On “Smart Drinking” And Happy Endings

I’ve always been what you (well, I) would call a “smart drinker”—basically, a person who does what’s necessary to end up in a bed by the end of the night instead of outside of a boarded up KFC, naked with church socks on, and singing the chorus to Redman’s “Sooperman Lover.” I don’t drink and drive anymore. If out, I only drink drinks I’ve drank before. I make sure to eat before I know I’m going to be drinking heavily. I also have a good idea of when I’m about to cross the line from “f*cked up” to “I’m about to die!!!!,” and I usually stop drinking by then.

This hasn’t always been the case though. I’ve definitely been a dumb-ass drinker before. One time in particular, I was hanging out with a chick I was seeing at the time (“Carmen”). We started the night off at her place, passing a bottle of Jack around before going out. We then hit a couple clubs, each had a few more drinks, and finally ended up at this lounge spot to meet up with some friends.

Now, at this point I was feeling a bit more wasted than usual. Considering the relatively small amount I had to drink, uncharacteristically wasted. And, while I was at the lounge, halfway to the bottom of my second Long Island in a 10 minute span, I overheard Carmen say something that sounded like “Fee fearful. Wu pennet beat many moods.” It wasn’t until the next afternoon that I realized she was actually saying “Be careful. You didn’t eat any food.” 

Now, anyone who’s had any experience drinking knows what happens when you drink heavily on an empty stomach. Basically, you go from zero to DMX in less than five songs. I don’t know exactly when it happened—I think while I was awkwardly attempting to heel toe during a dancehall set—but I all of a sudden wasn’t able to keep my balance, falling into random couches and chicks with fuzzy chests. My words weren’t even slurring. They were slobbering.

Apparently, my friends parked me on one of the couches, and apparently I passed out and stayed there for the rest of the night. I say “apparently” because I honestly don’t remember. I don’t remember laying on the couch. I don’t remember falling down the steps and busting my elbow. I don’t even remember singing “I Like The Way You Move” to an embarrassed Carmen as we were all waiting for a cab.

I do remember somehow “waking up” on Carmen’s bed. We apparently had just gotten back to her place, my clothes were somehow off, and she was giving me head. I remember still being so out of it that I was looking down at her and thinking “Why is she trying to tie my shoes? Doesn’t she realize my shoes are off?” Apparently I even said “Carmen, stop. I’m shoeless.” (And, apparently this made her laugh so hard that she almost bit me)

But while I still wasn’t completely awake, my penis definitely was, and she climbed on top of me. We both, um, finished, and I went right back to sleep. It wasn’t until a conversation the next afternoon that I even remembered having sex. And, when the experience finally started coming back to me I thought “Yessssss! Happy endings like a motherf*cker”

That night has been and will always been one of the most memorable nights I’ve ever had. I had a great time—too great of a time, perhaps—acted a fool, hung out with some friends, made it to a familiar bed in one piece, and had a very happy (albeit, not completely lucid) ending. It remains the most drunk I’ve ever been, and it will likely be the last time I ever get that f*cked up.

Yet, as I sit here today, reading through the comments on this piece at The Frisky, I’ve come to realize that if the roles were reversed, and Carmen was the too-f*cked-up-to-really-consent-even-though-I-know-she-wants-to-have-sex one instead of me, I could have been charged with rape. And, well, even if I wasn’t actually charged, it would have been rape. Having sex with a woman when she’s not able to consent, regardless of your relationship to her, is rape.

While I’ve never slept with someone who was clearly passed out, I have initiated sex with women who were laying next to me, drunk or half asleep. Sure, their bodies eventually responded to my advances, but those reactions were initially instinctual/unconscious before they woke/sobered up. And, while I was 99% sure that each of these women would be okay with me doing that, I don’t remember getting any clear consent.

I guess the best and smartest thing to do would be to just not sleep with a woman if there’s a possibility that either of you are too drunk/sleepy/tired to give unambiguous consent.

Or, even better (and more realistic), have a conversation beforehand to explicitly state that it’s okay to go ahead if in that situation. Even this has some loopholes, though. I mean, can you really consent to something weeks, days, even hours before it actually happens?

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I’m kind of just thinking aloud right now, and I know that a man using the wrong words and tone when even mentioning subjects like consent and rape have the potential to trigger some very serious reactions. This is me treading light as a motherf*cker.

Trigger or not though, I have to admit that in situations like the one with Carmen—situations that many of us reading this have been in—there seems to be more gray than black and white.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)