University Health Service

What was your best sexual experience? How many drinks did you have?

Most U-M students say zero to two. For most people, sexual performance is at its best when bodies are free from drugs, including alcohol and tobacco.

Consider the following for the best sexual experiences possible:

  • When sober, people are more likely to be able to maintain an erection, to have adequate vaginal lubrication, and feel more heightened pleasurable sensations.
  • Have trouble with experiencing orgasm? Being sober will make orgasm more likely to happen.
  • When you can communicate clearly (in other words, when you’re not confused or drowsy from alcohol), you can talk with partners about what you each like sexually. This can lead to greater satisfaction with the experience.
  • Trying to avoid STIs and/or pregnancy? Being sober may make it easier to stay on track with your goals for safer sex, consistent contraceptive use, and making deliberate choices about what sexual activities you want (or don’t want) to engage in.

In addition to enhancing sexual performance, being sober also helps promote respectful interactions between partners or potential partners:

  • When you’re sober, it’s easier to think clearly about how you want to treat people. Being sober helps you remember to speak and act in ways that show your partners that you respect them and you’re in control of yourself.
  • Think about the sexual activities you would or would not be interested in doing. Ask any potential partners about what they want and don’t want to do. And, while thinking about boundaries ahead of time may be helpful, it’s always OK to change your mind about what you want to do.
  • Alcohol affects everyone differently, so all participants need to be sober when giving consent to a sexual activity. Being sober when giving and getting consent helps make sure that everyone involved is freely and deliberately choosing to participate in the sexual activity.
  • Having sex only when everyone’s sober can safeguard your future goals by reducing the chance of legal or University disciplinary actions. Alcohol is involved in 90% of cases of sexual assault on college campuses. If everyone’s sober, your consent conversation will be much more likely to reflect everyone’s true desires about a sexual encounter.

Other ways to have fun and skip the anxiety:

  • If you choose to drink, see Stay in the Blue for ways to stay safe while having fun.
  • If you go out (to a party, date, etc.), plan how to get home. Put a taxi number in your wallet and bring some cash. See also U-M After-hours Ride Options.
  • Remember to bring the safer sex items you might need (like condoms, dental dams and contraceptives) with you. Visit UHS Wolverine Wellness (suite 2110, 2nd floor) for free safer sex items.
  • If you had unprotected sex and could get pregnant, consider Emergency Contraception.
  • For confidential resources and support related to sexual assault, stalking, or harassment, see the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC). For immediate assistance, call the SAPAC Crisis Line (24/7) at (734) 936-3333.

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