Why does sexual desire rise with alcohol?

April 20, 2023 | 05:51 pm PT
I usually experience an increase in sexual desire after drinking wine. Can you explain this reaction? (Son, 28, Hanoi)

A man’s sexual-response cycle is divided into 4 phases: desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction. Alcohol contains nerve stimulants and dopamine, both of which can increase one’s sex drive.

In addition, according to the American Heart Association, drinking less than 150ml of red wine every day helps improve your heart health and circulation in your blood vessels. It also helps relax your body, improve your confidence and sexual health. Therefore, many men use alcohol to improve their sexual stamina.

However, alcohol abuse greatly harms men’s physiology. Specifically, consuming an excessive amount of alcohol inhibits the central nervous system and other organs.

In the long run, alcoholics are at risk of experiencing a decline in their sex drive. Harmful metabolites in wine cause fibrosis and damage blood vessels in the genitalia. This can lead to a decrease in blood supply and erectile dysfunction.

Furthermore, wine can also cause a testosterone deficiency and thus a decline in sex drive. Alcoholism can also lead to mental disorders, memory impairment and unsafe sexual behaviors. And drinking can also worsen one’s judgment.

To improve one’s sexual health, men should exercise moderately, maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and drink 2 liters of water a day.

Limit the use of stimulants like alcohol and cigarettes. Maintain a regular sex life that’s appropriate for your health and needs.

Doctor Pham Minh Ngoc

Deputy Director of Male Studies and Infertility at Hanoi Hospital’s Gender Medical Center

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