Getting Your Drink On
Oct 2010 25

As fall is well underway, you may find yourself in some unique situations. Maybe you are now without a partner and looking to have some fun. Maybe you have someone and want to have some fun somewhere else. Maybe it is just about hooking up with as many people as you want or just having a little slap and tickle with those friends who have extra benefits. I don’t know but I do know that when you mix that “fun” with liquor, it can be dangerous.

As we approach all the activities associated with the season (football games, house parties, Greek social events, and of course the club/bar), alcohol plays even more a role in our “fun.” For many playing drinking games and “getting your drink on” might sound like the ideal way to spend the weekend, but that type of fun is not without consequences. The problem — when a casual drink leads to heavy drinking or binge drinking. What is binge drinking? Binge drinking is consuming 5 or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting for men and just 4 or more drinks in one sitting for women (Hingsen, et al, 2002).

Look, we know that getting our drink on makes us feel a bit more social, seem a lot more fun, and make that girl or guy you are pushing up on a bit sexier. The reality is alcohol lowers our inhibitions and we all know the saying that “if you are drinking then you are not thinking.” As a result, young adults engage in risky sexual behavior more frequently when they are drinking.

Research shows a direct link between alcohol use and risky sexual behavior. An examination of data obtained from three surveys exploring the impact of binge drinking on risk taking behavior among college students across the nation indicated that individuals who engage in binge drinking were more likely to engage in unprotected sex and to be victims of sexual assault (Hingsen, et al, 2002).

The truth is that alcohol lowers your ability to make healthy decisions. Excessive drinking can lead to the following outcomes:

  • You may not make good decisions in choosing a partner for your “hook up.” In other words, you may have sex with someone that you would find totally undesirable if you were thinking clearly.

 

  • You may have unplanned sex.

 

  • You may have unprotected sex. NO CONDOM USE

 

  • You may not talk to your partner about using condoms.

 

  • You may have multiple sexual partners.

 

 

Okay, I know what you are thinking. I know all of my partners. We do it all the time. It doesn’t matter. The reality is if you are drinking and forget or just don’t use condoms, then you are still setting yourself up for a bad situation.

 

So where do you find yourself the next morning after the party and the booze? Not only may you find yourself “hooked up” with an extreme headache and some stranger or sleazy character hugged up next to you, you may find yourself with these outcomes:

  • You may have an unplanned pregnancy.

 

  • You may have acquired a sexually transmitted infection like gonorrhea or herpes.

 

  • You may have acquired HIV infection.

All I am saying is that that excessive drinking can increase the likelihood that you may engage in risky behaviors, including unprotected sex. Having said that, there are some steps you can take at the beginning of your night out to protect yourself from an unfortunate hook up at the end of the night.

  • First, use the buddy system. Make sure to leave the bar/party with the same people with whom you arrived.

 

  • Second, set a drink limit for yourself at the beginning of the night and stick to it so you don’t risk drinking too much and losing control.

 

  • Third, drink plenty of water at the beginning and throughout the night.

 

  • Finally, always carry some condoms, even if you don’t plan on needing them because you never know!

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