Sharing a bottle of wine can be just the thing to set the right mood for a night of passion. There can be something… “intoxicating” about getting it on with a slight buzz.
But there’s a difference between WANTING to have a few drinks before getting it on and NEEDING to, and for many women, the line is apparently blurred.
A woman described how she spent years abusing alcohol in order to feel comfortable being sexually intimate with her husband, and it’s a far more common struggle among women than you might think.
Laura Cathcart Robbins shared her struggle in Huffington Post in a painfully raw essay entitled “I Needed A Drink (And More) In Order To Have Sex With My Husband”.
The first clue that something was amiss was when her boyfriend (later husband) had to rush Laura to an ER after she overdosed on a combination of Ambien and “five or six drinks”.
The substances, Laura explains, were intended to make her feel relaxed enough to have sex. And they relaxed her- to the point of passing out and being rushed to the hospital.
They continued dating, but Laura began to realize that:
But it has become apparent to me that there is a marked difference between us ? while he enjoys partying before we have sexy time, I need to party to get myself in the mood.
They got married, and Laura was careful to hide her substance consumption habit from her husband. But to her, it was a necessity for her sex life.
The idea of sober sex is nearly unbearable; being so vulnerable and intimate without being under the influence of a substance makes it virtually impossible for Laura to be sexual without it.
Vicodin pills soon supplemented her “before-sex” drinking, since they were less noticeable. But if she ran out of pills, she’d shy away from any sexual activity at all.
And sadly states that when she and her husband divorced a few years later, she wasn’t surprised:
After all, what man in his right mind would want to stay married to someone who avoided sex at all costs?
After the divorce, Laura attended rehab for her substance issues, and has successfully remained sober. But if drinking were the sole issue, her story would end there.
The reality is, she felt naked and exposed when trying to be intimate with anyone- and not just in physically.
And according to research, many women are dependent on alcohol to make themselves feel more confident/less insecure sexually.
A study shared by the Melbourne-Herald Sun in 2009 revealed that:
Three out of four women surveyed (including both single and married women) said they liked to drink prior to sex, and half of the respondents stated that it was because it lowered their inhibitions.
And lest you think the 2009 report is “old news”, another study conducted in 2019 revealed that 14% of women said that they cannot have sex with their significant other without drinking first.
14% may seem like a small number. But keep in mind, that number indicates women that insist on having to consume alcohol in order to have sex.
There are many more women that may be able to engage sexually without alcohol, but would prefer to be at least buzzed before getting their freak on.
It’s possible that the number of women relying on alcohol to feel comfortable sexually is likely much higher.
Laura goes on to describe the first time she and her new partner, Scott, had sex for the first time. She was sober… and inwardly panicked:
It seems unfair that sober people can’t have something, anything to buffer them during such an intimate time.
I wish I smoked, had downed a Redbull or a bottle of chocolate syrup ? anything that would help shield me from being so aware of my nakedness right now.
The feelings of discomfort -with her body, with feeling secure, with allowing herself to enjoy the moment- were much more palpable without being under the influence. It was a genuinely scary moment for Laura.
Physical intimacy can be an intimidating experience for many women that struggle with body issues.
(Or self-esteem. Or feeling that they’re “good in bed”. Or feeling comfortable to ask for what they like.)
But Laura’s story ends well, thankfully. She found that she could learn to enjoy sober sex, & to genuinely be “in the moment” with Scott.
As it turns out, sober sex has actually been even better:
who knew that not drinking could actually be better for your sex life because it increases intimacy (once you get past all of that bumbling awkwardness)?
Laura’s story is painfully honest, but it’s one that needed to be shared. There are many, many women who can relate to Laura’s story… if they ponder it.
Some women don’t make the connection between alcohol and sex. While a drunken roll in the hay can certainly be a hot moment for a couple, is the alcohol an ESSENTIAL part of having great sex?
Being intimate with your partner requires one to be emotionally and physically vulnerable.
It can really tough for some women to get past their own body insecurities in order to feel truly open and relaxed during sex.
While alcohol can dull your senses, the best kind of sex is when your senses are fully sober- and fully engaged.
There’s nothing wrong with imbibing before things get physical, as long as you don’t NEED to imbibe to get there.