alcohol and your sex life

Find out why too much alcohol can be a sexual turn-off for you both.

Drinking alcohol to excess can make good sex go bad. Dr Abigael San, clinical psychologist and alcohol expert, says this is because alcohol reduces both men’s and women’s sexual sensitivity.

“In both sexes, sexual response is reduced by regular and prolonged drinking,” she says.

“In men, alcohol can cause difficulties getting and maintaining an erection – while women may experience reduced lubrication, find it harder to have an orgasm, or have orgasms that are less intense.”

Many people mistakenly believe that alcohol is an aphrodisiac. However, over time too much alcohol can actually put a dampener on your sex drive.

Sexual side-effects

Drinking too much over an extended period of time can turn a temporary condition like ‘Brewer’s Droop’ into full-blown impotence (1). Drinking can also cause damage if you’re planning to have children. Women who drink over the government’s lower risk guidelines can take longer to become pregnant and can suffer from menstrual and fertility problems.

Recapture your spark

If you’re serious about not letting alcohol get between you and great sex, then it’s best to try cutting down together. Start by planning romantic nights that don’t involve drinking alcohol at all, or make sure that you keep the amount on offer to within the lower risk guidelines.

Practical ways to cut back on booze

Rather than criticising your partner’s drinking habits, acknowledge that it could be a good idea for both of you to cut down.

Some enthusiastic praise can help steer your partner towards what makes you both feel good. Compliments like “You look really slim now you’ve cut down on the pints,” will help your partner feel positive about their choice.

Record your everyday drinking so at the end of the week you can see what you’ve consumed. The Alcohol and You Drinking Diary is perfect for this.

If you’ve got into the habit of drinking wine for dinner, try switching to a non-alcoholic choice instead.

Put away the money you would have spent on alcohol. Then, at the end of the month use it for something you can do together.

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