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In fact, for some reasons, alcohol can make some people feel like “taking off their clothes”. Despite having a different effect on each body, alcohol in small doses generally causes people to feel more relaxed and curious regarding the possibility of having sex. But this relationship between alcohol and sex is not as simple as it seems to be.

People from different places have different views on the relationship between sex and alcohol. Researchers in the area claim that alcohol temporarily disables some brain processes causing some people to become less anxious and more uninhibited. It is important to remember that the reduction of inhibitions is not the same as the increase in arousal. Alcohol can interfere only with the first part of this equation. However, other experts explain that substances present in wine can help increase the blood flow in the male and female genitals. And this may raise the possibility of erection in men and lubrication in women.

There is, however, a possible adverse effect of alcohol in this scenario. Usually, when the male and female sexual organs are touched in an erotic context, the brain interprets the sensations produced as arousal. But in the presence of alcohol, these sensations are dampened and the brain barely perceives them. By depressing the central nervous system, alcohol leads to a reduction of sexual arousal and response to sexual stimulation. In these cases, a relaxation training made possible by a suitable breathing exercise could be way more efficient, since it relaxes the body and does not reduce its sexual arousal and response.

Other possible side effects are vaginal dryness and the delay or absence of ejaculation. Dryness can occur due to dehydration resulting from the effect of alcohol in the organism and the delay or absence of ejaculation may be a result of the dampening of sensations. Moreover, vaginal dryness may lead to lesions in the genital area, once the person under the effect of alcohol can not realize when they need to use more lubricant.

Another important point to be considered here is that alcohol can make it difficult to perceive situations where sex is not allowed. Excessive disinhibition can also cause a person to act on impulse and have sex without a condom. And, due to the reduction of physical sensations, one can not tell when a condom is damaged.

When a person repeatedly uses alcohol to reduce their anxiety level, without learning how to deal with the causes of anxiety while sober, their level of tolerance to drinking can increase and increased will tend to be the need to have a higher dose to return to their baseline level. Sexually speaking, alcohol becomes a crutch for one´s meetings, besides the fact that it can cause other health problems.

Each person has a different experience with alcohol. If you notice that this is disturbing your sex life, seek help from an expert in the field to learn how to reduce your anxiety in your sexual encounters.

 Written by Psychologist Alexandro Paiva.

Clinical Psychologist and Psychosexual Therapist (CRP 06/118772) with experience in treating adult Brazilian and Foreign clients (individual e couples), in English and Portuguese. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Specialist (Institute of Psychiatry, Clinics Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo), Specializing in Psychotherapy with a Focus on Human Sexuality (Paulista Institute of Sexuality). Member of the Brazilian Association of Psychology and Behavioral Medicine (ABPMC). English Language Specialist: Translation Methodology (FAFIRE), having worked as an English Language Teacher for about 10 years (Brazil and China) and lived with people from different cultures, keeps the PsycBlog. It is a psychoeducational blog with texts, videos, translations and subtitling on psychotherapy and sexuality. Main interests include Psychotherapy, Sexuality, Translation Studies, Foreign Languages, Traveling and Photography.

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