Will alcohol help you get laid? The dangers of “whiskey dick” and “beer goggles”

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With Halloween coming up, there will be no shortage of sexy outfits and drinks around, especially with a large gathering of university students. Those two things seem like a recipe for casual sex, right? A little liquid courage lowers your inhibitions and makes everything a little bit more fun, but does alcohol really help you to get laid?

High doses of alcohol affect men and women differently in terms of arousal. Women do not usually want sex more, but they tend to enjoy drunken sex more than sober sex. Drunk men tend to become more aroused than women and are more likely to want sex after they’ve been drinking. But, unfortunately, in the famous words of the Rolling Stones, “you can’t always get what you want.”

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant; it can prevent messages from reaching the brain, causing dizziness and trouble walking and talking, but the trouble doesn’t stop there. Excessive drinking can have a negative effect on a man’s ability to get and stay hard. During a normal erection, blood flows into the penis and the blood vessels close, which keep the blood inside allowing men to maintain an erection. Alcohol causes blood vessels to expand, so while more blood might make it to the penis in the first place, alcohol prevents the blood vessels from closing, which causes a drunk man to lose his erection quickly.

If you don’t drink enough to get the notorious “whiskey dick,” alcohol might help get you laid if you don’t mind lowering your standards. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, so less than usual discretion is used when seeking out a partner. “Beer goggles” tend to affect women more than men and victims of this phenomenon can lower their standards in terms of who they find attractive—potentially causing a person to have sex with someone they normally would not consider a candidate. Beer goggles not only affect who you have sex with, but they can change where and when you’re willing to do it; and can even make something on your no-go list seem not-so-bad.

If you manage to get past all of the liquor-related issues and you actually make it to the sex, there is a good chance that you’ll forget to suit up. Alcohol affects your ability to think clearly and just because you might know the protocol for safe sex like the back of your hand, it doesn’t mean you’re going to use a condom or ensure that your partner is on the pill. In fact, a study in the U.K. showed that for every 0.1 mg/ml that a person’s blood alcohol rose, that person was five per cent more likely to engage in unprotected sex, increasing the chances of unwanted pregnancy or transmitting an infection.

There is even more bad news! Though women tend to report enjoying sex more when they’re drunk (drug euphoria, perhaps), alcohol can increase the latency and decrease the intensity of a gal’s orgasm. The same goes for guys as alcohol tends to make climax less pleasurable and harder to achieve.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it doesn’t look like sex and alcohol mix very well. If you’re still willing to give it a try (because bad sex is better than no sex, right?) don’t forget to always wrap it up and play it safe!





Emily is in her third-year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's an avid plant mom and a stern black coffee drinker. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find her listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation.