Note: This article is long—in part because alcohol has different effects (for me and from studies) depending on how much you drink. Read on to find out what happens!
(Also, if you're confused about why that's the clitoris, see here)
Alcohol: you might love it or hate it. Some believe it’s social lubricant that can make you feel more confident and suave than ever. But does that confidence translate to better sex?
After our forays experimenting with the effects of cannabis and orgasms, we wanted to see how alcohol affects the body when it comes to pleasure. Would it be an aphrodisiac? Or if it would result in the equivalent of a “whiskey dick” (or, perhaps more accurately in this case, a vodka vag).
So armed with a bottle of wine from work (we weren’t drinking it anyway), I went home early one day to do some “research”.
What do you mean by “research”?
From left to right: Lioness Vibrator, Wine, Lioness Box, Wine Glass
For those of you who are new here, I’m one of the creators of the Lioness Vibrator, a smart vibrator that is equipped with sensors that can actually *visualize* your sexual response and orgasm.
You can track what works and what doesn’t work for you—so essentially, you can use it to learn how to have better sex and orgasms, with and without the vibrator.
Being in tune with your body and pleasure is important. Health actually matters a huge amount. Today, we're going to find out, firsthand, what alcohol does (spoiler alert here: weed lube was way better).
What studies say about alcohol and sexual response
Studies have shown two things about the interactions of alcohol and sexual response:
- Inhibition of sexual response with vaginal dryness, issues with physical arousal, and erectile dysfunction. So if you want to delay your orgasm...a bit of alcohol may be your helper here.
- Make you feel more relaxed and have a good time... just like how alcohol can help take the edge off in social encounters.
For fun, we also did a quick, informal poll about what our Instagram followers thought about the matter:
81 people answered—and several hundred of you did not answer but were curious to learn more...
So alcohol may help you feel like a superstar in bed... but when it comes to the actual motion of the ocean, you may fall short. Can the physiological cons be outweighed by the pros?
The conversation about alcohol and sex are very different for men versus women
For men, there was a lot of talk about physiological effects of alcohol and erections, while for women, a lot of the conversation was centered around the psychological effects alcohol, losing inhibitions, and becoming more promiscuous.
It's the age-old sexual inequity where sex is for men to enjoy and women to control the consequences of.
Well, it's 2018, and it's about time we changed that and talked about vodka vag instead of just whiskey dick—so let's go.
My experience with alcohol (since everyone’s tolerance is different)
People have different tolerance levels, so I’ll let you know mine before we start. I’m a pretty cheap drunk, despite my German/Wisconsin heritage. I also get pretty anxious from alcohol, which is unpleasant to say the least.
Everybody, meet my orgasm. Orgasm, say hi to The Internet.
Orgasms differ but by and large: rhythmic contractions of good feelings that start rapidly and then slow down. I got over 150 of these logged on the Lioness. There’s even an animation, with the circle being a representation of my vagina pulsating in and out to give you a sense of what that’s like.
Isn't that cool? Instant Reply!
Round 1—1.5 glasses of wine
All right, for this first session I started with about 10 oz of sauvignon blanc white wine from the Benziger Family Winery. No, I'm not getting paid—it was just cheap wine.
I waited about half an hour for the alcohol effects to kick in and did the deed (with myself and that nice bottle of wine):
I swear I'm not tipsy yet, even though my contractions look like they're tipping over. Still felt good though.
Now, one thing I noticed was that I was feeling pretty good already before the wine kicked in. And it definitely didn’t hinder the experience here.
I felt more relaxed and nonchalant than usual. Also, my pelvic floor also seemed more relaxed than usual—most of the time it hovers between 60-80 units during sober sessions. 30-40 is at the lower end for me.
Tipsy, but still good
Also, my pelvic floor seems to dip quite a bit during the orgasm, which I definitely don’t usually experience. Usually my orgasms are ridiculously rhythmic... and these are a little bit... tipsy.
So, cool! Maybe a bit of alcohol helps now and then, at least for me. I still wouldn’t incorporate it into my regular routine because of aforementioned anxiety, but hey, nice to know it’s in the repertoire of choices now and then.
Round Two—Another 1.5 glasses of wine (about an hour later)
If I wanted this to be really formal I could do this a number of times over a period of time to see what happens, but since this is real life and I don’t want to be constantly drinking, I’d rather try to get this all out of the way in one swoop so I don’t have to pick up another glass of alcohol for a long time.
I regretted this the next day, but we all have regrets.
(Note: I do not recommend binge drinking, because of all the health and addiction risks—and because it sucks, as we will see.)
The train (my orgasm) has left the station
I drank another 1.5 glasses (we’re up to 3 standard alcohol drinks now), waited another hour or so, and then went off to the races again...and nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don’t damn feel like it.
So I waited a bit longer and then tried again later. And again. And again.
This is what I do for all of you.
Round Three: Finished the damn bottle (4 hours after the first glass)
I wouldn’t do this on my own volition, but tonight, for the sake of experimenting, I’ve polished off the rest of the bottle.
While the amount and pace may not sound like a lot to some people, that is more than enough for me (way more than I typically do—usually I hover between 1-3 standard drinks). But I just want to finish this up to see what’ll happen with alcohol, and then move on with life.
Eventually, I feel something?
From looking at the pelvic floor strength/tightness (the y-axis on the left), my pelvic floor is generally tighter than before, and on the upper end of tightness for me. It went from around the 40s last time to around the 60s-80s.
Let me reemphasize—it sucks
I’m also dry as a bone, and as we’ve discussed in an earlier article, though you might think a higher number is “better”, a tighter vagina is not necessarily better for more pleasurable sex. The friction and general discomfort probably didn’t help matters, either.
The orgasm lasted around the same amount of time, but it did not feel good. In fact, I hated it. It was more of a relief that it was over and I could move on with my life rather, and start recovering from the inevitable hangover that I’d have the next day.
Conclusion: Alcohol is interesting, up until a point.
At least for me, alcohol might make things more interesting... up to a point. And then things go downhill. I can see both observations from research echoed in my experiences here.
I could start seeing how feeling more relaxed, confident, and in the moment can improve the experience. But then there’s a point where no amount of drunken confidence will overcome my whiskey vagina / vodka vag, and I’d feel worse than when I started. Plus, the headache and fatigue afterwards are no fun.
Like everything, pleasure is a balance. And everyone’s balance is different based on their unique bodies and experiences. Maybe some sort of food or substance could help make things more interesting now and then, but there’s the risk of addiction, building tolerance, and especially with alcohol, alcoholism that not only makes for lousy sex, but can also destroy your life in many other ways.
I think I’ll stick with my mostly-sober sex and work on my mind and relaxing more. I might add a little bit of spice now and then to change it up and keep things interesting, but I wouldn’t do it all the time in case I became overly reliant or dependent on it. After all, variety is the spice of life, but adding too much salt to your dinner can ruin your meal.
Want other ways to learn about what you like? The Lioness may be able to help!
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