As promised last week, here’s a sexy blog post for you!!

While I really enjoyed my conversation with James Swanwick about sober dating and sex – I also felt that we didn’t really go deep – especially when we got to the sex part. (If you haven’t listened yet – you can catch it here).

For most women I know, it’s not so easy and “just do it!!” Especially when alcohol and intimacy have been so intertwined for many years, if not most of our lives.

So while James was waxing poetic about how much better you’ll look naked once you stop drinking, I was thinking to myself, “yeah, but it took me awhile to FEEL better naked.”

In my book, Drink Less Be More, I devote an entire chapter to sex and dating, when in reality – it could be an entire book because the topic is so nuanced.

Until very recently, alcohol and intimacy and sex were always inextricably linked, as were my relationships.

I’m a passionate lover, and I mean that in all senses.

I often fell quickly and deeply into the people I was dating.

During my 20s, was in three serious relationships… each in fairly quick succession to the other.  Engaged to one of them, and married to the third, and then on road to divorce, all before age 28.

Looking back, these relationships may have resembled more of collision spinning out of control on a crash course, but I didn’t see it that way at the time.

Not surprisingly, I met all of my partners at the bar (not at the same bar, but might as well have been). Also not a shocker, all loved to drink, and consumed the same or even more copious amounts of alcohol than what I did.

Edit – my first serious “adult” relationship was with someone who wasn’t a drinker. I did meet him at a bar but marijuana was his drug of choice. Remember Dido’s song “Stoned?” That could have been our anthem.

When you’re stoned, baby, I am drunk

And we make love, it seems a little desolate

It’s hard sometimes not to look away

And think what’s the point when I’m having to hold this fire down

I think I’ll explode if I can’t feel this freely now

And that is very much how I felt. Alcohol brought me the release and freedom I craved. When I was drunk, I could turn off my brain, let my over-drive ambition take a back seat, and tell my self-loathing to shut up for awhile.

I felt free. I felt sexy. I felt lovable.

I was able to be possessed by another person in a way that was too damn scary if I was sober.

I needed to feel in control of everything.

Drinking allowed me to release my fear and gave permission to my desires.

The double edged sword is the fact that while a few drinks can lower inhibitions and help you along with a dose of liquid courage and passion… too many has the opposite effect. It starts to numb, you may start to disassociate and it’s harder to orgasm.

I realized the profound difference when my current partner and I had sex for the first time, sober. I had had sober sex with my exes but it was usually after and in-between a lot of drunk sex. (This was the first time I was having sex with someone for the first time without the aid of alcohol to “get me there.”)

I could go into all of the cliche descriptors of how it felt and how different it was – you’ve read them before and they all apply here. My senses were heightened, every subtle touch sent shivers through my whole body, my pleasure soared to new heights.

It was like how I always had thought it should be (thank you Hollywood) but never was.

You might be wondering – how did I get from sloppy sex to this kind of exquisite sensuality?

It wasn’t overnight.

It involved a lot of self-love and healing.

Remember, at my very core for many years was a feeling of unlovability and unworthiness.

If I still held those beliefs, it would have been difficult for me to be open and receive. To let my guard down and feel. To allow myself to be truly seen without the false bravado brought on by alcohol.

I had worked with healers who did energy work with the chakras, and I focused on the 1st and second, where I knew I needed healing. I had attended several retreats that focused on pleasure, and shared the teachings of Mama Gena’s School of the Womanly Arts. I had seen a somatic therapist, who helped me get out of my head and into my body (she also, consequently, was the first professional to gently questioned my relationship to alcohol and encouraged me to take a break for awhile.)

I made a decision, deep down, that I deserved more. I was ready for a different kind of intimacy, one that required both vulnerability and strength – and at it’s core – authenticity.

So when my clients and community ask me about dating, sex and intimacy (without or with much less alcohol), there’s often not an easy answer.

It takes time.

But first and foremost, it takes love. The kind you lavish on yourself and nurture from within, rather than desperately seeking from another.

Instead of focusing on where the meet the new person of your dreams, fall in love with yourself. Romance yourself, take yourself on dates, get to know yourself. Learn what pleasure feels like to you, allow yourself to dream and to fantasize. If you are ready this and thinking “huh??” than that’s a good indicator that there is a lot of exploring for you to do in this area of your life.

Do this first.

Your ability to attract an energetic match and someone who truly honours and see you, and whom you never feel you have to hide from, will increase.

If you have any questions about this topic, please do not hesitate to reach out.

I know it’s tricky terrain and I am honoured whenever I can provide support and insight on this topic.


Ps. I feel that I should be completely transparent. This journey is on-going for me too. After having a baby, experiencing big changes to my body, and some issues in my relationship, I feel as though I am having to re-learn intimacy again!! And it’s so tempting to hit that bottle of red wine to ease back into it. So trust me when I say – I GET IT! We’re in this together 🙂