It’s 3am on a Sunday morning at the Gin Palace. You’re smashed. The sexy person you just met and have been making out with for a while is smashed. You both agree to get in a cab, go home and have graceless drunken sex. Awesome.
It’s 3am on a Sunday morning at Madam Brussels. You’re smashed. The seemingly sexy person you just met and have been making out with for a while is sober. You ask them for a lift, get home and sweet talk them into some clumsy sex. Go you.
It’s 3am on a Tuesday morning at Revolver. You sicken me. You’re sober because you’ve wound up driving in. The sexy person you just met and have been making out with for a while has just become really, really smashed. You offer them a lift, take them home and convince them into consensual, yet awkward, sex. Errr...
Many people use alcohol (aka ‘personality’) as their main strategy for picking up. When it comes to seductive interactions it’s likely that alcohol has been a moderating factor in your decision making. I’m surprised more elderly couples don’t mention how drunk they were when they reminisce on their early days. All the same, it’s comforting to think that if your grandparents never drank alcohol you may not have even been born. Thanks red wine.
Of course, sober sex can be a daunting idea. That's why having a few drinks to take the edge off is an easy solution. What I’m interested in, moreover, is looking at the ethics involved in hook-ups when someone is ‘too drunk’.
How well you can tell if someone is too drunk to be making sexual decisions all depends on how drunk and/or desperate you are. Even when you’re sober, the assessment is still subjective. Where I feel the moral choice comes into play is when you think the person of interest has crossed the border into big time intoxication. This is when, what psychologists and nerdfaces call ‘higher order’ cognitive abilities are impaired. Brain processes such as reasoning, planning and self-monitoring are waning. At his point, I think it’s immoral to sleep with said drunk person, even though they chose to drink that much.
Accepting that the assessment of whether someone is too drunk is a difficult task, let’s look at the scenarios I described at the start of column.
The first scenario assumes that the couple getting their sex on were both too drunk to determine each other’s sobriety. If neither person can acknowledge the mental state of the other, then I’m sure Jesus is cool with it.
Scenarios two and three are both examples of overstepping the aforementioned moral guideline, in my opinion. In these cases sex is consensual by all involved. However, the decision to have sex is either being suggested or accepted by an alcohol fuelled decision. If the sober player in the situation made the assessment that their potential lover has had one Little Creatures too many, it’s on them to stop, exchange numbers and leave the booty call for another day. So when sleeping with someone, I think it’s best to know they are making a substance-free decision.
Oh and I apologise if my opinion on morality here gets in the way of you ever getting laid. Try inflatable dolls maybe.
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