Advertisement

How do smoking and using alcohol and drugs affect sexual health?

Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Geriatrics Nursing

"Good in Bed" has given an excellent response. In addition, behaviorally, alcohol and drugs very often produce uncontrolled and embarrassing behavior that your intended sexual partner will not find attractive at all. You may find yourself alone at the end of the night and not even know why or remember the evening at all. You won't have to worry about the fact that you can't breathe during sex because you can't process enough oxygen for that level of exertion. You won't have to worry about the impact of doing drugs on your DNA and therefore your offspring. You won't be aware of the fact that you are constantly disappointing your partner because you are out cold half way through sex and therefore your relationship is tenuous at best. You won't have to worry about any of that with this partner at least because s/he will find someone else who doesn't get drunk and get high and you will be alone. The downward spiral from there is pretty bleak. Bottom line, sexual health notwithstanding, drugs and alcohol to excess will ruin your life and health faster than you can figure out what 'to excess' is.    

We all know that tobacco contributes to lung and heart disease, but many people don’t realize that it seriously affects sexual health as well. Smoking damages the arteries affecting blood flow to the genitals, and it leads to a loss of desire and arousal in both men and women. In terms of alcohol consumption, most of us know that having a drink or two before sex may help us relax and ease our inhibitions. But high levels of consumption can also result in sexual dysfunction. From causing the loss of erections to preventing your ability to get or stay aroused, alcohol disables the natural sexual response of the autonomic nervous system. Other chemical substances, like marijuana and cocaine, also have known links to low sex drive and sexual dysfunction.

Continue Learning about Sex and Relationships

Back Pain During Sex? Maybe It's Time to Switch Positions
Back Pain During Sex? Maybe It's Time to Switch Positions
Using those back muscles with extra gusto during sex may not be such a good call for back pain sufferers whose aches often interfere with pleasure. Bu...
Read More
Baby Boomers, Sex and STDs
Baby Boomers, Sex and STDs
Being over 50 doesn’t necessarily mean being over the hill sexually – and that’s a good thing, considering the many health benefits of sex. Sex can he...
Read More
Have Heart Disease? Feel Confident Resuming Sexual Activity!
Have Heart Disease? Feel Confident Resuming Sexual Activity!
Photo Credit: Leo Hidalgo, via Flickr Creative Commons Many patients who are diagnosed with heart disease, or who are recovering from a heart attack ...
Read More
6 Cringe-Worthy Sex Moments
6 Cringe-Worthy Sex Moments6 Cringe-Worthy Sex Moments6 Cringe-Worthy Sex Moments6 Cringe-Worthy Sex Moments
How to avoid some of the riskiest and most embarrassing sexual health blunders. Ever been swept up in a moment of passion, only to kill the mood with...
Start Slideshow

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.