Have you ever been out enjoying a few drinks with friends or your girlfriend, and a few drinks turn into several drinks, or shots, and the party really gets going strong? Of course you have… it’s a large part of why we continue to go out for happy hour week after week. It’s a good time. And, if the fates agree, a few drinks is all it takes to put your partner in the mood for a little sexual encounter. So you go home, hit the sheets and… nothing. Or, you get things started, but your little friend taps out early. Or, you’re deep in the act at just can’t climax. In each of these situations, a good deal of disappointment and embarrassment is soon follow your sexual difficulties. What happened?! You didn’t think you were THAT drunk… what did you do wrong?
The short answer is that the alcohol is to blame. But, obviously, sexual difficulties don’t follow every evening of drinking. So it’s not the only culprit. Because alcohol acts as a vasodilator (expands blood vessels), the change in blood flow necessary to support an erection can sometimes fight with other areas of the body where blood is rushing. Likewise, alcohol is a nervous system depressant, which means that sensations and bodily response can be slow, impaired, or less intense. And the effects of alcohol are stronger when you haven’t eaten, are dehydrated, or haven’t slept. So if you know you’re going to be knocking back a few alcoholic beverages, make sure you also knock back plenty of water and some nutritionally balanced snacks (grab some peanut butter on carrot sticks before you leave for the bar, or look for something like a veggie spring roll appetizer on the bar menu). And, depending on the day of the week, consider a quick 30-minute power nap before you head out to the club. You and your partner will be better for it.