Booze Lie No. 1 - Alcohol Does Not Make You Attractive
For many people, the transition between childhood and becoming an adult is an awkward one. There are braces to contend with, zits, weight gain in weird places, boobs, voices that drop drastically in tone, pubic hair, sexual awakening, parent/child discord, and exams… to name but a few. Simultaneously, alcohol suddenly appears as a feature on the radar of teenagers, a mysterious elixir that has previously remained firmly off limits. Suddenly, there it is – booze at parties, downed covertly on street corners, stolen from liqueur cabinets and bought from corner shops with fake I.D. And it makes everything fun!
Aged thirteen, the thought of a boy sticking his tongue in my mouth as a gesture of affection was nothing short of horrific to me. One time this happened, when I hadn’t been drinking alcohol. My new boyfriend and I had been to the cinema to see the Tom Cruise film, Cocktail. Afterwards, as he said goodbye to me a few metres from my house, he lunged forwards and zoned in for a passionate French kiss. I was mortified and bolted home, not looking back once.
However, a few months later, with alcohol coursing around my hormone-frenzied body, I found that being intimate with the opposite sex could actually be quite thrilling.
Drinking made me feel sexy, attractive and as though I was the most gorgeous creature alive! And it didn’t stop there at my teenage years. For the next two decades I would employ alcohol as my preferred route to sexual confidence. How could you not feel sexy when you were all dressed up, wearing high heels and perched on a bar stool with a glass of something lovely in your hand? Sex and alcohol was a match made in heaven.
Until they became a match made in hell.
Along the trajectory of life, there was an insidious switch in the way that alcohol affected me. Increasingly I would drink too much when I was out socialising and this routinely led me to making bad choices - and certainly there was no part of my life more damaged by this than my romantic interactions. I was insecure and craved affection, and alcohol ensured that I got it. I picked the wrong people, time and time again, because when I was drunk they seemed to hold the key to my happiness. If a man showed me attention, I found it impossible not to engage with him in a sexually charged manner, even if I was already in a relationship with someone else.
Stumbling, make-up slipping tragically from the face, falling over, speaking too loudly, losing sensitivity with regards to the people around you; these are not attractive characteristics for anyone to possess. The simple truth is that drunken people are not appealing. Forget the alcohol adverts and the films, the images portraying men and women sipping drinks and looking beautiful, dancing provocatively and leaving the party with a good-looking new partner. The truth for me was a long shot from this.
I have never felt more attractive than I do now, fully in control of myself, and not letting myself down or making silly choices, waking up filled with regrets and self-loathing. Getting rid of alcohol has made me a more attractive person, in every facet of my personality.