On alcohol and sex

The following is an excerpt from my journal with some details edited out. It obviously is intended for a mature audience though I try to remain generic.

Alcohol played an important role in my life. It was pertinent to romantic escapades and the act of having sex.

My story begins when I was 10+x and the other person was 10+x+1. I didn’t know what I was doing, though they did, which helped greatly. I was drinking shots of vodka for the first time. It was like my throat was burning and I was feeling dizzy afterwards. I fancied “blue eyes” though I did not know what that actually entailed. I only knew how to talk and, perhaps, tell the occasional joke. After 3 or 4 shots, I sat in a corner and drank some water. I also put a bit on my face. It helped me regain my senses, although I was still not fully in control. “Blue eyes” realised I had gone missing from the group and came searching for me. I was just at the other end of the room. We exchanged a few words and then went outside to sit on the grass under a tree. The fresh air helped a lot. We talked, joked, pushed each other playfully, and then… coordinated silence. Do you know that moment when the person’s eyes are too beautiful, you want to look away, but they still captivate you and you just remain still? It is how I felt. They approached me and kissed me on the cheek. That was new. I liked it and asked if I could do the same, which I did. It snowballed from there. Things happened with me following the person’s gentle guidance.

Sex and alcohol would go together. The night at the park where we escaped to with “M”… we had told our respective friends that we were going to bed early, only to meet at our secret place. An innocuous lie to find some solitude—they should never learn about it! The carton of wine with the two plastic cups was waiting for us there. I still remember the bad taste of that cheap plonk. It was funny as we clearly were not there for the drink. We just had to manage and we did.

There was this other time when I discovered sambuca and experienced a certain pair of amber eyes in a different way than usual. We all met at the friend’s place, gathered in a circle, poured sambuca in a pan and lit it on fire. With a quick motion we would put our finger in the pan and would then lick the sambuca we had collected. It’s a gimmick, sure, though it helps awkward strangers feel more relaxed. We eventually switched to vodka… After a while, someone had the idea that we should head to the beach. We walked there as a group. Upon arrival we broke into smaller groups and each went their own way. My friend had abandoned me to run after his crush… It worked for him, which is great. Though fuck that guy for always being in love with someone and leaving me alone! “Amber eyes” joined me as I was walking along the seaside. We walked until we were far away from the others, and just sat at the sand. It was dark. I still had not understood what was going on and was just talking, while still holding a cup of vodka in my hand. Things became serious very quickly in a blend of passion and drunkenness.

This pattern can be discerned throughout the years. Alcohol taking me places… I wasn’t always thoughtful. I just went through the motions and did what was the expected behaviour. Alcohol lowers your defences, which can be good as you stop being pretentious. Though it also makes you less aware of certain important details, such as your emotional state during sex. There is short-term excitement, yes, though you then forget about it as you are intoxicated and barely hanging on to your senses.

At some point I started thinking about my actions. I could no longer be mindless because it was impossible to undo what I had understood. I noticed how getting drunk was a precondition for certain experiences. Why? Why can’t we jointly lower our defences while being sober? Why can’t we connect emotionally beside the physical act? What’s so difficult about being sincere? I want to learn what you think, to explore your world, and to gain your trust as you reveal to me who you really are. Admit to your feelings in the here-and-now. You don’t need some special substance for that. Having it only detracts from the experience.

I had developed tolerance for alcohol. I was used to drinking spirits neat (no ice or extras), with whiskey being my favourite. This meant that I was in control relative to those who would approach me after a few drinks. I saw people in a new light. I could still be attracted to someone, but I decided not to give in. Not while they were in that state, anyway. There was a disconnect. With sex, we would occupy the same space physically, but due to alcohol we would each be in our own little bubble. I felt that getting drunk was reducing me to a fucktoy. I did not like it anymore.

My affair with another “blue eyes” who was my age plus 10 was alcohol-free by serendipity. There were hugs, kisses, and a lot of talking. A slow process. Although brief due to reasons outside our control, the affair felt authentic. Afterwards I wondered why that was. The person was not more attractive than the others, nor necessarily more thoughtful. I was not feeling more excited than other times. I think they were genuine because they acted deliberately. Each kiss felt better than usual as it was given the attention it deserved. We were present.

When this happened a second time, I confirmed what I was already suspecting: alcohol was only helping superficially. When people are drunk, they are more likely to do things they otherwise wouldn’t, but they stay at that level without any profundity to it. Though the people who do what they must deliberately… That’s special.

I stopped attending parties that promised “free drinks and pretty girls”. I could not fake it. It took me a while to quit alcohol for good, though I did it and felt better for the immediate health benefits, for remaining honest, and for seeking authenticity in all experiences.

We ask questions and provide answers. Each sets their priorities. Those who have regrets renege on their decision. The rest are too stubborn or, perhaps, “romantic” if you want to put a positive spin on it. One cannot rewrite the past. We can only learn and, hopefully, do the right thing. Is there a deeper truth to be had? I don’t know.