Dear Miss Meghan,
What are the effects of alcohol on sexual functioning?
-Flaccid for Now-
Dear Flaccid for Now,
I was going to attempt to write this article without using the words “whiskey dick” but after some serious urban dictionary time, I’ve realized that: there are too many terms that include the word flaccid, I am better off using the language I know, and who comes up with these terms? Will The Point News even allow me to use the word “whiskey dick?” [Ed. note: I think we should!]
Anyways, back to the topic. For most folks of any/all sexes, one or two drinks of alcohol will not have a significant affect on one’s ability to obtain a physiological state of sexual arousal. Many folks find that a drink or two reduces sexual inhibitions. The exception to this is if you are on any medications or are combining alcohol with other drugs/substances as they can interact and can cause sexual difficulties. For example, many anti-depressants can affect sexual functioning.
Once you hit three or more drinks in your system, depending on time between drinks and body weight, the alcohol has caused your blood to thin (also a good reason not to get a tattoo when you’ve been drinking). For male-bodied folks, erections occur because the canals in your penis swell, which traps blood in the penis making it firm. If the blood is thinned, it can not be trapped in the penis, causing a failure to obtain an erection.
For female-bodied folks, sexual arousal is caused by the swelling of the vulva which causes blood to get trapped into the vagina canal triggering vaginal lubrication. With alcohol in the system, females have a more difficult time obtaining vaginal lubrication and a state of genital arousal.
Alcohol also slows down your brain’s processing of stimulation, so the sensations of nerve endings in the penis or vulva are not processed by the brain as well as they are when alcohol is not present in the system. It takes firmer stimulation to the surfaces of the genitals to obtain the sensation of pleasure and orgasms are reported to be less intense with alcohol consumption. For women, lack of vaginal lubrication can led to increase tearing or pain during penetration and increases the risk for contracting a sexual transmitted infection. Also, if a condom is not adequately lubricated, it increases the chances of having the condom rip.
Consent for sexual activities also needs to be noted here, as consuming too much alcohol can leave a person unable to give consent. It is imperative that you know how much your partner has had to drink and if they are capable of consenting prior to engaging in any sexual activities with them. Just wait until they sober up to find out if they want to get down.
Writing this really shows the need for a socially standardized term that is the female equivalent of “whiskey dick.” Any thoughts? Don’t forget to write in with your questions for me! They can be submitted via email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. [Second Ed. Note: we need to find out where the anonymous submission box online went.]
Sincerely Craving a Shamrock Shake,