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I can feel some of you tensing up even just reading that question.
"Julie, if you're about to vilify me for kicking back with a few brewskis or a glass of wine before getting crazy beneath the sheets, I don't want to hear it."
I'm not about to vilify you. Relax.
But don't tune me out either.
I like an occasional glass of wine or beer as much as many people, but as someone who blogs about sexual intimacy in marriage, I would be careless to not devote a blog post to this topic of alcohol and sex.
And I'm not talking about alcohol addiction, because obviously if someone is addicted to alcohol, that's creating all kinds of problems in their life (sloppy sex is probably the least of those, but no doubt it's in the mix. No pun intended).
You may not be addicted to alcohol (as addiction is generally defined), yet you may still rely on a drink or two to "get you in the mood" for sex -- to the point that nearly all of your sexual encounters don't happen unless you've had something to drink first.
And for some of you, it's really not about getting in the mood -- as much as it is about numbing pain. You use a drink or two to keep at bay the emotional pain that sex triggers in you.
The pain of past sexual abuse or sexual indiscretions is too much, and you believe you're better able to manage it with a little alcohol.
Whatever the reasons, some people simply believe alcohol makes them a better lover.
Maybe you think it makes you a better lover.
But alcohol is a depressant, so its calling cards are hardly more coordination or more alertness. If anything, too much alcohol quickly will cascade you into one chaotic sexual mess.
Sure, it may be memorable.
But for all the wrong reasons.
And as far as numbing emotional pain, alcohol will never usher you into authentic and long-lasting healing. That's found only through learning from the one true Healer -- Jesus Christ -- and trusting Him as you walk a journey toward authentic healing.
This post is getting heavy, right?
And some of you are saying right now that you don't have deep issues. You just like the way alcohol helps you feel less inhibited sexually.
"Julie, after I have a drink, I loosen up!" you may say. "I feel more relaxed. I feel more sexually confident."
Your spouse may even echo that sentiment. They are totally on board with you having a drink before crawling into seduction. "The sex is better! It's like they are someone else -- a sexier version of themselves!"
So where have we arrived, now that I've painted all the above scenarios?
My hope is you are starting to see where all the circumstances start to drift into one huge underlying problem.
If you rely on alcohol to numb you or boost your sexual confidence or make you a sexier version of yourself, you likely are robbing yourself of authentic sexual freedom, in my humble opinion.
Yeah. It's true.
You may think all that alcohol-induced sexual passion is the real deal, when all the while, the real deal is just beneath the surface, waiting for you to discover it -- without alcohol as your admission ticket.
When we let go of the training-wheels alcohol appears to give us, we make room for something better.
Rich communication about sex.
True transparency between a husband and a wife.
Vulnerable nakedness that feels safe, not overwhelming.
There is nothing quite like experiencing sexual freedom and oneness in the exclusivity of your marriage bed without relying on alcohol to get you there.
So hear my heart when I say that if you enjoy a drink every now and then before sex, that in and of itself is not wrong.
But if you know you're using alcohol as a mask to protect yourself from true vulnerability or as a counterfeit way to build passion quickly, then I believe God has something better in store for you and your spouse.
Do you believe God has something better in store?
Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.