Alcohol and the Effect on Your Libido
Alcohol is often associated with romance. Couples pop open champagne to celebrate anniversaries, and it’s not unusual for booze-filled parties to create couples of perfect strangers.
But alcohol’s relationship with your libido is dose dependent. The more you drink, the bigger the impact.
We’ve been bombarded with alcohol marketing messages for decades, and researchers once thought we tend to experience what we expect when we drink. If we think we’ll have a better time, we will. If we think alcohol makes for lousy sex, that’s what will happen. But new studies suggest that alcohol can, and does, interfere with satisfying sex.
In the short term, alcohol can adjust your:
- You might have sex with people you’d avoid while sober. You might also take risks with sex, such as going without protection, that your sober self would never allow.
- Alcohol slows down your nervous system, and you need that pathway to function at peak capacity to experience the full benefit of sex. Your body might be participating, but you might not get release.
- Men who drink to excess can experience impotence, and alcohol can cause vaginal dryness in women.
Stop drinking, and some of these problems will fade. You’ll no longer engage in risky sex, for example, and your sensitivity might return.
But researchers say some alcohol problems persist in sobriety. In a study that included 905 men, their difficulties went with them into sobriety. They struggled with impotence and poor performance weeks after they got sober.
Researchers writing in Science Daily say that marijuana can be considered an “unpredictable” factor in sex. Some people experience a rush of blood and a sense of connectedness, and that makes their experience much more pleasurable. Others can’t move blood at all, so they can’t achieve arousal in the first place. That leads to an incredibly negative sex experience.
If marijuana does ruin your sex life, things should get better when you quit. Your body can heal, and your responses can return. But this drug can also cause depression during withdrawal, so it might take time before you’re ready to have sex with anyone.