Effects of Alcohol on Arousal
Is alcohol an aphrodisiac? How does alcohol affect sex drive and what are the effects of alcohol sexually for men v.s. women? Does alcohol make you last longer in bed? Does alcohol increase testosterone? Find out all the answers to these questions and more with this article on the effects of alcohol on arousal.
Does Alcohol Affect Sex?
Many of us have ideas surrounded to alcohol that often include sex whether that means looking for sex, having sex, or feeling sexy. Some of you might be asking: “Why does alcohol make you sexually active?” or at least want to be or give you the impression that alcohol and sex go hand in hand? Many people feel like they need alcohol to lower their inhibitions and make them feel more confident in order to either approach someone in the hopes of having sex with them.
Some people also use alcohol for relaxation purposes which could also relate to their desire to have sex. Others find that alcohol makes them feel more confident and sexy which in turn makes them want to have sex when they consume alcohol. So does alcohol affect libido? The answer is a little more complicated than yes or no. There are many factors that go into a situation involving alcohol and sex. The biological factors that come into play include differences in sex hormones, the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, what other chemicals are present, and the amount of time it has been since alcohol has been consumed.
Psychological effects include our social perceptions of alcohol as a sex enabling substance as well as our ability to make judgments when under the influence. So the answer to “how does alcohol affect sex?” depends on a variety of physiological, psychological, and environmental circumstances. To figure out what situations would make alcohol increase libido or improve sexual function v.s. when alcohol would hinder your ability to have sex or just lead to an overall negative experience, let’s take a look at some different scenarios.
Alcohol Consumption and Libido: Does Alcohol Make Sex Better?
So as mentioned earlier, a few drinks can make us start to feel ourselves, and might make us more likely to want to engage in sexual activity. This can be due to the biphasic reaction our body has to alcohol. Alcohol acts as an upper as it enters the bloodstream which can make us want to dance and feel euphoric, but once it starts to clear the bloodstream it has a depressive effect. This makes us more calm or even lethargic.
The amount of alcohol you consume as well as the type of alcohol you consume can make a big difference in how alcohol affects libido. Most women have a lower alcohol tolerance than men, meaning the same amount of alcohol could make a woman more intoxicated than a man. This is due to physiological differences in water retention and percentage of body fat in addition to weight and height. The psychological effect of a few drinks might mean increased arousal and confidence and a decrease in pickiness when it comes to choosing sex partners.
This is why getting tipsy might make a person more likely to have sex. Does alcohol make you last longer in bed? Well, that depends. Sometimes, the answer is yes! Because of the fact that alcohol can have a numbing effect on the genitals, this could mean that if you’re able to get an erection, you will be able to keep going for a longer time than you would be able to without a little bit of “liquid courage” but be careful with this trick because sometimes when you have too much, you won’t be able to keep an erection for long. What alcohol makes you last longer in bed? Typically alcoholic beverages with a lower alcohol content or lower alcohol percentage will allow a person to be hydrated enough to perform and not too intoxicated to have problems with dysfunction.
Too much alcohol and we can start to expect problems with arousal, sexual function, and safety. When alcohol has been consumed, the physiological response from the body does not necessarily reflect the psychological reactions of increased arousal. Some negative effects of alcohol on arousal are less natural vaginal lubrication, less blood circulation to the genitals and this means the effect of alcohol on erection achievement can result in, well, not achieving an erection.
The common term for this is whiskey dick and while most people are familiar with that term, many don’t realize that the same physiological response of numbing happens to women as well as men as a response to alcohol consumption. This can lead to unsatisfactory or even painful sex. These physiological responses might be part of the possible negative factors to weigh when combining sex and alcohol, but they are not the only ones.
Alcohol and Consent
Alcohol is a drug that has the potential to render people incapacitated. There is a difference between being tipsy and being incoherent and when people drink too much they are no longer able to give legal consent. This means that the potential for sexual assault increases when alcohol is involved. If someone has had too much to drink, they can not consent to sex. When both parties have had too much to drink, it does not cancel out the fact that intoxication renders a person unable to consent, and sexual assault can still occur when both parties are drunk. If you’re not sure, it’s better to play it safe and either wait for yourself and or your partner to sober up or organize a safe ride home for the both of you.
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