top of page

Tip 20:          Sex

I have heard that drinking prevents a guy from “performing.”  I have had sex plenty of times when I was drunk and have had no problems like that – thankfully!  So what’s the story, is that a bunch of crap or does drinking really effect a guy that way?

Ryan N.,   Connecticut College, Senior

My boyfriend and I usually drink before we have sex and it usually feels real good.  But, there are other times when I just can’t seem to have an orgasm.  Is that because of the alcohol or do you think something else is going on?


I believe alcohol’s effect on sexual activity is the ultimate irony!  To paraphrase Shakespeare, “Drink stimulates the desire but impairs the performance!”  A small amount of alcohol seems to have a positive effect on sexual interaction since it relaxes us and lowers our inhibitions.   But, yes Ryan, larger amounts can impair a man’s ability to attain an erection… the ultimate irony AND the ultimate embarrassment for men! Also, consumed in high-risk amounts, alcohol can impair a woman’s ability to produce sufficient lubrication thus leading to painful intercourse.  Also it can impair a woman’s ability to achieve an orgasm.  Such a disappointment! So, once again we see the value in either abstaining from alcohol or consuming it at a low-risk level.


In a survey of college students, more than half reported engaging in unplanned sexual activity they would not have, had they been sober.  You may ask what is wrong with that.  The answer…these same students reported regretting that activity.  The drinking may have led to what is commonly known on the college campus as “beer goggles” – returning home with someone you may not have, had you been sober.  The real struggle for these students however is how they may deal with having compromised, perhaps, their fundamental values about sexual activity.


Another practical concern regarding the impact of alcohol on sexual activity is whether or not the participants will remember to use protection and use it correctly.   In another piece of research the majority of STDs reported by students were transmitted while the student was under the influence of alcohol and the majority of unplanned student pregnancies occurred while the woman was drunk.  (If you drink heavily or vomit within an hour or so after taking a birth control pill, it might render the pill ineffective.)


But it is not all bad news.  After all, in small doses alcohol:

  • Is a “social lubricant” and can assist in socialization.  

  • Can lower our inhibitions and enhance our sexual activity with the right person.

  • Can reduce anxiety thus alleviating a man’s possible tendency for premature ejaculation.



Sexual activity is one of the most intimate acts in which two people can engage to express their love – be it a hug, a kiss, intimate touching or certainly, sexual intercourse.  Be sure you are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually ready.  If you are ready, enjoy!

bottom of page