Is alcohol affecting your sex life?
Find out why too much alcohol can be a sexual turn-off for you both.
Drinking alcohol to excess can make good sex go bad. Dr Abigael San, clinical psychologist and alcohol expert, says this is because alcohol reduces both men's and women's sexual sensitivity.
"In both sexes, sexual response is reduced by regular and prolonged drinking," she says.
"In men, alcohol can cause difficulties getting and maintaining an erection - while women may experience reduced lubrication, find it harder to have an orgasm, or have orgasms that are less intense."
Many people mistakenly believe that alcohol is an aphrodisiac. However, over time too much alcohol can actually put a dampener on your sex drive.
Drinking too much over an extended period of time can turn a temporary condition like 'Brewer's Droop' into full-blown impotence (1). Drinking can also cause damage if you're planning to have children. Women who drink over the government’s daily unit guidelines can take longer to become pregnant and can suffer from menstrual and fertility problems.
Recapture your spark
If you're serious about not letting alcohol get between you and great sex, then it's best to try cutting down together. Start by planning romantic nights that don't involve drinking alcohol at all, or make sure that you keep the amount on offer to within the daily unit guidelines.
Practical ways to cut back on booze
Rather than criticising your partner's drinking habits, acknowledge that it could be a good idea for both of you to cut down.
Some enthusiastic praise can help steer your partner towards what makes you both feel good. Compliments like "You look really slim now you've cut down on the pints," will help your partner feel positive about their choice.
Record your everyday drinking so at the end of the week you can see what you've consumed. MyDrinkaware is perfect for this.
If you've got into the habit of drinking wine for dinner, try switching to a non-alcoholic choice instead.
Put away the money you would have spent on alcohol. Then, at the end of the month use it for something you can do together.
Are you drinking too much?
Find out how many units you are drinking
Compare your drinking to the government's daily unit guidelines.Try our Unit Calculator
Take a drinking self assessment
Answer these simple questions and find out what kind of a relationship you have with alcohol.Assess your drinking
(1.) NHS Choices websites, Male Sexual dysfunction. Available athttp://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/men4060/Pages/Malesexualdysfunction.aspx
Page updated: April 2013
Did you know?
More than 1 in 10 deaths of people in their 40s are from liver disease, most are from alcoholic liver diseaseAlcohol and the liver
Calculate your calories
Find out how many calories are in your drinksTry our unit calculator
- How much is too much for under 18s to drink?
- Does alcohol make you argue?
- Concerned about someone's drinking?
- Tips for cutting down when out
- Tips for cutting down at home