Confession: Alcohol Saved My Sex Life…But Hurt It Too

black_white_bar_scenephoto via freeparking

Our contributor Abby Spector, who is double-majoring in English and Feminine/Gender/Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University, has a confession to make:

All my sex life, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with alcohol. Not because it provokes the desire but takes away the performance, as Shakespeare once said. No, my problem is that it provokes the desire and enhances the performance, taking away all my stage fright so that the show goes on, whether or not it’s a particularly good idea to perform that night.

The first time I got drunk I realized I liked girls. People always assumed I was straight, and, up until then, I went along with them. It was easier to follow the crowd than listen to my pubescent hormones. But then I was at a college party with my sister and couldn’t deny my lesbianic boner. This wasn’t your typical frat party; it was the initiation for the women’s rugby team at a liberal arts school in the northeast. Even Ann Coulter would have turned gay that night.

But it wasn’t the Indigo Girls sing-a-long, bushels of armpit hair, or cans of PBR that made me recognize my attraction towards girls. It was Samantha. Samantha was a model, she was years older than me, and she wore vintage skinny jeans long before they were cool. She was also infamous among the rugby team for hooking up with formerly straight girls. I could have cared less about her promiscuity. She wanted me! And, to my surprise, I wanted her back. I left without anything physical happening between us; I don’t even remember saying goodbye. However, she gave me something bigger then sex — the realization and acceptance of my bisexuality.

I have beer to thank for that.

Whiskey I owe for a night of mind-blowing sex five times in a row (a personal record): My partner and I were staying over at one of our older friend’s place, and we borrowed a couple of bottles, despite him strictly warning us not to, from his precious collection. He was extremely sensitive about his whiskeys as it was the first real investment he had made in college (you can read up online to find out more about investing in whisky). It did not faze us much though, since we were extraordinarily uninhibited. But the sex was phenomenal, especially when compared to our standard missionary style. I was drinking red wine when I realized I loved my ex-boyfriend. (Unfortunately, I was sober before I had the hutzpa to say anything.) There was a bottle of champagne in my hand when I streaked across my college campus, a sexually liberating experience that made me appreciate the naked body. In each of these situations, booze helped me let down my guard, and my sex life improved as a result.

But alcohol also owes me a lot. It has left me alone, scared, and wrapped in sheets drenched with my own urine. Three times I have hooked up with my friends’ exes. All three times I was inebriated. I was drunk when I was manipulated into giving my first handjob, when I stole a candy bar, and when I kissed a married man. I have had unprotected sex once. Any guesses to my state of mind?

I feel a moral obligation to discourage alcohol use, to claim it is the devil incarnate — especially when it comes to vulnerable female newbies on campus. But, honestly, I enjoy being drunk. There have been kisses, dance parties, and romantic adventures in plastic playhouses. So if I’m being honest, I’m not planning on swapping my flask for a carton of soy milk anytime soon — I’m still in college, for chrissake.

But what I am trying to teach myself is that every positive experience I’ve had while intoxicated, I am capable of achieving sober. Alcohol is a permission slip, but nobody is stopping me from signing those permission slips myself, in the clear light of day. My bisexuality was not hiding in a keg — it was there all along. Alcohol simply provided the burst of confidence I needed for self-acceptance.

Here’s a toast to the joy of uninhibited sobriety. Because the only thing better than awesome, toe-curling, uninhibited sex is awesome, toe-curling, uninhibited sex that you can remember in exquisite detail the next morning.


  1. Unfortunately Alchol and sex don’t mix, however, my wife and I used to go out and have a small glass of wine and in fact it made us really very sexy, but it was not much at all. To much alchol and drink can eventually kill you, not just kill your sex life, drink in moderation, don’t drink just to get drunk, as I say it could kill you before you are 50.

  2. Alchol kills the sex life..

    I enjoy sex so much more when I am sober, I can feel his touch and remember what it felt like. The way he looks at me the way he holds me. I would never have known what that felt like if i was drunk..

    Kool post xxx

  3. Cool post, Abby! I pretty much quit drinking when I turned 21 so its been a while (turns out I have a defective gene for the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol) but your closing paragraphs really bring home what’s important about drinking and sex. It’s not so much that one shouldn’t (that would just be my sour grapes since I can’t) as that for an awful lot of us alcohol gives us an excuse to do stuff we’d… at least be willing to try anyway.

    With the added advantage you mention of having more memorable experiences to remember… and fewer we wish we could forget. 🙂


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