Here’s the thing about sex: it can feel exponentially more appealing to us when we’re a few cocktails down and eyeing that cute stranger at the bar. Alcohol has the effect of reducing our inhibitions to a remarkable degree (yes, that’s why we did the ill-advised table dance at 1AM). But what effect does it have on our actual ability to have sex? 

1. It takes the edge off  

Many women report feeling more aroused when they’ve consumed alcohol – which makes perfect sense. Now may be the time to try having sex with the lights on, or to whisper those dirty words you’ve been too shy to utter before. Alcohol can help you shed body image issues, or other things that have been keeping you from fulfilling sex. 

It works the same way with men, too – after a glass of Scotch, they’re more likely to loosen up and abandon any fear of “performing” in the bedroom. It acts as a muscle relaxer, which can be a great help to nervous men. 

2. Beer goggles are real 

We joke about them, but it’s true that we find other people more attractive when we’re tipsy. This means that the sexual experience might be enhanced by alcohol: when we kiss or touch our partners, we’re experiencing increased attraction to them. 

3. It can make the sex feel more emotional and intimate 

After a few drinks, your limbic system- a set of structures in brain the that affect emotions- starts to be affected. That means that whatever state you’re in will feel heightened: if you’re having sex with a loved one, it might feel that much more passionate and intimate to you. Or if you’re having sex with a stranger, you might feel more connected to them than you would normally (this has been the cause of many a drunken ‘I love you’ to a stranger). 

4. Whiskey dick is a real thing 

The immediate effect of a binge drinking session is that men have tremendous difficulty in getting and/or maintaining an erection. Since alcohol is a depressant, it interferes with blood flow to the penis (a necessity for a healthy erection). This means that your partner might be caught in a situation while he swears “No, this has never happened before.” In that event, it might be time to try out all the great variants of non-PIV sex that exist. 

5. Unfortunately, so is whiskey vagina 

Alcohol is known to decrease natural lubrication- this is already bad news for your vagina. Not only are you less aware of sensation down there, you might also have trouble reaching orgasm. Attaining orgasm requires the active participation of your brain, which is naturally less keen to do work when you’re drunk. Your concentration suffers, and so you might have trouble reaching the finish line after getting wasted at happy hour. 

6. Even if he can get it up, it’s likely to be sloppy 

Alcohol makes us much less co-ordinated (even if we think that we’re rivaling J.Lo with our dance moves in the club). You and your partner might have trouble maintaining an effective rhythm of penetration - or moving your bodies together in sync. If you’re going to engage in drunk sex, be prepared for a few hilarious moments or missteps in the bedroom (that probably wouldn’t happen sober). 

7. Ultimately, you need to find the right recipe for you and your partner 

Although alcohol-laced sex can be fun and enjoyable, there’s no denying that excessive alcohol consumption has a debilitating effect on sex. If you –or your partner – are too drunk, you might feel depressed, unfocused, and completely unable to be aroused. That’s why moderation is key. Just make sure to limit your drinks, mix it up with some sweet sober sex, and you’ll be well on your way to sexual bliss. Good luck, sis.

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