Alcohol and sex

Alcohol affects both your emotional life and your judgement. Many people feel more relaxed after a few beers, that a few drinks help get the conversation started, and that those around you are both more attractive and better company after a couple of drinks. But alcohol and sex are a bad combination.

Unprotected sex

Many people believe that the vast majority of young people are drunk the first time they have sex, but surveys show that the majority are actually sober when they make their sexual debut. Unprotected sex is, however, more common amongst those who were drunk when they first had sex and amongst those who have been drinking before having sex.

Sometimes, the guys hassle you and say you're boring if you don't want to do something, which makes you feel stupid and scared that they'll spread rumours about you.

Sabina, aged 16, Gothenburg

Sex you regret

Sadly, young people do have sex against their will when they’re drunk. 10 per cent of girls and boys in the ninth grade and 16 per cent of 2nd year upper secondary school students who drink say that they’ve had sex when drunk and regretted it later. As an adult, it’s important that you talk to your teenager about this and make it very clear that they should only have sex if they really want to. And that there are, of course, no excuses whatsoever for sexual assault.

If you're trying to get off with someone but get turned down, you can always blame it on being drunk.

Hanna, aged 16, Gothenburg

Physically and emotionally, it’s worse

Alcohol can not only lead to someone having unprotected or unwanted sex, it can also affect their body and their emotions. It’s hard, when you have alcohol in your system, to feel the shared closeness that happens during physical intimacy with another person.

It can damage self-esteem

Many people find it easier to have sex when they’ve been drinking alcohol. They feel relaxed and braver. But if you make it a habit to be drunk in order to get physical with someone, there’s a real risk that it will feel natual and right. Over time you might not dare or know how to be physical without being drunk.

More to read about the same topic

The teenage years

The teenage years are a very special time in your child’s life. Teenagers are navigating the frontier lands between childhood and adulthood and there are a lot of new things to handle: school, friends, being allowed to stay out late, sex, parties and – not least – alcohol.

Useful contacts and more info

It can sometimes be good to talk to someone who knows a bit more about teenagers and alcohol, or about anything else, for that matter.

If you want to do more

There’s a lot you can do to support and be there for teenagers. Maybe you can take part in night-time patrols, or make it easier for them to say “no”, or help promote a smarter approach to alcohol in some other way.

Other important topics to read about

Teenagers and alcohol

There are many considerations that can easily arise when your child becomes a teenager. But first and foremost: how do young people think about drinking themselves? And why is it more dangerous to drink alcohol in adolescence than as an adult?

Take responsibility

Maybe you sometimes feel pretty helpless as a parent. But there’s a lot you can do. As always showing that you care, that you’re there and that you are happy to listen. And often it’s important to be clear about what you expect of your teenager.

If parents are not around

Festivals, home parties and trips abroad are examples of situations where adults are rarely present. There are some pitfalls that you, as a parent, should be aware of and that you can teach your teenager how to handle.

Yes or no?

The clearer you communicate your expectations, the easier it is for your teenager to take a stand or do what you say. Also, think about what sort of message and values you’re conveying to your child.

Teenager’s drinking habits

Not only is it illegal to buy alcohol for young people, but most adults think that alcohol is something teenagers should be avoiding. So where are teenagers getting their alcohol? How much do they drink? And what sort of problems do young people experience in connection to alcohol?

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