Drunken Sex with Inanimate Objects
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Drunken Sex with Inanimate Objects

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It has come to the world’s attention that a drunk Tennessee man was caught having sex with an ATM. When the cops showed up, the story continues, he allegedly tried to “continue the act” with a wooden picnic table.

“He just wanted to make a deposit,” quipped the Daily News.

Not Necessarily Funny

Har har. It’s a big joke when stuff like this happens—and yes, amazingly, this is not the first time that something like this has happened: back in 2008, an Ohio man was also arrested for having sex with a picnic table (in that incident, the man was videotaped by his neighbors after being seen on four separate occasions turning a round metal table on its side and sticking it in where the umbrella would go). Then there was this Ohio man—what’s going on with you, Ohio?—that was arrested for having sex with inflatable pool rafts.

I can’t say for sure that alcohol was involved in the case of man-on-raft love—I’m also not sure how you’d fuck a wooden picnic table—but that’s beside the point. What I do know is that just one drink can significantly lower a person’s inhibitions while increasing sexual arousal and desire. Some may say that beer goggles are a myth but the fact that alcohol switches off the rational and decision making areas of the brain while leaving the areas to do with sexual desire relatively intact accounts for why so many of us, alcoholic or otherwise, have had regrettable sexual experiences while under the influence.

Jokes aside, when alcohol was involved, I’d say I lost an ability to say no; what’s more, I wasn’t really primed to take no for an answer. Alcohol and sex is a fuzzy issue I’ve written about before. In a piece for the Frisky, for example, I admitted that there have definitely been times I had drunken sex when I was ambivalent about doing so and/or simply too drunk to make a deliberate choice. I’ve also had drunken sex with people who were probably ambivalent about the encounter themselves and may have felt pressured by me into doing it.

The Ambiguity of Drunken Sex

While there have been plenty of other times that I had drunken sex because I clearly wanted to and the other person clearly wanted to and it was clearly enthusiastically consensual sex, that simply wasn’t always the case. Sure, I’ve never gotten drunk and sexually assault a cardboard cutout of the Rite Aid sunglass model (like this guy) but I have definitely considered many of my sexual partners with little more regard than an ATM. You might say that when it comes to drunken sex with inanimate objects, I’ve been on both sides.

Some guy gets caught with his pants down, literally, and everybody laughs. But to me, stories like these raise the not-so-funny issue of consent. I find it troubling that these guys are sticking it in whatever hole they can find (regardless of the consequences). And yet they serve as regular reminders. I may just go to ATM to take out and deposit money, but insane stories like these (two years of defiling street signs, anyone?) still make me grateful to be sober.

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About Author

Melissa Petro is a freelance writer and writing instructor living in New York City. She has written for NY Magazine, The Guardian, Salon, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Jezebel, xoJane, The Fix and elsewhere. She is the founder of Becoming Writers, a community organization that provides free and low cost memoir-writing workshops to new writers of all backgrounds and experiences.