Dear Dr. G
I am in my mid 20's and have begun to discover the little indulgence in life such as booze and sex.
I started sexual intercourse when I was in my final year of university and really enjoyed the journey of exploration. I am currently single, but happily going out to meet partners and being adventurous.
In recent weeks, I have also discovered another guilty pleasure in life, alcohol!
I have refrained from alcohol and liquor as I worry about the adverse health impact. However, during the recent festivities, I have discovered the magical effect of alcohol on sex!
I found taking a bit of alcohol gets me loosened up, horny and ready for action.
Having said that, I've also occasionally noticed that alcohol consumption has somehow diminished my erectile rigidity but prolonged the interval to ejaculation.
In the spirit of festivity, I am hoping to put Dr. G on the spot for his advice on mixing alcohol with sex.
What exactly is the physiological impact of alcohol on sex?
Does alcohol really enhance arousal and performance of sex?
Surely, a modest festive mix of spirit and sex is a cocktail of love, rather than a recipe for disaster?
On that note, I look forward to the response and wishing all a sparkling Christmas, with or without the magical spirit!
The implication that alcohol works like some sort of magic love potion has been around in many cultures for generations. It is a common perception that a bit of alcohol can loosen up tension in lovers, heightening the arousal and eventually leads to uninhibited bedroom action. In reality, alcohol has different physiological impact on sex for both genders. In women, a drink or two (and I don't mean tea), may boost arousal. The impact of ethanol on the brain is noted to enhance testosterone levels in women, which in turn can increase libido and sexual desire. However, the threshold of alcohol that can induce such arousal is variable, depending on the state of mind and alcohol tolerance of the individuals.
On the other hand, the effect of alcohol on male sexual function is more straightforward. First of all, the observation of "whiskey dick" is not just a true phenomenon for whiskey lovers, but occur in all alcohol beverages. First of all, alcohol induces decreases blood supply to the penis. In addition, it also increases the release of angiotensin, which is a hormone linked to erectile dysfunction. The long-term impact of alcohol is well studied. Drinking too much on a regular basis is associated with liver impairment, hormonal imbalance and central nervous system damage that will bring about wilting manhood.
The impact of alcohol on the interval of ejaculation is observed. Excessive drinking can cause delay in ejaculation. One study from Mayo Clinic has demonstrated alcohol can prolong ejaculation interval by more than 30 minutes. Of course, this may be beneficial for men with premature ejaculation. However, for others, the prolonged time reaching orgasm may mean inability to sustain erection till ejaculation. In women, excessive levels of alcohol can also impact on physiological, cognitive and behavioural impact that cause alcohol induced orgasmic dysfunction. Therefore, excessive mixture of booze and sex can make orgasm hard to "come" by!
Overall, alcohol has also been linked to greater risk taking behaviour for sex in both men and women. Although a drink or two can have the relaxing effect and helps lower inhibitions. In a way, being uninhibited can help a lover to explore new things. However, too much of a good thing can also lead to disaster. Based on various studies, men under alcoholic influence are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour, such as intercourse without protection.
Finally, the myth that alcohol has the impact of creating "beer goggles" when everyone just look more attractive when the lover is under heavy influence of alcohol. A 2014 study indeed confirmed alcohol making people appear more attractive, particularly those who weren't perceived attractive to start off with. In fact, even male fruit flies seem to get less picky about the potential mating partners when influenced by alcohol!
In reality, small bouts of alcohol does have an impact on self-confidence and reduction of tension for lovers. On the other hand, too much of a strong spirit may not guarantee "hard" ending to "come" by. When Dr. G is put on the spot on mixing booze with sex, his advice: "My rule of life is moderation!
Then the spirit will always be with you before, after and if need be during love-making and in the interval between." With such high spirit, here's wishing all celebrating Christmas a Happy One!
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Dr George Lee is a consultant Urologist and Clinical Associate Professor whose professional interest is in men’s health. The column “Ask Dr G” is a forum to help men debunk the myths and taboos on men’s issues that may be too “hard” to mention. You can send him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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