12. Let's talk about sex, alcohol and memory loss
Yes, Let's go there with zero judgement and 100% self-compassion!
It's been a great night; the warmth of a summer's evening, the music was fantastic, the drinks flowed, the alcohol is still flooding euphoria through you, and you feel crazy turned on (thank you, dopamine rush); time for some good sex.
But, wait a minute, does alcohol REALLY make sex more enjoyable and memorable?
Sometimes we feel that drinking alcohol piques our interest in sex but what happens to the body when we've had more than a few, and it comes to the sexy bit? (Brace yourselves cause it's not good news!)
- Too much alcohol has a negative effect physiologically and numbs our genital response along with every other response in the body, but that's for another blog! So, the more you drink, the lower your body's responses and the lower your levels of physical arousal drop. Why? Well, your brain has been hijacked by alcohol, which switches off the front conscious brain (the CEO of your brain where we make conscious, informed decisions). Now you are taken into the no-man land of your subconscious where there are no rules, good ideas, or feeling (jeez, that sounds kind of great, I am selling it to myself here! Whoopsie!). To give you an example, this primitive part of the brain makes you believe it's a good idea to book a flight for Brazil, leaving the next day when you're starting a new job in the morning( and yes, that happened)!!
- Alcohol makes it harder to climax, and if you manage to reach the higher heights, your orgasms can be less intense once you get there.... well that sucks for sure!
- Now let's talk juicy! When we are aroused without alcohol, our bodies prepare for sex by increasing blood flow to our genitals, causing them to swell, tingle and self-lubricate. Now, enter our 'fake friend' alcohol, and BAM, our body's physiological responses are obstructed, so where our normal response would have been vaginal wetness, now our hijacked brain stops that happening too( think friction and discomfort) along with those lovely tingles and things!
- Getting hard gets harder; Alcohol can affect your ability to get and keep an erection. Why? Well, firstly, it decreases blood flow to the penis. Secondly, it increases angiotensin, a hormone linked to erectile dysfunction. Thirdly, it depresses your central nervous system and to add to all that, over time and regular drinking, alcohol can cause damage and erectile dysfunction.
- Drinking too much can cause delayed ejaculation, taking longer than 30 minutes to reach orgasm and ejaculate with sexual stimulation, and for some, it can mean not ejaculating at all. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/delayed-ejaculation/symptoms-causes/syc-20371358)
- Alcohol switches off the CEO part of your brain (prefrontal cortex) which can lower inhibitions, impair judgment and cause risky behaviours; as it doesn't numb selectively, it numbs your WHOLE body, including your memory; does ' OMG, what did I DO last night?' ring a bell?
- It is really important we understand that after a while of what we believe is repeated great drunk sex the brain starts to truly believe that it NEEDS alcohol to relax and 'enjoy' it, face it or face our bodies (or whatever the reason we're drinking for) and the pathway in your brain created by that belief gets stronger and stronger making it harder to disassociate the two.
Ok, let's be honest here; there's no doubt about it; a drink or two can have a relaxing effect and help lower inhibitions when it comes to being sexual. This might make you more open to exploring new things. But you can have too much of a good thing, and the more you drink, the riskier your sexual behaviour is likely to be along with being numb to pretty much everything else. As much as your bodily functions numb and shut down more often than not, drunk sex can also lead to regret, anxiety, worry, self-hatred, fear of what happened cause you can't remember, and loss of self-trust and self-respect, which sucks.
So whether you drink, moderate or don't drink at all, I hope this blog has provided you with enough knowledge to help you decide how you want to live your sex life in the future!