Does drinking alcohol make sex better? It’s true that alcohol often increases your chances of getting laid, lowing your inhibitions and often making you bolder. Surely there’s something to back up the phrase “whiskey makes you frisky”?

Alcohol and sex are two things often paired together. Media markets alcohol as something sexy. People go to bars with the intention of hooking up. Beer-goggles is a thing. But when it comes down to the science of it, alcohol theoretically should make sex worse, rather than better.

Why is it then seen as an aphrodisiac of sorts? It has a much high success rate for sex than oysters after all. It comes down to the psychology of the human mind. Alcohol affects our bodies physically, but sexual attraction and the lead up to having sex with someone is mental.

How alcohol makes sex better

Alcohol lowers your inhibitions. When you’re on the buzz of being tipsy but not super drunk, you’re more likely to be social and happy. It relaxes your muscles, and with that sense of relaxation you’re much more likely to make a move on someone.

Another side effect from being drunk is also the fact our standards for attraction is lowered. In our state of relaxed, happy and social, we are much more open to getting along with someone. In some ways, we become less shallow whilst under the influence of alcohol.

On the other hand, people are much more likely to make mistakes when drunk. Since our think process is slowed down, we have a higher chance of making bad decisions. Just because you can go back to someone else’s place and have sex doesn’t necessarily mean you should. It’s for that reason that so many people regret things the morning after.

There is a much higher chance of having a one-night stand whilst under the influence of alcohol. This shows thats that we’re not finding partners we would want to be with long term, and instead we’re simply gratifying out sexual urges whilst uninhibited.

There can be arguments made for why alcohol in this respect is helpful. Some people believe getting any sex is better than getting no sex. Others however believe alcohol makes the situation worse, as we’re more likely to put ourselves in danger, as we don’t judge partners as throughly as we should whilst under the influence.

How alcohol makes sex worse

On a scientific level, many studies show that alcohol is terrible for our sex lives. In small amounts, it has good side effects. However most people go well over that amount, and after a limit it has negative physical affects.

Alcohol inhibits testosterone production in men. Testosterone is needed for sex as it affects libido and physical arousal. That’s why many men find they are unable to get fully erect whilst under the influence of alcohol. With long term abuse of alcohol men may develop erectile dysfunction.

It has also been shown that alcohol can decrease the intensity of a male orgasm. In some cases, men are able to become erect, but feelings of pleasure are decreased leading them to be unable to achieve orgasm.

In women alcohol actually increases the production of testosterone and estradiol. This leads to increased arousal in women. Many women state they are more sexually aroused when under the influence of alcohol.

Women’s bodies also take longer to process alcohol so it stays in their system longer. However the alcohol is still reported to decrease the feelings of pleasure during sex for women, as well as decrease the intensity of orgasms.

Many women however report that they feel less safe whilst under the influence of alcohol. Whilst alcohol makes them more sexually open, they also believe it increases their chances of being taken advantage of.


Alcohol and sex do go together. Psychologically we as humans will probably always associate the two. The fact your chances of having sex is higher whilst under the influence of alcohol makes it better for some people.

It does however have negative effects if used in excess and used long term. It can cause erectile dysfunction, and increases risks associate with unsafe sex. You should therefore be careful to take alcohol within moderation.

You don’t rely on alcohol to have sex. But you are more likely to have sex in social situations such as at parties or at bars where alcohol is available.

Most importantly, always be aware of sexual safety, and evaluate whether your partner is sober enough to make clear decisions or not. Sex should be completely consensual, and both men and women who are heavily under the influence are vulnerable to being taken advantage of.