Anatomy/Physiology / Body Image / Desire / Erections / Gender / Lubrication / orgasms

Liquor in the Front…

Hey, kittens. It’s Throwback Thursday and time for a vintage piece from back in the day. This originally ran in September of 2010. Updated for links. 

I’m thinking really hard about how to answer your important question

Question to the Sexpert:

“Don’t know if you have anything on this one: the effect of alcohol on the ability to orgasm! Luckily, for most people (in my experience at least), the drunker someone is the easier and more times they’re able to get off. And then there’s me. Give me a drop of alcohol, and it’s never gonna happen. Sucks to be me…lol.”

I don’t know who you’re banging, but they *may* have super powers.  Or maybe you have the super power. Maybe you’re like the spinach to their Popeye, except instead of making his arms get swole, it’s a little more exciting.

Because, according to most research, alcohol makes it harder for people to get off. It also makes them think they’re really good dancers and that it’s probably a good idea to text their ex, pee outside a police station and fall asleep in a friend’s bathtub, surrounded by the wrappers of a dozen hastily eaten Moon Pies.

Beautiful alcohol: it’s the most beloved mood altering drug in our world and it may help you live longer.  But its interactions with sexuality are complicated to say the least.


So, when people think they’re gonna get schwasted, they start acting the part, even before the alcohol can kick in. People start to feel the dis-inhibiting effects because they expect to. It turns out, if you tell people they’re drinking alcohol, even if they’re actually not, they report feeling the effects of it. They say they feel confident and interested in meeting new people

We associate alcohol with feeling sexy, loose and uninhibited.  So if you expect that drinking will mean hooking up, you’ll probably fulfill that prophecy.  Add to that the fact alcohol diminishes our ability to notice asymmetry in faces (which is a major factor in determining if someone is good looking), and the pool of options has just opened up. Thanks to beer goggles, there are suddenly more fish in the sea. And we are covered in hooks: drunken, slutty hooks. And while drinking isn’t good for your appearance in the long run, a single drink can actually make you appear more attractive to others.

And you have the nice excuse that you’re not really like that, you were just drunk. That’s why you thought it would be an excellent idea to finger your roommate’s sister and now need to change the dressings on your wounds every few hours.


Alcohol is a depressant. It causes all of your body systems to slow down.  Intoxication can make it harder to get aroused, stay aroused, feel stimulation and orgasm.  So even though psychologically you may be turned on, your body’s not gonna be able to download the attachment for a few whiles.

Research shows alcohol is actually associated with reduced physiological reactions to sexual stimulation and longer orgasmic latencies.  That means even if you’re feeling frisky, your body is slowed the fuck down. Trying to get off while drunk is a lot like trying to order food while drunk: it takes forever, gets real messy and usually, someone is mad by the end of it.

While this physiological reality is pretty generalize-able, women and men react a little differently. Alcohol has a deleterious effect on testosterone for dudes, but might increase it in women. This means females are more interested in sex, so many women report lots of arousal and even subjective experiences of more pleasure than usual.


For those folks who are nervous about sex, feel guilty about it, spend most of the between-the-sheets sessions fretting about a million other things, alcohol can turn the volume way down. Worries are diminished, side-thoughts are dampered and body shame evaporates. Someone who normally has a hard time coming might feel it’s easier when their brain is turned off.

And remember how society is really sexist? Yeah, we tell women to stay skinny and stop being slutty slut slut sluts. But with alcohol, we care a little less about those things. So, like I mentioned before, alcohol might be the safe space where a woman can be sexual beings without fearing reprisals.


So while I can’t fully explain why your partners have consistently had such a great response to drunk sex, I can at least offer you the hope that you’re quite normal. Keep it in moderation, folks. It’s more fun when you end the night with some pleasure, rather than a lap full of puke.

Questions? Comments? Violent reactions? Email or tweet @timaree_leigh See more at and

2 thoughts on “Liquor in the Front…

  1. I don’t know but alcohol is definitely a sexual turned on for me. However only to a small limit because once you pass it you would become too out of your mind to enjoy. Well just yesterday, Michael Douglas found out that he has cancer on his throat dues to alcohol abuse. So I guess it is not worth it to drink just to feel some brain alternation.

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