7 Reasons To Have Sober Sex (At Least More Often)

By Maya Khamala

Alcohol or drugs, as the case may be, truly are the world's social...ahem, lubricants. Have been for ages. Especially for those awkward first-time romps, right? So...why doubt drunk sex?

The whole go-pick-up-at-a-bar phenomenon is obvious; people work, they’re tired and tense, they drink, and then they let loose. Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of alcohol, but gimme weed any day to make me feel more aware of and in tune with my body. A few hits instantly make me feel sexier, more creative and uninhibited.

But having recently dated someone who was 100% dependent on the greens to have sex at all, I actually got tired of the too-easy “connection” and started craving the clarity of raw & real intimacy. 

In a 2009 survey of 3,000 women, 75% liked to drink before going to bed with their partner and 40% always had a drink before sleeping with someone for the first time.

If you’re shaking your head and spouting the whole, “but if red wine makes me more sensual, why fix it?,” ask yourself whether you might be using your preferred substance as a crutch (zero judgment if the answer is yes).

Keeping in mind that every human is different, and so 2 people don’t necessarily have the same reaction to a given are 7 solid reasons to engage in some clear-headed lovin’:

1. Avoid memory loss 

Ok, it’s happened to the best of us (and the worst! Haha—just kidding). Real talk, though: you may drink or toke to forget your asshole boss or your body image complex, and it may actually work, but you may end up forgetting the raucous sex you had too.

Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t memory kind of everything? When you connect with another human, don’t you want a point of reference so you know whether or not to do it again? 

Unless it’s really bad, of course, but who wants to have bad sex anyway?

2. Avoid regret 

Speaking of bad sex, don’t do it…like ever, if you can help it. Maybe those refreshing margaritas help you open up to more people; maybe weed makes you more capable than usual of seeing the attractiveness in people. Maybe the other way around. Either way, you may feel entirely different about the person behind the body, face, voice, and soul (you heard me) the mornin’ after—whether or not said person is still in bed with you.

3. Avoid unsafe sex 

Maybe drugs or alcohol don’t affect whether you use protection or not. But since the general purpose of the substances we take is to numb, dull, and relax, it’s possible to relax a bit too much, get carried away in the heat of the moment, and tell yourself to seize said moment—in spite of the ill-fitting or altogether absent condom. As we all know, pregnancy/STI scares are nobody’s picnic, whether in the context of a relationship, or a one-night stand. And women usually bear the brunt. So fuck/ make love with enough clarity to protect yourself, y’hear?

4. Consent (legally speaking) 

Did you know you can’t legally consent when drunk? If you’re left feeling sketchy about what went down, or you’re not entirely sure what the hell happened (see #1), you may not be fully aware that you were coerced, downright assaulted, or that you were in fact the forceful party. Not hot. This unpleasant reality is most common with alcohol. Too much social lube can free up inhibition, yes, but depending who you’re dealing with, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

5. Side-step sexual dysfunction 

According to this study on alcohol, marijuana, and sex, men said alcohol made it more difficult to get hard, and some women said weed makes it harder to get "naturally lubricated." 

I concur with those women, much as I’ve enjoyed the advantages.

And regardless of your gender, alcohol is likely to make you less physically sensitive. As a result, some people can't reach orgasm at all. I never orgasm when I’m drunk. While alcohol dulls your fear of awkward intimacy (or lack thereof), it also dulls your nerves and blunts your reflexes. 

6. Deal with your bullshit  

And by bullshit, I mean: your insecurities, unpleasant emotions, fears, demons. The stuff we all try to stuff down, whether with yoga and smoothies or heroine and cocaine. We all have issues, and we’re all scared little animals, on a certain level. But whatever your form(s) of self-medication, I think it’s helpful to minimize the ones that interrupt your health. When we’re sober, we have no choice, do we, but to deal with our feelings as we experience them. Does dealing get easier? Not sure. Does it pay off, lighten your load?

Um, I just checked, and it does.

7. Have hotter sex! 

Ok, fine, there really are no absolute truths in this life. I believe there’s a time and place for most things, including a good night of (safe & consensual) debauchery. But ask yourself- why do we want to take the edge off sex? 

If you’re nervous before a date, that might just be excitement, and you get to feel it…completely. Imagine that.

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