BDSM und alcohol: don’t drink and kink!

Author: Kitteh
Kinky Life | Recommendations

BDSM and alcohol – both are pleasurable, both are stimulating and relaxing at the same time. So it seems obvious to combine the two. A nice glass of wine to set the mood for the session, a cocktail to ease the nervousness of the first game… Sounds good? No, unfortunately not. Just as a classic romantic evening doesn’t always have to include a mountain lodge with a log fire or flowers and bubble baths, an evening of adult fun doesn’t need alcohol. Because one principle of safe and responsible BDSM is “don’t drink and kink”. Why? Because:

1. We no longer play “sane” with alcohol

SSC – our basic BDSM safety system is based on the condition that we always play safe, sane and consensual. This means that we commit to being sane and in full possession of our mental faculties in accordance with the second S “sane”. Yes, that sounds very bourgeois. But it is essential in order to ensure the greatest possible safety and therefore also enjoyment and pleasure. Under the influence of alcohol, however, we are less sensible. We become more careless, more risk-averse or simply rash.

Of course, you don’t normally get completely out of control after a beer or another small amount of alcohol. Nevertheless, the inhibition threshold drops, perhaps even unconsciously. What’s more, once you’ve started drinking, you tend to indulge in a second or third glass. A level is then quickly reached. Sometimes you drink too quickly, for example to finish your glass before you start. As a result, you have an effect faster than you might expect. Although you think you can still judge yourself, the risk increases.

2. Alcohol pushes the boundaries

BDSM is often about letting go, shedding inhibitions and breaking taboos. We let ourselves go and enjoy a session. Of course, alcohol sounds like a good idea to get into this relaxed mood. People who haven’t played with each other often or are perhaps just having their first experience might think that alcohol helps to take away the excitement.

But this feeling, the nervousness, the apprehension, all that is part of it. It should not be anesthetized. Because only those who clearly feel how they feel can recognize red flags, for example. Alcohol can unintentionally accelerate the pace of new relationships. However, especially at the beginning, it is important to take small steps and to feel exactly what is wanted and what is not.

For more experienced, well-established couples, on the other hand, a glass of wine is perhaps just as much a part of a nice evening as BDSM. However, “don’t drink and kink” also applies here. Because even if you don’t get drunk, alcohol still acts as a catalyst. Boundaries that were very clear when sober shift or are not recognized in time. Especially if you’re already well adjusted, you may become more risk-averse and careless. No matter how well you know yourself and your partner: With alcohol in your blood, you are more likely to overestimate each other and misunderstand signals than sober.

3. BDSM and alcohol: the physical effects

How our body reacts to the influence of alcohol should not be neglected either. Our reaction time gets worse. Our circulation becomes unstable and our perception is clouded. Some people quickly become nauseous. For others, the sense of balance suffers. All not good conditions for BDSM. There is also a risk that we are less able to assess and control our strength. This makes many practices completely unsafe.

It is just as dangerous if a person under the influence of alcohol can no longer safely assess his/her physical (and mental) limits. The opposite can also happen. Namely that limits are reached much more quickly under the influence of alcohol than is normally the case. Our reaction time is also impaired even with very little alcohol. But especially when something goes wrong, a quick reaction/rescue is required.

4. No consent under the influence of alcohol

Also in the spirit of consensuality, you should definitely refrain from drinking alcohol before or during the session. After all, consenting to a practice while drunk that you would refuse if you were sober is not consent. You always have a responsibility towards yourself and your play partners. Would you want to play with someone yourself if you couldn’t be sure whether consent was just due to exuberance?

If a person insists on drinking alcohol to lighten the mood or repeatedly suggests it, this is a red flag. It may be that in well-established relationships it is okay for some people to drink alcohol in moderation before a session. However, if the glass of wine is an integral part of the session, then this practice can be questionable – because playing over a long period of time only under the influence of alcohol and never “clearly” is also neither “sane” nor “safe”. But these people always act at their own risk. They should not be a role model.

Drinking culture and etiquette

BDSM is something that often takes place outside the social norm, so why stick to it when it comes to alcohol? Movies, books and social conventions often associate dating, socializing and partying with alcohol. It’s all about the release, mood-lifting effect and making people appear “social”. If you don’t drink alcohol, it often comes across as staid. But nobody is obliged to drink because of a socially dictated norm. At some play parties and in some BDSM clubs, alcohol is therefore only available in controlled quantities or even not at all.

In America, alcohol is prohibited in all BDSM venues and is frowned upon in most countries. In Germany there is a drinking culture, but in BDSM there is responsibility and danger. Remember, you’re not allowed to ride a bike in Germany if you’ve had three beers or more, so why should it be okay to pick up a whip and risk injury? Because it’s “part of the game”?

BDSM und alcohol: no risk – more fun!

Playing with each other under the influence of alcohol inevitably increases the risk of boundaries being crossed. This means that BDSM is no longer as safe as possible for everyone involved. The same naturally also applies to drugs, narcotics and various medications.

We always try to exclude all possible risks in BDSM or to be aware of them in the sense of RACK. Alcohol and drugs are one such risk factor. Even if the attraction is great and the danger seems small: be very aware of the possible effects. Drops, injuries and trauma are not worth the supposed extra fun. Trust, communication and awareness are required to become relaxed and at ease during BDSM. And no champagne.


Disclaimer: Of course we do not want to condemn anyone here who consumes alcohol in small quantities consensually and safely during/before BDSM. It is not forbidden or excluded to play after an after-work beer or glass of wine. However, “Don’t kink and drink” is the rule, to which such individual exceptions are possible.

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