People discuss BDSM and alcohol or other drugs a lot. I am not against the safe consumption of alcohol. I have decided that when it comes to play, alcohol should stay out of the scene, especially in situations where it can impact your ability to judge the situation.
Obviously if you are in a 24/7 and you and your partner enjoy socially drinking, alcohol will be part of your dynamic. It does not have to be part of intense sessions or scenes, however. When it comes to BDSM and alcohol (or any drug where certain drugs may be legal for you) it is important to remember this:
Alcohol impairs your ability to make decisions.
When you are drinking, you become susceptible to suggestions. You are more likely to do things that you would not do sober. So going up to a stranger in a bar, whom you have never met and whom you know is intoxicated – or suspect is – and asking this person to have sex with you, go home with you, etc is bad. You do not know if this person would say yes sober. Predators purposefully target these people because they will be susceptible to seduction or just going along due to their inebriated state. Predators use alcohol and sometimes other substances to get around the need to obtain consent.
Consent is important, period. Whatever the activity, BDSM, Vanilla sex, or a little bit of heavy petting, you want to be sure that the person is saying yes because they want to do it, not because alcohol has impaired his or her judgement. Respect means respecting a person’s limits. The only way to be sure of those limits is to discuss them sober. You respect them by honoring those limits whether the person is drunk or not.
There is no grey area here. It bothers me that so many people do not understand why this matters.