I was 18 and home from University for summer, I was working a summer job, where I was the youngest employee in age and in maturity levels. It was a warm summer’s day and one of the staff were leaving, a leaving party was organised at one of the employee’s houses and it was bring your own drinks and BBQ food.
Chantelle, a fellow employee, asked if I’d like to go halves in a bottle of Vodka and a bottle of coke, I accepted. Chantelle is exactly the kind of person I would avoid getting too friendly with now that I am 26 years old and a bit more experienced at life; she was a drama magnet, an over-sharer and had a habit of telling customers where you could buy the best drugs. Chantelle came to pick me up and we headed to the BBQ.
I hadn’t quite learnt the art of drinking moderately yet or the art of maintaining appropriate boundaries. After all, I had just been at University for the past year, where it had been socially acceptable to get completely drunk and be crazy. Fast forward to 5 vodka and cokes later and I’m telling my colleagues how I hate giving blowjobs and I can’t bring myself to swallow. Luckily, the majority of my work mates were also very drunk and weren’t too disturbed by my cringe drunk talking. It seems I had been unaware that there are a different set of social rules for drinking with your work colleagues to drinking with your uni girlfriends (a bunch of fellow 18 year olds who were also learning the art of blowjobs and sex).
Fast-forward another 5 vodka and cokes later and about half of us (the younger half), had left the BBQ and had headed to one of the other employee’s houses, to continue drinking. I remember kissing a workmate and drinking more.
Fast forward probably another 5 vodka and cokes (possibly 10) and I wake up at 3.45am on a sofa with no top on and my tights around my ankles. My underwear are on the floor next to me and I’m lying in the arms of one of my colleagues, the same one I remember kissing earlier. I feel dizzy and ill from drinking too much and as I look around I see my workmates passed out in various corners of the room. Some are cuddling half naked with each other. I feel sick at the thought of whatever the fuck may have happened, so I gathered my stuff and started walking home, in the rain, in the middle of the night.
Did I just have casual sex? I have no idea. To this day, I have no idea because I still don’t know…did I pass out before, during or after I had sex? Did I even have sex or did I fumble around?
At the time, I was so clueless, it didn’t even cross my mind that the sex (that may or may not have happened) might not have been consensual. Even when I felt a bit ill every time I saw that guy for the coming months at work, it still didn’t occur to me that what happened, could have been harmful to me.
This memory is one of the many reasons I no longer drink in excess. I can only look back on it and cringe, I really just can’t believe how naive, clueless and inappropriate I was. Eight years later, I go out drinking once a month (if that) and limit myself to five standard drinks. With my parents being alcoholics, I can’t afford to be anything other than self-disciplined when it comes to my alcohol intake. I’m breaking the cycle and it starts with me.