Doing The Do - Sex and Alcohol

33% of 18 – 30 year olds in Bristol have had a sexual encounter when drunk and later regretted it.

That’s quite a lot, a high enough number for us to want to understand why this happens.

Well one reason is that alcohol helpfully slows down the sensible parts of your brain that when sober says things like “no I don’t want to have sex with this stranger in a taxi” or “no I am not going back to this stranger’s house to a part of Bristol I don’t know with someone who smells of sick”. It impairs your sense of judgement so that you make choices that in the cold light of day you would run away from.

Another problem that is caused by this effect of alcohol on the brain is contraception. Again alcohol stops the sensible part of your brain from kicking in and putting a stop to unsafe sex by insisting on using things like condoms and the like.

Simply put if you are drinking and in the mood for love you might be putting yourself at risk of unwanted pregnancy and all sorts of sexually transmitted infections.

A good test to do is the “drunk in charge of a condom test”. If you are too drunk to put one on, whether you are a male or female or making a joint attempt, then chances are you are probably too drunk to be having sex.

"Yeah but alcohol makes me feel like a sex god"

Alcohol can make you feel more confident in talking to potential partners and in the bedroom but the problem is that it also makes you take more risks. This means that you are more likely to be taken advantage of, assaulted and even raped.

If someone is trying to take advantage of you then they’re more likely to do it by getting you drunk than by using tablets. In fact, alcohol is the most common drug used to spike drinks in cases of date rape so make sure you know what you are drinking and never leave your glass or bottle lying around unattended.

You might think that alcohol can make you feel more confident and carefree but it seriously effects your judgement and you might make decisions you later regret. Some people drink because they think it makes sex better but in fact men can have trouble getting an erection. If you drink for confidence, you might not even be ready for sex, whether it’s the first time or if you’ve been having sex for a while. Looking after yourself when you are drinking is one way which you can choose to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.

Remember the golden rules:

Carry condoms: Carry them for you and your friends as well. Pack them into your handbag, wallet, pocket, where ever you can fit them. Make condoms part of your essential night out kit, whether you are male, female, gay or straight, in a relationship, celibate or looking for a partner.

Tell your mates where you are going: If you are going home with someone that you have just met make sure you tell friends where you are going.

Make sure your mobile phone is charged and has credit.

"But I want to know more about this sex and alcohol business"

If you are under 25 and want more information on sex and alcohol you can also check out:

www.4ypbristol.co.uk

www.brook.org.uk/sex-and-relationships/harmful-situations/alcohol-and-sex

Additional information