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-   -   Alcohol and consent (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69161)

NorthCoastLady 03-05-2014 12:25 PM

Alcohol and consent
Hello. :)

Word sure does spread fast. I've been talking about my recent experience with a few of my friends, and lo and behold, I'm getting these propositions- subtle and not so subtle, from various sources. It doesn't bother me that I'm seen as "sexually available". I'm really not, at this time, and my polite refusals have been accepted graciously. What does bother me, is the role alcohol plays in most of these invitations.

"I'm sure my girlfriend would be up for it, if she gets drunk enough"
"We can all go out, have a few drinks, and go back to my place"
"We can relax, drink some beer, and watch a few movies at my house, if that'll make you feel comfortable"

20 years ago, I would have responded with a "hell yeah", but after having a few experiences involving alcohol that skated the edges of consent, I'm very wary and cautious of mixing booze and sex, even with my husband. He and I aren't drinkers as a rule, but if we were, sex wouldn't be on the roster. The truth is that I don't trust drunk people, not even myself.

I'm just wondering how much of my distaste for drunken sexual encounters is purely personal. If I want to dabble into swinging or polysexual fun in the future, how much does alcohol play a role? Sure, I realize that many folks imbibe to lower their inhibitions, it's a culturally accepted thing. It just doesn't seem consensual or very safe to me.

Just thought I'd weigh in on the opinions of others.


london 03-05-2014 01:18 PM

I do take precautions around alcohol and sex and I acknowledge how alcohol affects the ability to give and receive consent. I will have drunk sex though.

LoveBunny 03-05-2014 01:48 PM

I'm shy. Alcohol makes that go away. I have sober sex with my husband, but honestly, in the short time since I've had relations outside the marriage, yeah, I usually drink on my dates. I suspect if/when I find someone who is a keeper, I'll relax with them and that need to have a few glasses of wine before being capable of uninhibited sex will go away.

Ariakas 03-05-2014 02:23 PM

I am an alcoholic.. I will make that caveat. I haven't touched a drink in 3 years. So I do have some opinions on drinking and consent.

I think it all comes down to the before. If they gave consent before and needed a drink to relax or chill out. That very different than saying no previously and then getting drunk and suddenly "being available". In your first example just ask to speak with the gf. Otherwise not a chance in hell.

Every amazingly awesome sexual experience I had drunk (and there were a lot) I had sober consent/interest/yes.

In swinging alcohol and even drugs can play a part. *shrugs* depends on the club, location and how public it is. Lots of variables.

Some BDSM and some swinging clubs don't allow booze for the reasons you listed. Just hold yourself to your own rules. Ask the questions you need to ask to feel comfortable. I never went to those, couldn't get comfortable at that time without a couple of drinks. I now go to those clubs, but haven't done anything publicly (sex, beatings etc) since I stopped drinking.

If your problem is with drunk sex in general. As someone who pays close attention to people who drink so I can avoid putting myself in situations which may suddenly turn me into party animal again, its going to be tough to do. you will end up limiting yourself from people who may be very interesting long term. Alcohol may just be what they need to do something like a manysome... (as an example)

Lastly.. when I was drunk, I never.. ever made a decision I wasn't completely cognitive and aware of. I drank on average a 26 a day for 7 years in a party town. Not all people who drink are completely unaware or unable to make decisions. In fact most of my friends (and wife) were/are the same way. Something to keep in mind and another reason why a generic answer won't suit the individual nature of your question :)

PolyinPractice 03-05-2014 04:28 PM

I'm one of those people who will do everything sober that I will after drinking. Actually, there's less of a chance of me doing anything while drunk; I'll probably fall asleep quicker.

willowstar 03-05-2014 05:46 PM

My first husband was an alcoholic, so when we split up I had a lot of issues being around people who drank. I was very emotionally triggered by people who had been drinking because of the experiences I had with him. He was likely bipolar and became very depressed when drunk. I was always hypervigilant around alcohol.

So, I married a guy who hardly ever drinks, except an occasional sip. Although when he does sip, it is usually Jaegermeister or some homemade potato vodka his SIL makes.... He also falls asleep easily... ;)

BF does not drink either, unless he is home, and even then just a few times a year. He has too many memories of waking up in his early twenties in a strange bathroom, with no pants, or with the fish missing from the fish tank. He considers his drinking days to be over. He is the guy who will always come to pick you up no matter what the hour.

I do like to have a drink or two. It does help me relax, but not for doing things that I would not be doing otherwise. I find that mixed drinks give me the buzz I want without the fuzzy decision making, which wine does.

I can understand why people would not want alcohol involved. It can leave doubts as to whether the person you are with is really into you, or just losing their normal filters. I agree with Ariakas that having a consent prior to the drinking is a great idea. :)


nycindie 03-05-2014 07:01 PM


Originally Posted by NorthCoastLady (Post 261197)
"I'm sure my girlfriend would be up for it, if she gets drunk enough"

Hell, no! That's just awful, and rather offensive to hear. I don't want to be with anyone who needs to be drunk to be with me, especially if they're only doing it to please someone else. Ugh, that's so gross.


Originally Posted by NorthCoastLady (Post 261197)
"We can all go out, have a few drinks, and go back to my place"

I think some people just don't know what else to do when trying to get to know someone. We rarely hear proposals like, "We can all go out, check out the Picasso exhibit at the museum, and go back to my place." Or at the very least, meet for coffee rather than a cocktail. People have no imagination. They think booze is the only way to relax or have a date.


Originally Posted by NorthCoastLady (Post 261197)
"We can relax, drink some beer, and watch a few movies at my house, if that'll make you feel comfortable"

Same thing, I think. Lack of imagination, or maybe lack of an interesting personality, LOL!

I like going out for a drink with someone. I used to be a bartender and worked in restaurants for over a decade when I was younger, so I am completely comfortable sitting at a bar, even by myself. I can also hold my liquor pretty well, but I know that for my own safety and to avoid regrets, I need to go home alone after the 3rd drink. That being said, I prefer first dates to be over coffee and, in my OKCupid profile, I say that I'm open to meeting for "coffee or a cocktail."

I'm in my 50s, so I have had plenty of drunk sex, plenty of stoned sex, and plenty of sober sex in my lifetime. I must say, I prefer sex while sober.

Tonberry 03-06-2014 03:44 AM

I definitely don't have sex for the first time with someone if they're drunk. Yes, they might be drinking on purpose to lose their inhibitions because they want to have sex to begin with. But there is also the possibility that they're not really into it and the alcohol is making them do things they wouldn't normally do.

I don't want to wonder if, when they sober up, they'll regret it. Much easier to make sure everyone is able to give informed consent before the sex happens, rather than after the fact, when they sober up, confirm that they did consent.

So I totally understand your reservations. I would only have sex while drunk with someone I've been in a relationship with for a while, because then I would figure that we would probably be having sex regardless. If we just had a fight, though, then I wouldn't be comfortable with it, as, once again, they might regret it when they sober up.

vanquish 03-07-2014 08:15 PM

My gf and I have differing views on the result of alcohol. She's stated that if she's drunk and I'm not, she doesn't want to have sex for reasons of consent. If we're both drunk, then anything goes.

To me, if we're in a relationship and you're drunk and telling me you're in the mood, I don't see the big deal. I'm not forcing myself on you. I'm simply following through with what we both want. Again...only as long as you're telling me you want to have sex.

Are there people who get bolder with alcohol? Absolutely. And if you want to get a little uninhibited with the sauce, I don't have a problem with that. Honestly, there are people that for whatever reason really need to calm down when it comes to romantic endeavors...but personal boundaries need to be respected.

nycindie 03-08-2014 01:27 AM

I remember the credo of someone I used to work with years ago. He used to say "I don't fuck drunk chicks." Gotta respect that!

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