Sex on alcohol & drugs

Further information

  • Sexual
  • Take the Consent Matters course
  • Getting help - sexual health services

Alcohol glassConsuming alcohol and other drugs can lower your inhibitions, interfere with your decision making and communication skills and reduce your ability to practise safe sex– this may put you in some potentially unsafe sexual situations and cause embarrassment.

Up to 70 per cent of uni students admit to getting into sexual situations as a result of being under the influence of alcohol, or to having sex that they wouldn't have had if they were sober. Being intoxicated can also reduce your overall sexual performance.

Consent and alcohol and other drugs

No one can legally give their sexual consent if they are:

  • Under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • Asleep or
  • Unconscious

If your potential sexual partner is ever unable to give their consent for any of these reasons, you should not continue. This also applies if you have got their consent in the past.

If you want find out about consent in more detail, do the free and confidential Consent Matters online course

Having safe sex when you're intoxicated - it can get tricky!

Roughly 1 in 5 uni students don't use condoms/dams when having sex under the influence of alcohol or other drugs- even if they do protect themselves when they're sober!

Having sex when you're intoxicated reduces your ability to remember to use condoms, use condoms effectively, and also your ability to get informed consent from your sexual partner/s. This can put you at risk of sexually transmitted infections, unplanned pregnancy or being involved in sexual violence.

Remember to always take condoms out with you just in case you need to use them. If you don't think you can practise safe sex after a night out, then you probably should save yourself for another time - you'll probably perform better as well!

It's also a good idea to plan how you are getting home before you start drinking and don't leave your mates behind!   

Drink spiking

Drink spiking, although uncommon, can put you into unsafe sexual situations. It is important to be aware of what you are drinking and to take steps to ensure your own safety. The most common substance used to spike drinks is alcohol.

Do your best to count your drinks, watch your glass at all times and look after your friends when you're out partying.

You can access information from the WA Police on drink spiking for more useful information.

Want to find out how your drinking compares to other uni students? Do the online THRIVE alcohol assessment!