Alcohol is known for being a social lubricant, but is it as effective for your sex life? Research shows that it largely depends on how much you’re drinking and your expectations!
So before you break out the booze, read on to find out just how well alcohol and sex mix.
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Your experience with alcohol largely depends on how much you’re drinking and how your body responds. At moderate amounts, it has the ability to complement your sex life. But what does a moderate amount mean?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate drinking for a man is no more than two drinks a day. Moderate drinking for women is one drink a day.
They came to these numbers because the liver takes about an hour to break down the alcohol in a standard-sized drink. As you drink more than the recommended amounts, toxins build up in your body. These toxins affect your organs, including your sexual ones.
1. Lowering Your Inhibitions
Alcohol doesn’t increase your libido, but it does decrease your inhibitions, such as self-consciousness and body image issues. Anxiety about whether you’ll be able to pleasure your partner or reach orgasm can be relaxed with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer.
Moreover, alcohol makes erotic talk easier. When you’re focused on your performance in bed, it can be hard to loosen up, but alcohol has the ability to lessen those anxieties and let both of you go with the flow.
2. Increase in Attraction
Attraction is a subjective quality that depends on our feelings at the moment, feelings of connection, and our physical attraction. As alcohol loosens your inhibitions and relaxes you, it’s common to have an increase in attraction towards certain people compared to when you’re not drinking.
3. Seeking Closeness
Alcohol can increase your connection with people through the effect on your prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that governs emotions. As your attraction increases and your stress reduces, you feel more able to open up about your feelings. This vulnerability is sometimes necessary for both partners to feel emotionally safe, which is an important precursor to healthy sex.
4. Focus on the Present
We live in a stressful world and often take our stress from a long day at work back home with us. Through the depressant qualities of alcohol, the neurons in our brains and our blood pressure slow. Your worries about the past and the future can slip away, allowing you to focus on the sensation of being together with your partner.
It may be fun during celebrations and a night out, but drinking alcohol in excess won’t improve your sex life. In fact, it’ll do just the opposite.
5. Health Risks
If you begin to depend on alcohol to get through your daily life, you know you’re suffering from an addiction. Not only does alcohol addiction put stress on your current relationships, but it has also far-reaching effects on your career, liberty, and health.
Some research indicates there’s a link between excessive alcohol consumption and cancer. Moreover, some health conditions and medications have a contraindication for alcohol.
Addiction and the health risks associated with it will not only negatively impact your sex life, but it can completely reduce it. Your connection with your partner will be lost; you’ll be less likely to understand their sexual or emotional needs.
6. Impaired Judgment
Enthusiastic consent is needed for any kind of sexual encounter, even with our current partners. It’s a mutual verbal, physical, and emotional agreement. It can only be given without manipulation, threats, or head games.
You can’t give enthusiastic consent when your judgment is impaired, or you may think consent was given when in reality, it wasn’t. Also, you may not be able to recognize when your partner is no longer consenting, as your partner has every right to change their mind and stop at any time.
Not being able to recognize or give enthusiastic consent can lead to misunderstandings, unprotected sex, sexual assault, and rape.
Most people begin to feel the effects of alcohol when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is between 0.03% and 0.059%. From 0.21% to 0.29%, you have an increased chance of losing consciousness or even experiencing a memory blackout.
7. Poor Sexual Performance
Excessive alcohol consumption causes poor erectile functioning, and some men aren’t able to achieve an erection at all. And for women, it can dehydrate their vagina. Sex without this natural lubrication is painful and uncomfortable.
Besides reducing the blood flow to your penis, excessive alcohol reduces the intensity of your orgasm and decreases your libido.
There’s also the risk of long-term erectile dysfunction with chronic heavy use of alcohol. Other long-term health issues that occur are premature ejaculation and loss of sexual desire.
Check out this article to find out more about alcohol’s effect on libido and a man’s physiology.
Alcohol and Sex: Positives and Negatives
As you can see, alcohol and sex aren’t always the best mix. Alcohol in moderation can help you relax and become more present with your partner. It can act as a supplement to your sex life by reducing anxieties about performance, or make you less self-conscious about your body.
In contrast, alcohol in excess has many negative effects, and some can be long-lasting. From poor sexual performance to impaired judgment, the quality of your sex life drastically lowers.
Now that you know just how alcohol affects your sex life, keep browsing our blog for more informative articles on how to improve your relationships and sex life!