Alcohol and Parties
This is all obviously complicated by alcohol. In 2015, the National Institute of Health found that 58 percent of college students aged 18 to 22 drank alcohol in the last month. Drinking can lead to sex that students regret, but the fundamental contradiction is that college students (and post-grad adults, honestly) drink to lower their inhibitions and work up the courage to approach someone they like-but when everyone is drinking, communicating clearly can be impossible. “There’s definitely a correlation on campus. If you’re sexually active then you probably Match.com jak uÅ¼ywaÄ‡ drink,” Talukder told me. “If you don’t go to parties people assume you aren’t sexually active unless you’re in a relationship. Besides frat parties, there isn’t much to work with.”
“It’s scarier and more vulnerable to be sober and with it. That means yeah you might say something awkward-you might say ‘dock’ when you’re trying to say ‘dick’ or ‘cock’ and you can’t choose. That is OK.”
Communication and consent workshops also guide students through the effects of alcohol. A big topic is “alcohol myopia, where you don’t forget about more distant concerns but they loom less in your mind compared to more salient cues,” Talukder explained. The workshop also explains that consent should not be assumed and cannot be given when drunk (or high), and that alcohol should not be used as a scapegoat in cases of sexual misconduct. “Consent should be a clear, unambiguous, ongoing agreement,” Talukder told me. “If you’re drunk you can still recognize the signals. You need to be conscious of not looking for what you want to see.”
It may be impossible to envision a world where hooking up happens without alcohol, but sobriety is a necessary step in making sure your hookup is consensual-and sober hookups tend to be much better because both parties are present and able to communicate. “I’m not a statistician, but polling the people in my life-like the people who have had experiences when they’re drunk and have had experiences when they’re sober generally rave about the sober ones and tend to not remember or wish they did not remember the ones that happened when they’re drunk,” Fancy Feast told me. “It’s scarier and more vulnerable to be sober and with it. That means yeah you might say something awkward-you might say ‘dock’ when you’re trying to say ‘dick’ or ‘cock’ and you can’t choose. That is OK. We don’t die of awkwardness though it may feel that way.”
Most of my friends’ sexual encounters have resulted from parties
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t drink at a party, or that drinking in moderation can’t be enjoyable. It also doesn’t mean that hookups can’t be found at a party. But if you meet someone at the party that you want to hook up with, know your limits. Walk away if you or your partner is drunk. And instead of drinking to develop the courage to approach someone or hookup with them, practice being a better communicator. One of the easiest ways to do this is by being a question asker.
“There is nothing more confident than someone who asks a question and listens to the answer,” Fancy Feast told me. “That may seem counterintuitive-for a lot of people, we’re afraid of not knowing something. But having genuine curiosity in the person in front of you is the hottest thing. And it indicates that you’re really interested in what makes them tick. I find that to be the hottest, most baddest shit. All of your peers are too chickenshit to ask questions about what somebody likes!”