Dr Dick: How drunk is too drunk?

DR. DICK is the Tab’s new advice columnist. This week he answers the question: when is it not okay to sleep with someone?

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Dr Dick, MD PhD is a qualified therapist with many years’ experience. He’s a solid, stand-up guy who tells it like it is. His likes include: giving advice and colourful hats. His dislikes include: your shit, and Coldplay. This week he answers the question: how drunk is too drunk?

Step into his office

Dear Dr Dick,

I was wondering, how drunk does a girl have to be before it’s not okay to get with her or have sex with her?



Dr Dick Police Crop

Dear Pete,

Here’s a tip: don’t take advantage of people. If you’re wondering how to avoid taking advantage of people, listen closely. If you’re in bed with a girl, how do you know if you came too quickly? If you feel like you have to apologise, you came too quickly.

Still confused? I bet you are. Nobody called Pete is anything less than two standard deviations below the average IQ. I’ll spell it out for you. If you have to wonder whether you’re taking advantage of someone, you’re taking advantage of them. Seriously, it’s that easy.

Allow me to furnish you with some examples. It’s a Wednesday night. Following your mother’s example from every night she was pregnant with you, you’ve had about eight pints of Stella and you’re buzzing. You rock up to the club and your vision is swimming like a kitten dropped into a swimming pool. You’re busting out moves that would make absolutely nobody jealous, but next thing you know you’re mashing mandibles with a girl who’s every bit as drunk as you. You’re both obliterated, and just like your forebears did, you have terrible, regrettable sex in a dingy flat to the sound of Céline Dion’s cover of The Power of Love. You wake up in the morning smelling of lager and shame, she’s already gone – but she left a single sock behind which you then pin up on your wall – and you nurse the throbbing reminder of last night’s events, and also your hangover.

This is not rape. You were both as drunk as each other, you never had to wonder whether it was okay. You won’t be haunted by the spectre of your guilt for the next several months. The only thing that you should feel bad about is uttering the lie, ‘that’s never happened before’.

Fast-forward to Sunday night. You’re sitting in your room, crying softly and masturbating into the girl from Wednesday night’s sock whilst watching a rerun of Songs of Praise from 2007. There’s a knock on the door. You put the sock in your pocket, close your laptop and open the door. It’s the people whose social group you’ve managed to wheedle your way into by virtue of just not going the fuck away until the guilt they felt in excluding you outweighed the crushing mediocrity that is your sole contribution to every group gathering. They’ve been drinking, they’re going out, they want to know if you’ll come too, on the condition that you put your now semi-flaccid penis back into your trying-a-bit-too-hard-to-fit-in red chinos. You acquiesce because you’re lonely and insecure and worried that if you don’t join in the mandated social activity then they’ll quickly forget you exist (I don’t blame you, it’s almost certainly true).

You pay five pounds, get stamped, go into the club. You are painfully sober. Being the only sober person in a club is like being the only no-sex-until-marriage Christian in a friendship group entirely composed of people having dozens of meaningless one-night stands: you’re fairly sure you’ve got the moral high ground, you know that they’re probably going to regret it later, but you also know that they’re having about a hundred times as much fun as you, and there’s no getting around that. You’re also acutely aware of the tiny little bit of pre-cum in your boxers, arriving fashionably late, completely refusing to dry up. After a trip to the bathroom you survey the dance floor. You see a girl on her own, doing an excellent impression of Alanis Morrisette in that bit with the car in the video to Ironic. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

You sidle up and start dancing with her (for an appropriately loose definition of ‘dance’). She seems keen, but she’s clearly had one Long Island Iced Tea too many with ‘her giiiiirls’ earlier. You haven’t had a decent shag since that time you managed to get some serious alone time with the Dyson, and you’re hoping to make up for your lacklustre performance of Wednesday last. You lean in, but there’s a nagging feeling in your brain. There’s something wrong. Is this taking advantage? Surely not, she’s clearly up for it.

Stop. Remember what I told you. I don’t care how many nights you’ve spent alone with only a Sainsbury’s medium-sized freezer bag and a tub of Vaseline for company, you cannot have sex with that girl. If you do, much like getting your penis circumcised during your brief religious phase at the age of 19, there’s no going back. You’ll be that guy. Rapey Pete. Don’t be Rapey Pete. It’s as simple as that.

Much love,

Dr Dick