Sexy Time: Blaming It On The Alcohol
For better or for worse, 99 percent of my (random, outside of a relationship) hookups have occurred while I was sober. I’ve experienced pure pleasure, unadulterated awkwardness, sheer disappointment, and un-obscured lust without being impaired of intoxicated in any way. Not that I think I’m a special snowflake because of this – I know this particular piece of my life’s narrative is far from unique. That said, we all know that alcohol is the backbone of most social interactions in college because — let’s be real — without it, most parties would resemble a lame middle school dance. Alcohol lowers our inhibitions, makes us a little (or a lot) more open to adventure, and, often times, provides an excuse for questionable behavior.
Seriously, I can’t keep track of the weekend recaps I’ve heard from my friends who got drunkface and did something with someone that they regret. Whether it’s hooking up with someone inappropriate and disgusting or merely hooking up with someone sooner than expected, alcohol was often the catalyst for Sunday morning woes of despair over brunch. There was recently an article posted on Jezebel that confirmed my suspicions that people often use alcohol as a (wobbly at best) crutch. College culture totally condones drunken sexual shenanigans, and while I don’t want to be all judgmental and conservative, I can’t help but find this trend alarming.
I’m the queen of awkward social interaction, so I totally understand the appeal of drinking until you can’t feel your feelings any more, because it suddenly becomes a lot easier to relate to people. But there’s a difference between having enough drinks to be relaxed, and drinking until you’re making decisions that you don’t even want to associate yourself with. Seeing as how hooking up is intrinsically intimate, I think it’s something that you should always be capable of consenting to. The issue of consent is one of extreme importance, because it’s important to be in a state of mind to communicate what you want before miscommunication turns into sexual assault or rape.
On a less heavy note, it’ really doesn’t seem like it’s in anyone’s best interests to consistently engage in behavior they’re ashamed of. It’s not conducive to being happy, and it’s not conducive to feeling pleasure. Sex is complicated and wrought with potential problems, but at the end of the day, sex is supposed to feel good. You shouldn’t feel icky or disgusting. You shouldn’t feel a knot in your stomach. You shouldn’t finish a session and be unable to sleep because you’ve sobered up, realized what you’ve done, and you’re trembling from anxiety and nausea. If you choose to talk about your sexcapades with someone, you shouldn’t use disparaging adjectives to describe how you feel about yourself afterwards. Even if the experience sucked, it should suck because you two were incompatible for whatever reason, not because it wasn’t something you intended or really wanted to do.
I’m not saying that people shouldn’t drink and hookup, or that the only fulfilling life is a sober one. I do think, however, that if you are using anything other than your own desire as an excuse to do something, that’s not okay.