I Only Love Kinky Sex When I’m Drunk

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I’m Zachary Zane, a sex writer and ethical manwhore (a fancy way of saying I sleep with a lot of people, and I’m very, very open about it). Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of sexual experiences, dating and sleeping with hundreds of people of all genders and orientations. In doing so, I’ve learned a thing or two about navigating issues in the bedroom (and a bunch of other places, TBH). I’m here to answer your most pressing sex questions with thorough, actionable advice that isn’t just “communicate with your partner,” because you know that already. Ask me anything—literally, anything—and I will gladly Sexplain It. To submit a question for a future column, fill out this form.

This is an edited and condensed transcription from last week’s “Sexplain It Live,” which was recorded on Men’s Health‘s Instagram. I was joined by The Sober Sexpert, Tawny Lara.

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I feel like my sexual desires differ when I’m drunk/high than when sober. Like I really love being submissive and doing some kinky shit when I’m fucked up, but not while I’m sober. What’s that about?

​​TL: I wish this person was here because I have follow-up questions. Alcohol obviously can lower our inhibitions, and it seems like a different side of them might come out when they drink. So I’m curious if they are into the kinky shit only when they have some liquid courage or are they genuinely interested in this kinky shit?

ZZ: How can you know if this is something you’re afraid to try out sober because you have some sexual shame, or if you’re actually not into this but for some reason, while drunk, you are? Are there things you can ask yourself?

TL: Yeah, so I think he should ask himself: through the context of your sexual identity, what is alcohol giving you that allows you to embrace this other side of yourself? Maybe you don’t need that liquid courage. Maybe the courage is in you. I mean, I think it’s clear that they know that they like being a sub. So can you try it without alcohol?

ZZ: Yeah, there’s no harm in trying, right? Obviously, when you’re sober, you’d be subbing a lot safer.

TL: Yeah, at sex parties and in the BDSM community, there is a huge conversation on enthusiastic consent and alcohol. When you go to sex parties, you don’t often see people who are completely wasted because there’s this understanding that you can’t fully consent then. With all that being said, there’s nothing wrong with drunk sex, but when you get too drunk, it’s an issue.

ZZ: Absolutely, also, I think there’s something to be said about spontaneous desire and responsive desire. When you’re drunk, you become automatically hot and aroused [spontaneous desire]. Whereas when you’re sober, you may have to start to get into it, and then you’ll reach arousal [responsive desire]. So knowing that, when sober, you may just need to get started first and then will experience desire and arousal can be helpful. Then, learning what else can get you there. Maybe you just need a couple of spanks on your ass to get into a subby mood.

TL: That’s such a good point. I mean, there are so many other ways to get in the mood other than alcohol. Alcohol’s easy, it’s cheap, and it’s accessible. But if you can keep in mind there are other ways to get in the mood—like some impact play stimulating the neurons—you don’t need alcohol. Maybe you need to meditate first or something else. Who knows?

ZZ: Obviously this all takes courage, but it’s something that’s worth exploring sober and seeing how it feels. I have a strong feeling that it would be something that they also enjoy sober if they just gave it a good ol’ college try. Ya know, personally, before I came out as bi, I said how I only liked hooking up with guys while drunk. Well, it’s like no—that’s not quite how that works. So when we have internalized shame, sex negativity, or homophobia, it can be challenging to overcome sober, but it’s possible.

TL: This nicely segues to the next question.

I’ve recently realized that I’m bisexual, but I’ve only been able to have sex with men while drunk. I get so nervous talking to men and doing anything sexual with men. Please help.

ZZ: First, props to you for recognizing that you’re bi. It’s like the reverse of what happened to me. I would hook up with men drunk and justify it, claiming I was still straight. Whereas you know you’re bi, but are using alcohol because you’re nervous, which I get. Anything new is intimidating, and anything that’s going to alter your sense of self and your identity is extra scary. So what do you recommend, Tawny?

TL: Well, his self-awareness is great. This person knows who they are. They’re learning more about who they are and what they’re into. I think it’s also worth noting that 25% of the bisexual community is on some form of the alcohol use disorder spectrum, which just means we are likely to self-medicate with alcohol. You and I both know as out bisexual people how misrepresented the bisexual community is and how misunderstood we are. Anyway, it’s totally normal to feel nervous when you’re having sex with someone of the same gender, or when you’re having sex in general.

ZZ: Beyond validating his anxiety, what are some more actionable items—things he can do? I think letting your partners know you’re really nervous is always good. You can easily say, “Hey, I’m relatively new to guys, so I’m a bit nervous. I just wanna give you a heads up.” I think putting your anxiety on the table and letting your partners know will be helpful. I also think it’s helpful because sometimes when you’re anxious, you respond to things weirdly or seem distant, and the other person then thinks he’s doing something wrong. This all spirals into a terrible and anxious time for everyone. What do you think?

TL: Yeah, I mean, I think the answer to all these questions can probably be communication.

ZZ: Always! And I don’t know if he’s using apps to meet men, but I’d recommend not using Grindr. He should opt for apps that are less about casual sex and more about dates because a guy on Grindr probably won’t want to walk him through a sexual encounter. But on a dating app like Hinge, write in your bio that you’re new to men. You will then attract other guys who are also new to men or experienced men who like teaching less experienced guys. You can find a better match!


Watch the full conversation here:

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https://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/a40108826/sexplain-it-gay-sex-while-drunk/

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