In today’s college hookup culture, alcohol and sex often go hand in hand. Both men and women alike use alcohol as “liquid courage,” lowering inhibitions and allowing college students to make decisions that wouldn’t make sense.
Although it is no secret that college is a breeding ground for drunken sex, people should recognize how much of an influence alcohol has on college sex culture. A study published in the Journal of Sex Research sheds some light on the correlation between sex and alcohol in college. The research team analyzed 500 casual and 1,400 formal instances of sexual intercourse over the course of 12 months.
The results of the study were astounding; the research team found that woman drank 53 percent of the time during hookups and drank heavily during 38 percent of hookups. 89 percent of college students who engaged in sex with someone they had just met drank beforehand and 63 percent involved four or more drinks. Alcohol was surprisingly only consumed in 20 percent of romantic encounters.
College students have come to think of alcohol as an aphrodisiac, relying heavily on it in order to talk to individuals they are attracted to. Students have become accustomed to associating certain traits with alcohol, making individuals feel more social and less nervous.
An 18-year-old girl who participated in the study told researchers, “I wasn’t afraid to talk to the guys as I usually do when I am sober.”
Consuming alcohol may help you flirt with someone in the short term, but it may adversely affect your sex life. Neither men nor women gain from excessive drinking before engaging in sexual intercourse. Numerous studies have all concluded that prolonged abuse of alcohol often leads to sexual dysfunction.
Drinking also causes the body’s central nervous system to slow down, which is essential for both sexual arousal and orgasms. When engaging in sexual intercourse while intoxicated, the body begins to lose hydration. This affects men’s ability to maintain erections and women’s ability to self-lubricate.
There is no changing the fact that alcohol is a pivotal part of the sexual culture that takes place on many college campuses. Many see drinking as some sort of college ritual—most college students will not stop drinking when they go out to a party or look for a hookup. While alcohol might sometimes boost spirits or strengthen your social abilities, the key is to drink in moderation.
Most college students will not want to give up the euphoric feeling that alcohol provides. Instead of having four or more drinks in one night, students should opt for one or two drinks. For young people to have safe, enjoyable and intimate sex lives, they must learn how to ration their alcohol intake.