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How Does Alcohol Affect Sexual Performance?


Many adults look for ways to spice up their sex lives by exploring different types of perception-altering substances, with alcohol being the most common type. There are dozens of myths about enhancing sexual performance with alcohol. And while many of these substances have zero to no effect on sexual performance, some have proven to have a wide range of effects.


Many people think that alcohol is an aphrodisiac, thus, driving them to consume it excessively, which reduces their sex performance in return. Scientists say that alcohol reduces sexual sensitivity in men and women, especially regular drinkers.


Dr Abigael San, clinical psychologist, says "In men, alcohol can cause difficulties getting and maintaining an erection – while women may experience reduced lubrication, find it harder to have an orgasm, or have orgasms that are less intense."


Many people use alcohol with the expectation that it will reduce their anxiety and enhance their sexual performance. One or two glasses of wine may be good enough to give you the "edge", but heavy drinking may reduce the way your body responds to sexual stimulation and cause reduced sexual satisfaction.


What are the effects on women?


Alcohol has a diverse range of effects on women, from desire and arousal to sexual behaviour and responsiveness. Research establishes a connection between drinking alcohol and finding others more attractive and feeling more attractive as well. Women also reported feeling a greater desire for sex after consuming alcohol.


Women who drank too much alcohol may experience suppressed genital responses. Participants of a 2018 study reported that alcohol consumption led to prolonged sex due to its numbing effect on the genitals. The participants also claimed that it took longer to reach orgasm.


What are the effects on men?


Alcohol has a similar effect in males as in females. Men also experience reduced inhibition, and their chances of having sex with a stranger are higher than in females. Like females, males also experienced a reduced genital sensation, which resulted in longer sex and needing more time to reach orgasm. Males dependent on alcohol are more likely to develop sexual dysfunction such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and loss of libido.


Men with excessive alcohol consumption have a higher tendency of risky sexual behaviour. In a 2016 study, these men were more likely to have unprotected sex. This type of behaviour can lead to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.


Alcohol and sex tips


Excessive alcohol consumption can complicate things, especially when it comes to sexual activity. But it does not have to be so. Drinking alcohol can be a worthwhile experience if you have a plan and some discipline. Here are a few tips to help you have the best experience:


  • Stick to your alcohol limit
  • Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Always carry condoms with you. You’ll never know
  • Do not force or excessively persuade anyone to have sex with you
  • Make sure that you get consent before engaging in sexual activity




Having a few drinks may put you in the mood for sex and might even make it more enjoyable. However, excessive drinking does not make sex better but will leave you less satisfied. Also, you should be cautious when drinking, especially if there is a possibility you may have sex.

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