If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: “I will never do it again, I promise”. Usually, my oath was directed to the good lord above while throwing up after an evening’s over-indulgence in – you guessed it – alcohol and sex. And often, after a short period of recovery, I would normally move to the common self-justification, you know, along the lines of: “I have no regrets, no harm done, it was fun – well what I can remember of it was…”
Come on, admit it, how many times have you said or heard something similar?!
When people say they have no regrets in their life, I think one of two things. First, that they haven’t been trying hard enough to enjoy their life; they have lived it too safely; they have taken no risks – and, as they say, ‘no risk, no reward’. Second, I think they have missed one of the best learning experiences possible. Seriously, living without recognising and learning from your mistakes is, in itself, a major mistake. As they say, “He who ignores history is destined to repeat it”. Learning from your mistakes is so important.
Now, back to alcohol and sex – drunken sex! No school textbook is going to tell you how much fun drunken sex can be! Trust me, if you drink, you will eventually experience drunken sex, and you will have both plenty of fun and, believe me, plenty of regrets. Of course, I’m teetotal now. But the memories of, and regrets from, drunken sex experiences run long and deep.
Making mistakes is part of life. Learning how to get through the fact and consequences of those mistakes while growing up is a must. The ability to do so enables you to go through life as safely as possible. Oh, and it also arms you with lots of excuses and the ability to lie convincingly to get yourself out of troublesome situations!
As actress, singer and model Cybill Shepherd (mostly) confesses: “I had to lie so much about sex, first when I was 15, because I wasn’t supposed to be having it. And then when I got older, I lied to everybody I was having sex with about getting drunk, so I could have sex with other people.“
I have used some hilarious excuses. I remember as a 15-year-old hanging with friends in the local park, drinking and making fools of ourselves – you know, just experimenting as teenagers do. Obviously, in time, you progress from the park and start drinking in bars, where your behaviour becomes more adult, but not much!
I recall at around 17, going on a pub crawl in the centre of Bristol with a group of friends. To this day, I can remember most of the evening. I met a guy and, being young, I was flattered when he paid me attention. At the time, I thought he was as hot as David Beckham. Before long, I was well on my way to getting plastered with him. And, as these things often go, I agreed to continue drinking at his house. Call me naive but I had not expected to jump into bed with him. In fact, I can’t recall much, not even the cab ride there! I awoke the following morning fully dressed in his bed, unaware whether I had had sex with him. He informed me I had passed out the minute we had got home, and that therefore nothing had happened. Of course, then he tried it on. Unfortunately, he was far from Beckham, and more bloody Wayne Rooney! I could not even bear the thought of spending any longer there with him, let alone kissing him.So, I had to find an excuse to get out of there as quickly as I could.
I made out my parents were very religious and ran a church service that I had to attend every Sunday morning. In order to be as convincing as possible, I knelt beside his bed making out I was praying to the dear lord above and asking for forgiveness! I’m not sure whether he believed me or not but it worked a treat!
Did I regret it? Oh yeah. I felt so embarrassed and dirty. I never told a soul where I had been.
And did I do it again? Oh yeah, you can bet I did, and on many occasions!
Feeling embarrassed by drunken behaviour is something 90% of us will experience at some time in our life. We will be able to laugh off and quickly forget about most of those situations. However, there will be some that are more like a horror story, and you will wish you could press the ‘rewind’ button so it never happened.
Remember, alcohol gives us confidence and the courage to do things we otherwise would not do. It can also suppress emotions and override our usual defence mechanisms. Seriously, I would never go to bed with a Wayne Rooney lookalike if I was sober!!
How to get over drunken stranger sex
The main thing to do to help get over drunken sex (or any drunken behaviour for that matter), is to forgive yourself and accept it for what it is. Recognise that it is not your usual behaviour. This will help you recognise, and become more adept and managing the adverse effects of alcohol.
Don’t try to justify your actions. There is no need. It is a lost cause. You will already know what you did was out your normal behaviour pattern, and clearly you regret it. But there is nothing you can do to ‘undo’ it. So let it go. Humans make mistakes. Learn from them and move on. Life experience is a far better source of education than any text-book. Try to work with the situation and learn how to avoid it in the future.
Don’t beat yourself up saying you regret it, you feel dirty, or telling yourself it’s the worst decision of your life. Just remind yourself you’re human, and no different from anyone else. Remember, people get drunk, people get high and people have sex. Accept it and move on.
Try to remember the details, so you can most effectively manage the consequences. For example, did you use a condom? I once had a friend who slept with a guy whilst drunk and she was sure they had not used protection. She was worried. I told her to call him and ask but she said she was too embarrassed to do so. I called instead making out I was her. I asked him if we had used something, and he said we hadn’t. I told him I was going to get tested and would let him know the results and left it at that.
Of course, I encouraged my friend to have tests and she took my advice. Fortunately, she was given the all clear. The key message here is that your health is far more important than any embarrassment. So find out the facts and deal with the situation. There is no need to see him/her again unless you want too – you owe them nothing. But, of course, if you want second helpings – ask! But always plan for your safety. Only drink with friends you can trust. And always carry condoms.
No-one else needs to find out if you don’t want them too. It’s ok to keep things to yourself sometimes. However, if you have a friend you can trust and you can talk to, then I would suggest off-loading. It helps take off some of the pressure. And friends can help you make better decisions, as I did with my friend after she’d had unprotected drunken sex.
Focus on the future and move on. Leave the past in the past. Remind yourself today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper. Trust me, people get over talking about your mistakes. They only continue if you rise to them doing so. Simply smile and blame it on the alcohol and move on.
Of course, if this is happening on a regular basis, it may be time to question your drinking habits and get some professional help. Certainly, alcohol played a big part in most of my most embarrassing behaviour, as well as in me sleeping with people I had just met. Eventually, I decided to give up the booze. I can honestly say I have not made any (really embarrassing) mistakes or had any regrets since doing so. In fact, to the contrary. I must admit my sex life is great now I’m sober. And my relationship is probably the best I have ever had. But I do kick myself now for not being able to remember some of great sex I had while drunk!