After reviewing the theories proposed as models for alcoholism, a picture seems to emerge that may serve to incorporate the sexual dysfunctions occuring in chronic alcoholism. So far, neither the clinical anecdotal data, nor the recent research on non-alcoholics conducted in controlled laboratory conditions could explain the persistence of sexual ysfunctions after years of sobriety. The seemingly paradoxical appearance, during periods of alcohol abstinence, of a more severe symptom of sexual malfunction—the total lack of sexual desire—may be conceived as an attempt to compensate a psychodynamic imbalance: as alcoholism is aleviated, the sexual dysfunction is aggravated. Therefore, in order to be effective, sex therapy for the alcoholic, has to address itself at the same time to the intrapersonal dynamics, to the inter-personal system as well as to the actual presenting sexual complaints.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Gallant DM: Current thinking on recreational drugs and sex.Aspects of Human Sex 12 80–1, 1978.
Farkas GM, Rosen RC: The effect of alcohol on elicited male sexual response.J Stud Alc 37: 276–72, 1976.
Briddell DW, Wilson GT: The effects of alcohol and expectancy set on male arousal.J Abnorm Psychol 85: 225–34, 1976.
Rubin HB, Henson DE: Effects of alcohol on male sexual responding.Psychopharm 47: 123–34, 1976.
Mendelson JH, Mello NK: Co-variance of neuroendocrine function and behavior: A potential technique for assessing drug use liability. in T Thompson, KR Unra (ed):Predicting dependence liability of stimulant and depressant drugs. Baltimore: University Park Press, 1977.
LaFerla JJ, Anderson, DL, Schalch DS: Psychoendocrine response to visual erotic stimulation in human males.Psychosom Med 38: 62, 1976.
Ylikahri R, Huttunen M, Harkonen M, Suederling U, Onikki S, Karonen SL, Adelcreutz H: Low plasma testosterone values in men during hangover.J Steroid Biochem 5: 655–58, 1974.
van Thiel DH, Lester R: Sex and alcohol.New Eng J Med 291: 251–53, 1974.
Kolarov P, Panayotov D, Protich M, Strashimirov D, Milanov S: The testicular function efficiency determined by the Spermatogenic Activity Test (SAT) in diabetic and alcoholic patients. In JG Vassilieva-Popova (ed):Physical and chemical bases of biological information transfer, New York: Plenum Press, 1975.
Brewer C, Perrett L: Bram damage due to alcohol consumption: An air-encephalographic study.Brit J of Addic 66: 170–82, 1971.
Walgren H, Barry H: Biological, physiological and psychological aspects.Actions of alcohol, Vol. I Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1971.
Rosenblatt SM, Gross MM, Malenowski B, Broman M, Lewis E: Factor analysis of the daily clinical course rating scale of the acute alcoholic psychoses.Quart J Stud Alc 33: 1060–64, 1972.
Parsons OA: Brain damage in alcoholics: Altered states of unconsciousness. In MM Gross (ed):Alcohol intoxication and withdrawal. New York: Plenum Press, 1973.
Sexias FA, Eggelston S: Alcoholism and the central nervous system.Ann NY Acad Sci 215: 60389, 1973.
Ohara K, Homma O: Ethanol and the central nervous system.Intern J Neurol 9: 168–72, 1974.
Tarter RE: Brain damage associated with chronic alcoholism.Dis Nerv System 36: 185–87, 1975a.
Tarter, RE: Psychological deficit in chronic alcoholics: A review.Intern J Addict 10: 327–68, 1975b.
Tarter RE: Empirical investigations of psychological deficit. In RE Tarter, AA Sugarman (ed):Alcoholism. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1976.
Muller D, Roeder F, Orthner H: Further results of stereotaxis in the human hypothalamus in sexual deviations.Neurochirurgia 16: 113–26, 1973.
Heath RG: Pleasure and brain activity in man: Deep and surface electroencephalograms during orgasm.J Nerv Mental Dis 154: 3–18, 1972a.
Heath RG: Marijuana: Effects on deep and surface electroencephalograms of man.Arch Gen Psychiat 26: 577–84, 1972b.
Rad M Von, Gelhard HR: Alkohol und malabsorbtion in der genese peripherer und zentraler nervenschaden.Deutsch Med Whschr 100: 1168–71, 1975.
Low PA, Walsh JC, Huang CY: Sympathetic nervous system in alcoholic neuropathy.Brain 98: 357–64, 1975.
Novak DJ, Victor M: Vagus and sympathetic nerves in alcoholic neuropathy.Arch Neurol 30: 273–84, 1974.
Marberger H: The mechanism of ejaculation.Basic Life Science 4: 99–110, 1974.
Paredes A: Maritual-sexual factors in alcoholism.Med Aspects Hum Sex 7: 98–115, 1973.
Viamontes JA: Alcohol abuse and sexual dysfunction.Med Aspects Hum Sex 8: 185–86, 1974.
Viamontes JA: Sexual depressant effect of alcohol.Med Aspects Hum Sex 9: 31, 1975.
Mills LC: Drug induced impotence.Amer Family Phys 12: 104–6, 1975.
Renshaw DC: Sexual problems of alcoholics.Chicago Med 78: 433–36, 1975.
Lemere F: Sexual impairment in recovered alcoholics.Med Asp Hum Sex 10: 69–70, 1976.
Lemere F, Smith JW: Alcohol-induced sexual impotence.Amer J Psychiat 130: 212–3, 1973.
Jensen SB: Sexual behavior and sexual problems among alcoholics.Ugeskrift for Laeger 139: 35–40, 1977.
Newman J: Workshop proceedings. ed. in sexual counseling for person with alcohol problems. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Institute of Alchol Studies, 1976.
Miller PM, Mastria MA:Alternatives to alcohol abuse: A social learning model. Champaign, Illinois: Research Press, 1977.
Whitfield CL: Alcohol and sexual function. In CL Whitfield, KH Williams (ed):The patient with alcoholism and other drug problems. University of Maryland Printshop. 1978.
Goodwin D:Is alcoholism hereditary. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976.
Wilson GT, Lawson DM: Expectancies, alcohol and sexual arousal in male social drinkers.J Abnorm Psychol 85: 587–94, 1976.
McClelland DC, Davis WN, Kalin R, Wanner E: The drinking man. New York: The Free Press, 1972.
Rada RT: Alcohol and rape.Med Asp Hum Sex 9: 48–65, 1975.
Berenson D: Alcohol and the family system. In PJ Guerin (ed):Family therapy: Theory and practice. New York: Gardner Press, 1976.
Greaves G: Toward an existential theory of drug dependence.J Nerv Ment Dis 159: 263–74, 1974.
Jones HB: The effects of sensual drugs on behavior: Cues to the function of the brain.Adv Psychobiol 2: 297–312, 1974.
Zuckerman M, Bone RN, Neary R, Mangelsdorff D, Brustman B: What is the sensation seeker? Personality traits and experience correlates of the sensation seeking scales.J Consult Clin Psychol 39: 308–21, 1972.
Husted JR, Edwards, AE: Personality correlates of male sexual arousal and behavior.Arch Sex Behav 5: 149–56, 1976.
Wurmser L: Drug abuse: The nemesis of psychiatry.Amer Scholar 41: 393–407, 1972.
Bateson G: The cybernetics of “Self”: A theory of alcoholism.Psychiatry 34: 1–18, 1971.
Miller PM, Barlow DH: Behavioral approaches to the treatment of alcoholism.J Nerv Ment Dis 157: 10–20, 1973.
Davis DI, Berenson D, Steinglass P, Davis S: The adaptive consequences of drinking.Psychiatry 37: 209–15, 1974.
Hoffman H: Personality measurement and the evaluation of prediction of alcoholism. In RE Tarter, AA Sugarman, (eds):Alcoholism. Reading, Mas.: Addison-Wesley, 1976.
Bandura A: Behavior theory and models of man.Amer Psychol 29: 859–69, 1974.
Mosher DL: The gestalt awareness-expression cycle as a model for sex therapy.J Sex Marital Therapy 3: 229–42, 1977.
Apfelbaum B: A contribution to the development of the behavioral-analytic sex therapy model.J Sex Marital Therapy 3: 128–38, 1977a.
Swensen CH: Ego development and the interpersonal relationship. In DD Nevill (ed):Humanistic psychology, New Frontiers. N.Y., Gardner Press, 1977.
Loevinger J: The meaning and measurement of ego development.AAmer Psychol 21: 195–206, 1966.
Loevinger J, Wessler R, Redmore C:Measuring ego development. San Francisco: Josey-Bass, 1970.
Scharff DE: The power of sex to sustain marriage.Med Asp Hum Sex 12: 8–25, 1978.
Kaplan H: Hypoactive sexual desire.J Sex Marital Therapy 3: 3–9, 1977.
Wurmser L: Psychodynamics of drug dependence. In JD Blaine, DA Julius (eds):Mr. Pecksniff's Horse? (Psychodynamics in compulsive drug use). NIDA Research Monograph Series ±12, 1977.
Lief H: I. What's new in sex research?—Inhibited sexual desire.Med Asp Hum Sex 11: 94–5, 1977.
Blane HT: The personality of the alcoholic. In ME Chafetz, HT Blane, MJ Hill (eds):Frontiers of alcoholism. New York: Science House, 1970.
Nuttin J: Psychoanalysis and personality. A dynamic theory of normal personality. New York: Mentor-Omega, 1962.
Goldstein D, Larner K, Zuckerman S, Goldstein H: The dance away lover. New York: Wm. Morrow, 1977.
Ward RF, Faillace LA: The alcoholic and his helpers: A systems view.Quart J Stud Alc 31: 684–91, 1970.
Giovaccini PL: Characterological aspects of marital interaction.Psychoanal Forum 2: 10–14, 1967.
Rae JB, Forbes AR: Clinical and psychometric characteristics of the wives of alcoholics.Brit J Psychiat 112: 197–200, 1966.
Emrick CD: A review of psychologically oriented treatment of alcoholism. II. The relative effectiveness of different treatment approaches and the effectiveness of treatment versus no treatment.J Stud Alc. 36: 88–108, 1975.
Orford J, Oppenheimer E, Egert S, Hensman C, Guthrie S: The cohesiveness of alcoholism complicated marriages and its influence on treatment outcome.Brit J Psychiat 128: 318–339, 1976.
Orford J, Edwards G: Alcoholism: A comparison of treatment and advice, with a study of the influence of marriage. Oxford University Press, 1977.
Ritson B: Personality and prognosis in alcoholism.Brit J Psychiat 118: 79–82, 1971.
Burton G, Kaplam HM: The correlation of excessive drinking behavior with family pathology and social deterioration.Brit J Addict 63: 161–70, 1968.
Rae JB, Drewery J: Interpersonal patterns in alcoholic marriages.Brit J Psychiat 120: 615–21, 1972.
Jackson JK: The adjustment of the family to the crisis of alcoholism.Quart J Study Alc 15: 562–586, 1954.
Chafetz ME, Hertzman M, Berenson D: Alcoholism: A positive view. In S Zrieti, EB Brody (eds):American handbook of psychiatry III. New York: Basic Books, 1974.
Freedman AM: Drugs and sexual behavior. In AM Freedman, HI Kaplan, BJ Sadock (eds):Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry, 2nd ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1975.
Gossop MR, Stern R, Connell PH: Drug dependence and sexual dysfunction: A comparison of intravenous users of narcotics and oral users of amphetamines.Brit J Psychiat 124: 431–34, 1974.
Ard BN:Treating psychosexual dysfunction. New York: Jason Aronson, 1974.
keplan H:the new sex therapy: Brief treatment of sexual dysfunction New York: Bruner-mazel, 1974.
Crown S, Lucas CJ: Individual Psychotherapy. In S Crown (ed):Psycho-sexual problems: Psychotherapy, counseling and behavioral modifieation. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1976.
Masters WH, Johnson VE:Human sexual inadequacy. Boston: Little & Brown, 1970.
Annon JS: The behavioral treatment of sexual problems. Honolulu: Kapiolani Health Services, 1974.
MacKay D: Modification of Sexual Behavior. In S Crown (ed):Psycho-sexual problems: Psychotherapy, counseling and behavioral modification. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1976.
Glascote RM, Plaut TFA, Hammersley DW, O'Neil FJ, Chafetz ME, Cumming E: The treatment of alcoholism: A study of programs and problems, Washington:Amer Psychiat Assn Natl Assn Ment Health Joint Information Service, 1967.
Jessor R, Graves TR, Hanson RC, Jessor SL:Society, personality and deviant behavior New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968.
Calahan D:Problem drinkers, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1970.
Franks CM: Alcoholism. In CG Costello (ed):Symptoms of pathology: A handbook New York: Wiley, 1970.
Apfelbaum B: On the Etiology of Sexual Dysfunction,J Sex Mar Ther 3: 50–62, 1977b.
Levay AN: Concurrent sex therapy and psychoanalytic psychotherapy: Effectiveness and implications.J Sex Ed Therapy 2: 25–33, 1976.
Kelly LG: Impotence. In A Ellis, A Abarbanel (eds):Encyclopedia of sexual behavior. New York: Jason Aronson, 1973.
Gilbert GS, Parker JC, Claiborn CD: Differential mood changes in alcoholies as a function of anxiety management strategies,J Clin Psychol 34: 229–32, 1978.
Vattano AJ: Self-management procedures for coping with stress.Social Work, March: 113–19, 1978.
Phillips LW: Training of sensory and imagined responses in behavior therapy. In RD Rubin, AA Lazarus, H Fensterheim, CM Frank (eds): Advances in behavior therapy. New York: Academy Press, 1971.
Zuckerman M: Dimensions of sensation seeking.J Consult Clin Psychol 36: 45–52, 1971.
McCarthy BW, Ryan M, Johnson FA:Sexual awareness: A practical approach. San Francisco: Bovd & Fraser, 1975.
Brooks CVW:Sensory Awareness: The Rediscovery of Experiencing. New York: Viking Press, 1974.
Lande N. Slade A: Feeling good: 16 ways to get in touch with your body.Insider 17–20, 1977.
Buchbaum MS: The sensoristat in the brain.Psychol Today 96–104, 1978.
Rimm DC, Masters JC:Behavior therapy techniques and empirical findings. New York: Academic Press, 1974.
Susskind DJ: The idealized self-image (ISI): A New Technique in Confidence training.Behav Therapy 1: 538–541, 1970.
Wolfe J:The practice of behavior therapy. New York: Pergamon Press, 61–71, 1969.
McFall RM, Lillesand DB: Behavioral rehearsal with modeling and coaching in assertion training.J Abnorm Psychol 77: 313–323, 1971.
Bach GR, Goldberg H:Creative aggression. Garden City: Doubleday, 1974.
Hill CE, Gormally J: Effects of reflection, restatement, probe and non-verbal behaviors on client affect.J Couns Psychol 24: 92–7, 1977.
Zinberg NE: Addiction and Ego Function. In RS Eissler, A Freud, M Kris, AJ Solnit (eds):The psychoanalytic study of the child, Vol. 30. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1975.
Lazarus AA: Multimodal behavior therapy: Treating the “basic id”.J Mar Fam 32: 502–38, 1970.
Olson D: Marital and Family therapy: Integrative Review and Critique.J Mar Fam 32: 502–38, 1970.
Sackett VA: Sexual dysfunctions in alcoholics. Paper presented at the NADPA Conference. Detroit. Michigan. September 1977.
Lobitz WC, Lobitz GK: Clinical assessment in the treatment of sexual dysfunctions. In J LoPiccolo, L LoPiccolo (eds):Handbook of sex therapy. New York: Plenum Press, 1978.
Berenson D: Sexual counseling with alcoholics. In J Newman (ed):Sexual counseling for persons with alcohol problems. Workshop Proceedings. Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania Institute of Alcohol Studies, 1976b.
Wilaon TG: Alcohol and Human Sexual Behavior.Behav Res Therapy 15: 239–52, 1977.
Gad-Luther I: Types of Marital Interaction in Alcoholic Family Systems and their Relationships with Existing Patterns of Sexual Difficulties. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, San Francisco: Institute for Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality, 1979.