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Alcohol messing with the mojo

How booze can inhibit sexual pleasure.


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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Remember that the age of sexual consent in the republic of Ireland is 17 and the age of sexual consent in Northern Ireland is 16.

When it comes to sex and relationships, many people drink to give themselves confidence to approach potential partners or to decrease their sexual inhibitions. A moderate amount of alcohol can indeed make it easier to chat to guys/gals. It even increases sex drive in many people. However, it’s not all good news. Large amounts of alcohol can seriously wreck your buzz, particularly your sexual buzz.

As with most things in life, alcohol is best consumed in moderation. Taken to excess, alcohol can seriously wreck your sex life. Remember that it is illegal to buy alcohol or supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 18.

We’ve got the good, the bad and the ugly on alcohol and sex.

  • Alcohol is a bit of a sexual mixed bag. On the one hand, alcohol can increase sexual desire and sex drive, but on the other hand, it decreases sexual functioning. So in other words, you might really want to have sex, but you won’t be able to.
  • The effects of alcohol are very much dependent on the dose, a small amount of alcohol will enhance the sexual experience, loosen inhibitions and increase sex drive. Larger doses are more likely to have negative effects, however.
  • Excessive alcohol intake can lead you to do things you normally wouldn’t, such as having unprotected sex. An unwanted pregnancy or an STI can totally kill your mojo, so be careful and always use condoms. If you feel that alcohol will make you vulnerable, try to drink less or ask some close friends to help look after you.  Also be careful to always keep an eye out for spiked drinks. If you do have unprotected sex, you can get emergency contraception from a doctor or at a pharmacy.
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol on a regular basis lowers testosterone levels in men. Testosterone is the dominant male hormone (though women also have it in their bodies in small amounts) and it is responsible for muscle growth, healthy bones, sex drive, and fertility and general health. Low testosterone levels can cause low libido and impotence. Impotence means that you cannot get an erection, even if you want to have sex.
  • In the short term, even one night of heavy drinking can stop you having sex. High amounts of alcohol intake can cause impotence.
  • Alcohol can make it harder for both men and women to reach orgasm.
  • Excessive alcohol intake can decrease sex drive in both men and women.
  • Some studies show that orgasms are less intense for women under the influence of alcohol.

Remember: The age of sexual consent in Ireland is 17. If you're over 16, you can consent to medical treatment including any treatment or tests needed.

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Published February 4th, 2013
Last updated March 27th, 2015
Tags sex alcohol sexual health wellbeing
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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