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Full Disclosure: I Drink for the Sex

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I drink a lot. Probably too much, but I don’t know where you draw the line when it comes to putting poison in your body, so I’ll just assume it’s in chalk somewhere around your dead body. Coming from a family with a history of addiction, I’m keenly aware of my propensity to go overboard with things, which is why I decided to become a writer in order to justify my alcoholism. But the more I’ve examined my drinking habits, the more I’ve realized that sex is the one underpinning behind them.


A picture of me at 19 literally taking my first sip of alcohol ever. Taken in Stebbins co-op, Berkeley, CA circa Hoobastank.

I never drink alone (you’re always in the company of friends when you’re logged into Facebook, right?). Unless I’m pre-gaming for an evening, I don’t find the aid of a social lubricant to be worth the consumption of calories, especially when being social means sitting in bed trying to see which blackheads on my chest are ripe for squeezing (they’re like little bacteria fireworks!). And no matter what anyone tells you, any alcohol apart from decent beer or maybe wine tastes like shit. There’s a reason we say alcohol is an acquired taste. It’s because when you first start to ingest poison, the first thought that comes to mind usually isn’t, “I bet this will make everything better!” I mean just look at that picture of me drinking wine for the first time. And don’t try to tell me that a Carlo Rossi vin rose cut with water isn’t a wine, or that I’m not a natural frosted-tip blonde, OKAY??

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No, the only time I’m inspired to drink is when the possibility of getting laid is involved, or in polite society what we call a social drinker. I’m just very social. But if  I were told ahead of time that there wouldn’t be any females at the bar I was going to, I’d have little interest in going. Unfortunately, no one’s developed an app for pussy forecasting, so instead I find myself out on the town quite a bit.

Asking a girl out for a drink is pretty much the universally accepted way to let a girl know you want to put your penis in her – after all, absinthe makes the heart grow fonder. I was fortunate enough to lose my virginity about two weeks before I started drinking, so thankfully I can remember how humiliating it was with perfect clarity.

But once I started drinking, I was amazed at just how much easier it was to have sex, and how frequently it seemed to be happening. At first I chalked it up to the obvious effect it had lowering my inhibitions, but over the years it’s become apparent that sex doesn’t happen so much because of the alcohol itself, but because we’ve relegated recreational sex to only being okay when in the context of booze.

To further illustrate this point, I stopped drinking for two months four years before I ever knew I’d be writing this article. The effect it had on my sex life was exceptionally disheartening. I still followed through with OKCupid dates. I still went out, singing karaoke and dancing at clubs. I still went out to bars, ordering diet cokes in place of vodka. But do you know how hard it is to hold a conversation with a girl who’s drinking once she finds out you’re sober? In her eyes, you immediately either  an alcoholic or the creeper guy who’s going out to bars to hit on drunk women, and trust me it doesn’t do you any favors when she finds out you’re both.

The online dates I set up were brutal as well. One particular date involved an OKC girl who came to my house. I had everything planned: a romantic home-cooked meal, the roaring fireplace, a thought-provoking movie. When she came into the kitchen you could tell she was already impressed with the plates I had spinning just manning the stove. She anxiously eyed the bottle of wine, which she herself had brought, but when it came time to open it, an awkward look of disappointment swept across her face when I announced that I, myself, would not be drinking. “Oh. Okay,” she replied, while the now open bottle sat undrunk for the remainder of our evening. We never recovered from that awkward moment, and suffice it to say that was both our first and last date.

Over the course of those two months I never had so much as a kiss with a girl. That may not sound like a hugely long time, but it was the longest  I’d gone without such in quite some time. Again, not complaining so much as I find it really telling. Because the weekend I started drinking again, I slept with two different women, to which my immediate thought was ‘COME ON! Are you serious?’ Ever since then I’ve thought long and hard about why that was my experience, while remaining scared shitless about the idea of ever cutting out booze from my diet again.

We stigmatize sober people FAR more than we do those who drink to excess. Why is that? I think ultimately it comes down to control. No one wants to feel out of control – and we look to our peers for that barometer. It’s inevitable that you have less control over both your mental and physical state the more you drink – and when your romantic partner isn’t drinking, they’ve decidedly made you the person with “less” control- and that makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

So why isn’t casual sex more permissible for two sober partners? Because both parties are assumed to be functioning with 100% control – and those sober sexual engagements are shunned for all sorts of other reasons an egocentric blog post like this can’t cover. When both parties are drinking on the other hand, the degree to which one is out of control is unknown – and I think we feel really, really comfortable taking tremendous liberty playing within that space of accountability eschewal. You’ll be more forgiving of me if I’ve had two beers because you don’t really know what it is that two beers does to me.

Our entire economy is based around drinking and f*cking. The only reason pot’s still controversial and booze isn’t is because pot hasn’t been shown to help get you laid. Men are made to feel like they have to woo women – or at the very least pay for them to get drunk if they’re going to sleep together. It’s the reason so many men want to become CEOs, drive fancy cars, and wield power – to impress women. And there’s an equal amount of women who find it impressive. I think we need a major paradigm shift here. No more Ladies Night. No more Valentine’s Day. Can you imagine how completely turned on its head our economy would be if women started buying all their own drinks and f*cking a guy whenever they wanted to, without fear of slut-shaming? So take charge women! Now, listen – I know the argument could be made that maybe men should take the first step and adjust the whole $.79 -to- the- dollar- women- make thing, but we both know that’s never gonna happen.

What do you readers think? Has alcohol been an integral part of your sex/dating life? Could you date someone who was sober? And how would you feel drinking around them?

FREE Porn Pick of the Week (NSFW): “Unbreakable” (w/ Jessie Rogers)
New Full Disclosure (my sex podcast): Episode 29 – Comedy Central’s Chris Fairbanks and Sex+Design’s Veronica Christina

Be sure to follow me on Twitter, and if you wanna check out my standup, come to my show ( w/ Chris Fairbanks) on 2/26. Tickets available here!

 * I changed the name of this column from Cheap Dates to Full Disclosure because readers said they wanted to hear more about my personal experiences. I’l continue to update about cheap date ideas though as I run across them.


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Eric Barry - Starving Fartist

Eric Barry - Starving Fartist

Eric Barry is a writer and comedy nerd, currently living in Brooklyn by way of San Francisco.

When he's not writing or podcasting, he can be found drinking beer, rubbing pesto on whatever will allow it, or doing improv/sketch/standup.


  1. […] see, I was a virgin till i was 19, and didn’t start drinking till after that. So there were no blacked-out, fuzzy memoried nights I needed to contend with with it came to […]

  2. Max
    April 24, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Ok ….. then just stop drinking.