5 reasons you should have sober sex
Relying on alcohol when having sex can have negative long-term effects
Written by spunout
Fact checked by experts and reviewed by young people.
After a couple of drinks, alcohol can make you seem more confident and allow you to feel less self-conscious in the moment.
Before having sex, you might have a few glasses of wine or beer to help you feel more relaxed and to calm your nerves. You may feel alcohol helps quiet any negative thoughts of yourself that you might have, whether that be about your body or your sexual performance.
However, relying on alcohol to feel confident about having sex can have negative effects on you and your sexual relationships. Drinking can make it harder to make clear decisions and to give consent. Having sex when you have been drinking also puts you and your partner at higher risk of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. It stops you from connecting fully with each other. It can make you feel that you need alcohol to be intimate with someone and that can hurt your ability to make and keep relationships.
Why have sober sex?
There are lots of benefits to having sober sex, both for your mind and body.
You connect more
Without using alcohol as a way to connect, you connect with your partner more deeply on an emotional and physical level.
Some people say that having sex sober not only makes them feel more connected to their partner, but they also feel more confident about communicating about what they want and don’t want in bed.
After one or two drinks, you might feel more physically turned on and attracted to your partner, but the feeling doesn’t usually last.
Alcohol actually depresses our central nervous system, which lowers our feelings of attraction and our chances of orgasm. Drinking can also cause difficulty with erections and create vaginal dryness, making sex either more difficult or even painful.
Having sex sober means you feel everything more fully, leading to a better experience for both you and your partner.
You can make better and safer decisions
Drinking can affect your judgement, and you could end up having sex with someone that you didn’t particularly want to sleep with.
Being sober means that you can make clear decisions about if and who you want to have sex with. It also means that you will be better able to say no if you don’t want to have sex with someone.
You are more likely to have safer sex
Alcohol can put you into another sexual situation that you might regret – unprotected sex. After a few drinks, you might forget to use a condom, dental dam, or other forms of protection. You might alsobe more vulnerable to saying yes to someone who wants you to have sex without using any protection.
Being sober allows you to be more alert, and you are more likely to use protection when having sex.
You lower your risk of sexual injury
Alcohol can numb a lot of your body’s nerve endings, making sexual activities that would be painful when sober potentially and temporarily pain-free.
However, once the alcohol wears off, you will begin to feel any injury caused. With sober sex, you are less likely to engage in an activity that causes a sexual injury as your body is more aware of what is painful.
The idea of sober sex might make you nervous at first, but in the long run, it has many benefits for both you and your partner, and with time, it gets easier.
Learn more about accepting your sober self.