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Also known as:

  • booze
  • drink
  • liquor (America)
  • grog (Australia)

What is alcohol?

Booze is the oldest and most widely used drug in the UK. It’s a mood changing drug and a depressant – but in small doses it acts as a stimulant.

When you drink alcohol, it’s absorbed through your bloodstream and its effects spread through your central nervous system. Depending on the dose, alcohol can start taking effect within 5 to 10 minutes.

The effects are stronger on an empty stomach – mixing different types of drink makes you more drunk and can result in a worse hangover.

What’s the attraction?

Alcohol can heighten your mood, making you happier or more affectionate if you feel that way already.

It can relax you, lower your inhibitions and make you more sociable and confident.

Alcohol and sex

Alcohol can lower your inhibitions and make you feel affectionate, horny, sexually confident, sexually assertive or experimental. The numbing effect of booze can make it harder to come and drinking can stop you getting a hard-on.

Heavy drinkers can lose both their sex drive and their ability to get erections.

Drink affects people’s judgement which can make them more likely to take risks during sex that could lead to them getting or passing on HIV and STIs. Booze can stop you being in control of what you do sexually or mean you can’t remember afterwards what sex you had.

Last review: 24/08/2018
Next review: 24/08/2021