The Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on Sexual Decision-Making
It’s no secret that alcohol and drugs can significantly impair judgment, leading to dangerous and unwise decisions. In a sexual context, the effects of alcohol and drugs are no different and can significantly hinder one’s ability to make sound and responsible decisions when it comes to sexual activity.
Alcohol and drugs can have major physical effects on sexual decision-making. These impacts range from reduced inhibitions to actual physical changes that inhibit sexual activity. Among these physical effects are:
- Impaired judgment and coordination – Alcohol, as well as certain drugs, can significantly impair one’s judgment and coordination, making it difficult for someone to make sound decisions about safer sexual activity.
- Reduced sensation – Some drugs, such as alcohol and marijuana, can reduce sensation, making it hard to know if a partner is experiencing any pain or pleasure.
- Inhibiting arousal – Alcohol and some drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, can actually inhibit natural arousal and delay or inhibit sexual performance.
Drugs and alcohol can also have significant psychological effects on sexual decision-making. These effects vary from drug to drug, but can include:
- Altered self-perception – The altered perceptions that come from drug or alcohol use can make an individual more comfortable with engaging in risky or otherwise inappropriate sexual behaviors.
- Increased impulsivity – Impulsive behavior is common among drug and alcohol users, and can lead to decisions regarding sexual activity that one may not usually make in a sober state.
- Reduced inhibitions – Alcohol in particular can reduce the psychological inhibitions that would normally prevent an individual from being comfortable with certain sexual behaviors.
The effects of alcohol and drugs on sexual decision-making vary depending on the type and amount of the substance and the individual, but it’s important to recognize that the risks posed by these substances can significantly impact an individual’s ability to make sound decisions regarding sexual activity. It’s therefore important to remain aware of these risks and to make informed and responsible decisions when engaging in sexual activity.