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Valentines – don’t love the booze more than your partner.

Published 14/02/2008

For some people, nothing says romance like a bottle of champagne, a meal washed down with several large glasses of wine, and possibly a ‘nightcap' to follow.

But the Linwood Group, one of the UK's leading alcohol addiction treatment organisations, is reminding people that Valentine's Day should be about hearts and flowers, not alcohol abuse.

In fact, if you want a night of true romance and passion, you and your partner might want to think about ditching the booze altogether, advise Linwood specialists who work in four dedicated alcohol clinics around the country.

That's because, in essence, alcohol is a poison that damages your body each time you drink it, especially if taken in excess. Rather than helping the heart, drink will damage it -- both literally and metaphorically -- over the long term.

As little as one glass of champagne or a pint of beer in your blood stream can handicap your sexual performance. Additional effects can include:

- Loss of sensation during love-making;

- Inability to reach orgasm;

- Uncoordinated and clumsy movements;

- Tendency to ‘talk nonsense', instead of ‘whisper sweet nothings'.

More worryingly, heavy use of alcohol for over a year can lead to a reduction in testosterone levels in a man, hence the arrival of those dreaded ‘man boobs', complete with the shrinking of the testicles that can lead to impotency. For women, the news is not much better - irregularities in menstruation, infertility and a loss of sex drive can result from overdoing the booze on a regular basis.

Commenting on the effect of alcohol on sexual performance, Sue Allchurch, director of Linwood, said: "We're suggesting people try alternatives to alcohol to get into the romantic mood this year. Creating the right mood with candles and music and serving a meal rich in aphrodisiac foods are more likely to result in a more pleasurable evening ? and the next morning you'll wake up without a hangover and feel ready to repeat the whole experience."

The other consideration is the damage long-term drinking can have on a relationship - a physical relationship is important to the ongoing success of a loving relationship. When it is affected, this can lead to arguing, recriminations and even to one of the parties looking elsewhere for love.


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