Many of us have heard the phrase “Sex, drugs, and rock and roll” before, but is there any merit to it? It sounds like fun, but there are ramifications that come from using drugs and alcohol. Many people consume alcohol to help them relax, feel more confident and less inhibited, but there are cautions to this approach that shouldn’t be overlooked. Different substances can affect the way you operate in social situations, and may affect friendships, personal relationships, and sexual relationships. Below is information and facts on alcohol to help you prepare prior to drinking, make informed decisions while under the influence, and stay safe while celebrating the summer.
Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is a depressant. Many equate its effects to being an aphrodisiac or an “ice breaker” because it is known to lower inhibitions. Alcohol consumption thins the blood and can reduce muscle coordination. People react to alcohol consumption in different ways that can range from a happy feeling to combative. In large amounts, alcohol can cause blacking out, poisoning, vomiting, and even death. Different kinds of alcohol contain different amounts of alcohol.
- Beer contains an average of 5% of alcohol, but with so many craft breweries, the wide variety of offerings can have alcohol contents beyond 11%.
- Wine contains an average of 8 to 15% of alcohol.
- Hard liquor has an average of 45% of alcohol, but again as with beer, the alcohol content can be higher or lower depending on what you are drinking
Alcohol absorption not only depends on the amount that you are consuming, but also what is already in your stomach. Carbohydrates and fatty foods can slow the absorption of alcohol, which can mislead you into thinking that you aren’t as intoxicated as you are. Also, carbonated alcoholic drinks will be absorbed faster than non-carbonated.
Because the consumption of alcohol can lower inhibitions, many people report doing things that they would not ordinarily do while sober. Take these facts, for example, about alcohol use and the correlation with sexual behavior*:
- 65% of surveyed adults reported alcohol or drugs being involved in their more recent casual sex encounter.
- Alcohol increases perceptions of attractiveness for both men and women.
- Women who binge drink are more likely to have unprotected sex and multiple sex partners.
- Each year, about 1 in 20 college women are sexually assaulted. Research suggests that thereis an increase in the risk of rape or sexualassault when both the attacker and victim have used alcohol.
Not only can the consumption of alcohol affect the way you behave sexually, it can impact the quality of the experience as well. Because alcohol dulls the senses, it may be harder to get turned on or achieve orgasm. For men, maintaining an erection may be difficult since alcohol can muddy brain processing. Also, as men consume more alcohol, the amount of testosterone produced is lessened, and as we know, testosterone is essential to a strong sex drive.
Learning the basics of alcohol and its affects on your body and behavior is critical to maintaining control of your own actions. It is important to have a plan if you’re going to be consuming alcohol. Remember that consensual and safe sex is of utmost importance in keeping you sexually healthy. Respect your sexuality and try to make the best decisions that you can. Please be mindful of how much alcohol you are consuming and of the consumption of those around you. If you ever feel that you are in a compromising situation, you have the right to leave, but please seek a safe and sober ride.