A couple of days ago, I was asked this question through our anonymous Have A Question? page. This couple was considering adding alcohol to their bedroom activities, and asked what the pros and cons might be. Now, I should disclose and say that I’m one of those crazy fundamentalist Christians who think alcohol has no place in the Christian lifestyle, so my response is going to be a bit biased. I didn’t grow up with that belief, but I came to it through studying the Bible. I understand that the bulk of Christianity doesn’t agree. That said, I tried to look for pros, but all I could find were cons, and some pros that, at first, might look like a pro, but turn out to be a con. So, here we go. These are my findings and opinions on the matter. My wife’s comments are in purple.
Physiological Effects of Alcohol and Sex
The combination of alcohol and sex has some interesting effects that you may want to consider before trying it out. To start off, alcohol is a depressant, and with that comes the potential of a lack of sexual desire. Next, there is the possibility of difficulty achieving an erection for the men, then top it off with the potential for difficulty reaching orgasm for both genders. So, if you hit all three, that means you get drunk, to have drunk sex, but by the time you get to the sex, you really don’t want to anymore, but you do anyways, because, well, that was the plan. But then the husband has trouble getting and/or staying hard. Finally you get that sorted out, but then, after a few minutes of sex, you realize that its not going anywhere. It doesn’t feel as good as usual, and your orgasm isn’t getting any closer. Luckily, you’d rather be sleeping by now anyways, and you may not remember any of it by morning…
Something about us changes when we drink alcohol. Our judgement is impaired, we don’t feel things the same way, we are dizzy and clumsy. I remember drunk sex, and it was always disappointing. I think I couldn’t feel the same sensations as when sober, and Jay had issues with ED when he had too much. I will say though, that he had to drink A LOT before he was affected at all by it, he has a really high metabolism when it comes to that. (he always needs a double dose of freezing at the dentist too.) So with decreased sensations, having an orgasm was difficult for both of us, and we were so tired from being out so late that, like he said, we’d rather be sleeping.
Now, this may sound like a positive, but I believing thinking that way is playing a short game (not thinking long term). Our society, churches, parents, etc, have all piled on many misconceptions and inhibitions towards sex. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, so I can understand why some people would think this is a good thing. The problem is that it doesn’t deal with the issues, it reinforces them.
If you are taught from a young age that sex is wrong, dirty, gross, only bad girls like sex, etc., and then you drink to temporarily set those teachings aside, all your doing is reinforcing the thought. You are adding to that list that only a drunk person would want sex, one not in complete control of their faculties). In other words, any intelligent, sober person wouldn’t want sex.
Instead you should unpack the thoughts, recognize the teachings and deal with the underlying issues, then you should be able to have sex uninhibited without the alcohol.
When we were first married, I used to love having a drink or two to let loose, and relax and wind down. It was like I couldn’t allow myself to actually let loose UNLESS I had the alcohol. I have to say that I was suffering from depression, and my focus was not on God at that point in my life, I mean I was a Christian, but not really living the faith then. Now though, recovering from depression, and living my life for God rather then just having him in the background, I couldn’t imagine putting something in my body that will affect how I think or react to my surroundings. If I’m feeling stressed or have had a long hard day, I like to go sew something or go for a brisk walk, fresh air is amazing!
Again, this may sound like a positive, especially if you have a refusing/gate-keeping spouse, but it’s not. Our willpower is there for a reason, it helps us to protect us from things we don’t want to do. But if you set it aside, or diminish it, in essence what you are doing is raping your spouse, because, if they were sober and in control, they would have said “no”. You can get charged with rape for having sex with a drunk person. You can get charged for raping your spouse. I personally haven’t seen a case yet, but you know it’s coming where someones going to get charged for raping their drunk spouse.
Again, the underlying issues are being swept aside temporarily. Deal with the issues, then you don’t have to get drunk to get a “yes”. I know, easier said than done.
It can be a lot of work to deal with the issues, sometimes you don’t even realize there are issues to be dealt with! I know I didn’t realize the depth of my own issues. Had I known how far I had gone down, I would have gotten help a lot sooner. Drinking really did reduce my willpower, it’s like I wanted to have it reduced though, it was just the wrong method. I couldn’t do it on my own, so I had a drink. I should have prayed. But that takes a lot more humility.
What the Bible Says
I know, I know, the Bible doesn’t say anything about having sex while drunk. But it does have a lot to say about being drunk. And the Bible is the first place I go to for life advice, seeing as it’s God’s living word on how we should live.
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. – 1 Peter 4:7
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:13
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? – 1 Timothy 3:2-5
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit – Ephesians 5:18
Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. – Titus 2:2
In fact, there is only one place that I know of in the Bible that tells you to get drunk:
I came to my garden, my sister, my bride,
I gathered my myrrh with my spice,
I ate my honeycomb with my honey,
I drank my wine with my milk.
Eat, friends, drink,
and be drunk with love!
– Song of Solomon 5:1 (emphasis mine)
So, my thoughts: If you want to be drunk, get drunk on love, not on alcohol. Remember what you love about your spouse, and why you married them. Think back to the days where you couldn’t think of anything else but your spouse and when you got to see them next. When I think back to our engagement, I was so giddy with happiness, it was like I was drunk with love. I was so playful and passionate. It was a fun time in our relationship. And now, we have no alcohol in the house, and I’m very passionate about different things, and I’m working on being that playful person again. She’s getting there, I feel like I have my fiancée back!
What are your thoughts? Do you mix alcohol and sex in your marriage bed? What are you looking to get from drinking alcohol?