Most of us love the fuzzy feeling we get after a glass or two of wine or a couple of beer cans. We get warmer and more relaxed, and everything seems better. However, we’ve all read about the side effects of drinking too much alcohol, and it probably makes you wonder if there are any true benefits of alcohol and how it affects our brain. We’ll get to that, but first, let’s see why we drink in the first place.
Reasons Why People Drink Alcohol
Alcohol is so deeply rooted in our culture that, if you think about it, no one can tell you for sure why they drink. The most common answer you’ll get is: “Because I like it.” There are numerous reasons for letting it affect our brain. Some of them are sociological (e.g., culture, heritage), some are psychological (family, relaxation, arousal, social lubrication), but whatever your reason for drinking, you probably don’t think about it too much when you go out to have a good time.
Most of us tried our first drinks before we were legally allowed to do so. This may not be a good thing, but it’s so common it has become normal. Every teen party revolves around drinking. Alcohol is the first forbidden thing you try and the last bad thing you’ll try to quit. It can turn an ordinary night into a fun one and make dating and meeting people much easier. Let’s not forget how it can add to the feeling of arousal when you are with that special someone.
Alcohol Effects — Male vs. Female Brain
Since we agreed that everyone drinks, we won’t go into who drinks more, men or women. There is a lot of research on the subject, but the truth is, there are just too many factors involved. There’s age, education, financial and marital status, mental issues, and so on. On the other hand, men are more likely to become drinkers from an early age because our culture dictates this model of drinking. So there’s peer pressure. Besides that, advertising campaigns for alcohol, especially beer, target men, while wine and other soft drink advertisements mostly target women.
One thing we can say for sure is that alcohol affects the two sexes differently, and the reason for that lies in the differences in our bodies. Alcohol reacts in our brain by blocking chemical signals in brain cells called neurons. By blocking information that goes through our brain cells, it inhibits thinking. Thus you have symptoms like slurred speech, poor memory, slow reflexes, and the most infamous of all — impulsive behavior. It basically turns you into an animal, leaving you with nothing but impulses and basic desires. So that’s why you did all that crazy stuff you did the night before. However, in order to do all that to our mind and body, alcohol needs a couple of things — water and body fat. Alcohol resides in water and gets stored in body fat. So let’s see what that means for the sexes.
Women Get Drunk More Easily
Women are statistically smaller than men and have less body weight. Women have less water in their bodies, and that means that the effect of alcohol is somewhat stronger on them. Additionally, girls have more body fat than men, and since alcohol is stored in it, that means alcohol can stay in their system for much longer. This indicates that they can have just a couple of drinks and get drunk instantaneously. Another key factor is that men produce larger amounts of dehydrogenase enzyme, which helps break down alcohol before it even reaches the bloodstream, thus making them capable of drinking more.
Drinking Makes Other People Appear More Attractive
We’ve all been there — it’s the last call for drinks, and you see someone you first saw when you came in and thought, “Well, they look ok,” and after a couple of drinks, they are simply glowing. Everything they say is so fun like they know exactly what to say or do to look more and more interesting, and God, how attractive they are right now, you could just eat them.
Yes, alcohol does that, and it’s pretty notorious for it. There’s even a name for it — beer goggles — but it should be called alcohol goggles because every alcohol does that. It has everything to do with the mentioned effect of impairing higher thinking and turning ordinary people into animals. It removes all learned and socially accepted behavior and leaves you only with your instinct, pure desire, and pure passion. So there you have it — that’s why you end up with someone you are not so sure you want to wake up next to the following morning.
Drinking Can Improve Sex
You surely know at least one person who doesn’t trust anyone if they don’t drink at all. There’s a certain bad omen revolving around non-drinkers. In fact, only one percent of dates pass without any alcohol. There’s a pretty good reason for that, trust us. Alcohol is simply the best at making everything much more relaxed. It gives you the opportunity to be someone else by making you braver, more open, more relaxed, and more into that one thing you never told anyone about. That’s why it makes sex so much better. It brings out the best and the worst in us.
So sex and alcohol go well together. But there’s a catch — don’t overdo it. Too much alcohol means your brain is simply overpowered and can’t do anything you want it to do. Speaking, moving, thrusting, and everything you need for great sex seems impossible. Alcohol consumes water in our body, so if you are a girl, you’ll probably end up sleeping and dry (in every sense of the word) rather than having the greatest night of your life. If you are a guy, you’ll probably end up incapable of getting it up, and all that because of lack of water in your body.
So now you know. It’s probably impossible to avoid any drinking at all, but if you do end up doing it, be moderate about it. Like anything else in life, moderation is the best philosophy.