Minus the City: Sober Sex

Kids say the darndest things – especially Colgate kids. I’ve only got one year under my belt, but I’m already desensitized to hearing abnormal stuff on a daily basis. There’s no shortage of absurdity at Colgate; someone is always stealing something from Frank, or working in the library until it closes or blacking out at the Jug. It’s hard to be rattled by the stuff we overhear from our peers, but a conversation I recently had with a friend really took me by surprise. “I just had sober sex for the first time since high school,” were the words that left me to revel in the dark side of hookup culture. 

It’s obviously not ideal on an individual level that this person had only had sex under the influence for such a long time, but the comment made me realize how rare sober sex is within the entire Colgate student body. Unless you’re in a committed relationship, it’s unlikely that your sexual experiences at Colgate are sober. That is not normal, healthy or acceptable. It’s a direct product of our hookup culture and the misperception that a sober sexual encounter indicates emotional attachment. It’s problematic for a variety of reasons, including the simple truth that alcohol is the most commonly used drug in facilitating sexual assault. It blurs the lines, makes it difficult to read social cues and impairs judgement and motor skills. But, as Colgate students, we’ve already done the online Haven training. None of this is new information, and it hasn’t stopped us from continuing this toxic behavior. 

Clearly the risk isn’t enough to deter our campus culture from normalizing drunk sex, but maybe the quality of the sex is. The sole purpose of casual sex is to give and receive pleasure, but ask anyone, 90 percent of the time their intoxicated sex is just “fine.” No one’s post-Jug attempt at reverse cowgirl results in mind-blowing orgasms for both parties. Rarely are impaired sexual encounters positive experiences for both parties, which means the system of go out, get drunk and take someone home is broken. 

Hookup culture is not about pleasure, it’s about convenience. Colgate is a big fan of its hookup culture because it feeds into the idealistic image of the college experience, and that isn’t going anywhere any time soon. No matter how much we discuss how unhealthy and miserable it is, Colgate kids will continue to drink, dance and fornicate. Overall, it’s a degrading process and for most people engaging in casual, intoxicated sex is detrimental to their well being. Still, there’s so much social pressure to partake it’s hard to say no. All I want is for people to have positive sexual experiences and a positive relationship with their sexuality. So, Colgate, you don’t need to have less drunk sex, you just need to start having more sober sex.

Contact Kate Hinsche at [email protected].