The effects of alcohol are balanced between its suppressive effects on sexual physiology, which will decrease sexual activity, and its suppression of psychological inhibitions, which will increase the desire for sex.
Alcohol is a depressant. After consumption, alcohol causes the body’s systems to slow down. Often, feelings of drunkenness are associated with happiness but other feelings of anger or depression can arise. Balance, judgment, and coordination are also negatively affected. One of the most significant short term side effects of alcohol is reduced inhibition. Reduced inhibitions can lead to an increase in sexual behavior.
Men’s sexual behaviors can be affected dramatically by alcohol. Both chronic and acute alcohol consumption have been shown in most studies to inhibit testosterone production in the testes. Alcohol intoxication can decrease sexual arousal, decrease pleasureability and intensity of orgasm, and increase difficulty in attaining orgasm.
In many women, alcohol increases sexual arousal and desire although it does lower the physiological signs of arousal. Women have a different response to alcohol intoxication. Also, because women have a higher percentage of body fat and less water in their bodies, alcohol can have a quicker, more severe impact. Women’s bodies take longer to process alcohol; more precisely, a woman’s body often takes one-third longer to eliminate the substance.
Sexual behavior in women under the influence of alcohol is also different from men. Studies have shown that increased BAC is associated with longer orgasmic latencies and decreased intensity of orgasm. Some women report a greater sexual arousal with increased alcohol consumption as well as increased sensations of pleasure during orgasm.
Psychologically, alcohol has also played a role in sexual behavior. It has been reported that women who were intoxicated believed they were more sexually aroused than before consumption of alcohol. This psychological effect contrasts with the physiological effects measured, but refers back to the loss of inhibitions because of alcohol. Often, alcohol can influence the capacity for a woman to feel more relaxed and in turn, be more sexual. Alcohol may be considered by some women to be a sexual “disinhibitor”.
Alcohol intoxication is associated with an increased risk that people will become involved in risky sexual behaviours, such as unprotected sex. Alcohol is linked to a large proportion of unwanted outcomes associated with sex such as date rape, unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
“Beer goggles” is a slang term for the phenomenon in which consumption of alcohol lowers sexual inhibitions to the point that very little or no discretion is used when approaching or choosing sexual partners. The term is often humorously applied when an individual is observed making, and later regretting, advances towards a partner who would be deemed unattractive or inappropriate when sober. The “beer goggles” are considered to have distorted the “wearer’s” vision, making unattractive people appear beautiful, or at least passably attractive. A study published in 2003 supported the beer goggles hypothesis; however, it also found that another explanation is that regular drinkers tend to have personality traits that mean they find people more attractive, whether or not they are under the influence of alcohol at the time.
Extract from : The awesome lover’s manual