Alcohol and sexuality: dangerous connections

Alcohol would alter our sexual behavior, lift our inhibitions. However, many works call into question this notion. As a sexologist and addictologist, Gonzague Delaroque tells us more about the real effects of alcohol on our antics.

Alcohol and sexuality: dangerous connections
Alcohol and sexuality: dangerous connections

In a small dose, alcohol provides an “aphrodisiac” effect. Individuals feel uninhibited, reassured, more confident in their sexual ability. However, how can this reputation be explained?

A disinhibiting effect that fades at high doses

How to explain this lifting of the prohibitions, what does alcohol give? Specialist of the question, the sexologist, and addictologist, Gonzague de Laroque, tells us different experiences which allow understanding the link between alcohol and sexuality better. ” Since the 1970s, it has been possible to measure sexual arousal by self-assessment, with behavioral indicators and via physiological measurements (plethysmography which measures the rigidity of the penis or photoplethysmograph which accounts for intravaginal blood flow.) Physiologically The results are convincing, there is a linear decrease of the physiological sexual excitation as a function of the blood alcohol “.

The aphrodisiac effect of alcohol due to subjective excitation

However, low-dose studies (less than 0.5 g / l) demonstrate a ” wait-and-see ” effect, which corresponds to an increase in subjective arousal due to the strength of the belief in The aphrodisiac effect of alcohol. ” At these doses, there is no direct pharmacological effect of alcohol on sexuality ” comments our expert.

Regardless of the actual content of the ingested drink (alcohol or placebo), individuals who believe they have high alcohol show an increase in their objective and subjective excitement. Because of this waiting effect, alcohol in small doses can be described as a facilitator of sexuality.

” This aspect is all the more marked as individuals have a guilty sexuality, which can be explained by the psychotropic effect of alcohol on anxieties ” adds the sexologist.

Physiological risks associated with alcohol consumption

However, this erotic ritual is not without risks. As Shakespeare pointed out earlier in Macbeth, ” drinking provokes desire but diminishes performance .” At higher doses, alcohol has a real deleterious effect on sexuality: especially difficulties in maintaining erection and ejaculate.

Taken in a lasting way, alcohol also alters desire because of its depressogenic effect but also by crushing the nycthemeral rhythms of testosterone (fluctuation of this hormone linked to the alternation day/night).

In women, the harm is more a decrease in excitement, the risk of pain due to lack of lubrication but also difficulties in reaching orgasm.

Alcohol impairs love and sexual relations

The experiences of Antonia Abbey, a professor of psychology at Wayne State University, have attempted to elucidate the influence of alcohol on sexual assault among young people on American campuses. She was able to show that alcohol influences judgment and disrupts the perception of the partner’s intentions. According to its findings, young people who consume alcohol have a higher risk sexuality than those who do not.

In adults, alcohol can be experienced as ” a third in the relationship,” says Gonzague Delaroque. In addictology clinics, ” it is well shown that the dependence of one of the spouses leads to marital disharmony, sexual dysfunction, communication poverty, physical and verbal violence and a higher separation rate compared to the population General .”

Disorder and Sexual and Alcohol: Station to the Risk of Addiction!

Many people do not imagine having sex with their partner without the help of alcohol. ” When they realize that relationships are easier with that without, they will repeat this pattern, and can depending on their susceptibility develop a risk of addiction ” assures our expert.

Indeed, taken chronically, alcohol has two effects on the body:

  • A tolerance effect that forces us to increase the doses to feel the same effect;
  • A weaning effect or the body claims the product it can no longer do without.

Precocious ejaculators and women suffering from vaginismus may temporarily overtake their problem with alcohol, using some as a self-timer of ejaculation, and for others as a relaxing muscle. However, be careful not to fall into a vicious circle of addiction to a sexual disorder. A spiral that must be extracted as soon as possible, and in front of which it is sometimes necessary to consult to understand its mechanism and to end it.

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