Friday, July 17

Everything You Wanted To Know About Sober Sex But Were Too Afraid To Ask

Sex. Let's talk about it.

Drunk sex is wild. Your inhibitions have temporarily been left on the floor along with your pants, car keys, panties, complicated shoes, and maybe some big earrings. In the morning, the bed has become an island surrounded by an archipelago of condom wrappers, unused drink tickets, the cardboard from a frozen pizza, and a few empty beer cans or a cheap bottle of whisky. You say goodbye, maybe kiss, and think back to the rules of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine try to work out a friends with benefits relationship: no calls the day after that, spending the night is optional, etc.

I've had my share of drunk sex, drunk sex I was insanely proud of, the drunk sex where I wore a badge of courage in the shape of a handprint on my ass. The drunk sex where I would stop at a Super America the morning after and give the cashier a big shit-eating grin because it was uncomfortable not wearing the underwear that had gone AWOL during my adventure the night before. Only 10% of the time did I really regret being so inebriated during sex that I had plot holes missing from a sensual script.

That alliteration just gave me the heebeejeebees. Also how the fuck do you spell heebeejeebees?

Drunk Liz did not give a fuck when she was drinking. I let myself be used and convinced myself I was okay with it because "I was drunk and didn't matter." I thought as long as the person opposite of me was pleased, I didn't have any reservations about what I had or had not performed. I drank to lower my inhibitions to the lowest standard while letting myself become another notch in the figurative bedpost (because no one has bedposts anymore). I was too drunk to enjoy or even care about anything that was happening to me.

Sober sex was initially frightening. You're suddenly aware of all your surroundings and you have all your senses about you. When I was drinking, I just did whatever it was that came into my head during a roll in the IKEA hay. But with sober sex, it was like going through a mental checklist of how to proceed with sexy times.

1. I'm making "fuck me eyes" but I don't know if it's working. I hope he doesn't think I'm having a stroke.
2. What underwear am I wearing? They aren't black. I should have worn black underwear.
3. How do you foreplay again? Is it just a crotch grab followed by a boob honk, or does the boob honk come first?
4. Don't look at it. Don't look at it. Don't look at it. Don't look at it. Don't look at it. Don't look at it.
5. Nod at him. He'll think that it's hot or at least get some idea that you're okay with what's happening downstairs.
6. Oh, god. It's everywhere.

In the last few weeks, I've reawakened myself sexually. Now that I'm sober, I'm fully aware of different sensations, techniques, and methods being practiced. It's almost like learning how to have sex all over again.

I remember watching porn as a teenager. My high school provided each student with a laptop and the freedom to search anything within Internet Explorer's shitty reach. What could go wrong! After eluding hundreds of pop ups, you could a category which suited your liking. Initially, I was using porn as a tool to help me excel in the sexual arena. The platinum blonde with bolted-on tits and a fake 'n bake tan clearly knew what she was doing! All of my sexual encounters have never panned out like they did for Mary Carey or Sky Lopez because they were acting. No one has ever come over to fix my cable and stayed for a hayjay. It's unrealistic. Even amateur porn is staged and sensationalized. So what is a real sexual experience like?

It's fucking awkward. But after the initial awkwardness of making the first move (or not), you lose yourself within the other person. You become encapsulated with exploring the human figure. Time doesn't exist outside of those sheets. Clothes become the lace to the hardwood floor, delicately dropped over the edge of the bed. The cautious removal of lingerie. Eye contact. Fingers trying to find each other without looking. A breath close to an ear. Shifting weight to accommodate physical features. Positioning angles with the best aesthetic.

I never had that when I was drinking. Sober sex has enabled me to feel everything that's real, and each time I drank before or during a sexual encounter, I deprived myself of a sensual learning experience.

Today, I still watch porn, but I'm no longer using it as an instructional tool to Pound Town. I've become enlightened to specific actions that intrigue me for future reference. While I was drinking, I experienced what I've referred to as porn anxiety: my past boyfriends have watched porn, and I subconsciously placed pressure on myself be exactly like those women. Hairless, outgoing, uninhibited. I drank to make myself feel more confident in my sexual encounters. And if I blacked out, it never happened so there was nothing to worry about. Somehow, I forgot that the majority of these women are acting and their beauty standards have been forcibly glamorized to people like myself. No wonder I drank when I was engaging in sexual activity: it made me forget about my damaged self esteem. I drank to feel confident and social, and it worked...for a while. Retrospectively, I was hindering my sexual experiences, and today I feel like I'm making up for lost time.

Being active in sobriety has awakened my sexual pride, another plus for Team Club Soda. I've never been more confident than I am today. My absolute awareness in regards to my sexuality has been crucial for me to become a real person. For those of you that know me better than others, I often joke about not being a real person. "I can't have dinner tonight because I'm not a real person yet" was a text message I often sent to others. For the first time in years, I feel real and not drained, obliterated, or scared.

I successfully conquered sober sex, even though it took a few attempts. Keep in mind, my situation will not be the same for you or your mailman or the guy from OKCupid who can't take a hint. I had a disgustingly long absence from my sexuality and entailing emotions. It's good to be real again.

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