Why Mix Sex and Alcohol?
There are countless reasons that alcohol and sex go together. One is that alcohol is just a very common part of a lot of young peoples’ social lives. As an 18-year-old wrote on the GLBT teens forum,
“I try just focusing on school work, and jobs and stuff, but when all your friends want to party, you usually end up going. Then you have to watch them all make out, which I don’t want to watch, and if I happen to get drunk, all they end up wanting is sex.”>
Another issue is that for kids who don’t feel confident in their choice of sex partners, being drunk can be an excuse to hook up. A lot of people have a lot of nervousness about sex, and it is no secret that alcohol is often really good at lowering inhibitions. Lowered inhibitions aren’t always bad by any means. They can help you try new things, meet new people, and take chances. But if inhibitions are lowered to the point where you have regretted sex with the weirdo from your math class, it might feel a little different.
Who Needs a Condom When You Have Booze!
Alcohol can also make you more reckless and less likely to use a condom during sex. A paper published in the Journal of the Study of Alcohol found that an estimated 400,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex after drinking, and an estimated 100,000 had sex when they were so intoxicated they were unable to consent.
But Doesn’t Drinking Just Make Sex Better?
Obviously, some people have really mind-blowing sex while they are drinking. In moderation alcohol can lower inhibitions, make you feel sexier and less self-conscious, and it can help you loosen up. Some people feel like they can only relax enough to have an orgasm when drinking. Others would never try new sexual experience when sober.
But while alcohol might help you lose some of your hang-ups, it can also make sex feel less authentic, intimate or even honest. Plus, it can also lead to performance problems including:
- Early ejaculation.
- Making it harder for a guy to get or keep an erection, since it limits blood flow to the penis.
- Making it hard for women to have an orgasm.
- Drying up vaginal lubrication.
- Making you clumsy and less coordinated.
In addition to having physical effects, drinking can also affect your common sense, making you more likely to do something sexual that you aren’t comfortable with. Plus, it can increase the chances of having unprotected sex, or using a condom wrong.
Making the Best of Sex and Alcohol
So is it ever possible to have safe, consensual, responsible sex when you are drinking? Yes, but it tends to work best if:
- You’ve talked about having sex with your partner and agreed to what you both do and don’t want to do while sober.
- You have sex with someone you know and trust.
- You’re not so drunk that you can’t think rationally.
- Your partner isn’t so drunk that he or she can’t think rationally.
- You slow down your drinking long before you have sex.
- You are still able to function sexually.
- You can practice safe sex and use a condom.
- You are able to tell a partner that you want to stop having sex or change what you are doing.
- You are able to listen to what a partner is saying, and stop having sex or change what you are doing if asked.
Alcohol, Sex and Inexperience
One of the challenges many young people have when it comes to mixing sex with alcohol is that they are typically new to both. This combined inexperience can lead to combined difficulties, dangerous situations, and awkward experiences. For most people it is simply a better idea to independently get the hang sex, and to independently get the hang of drinking before ever tying to merge the two.