When it comes to ‘hookup culture,’ bad decisions and plenty of alcohol tend to go hand-in-hand. Whether it’s the Weeknd crooning about how he can’t feel his face or Miley and her Molly, it seems like plenty of lubrication is required before sexual escapades can begin—and by that I mean, social lubrication in the form of alcohol/drugs.
However, I have noticed a bit of a backlash against drunk sex in recent months. The theme of today’s political climate for young people seems to be “Stay woke” and this desire for total consciousness is beginning to spread to the bedroom as well.
This makes sense—after all, I think part of the reason why people used to get so drunk or high before sex was because they felt guilty about their sexual desires. Thankfully, as we become a more sex-positive society, these feelings of shame are less present.
Additionally, I think we are also becoming more aware of the importance of consent and the reality that a person who is ‘wasted’ is not able to offer this consent. Call it the Bill Cosby effect, but we are (finally!) starting to embrace the idea that a woman is never asking for it even if she is slurring her words and falling down after too many martinis.
Lastly, I think millennials are ahead of the curve when it comes to realizing one very important fact: Sober sex is simply better than drunk sex. Alcohol doesn’t just numb your inhibitions; it numbs all of your body’s sensations. It’s a depressant, which means it dulls negative feelings…but it also dulls positive feelings as well (not to mention, it makes it more difficult for your sexual response to work properly).
It’s like you are craning to listen to a radio in the next room as opposed to enjoying your Beats headphones at the perfect volume. Your body is built to enjoy sexual pleasure (and offer sexual pleasure) and when you bring too much alcohol into the mix, you throw a wrench into evolution’s flawless design.
Of course, if you haven’t had sex sober in years—or ever—the idea of being fully present and aware in the bedroom can be daunting. Here are my tips for surviving your first foray into conscious sex:
1. Be prepared for it to be awkward. If you haven’t had sober sex in a while (or ever), I have some news for you: Sex is awkward. Bodies are weird. People make funny noises. Yes, it can be passionate and exciting, but it can also be a little clunky at times. Your rhythm might be off. Your teeth might crash together. But it’s all good: Don’t fight the awkwardness. Let it be and keep it moving, because…
2. Sex isn’t like porn. Basing your expectations of sex on porn is like basing your expectations of love on The Bachelor. Real sex has cellulite. Real sex has genitals of varied shapes and sizes. Real sex has lopsided breasts. And real sex is awesome.
3. Sober sex is all about the connection. Something amazing can happen when you are actually present in the bedroom—present emotionally, and not just physically. Not only are your senses engaged, but your soul is engaged. Sober, present sex is an exchange of energy, a sharing of our outer shell but also the inner fabric of our beings.
When you look into each other’s eyes, you don’t see clouded decision-making, but open, conscious consent and the willingness to be vulnerable. The willingness to say, “Here I am. Without defense or pretense. Even the parts of myself that I don’t like and the parts I can’t fully love yet. I am here for whatever life has to offer.”
When you are bold enough and spiritually mature enough to do that, let me tell you: Your orgasms will make you want to stay woke in the bedroom each and every time.