Search For a Provider Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube ES Contact Us

Sex Health Blog

Alcohol and Women’s Sexuality

Jun 16, 2015

Alcohol and Women’s SexualityBack in January, we talked a bit about how alcohol affects us sexually. It lowers our inhibitions, makes us feel a little more comfortable with a partner and free to experiment, for better or for worse. We’ve also discussed what alcohol can do to a man’s sex life. Poor erections and delayed ejaculation are just two problems that can happen.

==================================================

Overall, having sex after drinking may be a disappointing experience. (Click to tweet)

==================================================

Today, we’re going to focus on women. How does alcohol affect women sexually? Let’s start with some of the physical aspects.

Continued...

Physical changes

Some say that the brain is a woman’s most important sexual organ. When a woman is sexually aroused, neurotransmitters in the brain send messages to other parts of the body to get her ready for intercourse. For example, her vagina will start to lubricate so that penetration is more comfortable.

But too much alcohol can interrupt this process. A woman may feel plenty of sexual desire while drinking, but when the act itself begins, she might not be lubricated enough for it to be pleasurable. Penetration may feel tight and painful. Dehydration from alcohol can also lead to vaginal dryness.

In addition, she may not reach orgasm. Or if she does, it might not be as intense as it is when she hasn’t been drinking.

Overall, having sex after drinking may be a disappointing experience. The effects of alcohol on women’s sexuality aren’t just physical, however. Let’s look at some other factors women (and men) should consider.

Continued...

Risky behaviors

Alcohol impairs our judgment. People become more attractive and situations are often less intimidating after we’ve had a few beers. We can’t make good decisions if we’ve been drinking excessively, and that can lead to the following risky situations:

·         Unprotected sex. Under the influence of alcohol, people are less likely to use condoms, increasing the risk of unwanted pregnancy and the transmission of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) like HIV, herpes, chlamydia, and human papillomavirus (HPV).

·         Casual sex. People may have sex with people they don’t know well, with complete strangers, or with multiple partners. This often occurs without any discussion of the person’s sexual history, STI status, or safe sexual practices.

·         Date rape, sexual assault, and other violence. Women (and men) can find themselves in dangerous situations if they’ve had too much to drink. They may be too trusting of another partner, follow that person to an unfamiliar location, and be unable to leave when the encounter turns violent.

Continued...

Plan ahead

Drinking alcohol doesn’t affect all women the same way. But most women have an idea of how much alcohol they can handle before they start feeling out of control.

Keep that in mind when you’re at a party or out with your friends.

If you’re planning to have sex, remember that alcohol might make it less enjoyable. And even if you’re not planning a rendezvous, keep your wits about you. Don’t let yourself become susceptible to pregnancy, an STD, or worse.

To learn more about how alcohol affects us sexually, check out the following links:

Alcohol and Unsafe Sex

Excessive Alcohol Consumption Could Affect Sperm Count and Quality

Alcohol and Sex

Alcohol and Male Sexual Function

Survey on Women’s Condom Use After Substance Use


Print this article or view it as a PDF file here: Alcohol and Women’s Sexuality


Resources

Elite Daily

Engle, Gigi

“Whiskey Vag: Science Says Drinking Is The Reason You’re Not Getting Wet”

(May 15, 2015)

http://elitedaily.com/women/lets-talk-about-whiskey-vajaja/1034861/

Hormones and Behavior

George, William H., et al.

“Women’s Sexual Arousal: Effects of High Alcohol Dosages and Self-Control Instructions”

(May 2011)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3159513/pdf/nihms289503.pdf

Sexual Medicine Society of North America

“Alcohol and Sex”

(January 27, 2015)

http://www.sexhealthmatters.org/sex-health-blog/alcohol-and-sex/single

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign McKinley Health Center

“What You Should Know About Sex & Alcohol”

(2010)

http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/sex_alcohol.html