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Sex & Sobriety

by Irina Gonzalez

Having sex, and especially good sex, can be a fun part of life. But it can also be extremely complicated for many of us, especially if you are sober, sober curious, or simply want to occasionally have some sexy fun without a glass of your favorite alcoholic beverage. But whether you’re taking a short break from alcohol or just want to enjoy sex booze-free, there are various benefits to having sex while sober that you probably don’t know about.

Some may think that sex and sobriety don’t mix; after all, don’t most first dates begin over a glass of wine? But the truth is that the short-term and long-term benefits of sober sex might just make you consider whether getting on the sober path for the sake of booty is worth it… if even for just one night. So if you’re thinking of exploring sex for the first time while sober, here are some things you might expect or experience.

1. You might discover a new sexual orientation.

One of the biggest things that people are often surprised to discover when they stop drinking is that big and small things in their lives may change. For those of us in recovery from alcohol use disorder or even on a temporary break from alcohol, one of the biggest changes may be a newfound understanding of our sexual orientation. After putting down the glass of your favorite wine for a bit, you might get in touch with a deeper sense of yourself… and discover that you’re actually bisexual. Or you might even discover that you’re queer and begin navigating the world of queer dating… or you might like sobriety so much, that you may stay sober. Wherever your journey leads, lean into it. You never know where your sexuality may lead when you have the alcohol-free clarity of mind to explore your sexual identity.

2. You might rediscover your sexual self.

Of course, you may not discover a new sexual orientation while sober but you may instead rediscover your sexual self. This may take many different forms, such as embracing sex positivity or learning how to advocate for your sexuality after stopping drinking. When you put down the booze (even for a night), you might discover that you have a newfound sense of self and are able to more clearly articulate what it is that you want in (and out of) the bedroom. If you delve deeper into the journey of sober sex, you might even begin to reclaim your sexual power. It may not look like what you thought it may look like, and it might even take some time, but you’ll likely get there eventually.

3. You might start having more fun in bed.

One of the things that might surprise you most of all when you get sober, even for just a little while, is that everything in your life becomes about honesty. Sobriety is about honesty, after all, whether that’s honesty about your relationship with alcohol or honesty about the fact that you’ve been faking orgasms all this time. And so, when you stop drinking, you might find that you no longer want to quit faking the Big O. Instead, you’ll learn how to be honest with yourself and honest with your partner about what actually gets you off. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

4. You might learn to have a different kind of fun in bed.

The other thing that you might find surprising when you stop drinking during sex is that not only will you start to be more honest about your wants and needs but you might also begin to explore new things and discover that, hey, sex isn’t just about orgasms and intercourse. In fact, you might learn to have great sex without intercourse and discover that there is more that you enjoy in the bedroom than just penetrative sex with the goal of “finishing” at the same time.

5. You might discover new things that turn you on.

Speaking of more things that you might enjoy in the bedroom, having sober sex and embracing the honesty that comes with that may also lead you to find out that there are new things that turn you on. For instance, you might embrace a new kind of porn (such as feminist porn) that could revitalize your otherwise somewhat stale sex life. Or you might even find out that sober porn stars have a lot to say about recovery, self-care, and having a fulfilling life… both in and out of the bedroom. Really, even though it’s kind of scary, you might find yourself wanting to discover what truly turns you on now that alcohol isn’t just doing that job for you.

6. You might learn to communicate better.

Since we already talked about honesty, it stands to reason that with that added honesty of sobriety comes the ability to learn how to communicate better—something which is vital to the success of many relationships. In embracing honesty, you will also embrace things like better conflict resolution and communication skills. It will make you a better partner in the end, which will surely lead to a better sex life, too. The most important and scariest part, though, is that in learning how to communicate better and be more honest with yourself and each other, you might identify your own toxic behaviors in relationships that have possibly blocked you from having the kind of life you want. Well, at least now you know…

7. You might heal your past.

The most difficult thing to recognize when you get sober and begin to have sex is the fact that not all of the sex you have had in your past, especially if you have had a problematic relationship with alcohol, has been consensual or wanted by you. It can sometimes take years to realize that you were sexually assaulted and even more years before you are ready to tell someone about your past. But one of the things about sober sex, and being honest with yourself, is that you can begin the road towards healing your past… and, in turn, creating a better future for yourself and your sex life.

Irina Gonzalez is the Content Marketing Manager at Tempest.