Get Real! How Do You Have Good Sex Sober?

Heather Corinna

Know what? While alcohol can reduce a person's inhibitions, another thing it often does reduce how aroused -- how turned on -- a person can get.

Mia asks:

not a virgin but I have only had sex being drunk and have never had sex
sober. How do you have good sex sober? How do you be on top and be
comfortable with what your doing. And know what you’re doing, right?

Heather replies:

what? While alcohol can reduce a person’s inhibitions, another thing it
often does reduce how aroused — how turned on — a person can get. It
also tends to inhibit orgasm, as well as female lubrication. And that’s
just the minor stuff. Date rape is far more common when alcohol is
involved, and STI rates are higher when it’s in the picture, too.

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If you’ve had the idea that booze is the secret ingredient for great
sex, you’ve probably been pretty seriously mistaken. If you’ve only had
sex drunk, chances are good you haven’t even HAD great sex yet, since
alcohol can stand in the way of so much of what makes sex great,
physically, intellectually and emotionally. So, if you’re changing
things up for the better and coming to sex sober, it’s pretty likely
you’ve got some good surprises in store for you!

Sex sober is not only likely to be better for you in terms of the
whole experience, lord knows the less often you get wasted, the better
off your physical and mental health will be.

No one has to "know what they’re doing" to have great sex. In fact,
some of what can make it so exciting is NOT knowing that: is the
exploration and adventure sex is. Sex with another person is supposed
to be about you two exploring one another, making the discoveries of
what feels great. It’s not a job, nor should it feel like you have to
put on any kind of performance. Sex with someone isn’t about putting on
a good show or impressing them. It’s about pleasure and joy and
personal expression.

As well, sex is NOT just intercourse, which is really important for
women to remember since (we say this a lot, but we also seem to have to
remind people of this a lot) the majority of women will not orgasm from
intercourse alone, and many don’t even find it all that interesting or
exciting. Generally, we only know what we’re doing with a partner when
we’re communicating clearly with each other — tough to do when you’re
slurring — and when, over time, we get to know each other and what
works together. No one can know what they’re doing right off the bat
with any new partner unless they’re a psychic.

If you DO enjoy vaginal intercourse, what position you have it in is
up to you and your partners. If you don’t feel comfortable being on top
or don’t like it, it’s certainly not a requirement. If you do want to
do that position, but feel like there’s pressure, or feel
self-conscious (which may be some of what you were trying to hide or
excuse by being drunk), maybe you need to be sure you’re only having
sex with a partner at a pace that works for you, and with partners who
you are okay being yourself in front of. I know that so often the media
shows sex as super-duper-sexy, but a lot of the time, you know, parts
of it are about any of us making asses of ourselves in front of our
partner. When our partner likes and cares for us, and vice-versa, and
is willing to be just as vulnerable, that shouldn’t be some huge deal.
If anything, those awkward moments will tend to bring us closer and
make for great private jokes. :)

Maybe you’re rushing into sex with partners too fast? If you’ve only
had sex drunk, that’d be unsurprising, since another effect of alcohol
is that it tends to increase risk-taking, and cloud people’s judgment.
Ideally, you want to be having sex with someone only when you do feel
comfortable with it, them and yourself. If that’s not something you
feel immediately — and it’s pretty rare to feel all that right off the
bat — then you want to wait, take your time, and spend time with that
person without sex, only adding sex to the equation when you DO feel
more comfortable, feel okay being you with them, and know that with the
right partner, it’s okay to have times when we feel silly, awkward or
like we don’t know what we’re doing. I’d also think about if you really
are ready for sex right now, and if it’s right for you. What feels
right when we’re drunk often only does BECAUSE we’re drunk. If you feel
uncomfortable with the idea of sex sober, it may just be because sex
isn’t right for you just yet, or you don’t have a partner yet who is
the right person for you to be sleeping with.

And when it comes to choosing partners where that feels better? I
don’t know what your social circle is like, but if it’s generally a
drunken bunch, it might behoove you to expand that circle and get some
friends and potential partners in it who are sober, okay?

Here are a few links to help you figure more of this out:

Lastly, if you’ve been having sex drunk a lot, chances are you
haven’t been making the best choices ever, and you may also have been
at some extra risks you probably weren’t even aware of. Do be sure
you’re up-to-date with your yearly screenings for sexually transmitted
infections. While we’re on the subject of your health — physical and
mental — I also want to encourage you to look at the why of you’re
drinking, particularly before it becomes a real problem for you. A lot
of people drinks trying to self-medicate for things like social anxiety
or depression, and it’s really not a good treatment for…well,
anything. Using booze as medicine or social lubricant doesn’t solve
problems, it just makes one more of them for you, particularly as time
goes by. Suffice it to say, if you’re underage, you’re also looking at
possible legal problems.

If you need some help when it comes to dealing with alcohol, you can
talk to your doctor about it, or a school nurse or counselor. You might
also just want to file away some information on teen alcoholism and
help with that just in case, and the best place for that is Ala-Teen.
If you suspect drinking is a problem for you you don’t think you can
easily kick, I’d encourage you to be proactive and take an aggressive
approach now, both for your sex life and your whole life.

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