Sober sex is safer sex

It's tough to wake up the next morning wondering who you were under the covers with. File photo.

by Mary Turner
HIV Education Columnist

Our sexuality is one of the most important components of who we are and how we express ourselves intimately to others.

Cultural imagery too often impresses upon us unrealistic expectations of ourselves, our bodies, and the intimacy of having sex/making love. Movies, television shows, commercials, and books draw a picture of men and women with “perfect” bodies.

Were you raised with a healthy sense of who you are, and are you secure and confident in yourself? Don’t worry, not many of us were. These perfect creatures with their perfect lives and perfect encounters with the object of their affections can leave us with such unrealistic expectations that we don’t understand or appreciate being in the moment with someone real.

Our fantasies can certainly enhance our experiences if we can discern between fantasy and reality. When we lose that ability, or if we’re just out there trying to live large, we may numb our insecurities and inhibitions with drugs and alcohol.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with hooking up with someone if we’re using a mind-altering substance. And if you’re with someone you know and trust, drinking or using together might be exciting.

It's National Recovery Month. It's a good time to think about the downfalls of getting wasted at a party and waking up with a stranger the next day is that you’ve made yourself completely vulnerable. When you are impaired, you lose the ability to give consent, which is one of the pleasures of an intimate experience. When you’re sober, you and the other person(s) can negotiate what you want and experience it fully.

Engaging in sober sex means you both feel secure enough in yourselves that you’re willing to share your imperfections and vulnerabilities. It’s okay if your legs are kind of thin or your belly is a little soft. This person wants to be intimate with you anyway.

Sober sex means that you can actually feel the emotional and physical sensations of having sex. Sober sex is also safer sex. Without the impairment that alcohol and drugs can bring, you get to control and dictate what you will or won’t do. You’re less likely to take risks which may involve being physically harmed. You’re less likely to wonder what happened and if you may have been exposed to STI’s or HIV.

If you’re accustomed to having sex when you’re drunk or high, you may wonder if the sex will be as exciting. There’s no reason for it not to be. Being sober doesn’t mean not having fun. You can still get freaky and play and act out your fantasies and fetishes. You’ll just do those things with complete awareness of them.

If you’re worried that the person you’re with won’t like you for being you, then screw them and move on. Nothing says you must see them again. If the person you’re with really likes you, then they’ll enjoy being with the real you and not the self-medicated you. Being fully in the moment with someone you really want to have fun with makes the sex that much more exciting for both of you.

So, grab some condoms and have fun.

Copyright The Gayly. 9/16/2019 @ 1:25 a.m. CST.