of the more discouraging results in the survey for me,” Hoffmann Harding said. “In a community where we talk about being a family, and we specifically educate on being our brother and sister’s keepers, I think we’re all called and we’re all obligated to really help our fellow students in this situation here.“ … I don’t want that to be a barrier,” she said. “I’m confused and discouraged as to why it is, and it’s a conversation that I hope the release of this information will help us really have on campus.”In addition to assessing student attitudes and personal experiences, the questionnaire also provides a general assessment of student knowledge of University policy as it relates to sexual misconduct, harassment and assault.In comparison to 2012, knowledge and understanding of consent — and who has the capacity to give it — has generally improved. The 2015 survey reported 94 percent of students said students in a current or previous dating or sexual relationship could not assume consent, compared to 84 percent in 2012. Additionally, 93 percent of 2015 respondents said a person “incapacitated by alcohol or other substances” was considered unable to give consent, compared to 88 percent of 2012 respondents.However, the responses to the following question left many administrators perplexed: “Does a person’s level of intoxication change their responsibility to obtain consent to sexual activity?”Thirty percent of the 2015 respondents said yes. University policy stipulates that a person’s level of intoxication does not lessen their burden to obtain consent for sexual activity.Jenkins cited the statistic and its relevant policies as an area in which the University needs to focus education.“The idea that intoxication diminishes one’s responsibility — we have to be clear that’s not true,” he said. “It’s not true, and it’s not going to be treated that way.”Hoffmann Harding said the responses to that question would shape how the University trains students in the immediate future.“It’s safe to say, we will incorporate that particular piece of information into every mandatory training that we have for students, now that we’ve learned that that’s a real point of difference in terms of policy awareness among the students,” she said.In conjunction with the release of the survey results, Jenkins, Hoffmann Harding, Ryan and a number of other University administrators will participate in a town hall meeting Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in DeBartolo 102.Jenkins said he hoped the town hall would continue the conversation about the survey results, and offer an opportunity to address students’ questions about the survey.“This has to be a common effort, and, if I have anything to say, it’s to urge everyone to be aware and to do what they can to eliminate sexual assault from this community,” he said. “It is so profoundly at odds with who we are and what we stand for.”Editor’s note: News Editor Katie Galioto and Managing Editor Kayla Mullen contributed to this story.Tags: campus climate questionnaire, campus climate survey, committee on sexual assault prevention, CSAP, sexual assaultlast_img read more

Lake Sunapee Bank Group redeems remaining SBLF preferred shares

first_imgStephen R. Theroux, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Our participation in the SBLF program provided the opportunity to enhance our lending to small businesses throughout our markets in New Hampshire and Vermont. Under the program, we were able to increase our small business lending by more than 40%, funding more than $120 million in qualified small business loans during the initial measurement period, without placing pressure on our underlying capital levels. As we exit the program, we reflect on the SBLF program as a success for the Company, the Bank, our customers, and our stockholders.”About Lake Sunapee Bank Group Lake Sunapee Bank Group is the holding company of Lake Sunapee Bank, fsb, a federally chartered savings bank that provides a wide range of life-cycle banking and financial services. Lake Sunapee Bank has four wholly owned subsidiaries: Lake Sunapee Financial Services Corp.; Lake Sunapee Group, Inc., which owns and maintains all buildings and investment properties; McCrillis & Eldredge Insurance, Inc., a full-line independent insurance agency; and Charter Holding Corp., which wholly owns Charter Trust Company, a trust services and wealth management company. Lake Sunapee Bank Group, through its direct and indirect subsidiaries, operates 30 offices in New Hampshire in Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack and Sullivan counties and 16 offices in Vermont in Orange, Rutland and Windsor counties.NEWPORT, NH–(Marketwired – December 03, 2015) – Lake Sunapee Bank Group Vermont Business Magazine Lake Sunapee Bank Group (NASDAQ: LSBG(link is external)), the holding company for Lake Sunapee Bank, fsb, today announced that it has redeemed the remaining $8.0 million of its outstanding preferred securities issued under the US Treasury’s Small Business Lending Fund program. The redemption was funded with retained earnings. Following the redemption, the Company has no preferred securities outstanding under the SBLF program.last_img read more

Québec, Vermont, NY collaborate to protect Lake Champlain

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Québec, Vermont and the State of New York today announced that they will continue to work together to restore and protect the waters and natural resources of Lake Champlain. Meeting in Crown Point, NY, the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, on behalf of the Premier of Québec, together with the Governor of Vermont, Phil Scott, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and representatives from the states of New York and Vermont, joined Monday in the signing ceremony for the fourth edition of the Lake Champlain Action Plan, entitled Opportunities for Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of Lake Champlain.Québec fully supports the Action Plan and contributes to its management as a member of the Steering Committee of the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) responsible for reviewing and implementing it. An accompanying message from the Premier of Québec confirms its commitment to implement the updated Management Plan alongside its Vermont and New York State partners.The plan itself and the formation of the Steering Committee charged with implementing it stem from the Environmental Cooperation Agreement on the Management of Lake Champlain, signed in 1988 by the Gouvernement du Québec, the State of Vermont and the State of New York, which recognized the need for concerted action to protect Lake Champlain, reduce pollution and restore the lake’s ecosystems.During his visit, Minister Heurtel held discussions with the Governor of Vermont, Phil Scott, and the Secretary for Natural Resources of Vermont, Julie Moore, on issues related to the protection of our common natural resources and the importance of collaboration to obtain concrete results in the fight against climate change. He also held meetings with EPA officials.Quotes:”The Gouvernement du Québec is an active player in the management of shared waters and the protection of natural resources. The renewal of this action plan illustrates the high degree of collaboration between Québec and its American partners for the protection of Lake Champlain, its ecosystems and its present and future uses. The Lake Champlain Basin is a public asset that we must all share. We are determined to carry forward the efforts deployed over numerous years to ensure the best quality of life for our children. Let’s do it for them!”David Heurtel, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate ChangeHighlights:Québec participates actively in the sound management of the water resources of Lake Champlain, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. For years, it has collaborated with various states in managing their shared watershed, for example through the LCBP, the Great Lakes Commission, the Conference of Governors and Premiers of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Water Resources Compact.Related link:The Lake Champlain Action Plan can be consulted on the website of the LCBP is external) VBM vermontbiz.comSOURCE CROWN POINT, NY, June 19, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Cabinet du ministre du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiqueslast_img read more

National Bank of Middlebury awarded ‘Outstanding’ performance evaluation

first_imgNational Bank of Middlebury,Vermont Business Magazine National Bank of Middlebury has been awarded an “Outstanding” performance evaluation for Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA categorization is an evaluation of a banking institution’s record of meeting the credit needs of its entire community including low and moderate-income neighborhoods.The criteria for the rating is as follows:The level of lending as related to loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratio compared to local and national peer averagesDistribution of originated and purchased loans made within the institution’s assessment area (AA)Overall borrower distribution of loans among borrowers of different income levels and businesses of different sizesInstitution’s  responsiveness to community development needs in the AAThe National Bank of Middlebury is a $358 million independent community bank headquartered in Middlebury. The bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Middlebury National Corporation. The Bank has one-third ownership in an operating subsidiary, CommunityFinancial Services, LLC, which was created in partnership with two other financial institutions for the purpose of offering trust and investment services to bank customers. Affiliate activity was not considered as part of this evaluation.In addition to the Bank’s main office in Middlebury, VT, the Bank has six full service branches located in Brandon, VT; Bristol, VT; Hinesburg, VT; Middlebury, VT; and Vergennes, VT. Additionally, the Bank operates nine automated teller machines (ATMs), which include three stand-alone ATMs with one located at the Middlebury drive-up location and two ATMs located on the Middlebury College campus.NBM is a full service, intrastate institution, offering a standard array of traditional loan and deposit products for retail and business customers. Additionally, NBM offers a variety of consumer and commercial products and services including personal and business checking and savings accounts, mortgage loans, commercial loans, and electronic banking. The Bank’s website, is external), provides a listing and description of its loan and deposit services.The Bank offers a variety of different account access alternatives including telephone banking, online banking with bill pay options, mobile banking, and e-statements. In addition to the above services for personal account customers, the Bank also offers account access alternatives for its business customers, including eCorp (online banking for business customers), eDeposit (remote deposit capture), merchant credit card processing, automated clearinghouse (ACH) origination, and bill pay service.Source: NBM. 10.1.2018last_img read more

Turner: Vermont needs a defined contribution plan – now

first_imgby Don Turner I’ve previously written about how our unfunded pension liabilities are Vermont’s sleeping giant. We owe our state employees and teachers about $4.5 billion more than we have in the bank. We’ve seen two credit-rating downgrades in one year. Our “funded ratio” (the ratio of assets to liabilities) is only about 64.3 percent, below the national average(link is external). We’ve lived through years of underfunding where, until 2008, the state made payments as low as 38.4 percent of what was recommended(link is external) by professional actuaries. We’re forced to spend hundreds of millions on required principal and interest(link is external) that would have otherwise gone towards higher education, child care, or any number of meaningful programs. And the projected rates of return on our pension investments are still far below actual returns(link is external). These are the facts.It’s true that, over the past few years, we’ve taken modest steps to reverse these trends, including dedicating more toward paying down this enormous debt. But so long as we refuse to have a serious conversation about fundamental pension system reform, these investments are like trying to bail out a boat without addressing the leak. It won’t work. First, we need to plug the hole.And to do that, we need to have a serious conversation about pension reform. Specifically, we need to look at switching the pension system for new hires to a defined contribution structure. Currently, most state employees are covered under a “defined benefit” program, which guarantees specific retirement payments and benefits. Defined contribution plans place invested contributions into an investment fund that the employee can control.The problem is that defined benefit plans with generous benefit structures (like Vermont’s) can lead to expensive consequences that generate massive unfunded liabilities–which is exactly what we’re experiencing now.Let me be clear: I am not advocating for taking away the defined benefit plans guaranteed to Vermont’s state employees and teachers. All those in their current pension plans should be able to remain in them. We have an obligation to keep the promises we’ve made; not break them. Rather, I’m suggesting we change the pension structure only for new hires. Additionally, existing hires should be given the choice to opt-into a defined contribution plan. This proposal has been endorsed by Vermont pension-guru David Coates(link is external), former Governor and Treasurer Jim Douglas(link is external) (who oversaw multiple upgrades to Vermont’s credit rating), and has also been suggested by the Vermont Business Roundtable(link is external).Even the 2009 special pension commission chaired by Former Democratic Treasurer Jeb Spaulding reported that, while the majority of the commission did not want to implement a defined contribution plan at that time,  “the majority did recommend further consideration of this issue in the future.”(link is external) It’s been 10 years since then; today is the future.Some, including Treasurer Pearce, stand in opposition to defined contribution plans. However, this stance remains in stark contrast to the growing number of states who are switching in-mass to defined contribution (or in some cases, defined benefit-defined contribution hybrid) plans. In a country that was once dominated by defined benefit plans, now over a third of U.S. states have moved away from them and towards full defined contribution or hybrid plans(link is external).Of the five states with the lowest funded ratios (according to Pew), four of them have moved to defined contribution or hybrid plans over the last 20 years in recognition of their need for structural reform. The only one that hasn’t is Illinois, whose pension crisis has progressively worsened, leading the state to near junk-bond status.(link is external)Additionally, the Treasurer’s assertions rely largely on some studies suggesting that defined benefit programs have better investment performance. But other studies(link is external) suggest defined contribution plans’ annualized net returns exceeds that of defined benefit plans for the 10 years preceding 2016. Look at it this way: The State of Vermont already offers a defined contribution plan for some 600 or so exempt state employees. It’s unfunded liability? Zero. That’s pretty compelling next to a $4.5 billion unfunded liability for our defined benefit plans.I’m not keen to rely on the Treasurer’s “expertise” on this matter. In fact, under Treasurer Pearce’s watch, we’ve seen our funded ratio decline, our credit rating get downgraded (twice), and our pension investment performances continue to struggle. Pearce also deployed and defended the disastrous “select-and-ultimate” rate system(link is external) from 2012 to 2015, which drastically reduced General Fund support for the pension system(link is external). We need a new perspective; not the same failed policies that got us into this mess.Contrary to what the Treasurer suggests, not only could a hybrid-defined contribution program save the state money, but it could also provide real benefits to plan participants. The vesting period (the amount of time an employee has to work before they’re eligible to receive all contributions) would be shorter. Workers would have easier portability of benefits. And employees would have more control over where their retirement funds are invested.Critics say that employees’ retirement funds would be left up to the whims of the market.But today, with ETFs, mutual funds, and government-guarenteed treasury bills readily accessible to even amateur investors, these claims are unfounded. Investment choice and control is especially useful for advocates of pension “divestment” from fossil fuels. If an employee has a moral objection to investing in a certain industry, they could choose to invest elsewhere with a defined contribution plan. Not so with today’s defined benefit program.We have an obligation to have this debate in a meaningful way, without the draconian attacks that will undoubtedly be thrown. We need to do what’s right for the state: for taxpayers, workers, and other residents alike. Not what’s in the best interest of the union bosses. Down the road, we can invest millions more in areas of shared priorities, from broadband to child care, if we have the courage to stop the bleeding now. Let’s have this conversation, and make meaningful change toward the positive fiscal health of our state’s future.Don Turner is a former Republican State Representative from Milton, former House Minority Leader, current Milton Town Manager and longtime member of the Milton Fire and Rescue departments. He was a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2018.last_img read more

Study: Alcohol more likely than marijuana to lead to post-sex regret

first_imgPinterest Email Share on Facebook LinkedIn Share on Twittercenter_img A new study, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior by researchers affiliated with New York University’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR), compared self-reported sexual experiences related to use of alcohol and marijuana. Since marijuana has increased in popularity in the U.S., the researchers examined if and how marijuana use may influence risk for unsafe sexual behavior.“With marijuana becoming more accepted in the U.S. along with more liberal state-level policies,” notes Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, MPH, an affiliate of CDUHR and an assistant professor of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center (NYULMC), “it is important to examine users’ sexual experiences and sexual risk behavior associated with use to inform prevention and harm reduction.”In this study, the researchers interviewed 24 adults (12 males and 12 females, all self-identified as heterosexual and HIV-negative) who recently used marijuana before sex. Compared to marijuana, alcohol use was more commonly associated with social outgoingness and use often facilitated connections with potential sexual partners; however, alcohol was more likely than marijuana to lead to atypical partner choice or post-sex regret. Share Alcohol was commonly used as a social lubricant to meet sexual partners, and this was related, in part, to alcohol being readily available in social gatherings.“Interestingly, some users reported that the illegality of marijuana actually facilitated sexual interactions,” notes Dr. Palamar. “Since smoking marijuana recreationally is illegal in most states and smoking it tends to produce a strong odor, it usually has to be used in a private setting. Some individuals utilize such private or intimate situations to facilitate sexual encounters”.While users often described favorable sexual effects of each drug, both alcohol and marijuana were reportedly associated with a variety of negative sexual effects including sexual dysfunction. For example, marijuana use was linked to vaginal dryness and alcohol was commonly described as increasing the likelihood of impotence among males.The researchers noted that the sexual effects tended to be similar across males and females, and both alcohol and marijuana were generally associated with loss of inhibitions. Both drugs appear to be potentially associated with increased feelings of self-attractiveness, but possibly more so for alcohol, and participants reported feelings of increased sociability and boldness while consuming alcohol.While some participants reported that marijuana use made them more selective in choosing a partner, many participants– both male and female–felt that their “standards” for choosing a partner were lowered while under the influence of alcohol.“It wasn’t surprising that alcohol use reportedly led to less post-sex satisfaction than marijuana,” said Dr. Palamar. “Participants reported feelings of regret more frequently after sex on alcohol, but compared to alcohol they generally didn’t report poor judgment after using marijuana.”When smoking marijuana, participants tended to reported increased feelings of anxiety or a sense of wariness in unfamiliar situations that they did not generally seem to experience after using alcohol. Therefore, these drugs appear to have different effects with regard to socialization that may precede a sexual encounter.“Sexual encounters on marijuana tended to be with someone the individual knew,” comments Dr. Palamar. “Sex on alcohol was often with a stranger so the situation before sex may be much more important than the drug used.”Marijuana and alcohol are associated with unique sexual effects, with alcohol use reportedly leading to riskier sexual behavior. Both drugs appear to potentially increase risk for unsafe sex.“Research is needed continue to study sexual effects of recreational drugs to inform prevention to ensure that users and potential users of these drugs are aware of sexual effects associated with use,” emphasizes Dr. Palamar. “Our results can inform prevention and harm reduction education especially with regard to marijuana, since people who smoke marijuana generally don’t receive any harm reduction information at all. They’re pretty much just told not to use it.”last_img read more