what does alcohol do?

Its common knowledge that alcohol lowers testosterone tremendously. But I wonder why people’s sex drives go nuts when they’re drunk and why some people(not all people are like this) become mean as hell. I GUESS the sex drive is b/c some peoplelose the restrictions imposed by their minds. Obviously if you drink too much you might get whiskey dick. I can’t for the life of me figure out why some people get mean as hell when they’re drunk. I have a few friends that are ‘mean drunks’ and some are assholes sober and others are normal sober. Just wondering.

Alcohol is a disinhibitor. When drunk, the real you comes out. So if you’re really horny, mean, or whatever at heart, it comes out when you booze it up.

Your alcohol lowers testosterone assertion is definitely correct, but I have to disagree with the part about “people’s sex drive” going nuts when they’re drunk. My contention is that MEN ARE ALWAYS HORNY! It doesn’t matter if they’re drunk or not; they just seem more horny because they know that there are drunk girls nearby of whom they can take advantage. Women’s sex drive definitely seems to go up; although the “if alcohol lowers testosterone, why is this so” question is far less valid in this case. Summarily, men always want to get their birds wet, while women are just more amenable to accomodating this desire when they’re drunk. As far as the mean drunks are concerned, it always seemed to me that those people were either unstable personalities or just plain assholes to begin with, and they just use being drunk as an excuse to act accordingly.

Alcohol affects neurotransmitter levels in the frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe is the primary place in our brain that we use to control instinctual urges. Most other animals react on instinct alone; humans have “reason” to control them. Studies on serial killers have shown that this part of the brain is what we use to control these urges. Most if not all serial killers lack activity in this part of the brain and thus have the urge to act violently.

Why do we get violent? It’s instinctual to be dominant. If our dominance is challenged we instinctually want to defend it. Alcohol reduces the ability to control that so we act upon it instead of thinking about it.

Why is it easier to have sex? Reproduction is instinctual. The second highest thing on the instinct list for all living things after self-preservation is reproduction. Not only does alcohol reduce our sexual inhabitations it also reduces the ability to pick out health traits in a mate. In other words, everyone is beautiful at 2am.

As for the differences in your friends… Remember, everyone is different. We all have billions of neurons in our brains that make trillions of different connection combinations. Although many of those connections are similar none of them are the same. We also have different levels of neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, glycine, and noradrenaline are a few of them) in our brains. All these differences make us the unique individuals we are. Therefore no two people are alike. Your friends who are passive drunks may just have higher levels of certain neurotransmitters in the frontal lobe which counteracts the lowering effect of alcohol.


Thanks guys. Kind of what I thought but just wasn’t able to put to words. Craig, you brought up something that I always say but didn’t use in this situation: We are all different. Thanks for the input guys. Take care.

It is all about set and setting. If a person believes that alcohol causes people to be violent then they are likely to be violent. They use the alcohol as an excuse to be violent.

I think I read here at T-mag, an increase in libido when drunk is to do with the alcohols suppression of Testosterone. Your body’s response is to make more, this is manifested in feelings of increased libido. Dont quote me on this… search for yourself, but its just something that rings a bell. :slight_smile:

In many ways, the behavioural research is more useful than physiological research in making sense of what alcohol does. There are hundreds of studies that separate out the psychological and physiological effects of alcohol on human behaviour.
In these experiments, there are 4 conditions: people consume either vodka tonic or plain tonic AND what they are told they are consuming is either true or false. So you’ve got 4 groups. These subjects drink enough to be intoxicated, and then we’d measure a behaviour we’re interested in.
The 1-minute summary of this research is that quite apart from the physiological effects of alcohol, when people THINK they are drunk, they engage in social “deviant” behaviours. I don’t mean that they kill people; I mean that they engage in behaviours they usually keep a lid on. For example, “Told Vodka and Tonic” men who have actually consumed only plain tonic tend to behave more aggressively with other males, flirt with women, and watch extreme pornography in for longer when there are women present. They also explain their behaviour later by saying something like “It wasn’t me, it was the alcohol.”
The really neat thing, from my point of view, is when you debrief these people–they suddenly realise that because they didn’t even drink real alcohol, they have much more control over their behaviour than they thought…in some cases, they drink less as a result.

I always find these stories of “what alcohol
does to people” interesting because all it
has ever done to me is make me sleepy and
mildly depressed. And on occasion, nausous.

some one mention that when you drink the “real you” comes out, while one of my best friends who is normally one of the nicest and coolest guys to chill with, when he gets drunk he get really angery to the point where he became mildly voilent (nothing to serious just overly aggresstive)would this be the real him or is he just a mean drunk and nothing more?