William Shakespeare suggested a link between alcohol and sexual performance. Of drinking alcohol, he said “it provokes the desire but takes away the performance.” (Henry IV part I: act 3, scene 1.) But Shakespeare is unclear. That is, he doesn’t specify the level of drinking that “takes away the performance.”
- Alcohol and Erections
- Moderate Drinkers
I. Alcohol and Erections
Researchers report that heavy drinking leading to a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) may reduce the strength of erections.
The evidence about lower levels of alcohol and sexual performance are mixed. Over half the studies report negative effects of high BAC on the strength of erections. Yet the jury is still out on the matter. But a reasonable take home message would be to limit your drinking to moderate levels..
Having a low or moderate BAC also prevents a hangover. Learn more about the upside and downside of various alcohol levels. Just visit How Alcohol Effects Us: The Biphasic Curve Shows the Pleasure vs Pain Relationship of BAC.
Also it’s important to understand the importance of beliefs and expectations. What happens if people falsely believe they’ve been drinking alcohol? Learn at Alcohol and Sex: Links Between Drinking and Sex.
II. Moderate Drinkers Benefit Sexually
Australian researchers studied alcohol and sexual performance among male light and moderate drinkers. To do so, they analyzed data from 1,580 people in the Western Australia Men’s Health Study. The men ranged in age from 20 to 80.
The study had earlier reported that erectile dysfunction (ED) was widespread. The same is true in the U.S. The study found major risk factors to be cardiovascular disease (CVD) and smoking. Both of these cause blood circulation problems
This analysis examined the impact of moderate drinking on ED. Moderate consumption was drinking up to about four drinks per day up to five days per week.
The researchers found that moderate drinkers were almost 30% less likely to suffer ED. This was regardless of their age. Also, moderate drinkers who didn’t smoke were almost 50% less likely to have ED problems than smokers.
Moderate drinkers tend to have better cardiovascular (CV) health than non-drinkers. This appears to aid the function of vascular organs. Of course, that includes the penis. So the the link between the moderate drinking of alcohol and sexual performance is apparent. Indeed, ED is also predictive of CV death.
You might find this useful.
III. Summary: Alcohol and Erections
There is good evidence that a high BAC can inhibit a strong erection. Thus, it would appear wise to limit drinking several hours before sex.
IV. Resources: Alcohol and Erections
- Balon, R. Sexual Dysfunction: The Brain-Body Connection.
- Ellsworth, P. and Stanley, B. 100 Questions & Answers about ED.
- Grant, P. ED. Causes & Risk Factors.
- Jackson, G. Sex, the Heart and ED.
- Kloner, R. Heart Disease and ED.
- Mayo Clinic. 8 Common ED Myths.
- Milsten, R. Male Sexual Function. Myth, Fantasy & Reality.
- Chew, K., et al. Alcohol consumption and male erectile dysfunction. An unfounded reputation for risk? J Sex Med, 6(5), 1386–1394.
- This site gives no advice. Please see your doctor with questions.