Though people often classify alcohol as an aphrodisiac, the truth couldn’t be further off. A drinker’s loss of inhibition does not necessarily ensure an enhanced sexual encounter. In fact, alcohol actually works to reduce physical arousal, while negatively impacting sexual function in both sexes.
Men and Alcohol
The negative effects of alcohol on human sexuality typically depend on gender alongside frequency and level of consumption. Studies on the topic have found the most common effect on the intoxicated male to be a reduced erection size. As a matter of fact, regular binge drinking may ultimately heighten the risk of serious dysfunction down the road. Additional and common side effects of extreme alcohol intake include difficulty reaching orgasm and diminished libido. Chronic alcohol intake also raises the risk for imbalances in natural hormones. Testosterone production is decreased while severely inhibiting the metabolism of estrogen. As such, many alcoholics will begin noticing signs of “feminization”, including thinning body hair, larger breasts, sterility and testicular atrophy.
Women and Alcohol
The most common alcohol-based sexual side effects in women include a diminished sense of sexual enjoyment and climax. In addition, chronic abuse can cause major harm to the reproductive system, with a heightened risk of ovarian cancer. Early menopause and menstrual irregularities are often seen in women who abuse alcohol on a regular basis. Women who choose to drink while pregnant place their child at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome, alongside a slew of potential development problems. Chronic abuse will eventually lessen the chances of pregnancy on the road to infertility.
Studies performed on both males and females have found that frequent and excessive alcohol intake may serve in diminishing sexual desire, even when alcohol is not present. Self esteem issues and weight gain may also play a part in reduced sexual confidence. This combination of problems makes it harder for people to find and maintain meaningful, long-lasting relationships. Sexual experiences involving alcohol are much more likely to conclude in unsafe sexual practices, leading to potential embarrassment, the spread of STDs, or an unwanted pregnancy.
While a drink or two may help boost the confidence of a shy individual embarking on a first date, it should be noted that this practice is not beneficial long-term. Getting to know another person sound like a scary idea, but by using alcohol as a crutch to remove the natural anxiety, the event will become dull, wasteful, and expensive. A missed opportunity, if you will.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an alcohol addiction, our LA drug rehab counselors are available to help. Give us a call today, and let us help you back on track towards the happy, healthy lifestyle you deserve.