At the age of 16 I was truly kissed for the very first time, sure I’d had the fumbling kisses of younger years but this one made my toes curl. I stood leaning against my Father’s car in the driveway of the first “real” love of my life, he leaned in and as our lips met my world changed. In that nanosecond the world stopped and I can remember everything. The way the breeze came off the fields, how he smelled and how his lips were a bit dry and chapped against mine. My 16 year old self revelled in the moment, snatching the feelings and storing them away for eternity.
The first time I had sex was the same, I can recall everything in detail as if it were happening within the moment of recall. These are lovely memories, of a youthful, more innocent time of my life and when I do take time to recall them my focus is on myself and how I love that girl.
Unfortunately not all of my sex life is filled with lovely memories, in fact some of it happened during blackouts so I don’t have the ability to recall them while others have me cringing at my drunken behaviour. At some point in my life alcohol and sex became intricately webbed together, one would inevitably happen when the other was involved. I know I’m not alone in this, ask either a woman in her 20’s or her 40’s and I’m certain we will find that alcohol and sex go together for them as well.
In our society it’s the norm, just look around at alcohol advertisements and one can see that sex and booze are married together and they sell. The names of cocktails reflect this; Harvey Wallbanger, Sex on the Beach, Slippery Nipple and such should have us blushing while ordering.
The fact is that drinking lowers inhibitions, creating a relaxed atmosphere as we let loose. When I wanted to get closer to someone, a bottle would instantly create a feeling of false intimacy as my beer goggles got thicker and my self-image became much larger.
Sober Sex? Dear God Help Me
After years of uncorking a bottle to get in the mood without even realizing how heavily I relied upon it, the day came when I got sober and couldn’t unwind this way anymore. Talk about a slap in the face, suddenly I felt incapable of connecting with my husband or even myself on a sexual level anymore.
I can remember sitting in my 12 Step Meeting, looking around the table at a sea of strangers and openly crying about this. Timidly I admitted I had NO idea how to function sexually without being able to chill over a glass of wine or 2 and I was begging for help.
These strangers totally got what I was talking about, in fact one doesn’t have to be a recovering alcoholic to understand it. Imagine if you were unable to have alcohol ever again……how would your sex life be?
Do you rely on booze to get in the mood?
Sex is an act of trust. We both literally and figuratively strip ourselves naked in order to connect with another human with all of our flaws right out there in the open. If we want spectacular sex, we go all in with our emotions and truly let loose, abandoning all sense of self-consciousness and get lost in the moment. Getting lost in the moment is so much easier with booze, hell it’s designed to allow our hedonistic nature take over.
So how the hell can sober sex be as good?
It took me a while to fully get to the point where I was brave enough to let myself go This involved many disappointing nights for both my husband and I. There were tears, raging, frustration….all while my poor husband tried to console me. Eventually I learned that I was not going to be the sexy, open minded beast I thought I’d been….because I never actually was that girl. That was drunk Julie who wasn’t actually who I am at the core. It was a journey to learn this but in the end I have found that sober sex is different than alcohol laden sex because I am different.
As I got to know myself more, learned to love myself for who I am right then in the moment my sex life got better. The more I accepted myself, the more willing I was to be vulnerable in the moments with my husband. There was no more veil of alcohol to protect me or to mask the intimacy of the moment.
Sober sex is an experience where you’re TRULY in the moment, with all of their clear-headed thoughts and desires. You’re able to notice more about your partner and the communication is much clearer. The connection during sober sex is stronger, more intense.
If someone came to me, begging as I did for someone to give me back my sex life before sobriety I’d tell them that it does get better. By taking the days as they come, being willing to go slowly and connect with your partner the experience is richer, fuller than before.
These days the moments are as clear in my memory as those kisses at age 16, they are treasured and meaningful. We don’t rely upon sex to connect as a couple but in sobriety we have found a spiritual depth to our sex life which didn’t exist before.
Know there is hope and thank God there’s no more walk of shame after a night of sex! This doesn’t mean that sober sex is boring, it can be as wild as you’d like it to be once you’ve decided what that is, you’ll have a BLAST.