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Acute Alcohol Intoxication and Female Orgasmic Response

Victor J. Malatesta, Robert H. Pollack, Terri D. Crotty and Lelon J. Peacock
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 18, No. 1 (Feb., 1982), pp. 1-17
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812507
Page Count: 17
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Acute Alcohol Intoxication and Female Orgasmic Response
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Abstract

This study tested the hypothesis that increasing levels of acute alcohol intoxication are related to systematic changes in female orgasmic experience reflected by physiological, behavioral, and cognitive indices. Using a repeated measures design with monthly experimental sessions, each of 18 university women were sustained at four different blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) in counterbalanced order prior to viewing sexually explicit videotapes and engaging in masturbation to orgasm. Measures of vaginal blood volume obtained by means of a vaginal photoplethysmograph and complemented by a behavioral latency measure showed a progressive and systematic depressant effect of alcohol on orgasmic responding. Higher BACs were associated with longer orgasmic latencies and decreased subjective intensity of orgasm, while, paradoxically, women reported significantly greater sexual arousal and orgasmic pleasurability under conditions of moderate and high alcohol intoxication. Results have implications for treatment and prevention of alcohol-induced orgasmic dysfunction, and the data suggest that women's orgasm will occur more readily under conditions of no alcohol consumption. Modest intake of alcohol, however, may be expected to result in greater feelings of sexual arousal, a more enjoyable orgasmic experience, and only a moderate increase in the time it takes to reach orgasm.

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