Alcohol and men’s sexual health have a unique relationship. On the one hand, alcohol is what people call “liquid courage” for those feeling reluctant to go talk to someone. On the other hand, alcohol could be the reason the same man can’t get an erection a few hours later during a consensual sexual experience.

It may not seem likely that alcohol would have any negative effects on a man’s sexual health or performance; however, alcohol is a depressant, which “numbs” the nerves. An erection starts with the signals sent to the brain to produce nitric oxide and then secrete a hormone called prolactin. This is how an erection begins. If those signals are dampened or non-existent due to alcohol, then an erection is weak or doesn’t happen, leaving the male confused, annoyed, and embarrassed.

At Charleston Men’s Clinic in Mount Pleasant, we’ve helped thousands of men regain their ability to get and keep erections. When it comes to erectile dysfunction, we have a number of ED treatments to offer. You can request an appointment online or give us a call to schedule your initial consultation. Otherwise, continue reading this post to learn more about how alcohol affects erections.

Alcohol and erections

Alcohol is called liquid courage for a reason. A drink or two can reduce or remove the jitters, whether it be approaching a person while out on the town or about to enjoy an evening of consensual sex. But how good is alcohol for your sex life?

Although alcohol may help you gain the courage to get the number or to relax before a romp, it can cause the opposite desired effect once arousal begins to occur. Alcohol, as mentioned above, dampens your body’s ability to send and receive signals along the nervous system.

For example, as humans engage in consensual intimate moments, their blood pressure rises. This is the response to external stimuli – sex is about to happen. It’s a natural response. As the intimate moment intensifies, the people involved become aroused, if they’re not already due to their imaginations. Hormones play a role in arousal. Guess what alcohol does? It’s a depressant, so nerves, hormones, and other functions are affected in such a way to affect arousal and sexual performance.

Ways alcohol can affect your sex life:

  • Temporary erectile dysfunction – If you own/run a business, you know that cash flow is king. A similar concept to your erection applies: blood flow is king. An erection relies heavily on blood flow to get and stay erect. If your body’s ability to provide blood flow to your penis is inhibited, you will have a tough time with getting and keeping an erection. Drinking alcohol before sex does depress your system, reducing angst, nerves, and more, but it also affects your ability to achieve an erection. One study measured the results of time-to-erection with and without alcohol being consumed. Guess who won that competition? Those who didn’t drink alcohol.
  • Long-term erectile dysfunction – Males who have an alcohol dependence are 60 to70 percent more likely to suffer from sexual health issues. One study shows that chronic alcohol use has been linked to sexual dysfunction. This can include premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, sexual drive (libido), and more.
  • Relationship problems – Those who have an alcohol dependency see more problems in their relationships, whether between spouses or intimate partners. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains that if one or both partners in a relationship abuse alcohol, there is a correlation with the overall health of the partnership and sexual health in particular. This can lead to less sexual encounters or a decreased desire to have sex, which can result in the onset of erectile dysfunction.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – Alcohol is a depressant. It “numbs” the body. In one study, it’s been shown that the combination of alcohol use and sexual behavior increases the risk of contracting an STD. The ability to get or keep an erection decreases with the use of alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol has been shown to decrease inhibitions and decision-making abilities, which can result in exposing yourself to contracting STDs more often than if you did not drink. What shortly follows a contracted STD, in most cases, is either the inability to get an erection or the decrease in desire to have sex altogether.



Request an appointment at Charleston Men’s Clinic

We understand if you’re embarrassed or disheartened about your potential erectile dysfunction, but we’d like to share that we’ve helped thousands of men regain their ability to get and keep an erection. The Charleston Men’s Clinic in Mount Pleasant offers a number of ED treatments to fit your needs. Request an appointment online or call us to schedule your consultation!