Over the last decade, I’ve surrendered to some humbling realizations. I almost can’t believe that I am now living a fulfilling life with a beautiful family that I helped create. But I am.
Before this time in my life, though, there were issues that literally took years for me to work through.
One of these issues for me was sex. Well, sober sex that is — or rather a lack of it.
I’m not sure I realized how long it had actually been since I had engaged in sex with someone while completely sober until the moment I was about to do it. It hit me like a bucket of ice-cold water. I was about to have sex without any mental lubricant.
By mental lubricant, I’m talking about those things we do sometimes in order to ease ourselves into intimate moments. Maybe a couple glasses of wine, a shot of liquor, or perhaps something else depending on the person. No big deal, right? Except if you find yourself doing these things every time you have intimate relations with another person — it kind of is a big deal. It can also be a sign of a very serious problem.
Self-medicating during sex is a very real and normal thing for many people. For a time, it was my go-to aphrodisiac. The reason for this type of behavior could be as simple as wanting to lower inhibitions, but the reason could also be more serious such as mentally escaping from past sexual trauma.
Whatever the reasons are, it’s fairly safe to say that if you’ve never had sex completely sober, you may have some issues to work out. I came to this conclusion when I finally took a good, long look at how long I had been self-medicating within my intimate relationships.
And so, when I entered into my next serious relationship with someone, I dove in cold turkey.
When the relationship started progressing sexually without us consuming even one drink, I momentarily freaked out in my head. I didn’t think I could do it. I secretly wondered if I’d even reach orgasm this way. But, off into sober sex I went.
I didn’t think I could do it. I secretly wondered if I’d even reach orgasm this way.
Well, it was different. I was obviously more aware of what was going on. I was also a little more insecure about my body at first because I didn’t have that awkward edge taken off like I usually did.
When you’re intoxicated, sex is a bit blurry and seemingly more free. When you’re sober, it’s hesitant, alive, and raw. It definitely takes some getting used to.
But I was surprised. The sex was good — really good. After about 10 minutes or so, I could feel every part of me which was something I thought I didn’t want.
I thought I needed to get out of my head in order to have amazing sex. Turns out ― not so much. Sober sex ended up being quite fantastic. I was more alert and way more energetic in bed.
For years I had thought that being a little drunk was helping my sex life when in fact, it was probably dulling it to an extent. The connection between myself whoever I was with at the time was certainly impeded.
My biggest lesson was really about learning to confront intimacy. This was a big deal for me. Escaping during sex using alcohol was just a way for me to disconnect. I had to learn to face my fears.
Having sex sober can be frightening for someone who has used sex combined with alcohol or even drugs in order to escape from intimacy or their own inhibitions. I believe there are people out there who regularly get intoxicated before sex. I also believe each one of those people has a reason for it.
But what’s the point of being intimate with someone if you’re just going to check out?
Perhaps intoxicated sex is fun once in a while — but not all the time. Disconnecting from your partner by being intoxicated on a consistent basis is really just selling yourself and your partner short.
More from Michelle: Unfaithful & Obsessed: Our Love Affair With Affairs
Visit Michelle at The Pondering Nook to read her blogs & also listen to her co-hosting at The Broad’s Way Podcast about relationships, marriage, divorce, parenting, step-parenting, body image, politics & more!