Get Into It!

When it comes to hooking up, alcohol and drug can help reduce our inhibitions, increase our confidence, reduce anxiety and give us the extra boost we might need to hook up. For some of us, hooking up goes hand in hand with alcohol and drugs, and the thought of sober sex is rather foreign.

Sober sex can be daunting – and let’s face it – we will probably feel vulnerable. It can take a few goes before we get comfortable with all of it. Think of it like riding a bike (and yes that was intentional!) – the more we do it, the more experienced we become, and the more comfortable we will start to feel.



There are lots of benefits to having sober sex, both for our mind and body.

Without using drugs to feel connected with our partners, we can connect on a different emotional and physical level. Some people say that having sex sober not only makes them feel more connected to their partner but also feel more confident communicating about what they want and don’t want in bed. When we’re sober, we are more in touch with our bodies and the bodies of our sex partners.

After a few drinks or a line or two, we might feel more physically turned on and attracted to others, but the feeling doesn’t usually last all that long and we might need to keep topping up to feel the same level of horniness. Not using drugs every time we hook up with someone gives our bodies a break.

Drugs can often stop us from having all of the physical feels – and sober sex can kick that into gear sometimes. Some people report that the sensations of sober sex are intense, especially at first – basically, our bodies and our pleasure centres are discovering sex for the first time… or again… you get what I mean.

Okay, so hear me out. We’ve all made questionable decisions when it comes to the people we hook up with, and speaking as someone who can spot a red flag a mile away, the majority of my questionable hook-up choices came after drinking or taking drugs. Maybe we wouldn’t go home with particular people if we weren’t looking at them through alcohol or drug-coloured lenses? If we’re sober, maybe we don’t go home with the first person who chats to us or the last person in the venue just before the lights go on. Sober me might be more discerning.

There are also the risks we take when our inhibitions are down – we head to random strangers’ houses or meet in some dubious places – all of which sounds like the start of a Law & Order episode – but I digress. In general, if we’re sober we’ve got our wits about us then we are likely to make more informed choices and take fewer risks.

Making informed choices when we’re sober also applies to the forms of protection we use when it comes to sex. When affected by drugs and alcohol we may forget about using protection or get caught up in the heat of the moment. Being sober allows us to be more alert about the decisions we make, and therefore more alert about using protection during sex.

Alcohol and drugs can reduce our ability to feel a range of physical sensations, and in many cases, it numbs our nerve endings, so we often don’t know if sex is causing us pain. Sober us can feel the pain at the moment and stop before we do any serious damage. The one thing sober us can’t fix is the chafing that comes with long sex sessions – that’s here now and forever!


Spend some time thinking about what types of sex we want to have and what we find the most pleasurable. Sometimes we are just going through the mechanics of sex, so if hooking up with people sober is too confronting, having a play by ourselves can help us get to know our bodies more – watch, listen, or read some of the porn, use different sex toys and discover what turns us on, imagine and explore different fantasies. Doing this more often can help us feel more comfortable when we start doing it with other people.

It can be a discovering phase as what we like when we are having sober sex can be wildly different from wired sex. Remember to keep experimenting with what gets us off and what our pleasure points are.

A lot of us can find it easier to chat about sex, our kinks and our fantasies when we are using drugs. But can we have those conversations sober? It can be hard to let someone know what we want, what types of sex and play we’re after, or what we find enjoyable when we’re sober, feeling vulnerable and a little shy! Even though they’re difficult conversations to have sober, it’s important to let our partners know what we’re up for and to know what they want too – so everyone is on the same page and everyone knows what the boundaries are.

Being in certain environments can trigger our desire to use alcohol and drugs when having sex… so it helps to identify what they are and avoid them where possible. Our triggers will be unique to us but might include a specific venue or beat that we usually have sex at, using specific hook-up apps or hooking up with particular sex partners.

It can be difficult to have sober sex, especially if this is something we’ve rarely or never done. Be prepared for the fact that sex may feel different when we’re sober, and it might take some time to get used to. Our sex drive may increase or decrease, or certain types of sex and sex play might feel more or less pleasurable. It’s okay to go on this journey but practice makes perfect, right? There’s also no rush and it may take time before we are ready to get out there and give sober sex the red-hot go it deserves. It may take a few tries before we get it right, so be kind for wanting to and trying to!



For some of us, the alcohol and drug scene is so connected with our sex lives, that it can be hard to remove them and keep our sexual connections. If we want to be part of our sexual scenes and communities, but don’t want to take drugs or alcohol, how can we navigate this? Will people judge us or interact with us differently? It’s an unknown, but here are some tips that may help:

  • Let people know it’s not about them, but it’s about our journey.
  • Tell people we’re not judging them or the way they use drugs and alcohol.
  • Find new places to hook up with the same people that won’t be triggering.
  • Make plans for not using when entering places where alcohol, drugs and sex are often mixed.


A lot of the time, the people we are in wired sessions with are friends and people we know socially. This can make it a bit harder to remove ourselves from the sex session but want to maintain our social friendships. Will the relationship be the same? Is there something more than drug-fuelled nights that we can bond over? It’s hard to know, but if you’re wanting to keep socially connected, here are some tips:

  • Catch up with people in environments where neither of us will be using drugs and having sex.
  • Start doing new activities with sex friends that can help reframe the foundation of the friendship.
  • Avoid venues and events where we know our sex friends will be having sex with others.
  • Talk through how we’re going to discuss what we are wanting from a friendship.

The information given on this page is not medical advice and should not be relied upon in that way.