Drunk Sex Statistics 2022: Mixing Alcohol + Sex [The RESULT]

What happens when you mix alcohol with sex? You’re getting not just beer goggles, my friend, but much riskier sexual behaviors and health consequences.

Drunk sex: a fun way to enjoy a partner or a risky endeavor?

If you’ve ever felt hornier after a couple of drinks or hooked up with someone who you’d never have glanced twice at otherwise – there’s a good reason. Alcohol isn’t just a social lubricant that makes you less inhibited; it also leads to riskier sexual behaviors.

We dove into the statistics about drunk sex to find out just how often it happens, why people have drunk sex, and the consequences.

Top Drunk Sex Statistics You Should Know:

  • Almost 50% of unplanned sexual encounters occur when one or both partners are drunk.
  • 29% of young people reported being less safe in sexual situations because of alcohol.
  • People who drink before sex have more casual sexual partners and a higher number of sexual partners.
  • Women report less lubrication, find it harder to orgasm, or have less intense orgasms when drinking.
  • BAC levels of just 0.08 percent are associated with greater libido and more sexual activity.
  • Moderate intake of red wine is associated with an increase in desire, lubrication, and overall sexual function.

The Truth About Sex and Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the leading factors in unplanned or unintended sexual consequences, according to the data:

  • 80% of first-time sexual encounters occur under the influence of alcohol.
  • 40% of men believe forcing sex on a drunk woman is acceptable.
  • Almost 50% of unplanned sexual encounters arise when one or both partners are drunk.
  • 2/3 of unplanned pregnancies happen while the woman is intoxicated.
  • 60% of sexually transmitted infections or diseases are transmitted when the partners are drunk.
    • (Beacon Health, 2005)1
  • 8% of US college students aged 18-24 have had unprotected sex from alcohol use.
  • 2% of college students in the US report being victims of sexual assault or date rape due to alcohol.
    • (Annual Review of Public Health, 2005)2

Alcohol Use and Unintended Sexual Consequences

It might seem like common sense, but when alcohol makes you less inhibited, it does so with sex too:

  • Alcohol has been directly linked to more risky sexual behaviors.
    • (Women’s Health Issues, 2015)3
  • 13.5% of men and 11.9% of women reported unwanted consequences when consuming alcohol, including:
    • Regretting sex
    • Failing to use contraception or condoms
      • (PLOS ONE, 2015)4

Alcohol Consumption of all Beverages in the U.S.

Before we go into more stats on drunk sex – how much do people drink overall?

  • 2.38 gallons of ethanol per capita in the last 2 decades.
  • In 2018, over 20 million gallons of beer were consumed
    • (Statista, 2021)5

Percentage of Europeans Who Had Drunk Sex in 2018:

If having sex while drunk is risky, then how many people do it? We don’t have the stats yet for how many people in the US had drunk sex, but here are the stats for Europe.

Percentage of Europeans who had drunk sex:

  • Sweden: 30%
  • Finland: 29%
  • Norway: 25%
  • Denmark: 23%
  • Spain: 18%
  • Germany: 14%
  • France: 13%
  • Italy: 8%
    • (Statista, 2022)6

Patterns of Drinking and Sexual Activity Among Young Adults

Do young people take more sexual risks when they’re drinking?

  • Binge drinking was reported on 52% of days they drank.
  • 62% had sex recently under the influence.
  • 29% reported being less safe in sexual situations because of alcohol.
    • (The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2010)7

Does Alcohol Lead to Sex?

In a recent study on college students, the data seems to indicate that the behaviors are closely linked:

  • Out of 2,879 days, participants reported consuming five or more drinks on 236 days. 
    • 87.6% of drinking days and 53.3% of sexual behavior days were on a weekend.
    • Of days when participants reported both drinking and having sex, 94.9% were weekend days.
    • (Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 2009)8

Effects of Alcohol Use on Males and Females

How does drinking affect men and women when they have sex? Here’s what we found:

For Women:

  • Alcohol Can Increase Sexual Desire:
    • 61.2% of women reported that they desire sex most when drinking compared to not drinking.
      • However, 64.2% indicated that alcohol did not make a difference in how often they had sex.
      • 22.4% of women said they were more likely to engage in sexual activity with alcohol than without alcohol (13.4%)
      • (Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 1986)9
  • Can Cause An Increase or Decrease in Sexual Arousal:
    • 46.3% of women stated that alcohol use did not influence their enjoyment of sex.
    • 44.8% had an increase in sexual desire when drinking a little.
      • Only 16.4% reported an increase in desire when drinking a lot.
      • (Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 1986)9
  • Orgasms Are Harder to Come By:
    • Out of 1,649 women classified as having Female Sexual Dysfunction (FDS):
      • 80% reported alcohol use, and 38% reported drinking patterns with the potential to be hazardous.
      • (Sexual Medicine, 2019)10
  • Alcohol Makes it Harder to Get Wet:
    • Alcohol causes dehydration, which can result in vaginal dryness.
      • (American Addiction Centers, 2022)11
    • Higher blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) were associated with a longer time before orgasm and a decrease in the intensity of orgasm.
    • Women reported significantly greater sexual arousal and orgasmic pleasure under moderate and high alcohol intoxication.
      • (The Journal of Sex and Research, 2010)12

For Men:

  • Getting Hard Might Be Difficult:
    • Of people with alcohol dependence, 37% had some kind of sexual dysfunction. The most common types are:
      • Erectile dysfunction – 25%
      • Dysfunction in satisfying orgasm – 20%
      • Premature ejaculation – 15.5%
      • (The Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 2018)13
    • In a similar study, 72% had one or more sexual dysfunction, the most common being premature ejaculation, low sexual desire, and erectile dysfunction.
      • (The Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 2007)14
  • It Can Hasten or Delay Ejaculation:
    • 37.5% of those studied reported premature ejaculation:
      • 28.12% had complaints of ejaculating within the first minute itself
      • 9.38% ejaculated within three minutes of intromission
      • 14.58% had a lack of pleasure at the time of ejaculation (anorgasmia)
      • 10.41% had inhibited or delayed ejaculation
        • (The Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 2007)14
  • Alcohol Makes You “Hornier”:
    • Low to moderate alcohol consumption is shown to have a protective effect on men’s erectile function.
      • (Wikipedia, unspecified)15
    • Sexual arousal may mediate the effects of alcohol on sexual behaviors.
      • (AIDS and Behavior, 2017)16
  • You’re Morely Likely to Take Sexual Risks:
    • People who drink before sex have more casual sexual partners and a higher number of sexual partners.
      • (The American Journal of Public Health, 2015)17
    • Increases in alcohol-induced arousal can lead to more sexual risk-taking.
      • (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2009)18
    • These risks may also lead to a higher risk of transmitting HIV:
      • There were 36,801 HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2019.
        • About 1,189,700 people had HIV at the end of 2019
        • About 87% knew they had HIV.
        • 23% of all HIV diagnoses were from heterosexual contact.
        • The proportion of AIDS cases from heterosexual contact increased from 3% in 1985 to 32% in 2005.
        • There were 15,815 deaths among people with diagnosed HIV in the US in 2019.
        • (CDC, 2019)19

What Happens When People Mix Alcohol and Sex?

People drink and have sex all the time – here’s what happens when they do: 

  • Almost all studies show that alcohol use is directly linked to casual sex in every age group. This is even more common among teens and young adults.
    • (Psychology Today, 2019)20
  • BAC levels of just 0.08 percent are associated with greater libido and more sexual activity.
    • This is just one drink – or two in men weighing more than 190 pounds.
    • Men who expect to drink are generally hornier than men who don’t, even when they don’t end up drinking.
    • (Psychology Today, 2019)20

Impact of Alcohol on Sex Drive

Alcohol can also reduce sex drive and how easy it is to orgasm, especially when drinking heavily:

  • Excess alcohol can lower testosterone levels and sperm quality. 
    • It can also reduce libido and cause impotence.
    • (Dr. Patrick O’Brien, unspecified)21
  • Women report less lubrication, find it harder to orgasm, or have less intense orgasms when drinking.
    • (Dr. Abigael San, unspecified)22

Does the Type of Alcohol Matter?

Everyone can think of some sex stereotype about certain specific kinds of alcohol and sex. “Whiskey makes you frisky,” and “Gin makes you sin,” right? It turns out that’s only partly true. The rest can probably be chopped up to lower inhibitions. 

  • Tequila does actually make you horny – it’s an aphrodisiac in its natural state.
    • Tequila is also rich in probiotics that may increase sex drive.
    • (Liquor Laboratory, 2022)23
  • 2 glasses of red wine every day can cause men to see an increase in sex drive.
    • Quercetin in red wine blocks the UGT2B17 enzyme in the body (for men), increasing testosterone levels.
    • (GQIndia, 2017)24
  • Moderate intake of red wine is associated with an increase in desire, lubrication, and overall sexual function.
    • (The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2009)25
  • Beer delays premature ejaculation. The iron content in dark beers can increase red blood cells, which helps you achieve stronger (and more frequent) erections.
    • (Dr. Kat Van Kirk, 2015)26

Conclusion

It turns out that “beer goggles” are real – and can definitely lead to riskier decision-making when it comes to sex. That doesn’t mean you should avoid it altogether, though – just be safe out there!

Footnotes

  1. Beacon Health, 2005. Compiled stats on alcohol and sex.
  2. Annual Review of Public Health, 2005. A study on alcohol-related mortality and morbidity.
  3. Women’s Health Issues, 2015. A study of 20 African American women aged 24.5 years.
  4. PLOS ONE, 2015. A study of 966 participants.
  5. Statista, 2021. Statistics from ages 14 and older (survey time period between 1850-2019).
  6. Statista, 2022. According to a 2018 omnibus survey of 8,190 respondents in Europe.
  7. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2010. A study of 208 (men) young adults ages 18 to 29.
  8. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 2009. A study of 218 college students.
  9. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 1986. A study of 69 sexually active women between the ages of 18 and 34.
  10. Sexual Medicine, 2019. A study of 2,253 women presenting for a consultation on a women’s health.
  11.  American Addiction Centers, 2022.
  12. The Journal of Sex and Research, 2010. A published study of 18 university women.
  13. The Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 2018. A study of 84 male patients admitted for de-addiction in a tertiary care center
  14. The Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 2007. A study of 100 alcohol-dependent male subjects
  15. Wikipedia, unspecified. On Alcohol and sex.
  16. AIDS and Behavior, 2017. A study by Stephen Maisto Effects of Alcohol and Sexual Arousal on Sexual Risk.
  17. The American Journal of Public Health, 2015. A study of 17,491 sexually active drinkers.
  18. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2009. A study on 165 men ages 21 to 35.
  19. CDC, 2019. US statistics on HIV diagnosis.
  20. Psychology Today, 2019.
  21. Dr. Patrick O’Brien, unspecified. Spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
  22. Dr. Abigael San, unspecified. Clinical psychologist and alcohol expert.
  23. Liquor Laboratory, 2022. An article on Does Tequila Make You Horny?
  24. GQ India, 2017.
  25. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2009. A study of 798 women ages 18 to 50.
  26. Dr. Kat Van Kirk, 2015. An LA-based certified sex therapist.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More

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