We won’t deny it, alcohol can make sex more fun, less intimidating and generally, just a bit easier. There’s a reason alcohol is called “liquid courage.“ It’s a well-known fact that alcohol loosens inhibitions, downplaying our emotions, particularly those ones that lead to feelings of anxiousness, we might find ourselves far more adventurous and daring in the bedroom. So, then, the idea of sober sex can feel pretty daunting, especially if you are used to having it under the influence.
“Sex with alcohol might be all you have ever known. It may be that it’s just one or two drinks of liquid courage. Sex can be a very intimate experience and in having sex sober you may feel more vulnerable, more self conscious, perhaps even shy, ” says Sarah Rose Bright, a leading Intimacy and Sex Coach and host of the Love, Sex & Intimacy podcast.
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Bright adds, “Alcohol can turn down the volume on uncomfortable feelings and anxiety so that you can feel more confident, even if just temporarily. You might be nervous about having sex sober for various reasons such as you might worry about how you look, about your “performance” or if you will have an orgasm.”
However, sober sex can be far more pleasurable – and you might enjoy it more than you think, says Bright.
Below, Sarah Rose Bright shares her top tips in how to have sober sex that’s actually fun.
- Having sex sober will feel awkward to begin with so be kind to yourself. Notice what feels awkward as this is great information. For example, if you are feeling uncomfortable about eye contact with your partner, experiment. Open your eyes for a few moments and close them again. If you feel conscious about your body, start sober sex under the covers whilst you get used to it. Think about the small changes you can make which will get easier with practice.
- Speak to your partner about it. Share your needs and desires, even your fears. Talking about it can help diffuse any discomfort inside of you and can bring you closer.
- Sex is often focused on the destination – getting to the goals of penetration and orgasms. Instead, slow down and focus on what feels good in each moment. It can help you to relax and you can enjoy sex more.
- Don’t just focus on pleasure in the bedroom. Give yourself space to enjoy the small pleasures in life whether snuggled up in your duvet or feeling the sun on your skin. The more you learn to enjoy pleasure, the more pleasure you can experience!
- See sober sex as a whole new adventure and get curious about sex when you are sober as what you want and enjoy may change, and feel far more pleasurable! Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and it can numb discomfort so you might make difference choices when you have had a drink.
- If you have been using alcohol to mask your feelings, if it feels too much, it can be wise to reach out for support with this. This might be a trusted friend or family member or a professional. (Perhaps you have another article to link to on anxiety/therapy/mindfulness etc here)
- Have fun! It can feel really liberating to enjoy sex without alcohol. You might enjoy it more than you think and you’ll have far fewer regrets and hangovers!
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