YOU’VE HEARD OF casual drinkers, heavy drinkers, and social drinkers. Now an alarming number of women fall into a new type of imbibers: sexual drinkers, aka people who aren’t necessarily alcoholics but do rely on alcohol to get it on. You probably know a few, even if you aren’t one yourself. A recent study found that 30 percent of sexually active women who drink never hook up without reaching some level of inebriation, according to the American Journal of Public Health.
The most frequent offenders? Singles. Columbia University researchers confirmed they’re three times as likely as people in relationships to engage in some pre-bedroom boozing. Add to that the fact that binge drinking in women has shot up seven times faster than in men over the last decade and the rise of sexual drinkers begins to make sense.
“There’s a strong belief that alcohol and sex go together,” says Megan Patrick, PhD, research associate professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. “The way young single people interact with potential sexual partners pretty much revolves around alcohol.”
For women, the link is an emotional one. A cocktail before a date can act as a kind of “intimacy tonic” that takes the edge off potential sex with someone you only know from an app. Sipping has become a form of self treatment for sexual anxiety or a lack of