Parties, Alcohol and Sex
For most people in the world, Christmas celebrations will be very different this year. The COVID-19 pandemic keeps us far from the people that we love, and the most sensible thing in these circumstances is that we all, stay home.
This means that we will also miss out on New Year’s celebrations, end of year parties at the office and reunions with friends, in which two common denominators used to be present: a lot of people and a lot of alcohol. It was in this environment where friendships that did not arise during the entire year, came into fruition, or one night stands, which often would become reason for regret.
Sex and Alcohol
The supposed link between alcohol and sex is nothing new, yet it has not ended despite all the evidence which indicate it’s not a good combination for several reasons: it does not favor sexual activity, it interferes with judgement and it can lead us to unnecessary risk for sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV.
The first point is the one that makes alcohol very popular as a supposed aphrodisiac. The truth is that too much alcohol in the blood does not cause more arousal, it merely disinhibits the person. This means, it doesn’t generate any real sexual desire, but rather removes the mental brakes that tell everyone when the right time is to let those sexual desires out. That’s why we see scenarios in which the office clown gets mixed up with the girl that no one ever turns to look at, or the most popular at work who hides in a corner with the respectable married peer, whose wife everybody knows.
Lack of judgement and risk
The second point is linked to the first one, but does not necessarily have to do with sexual desire. It’s the lack of judgement that leads us to say “this work colleague is married, but what does it matter?” or “I need to tell the boss how much he annoys me”. If this was a different environment, in which alcohol was still present, like a bar, we could underestimate the danger of getting involved sexually and unprotected, with someone we just met.
And this is where the third aspect comes in, which involves a great risk. Disinhibition and lack of judgement put a lot of people in a scenario in which they do not deem necessary to use a condom in a sexual encounter. Perhaps they’ll think about it for a moment (it’s been repeated many times at school, in television and social media), however they discard the idea because “what’s the worst that could happen?” “this person seems healthy”, “I want to feel these sensations skintight”, “I won’t ruin this opportunity”, are some of the justifications that a person under the influence of alcohol may tell themselves (or their partner) in order to not use protection.
Alcohol does in fact produce a sense of euphoria, which is closely related to parties and celebrations. However, using a condom is a sexual health decision, and making decisions on this topic, in the middle of an intoxicated state is not a good idea.
Maybe this year, these scenarios seem far away, but if this is not the case and we are lucky enough to celebrate in a group setting, it’s always wise to have a pack of condoms, just in case of whatever might happen.
Remember that at AHF we have free condoms for you. Don’t forget to visit us before the parties. Check our working hours and completely free services.