Alcohol and SeXmas

Alcohol can affect your judgement and you might be easily influenced when it comes to sex. You might make some rash decisions, such as having unprotected sex, which can lead to unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea.

Drinking alcohol can change your perception in certain situations, and may stop you making sensible decisions, such as using a condom for protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. If you’re drunk, you’re less likely to be thinking clearly enough to talk to your partner about using condoms, or to use condoms properly.

Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of how old they are, whether they’re male, female, gay, straight or bisexual. Being drunk can make you more vulnerable to this. If someone tries to have sex with you and you don’t want to do it, you always have the right to say no and not consent, whether you’re drunk or not.

Some tips for staying safe:

  • Stick with friends and don’t go to parties alone.
  • Always travel home with your friends, and never take an unlicensed cab. Keep the telephone number of a licensed taxi firm with you. Do not drink and drive.
  • Never leave drinks unattended or accept drinks from people you don’t know in case someone puts drugs in them. Ask a friend you trust to look after them.
  • Discuss your boundaries with your partner when you’re sober.

If you’ve been sexually assaulted, you must remember that it wasn’t your fault. Sexual violence is a crime, regardless of who commits it or where it happens. Visit our Sexual Assault and Rape page for support.

Take our latest Sexual Health Quiz here