Sobriety

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 13, 2007 7:47 PM GMT
    I thought about putting this under the Health category, but it makes more sense here.

    I don't drink. I used to, but I quit for my New Years resolution.

    I used to drink (began as a teenager; grew up in a family chock-full of alcoholics), but just decided that I didn't want to anymore, so I quit. I did the same thing with drugs (when I was 25) and smoking (when I was 29). I quit them all cold turkey - no patches, 12-step programs, or anything like that.

    Anyway... When I tell gay guys that I don't drink, they give me this really strange look like I just said something to them in Korean or something icon_surprised.gif

    Is being a non-drinker really that weird?

    If so, let me know so I can go back to that "list something strange about yourself" thread and add it icon_lol.gif

  • Alan95823

    Posts: 306

    Oct 14, 2007 1:53 AM GMT
    I'm a serious, *serious* lightweight... I can't hold my liquor at all, so I rarely drink. I get a lot of the "freak" looks too, it's not just you.
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    Oct 14, 2007 2:42 AM GMT
    Went the same route as you Joe. Guess what, tho? It's not only gay men, but most of the general bar population, that gives me weird looks when I order my NA beer. My perception is that they don't trust me anymore.icon_rolleyes.gif Same guy, just sober and no longer needs to worry about the whiskey-dick syndromeicon_twisted.gif
  • hotversguy

    Posts: 155

    Oct 14, 2007 2:42 AM GMT
    There's not drinking, there's sobriety, and there's recovery. Within the space of a day I am sure this thread will be full of responses about the semantics of not consuming narcotics including alcohol.

    And then there's you. That's the only word that really matters. So what if you're weird anyway?
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    Oct 14, 2007 4:15 AM GMT
    Shit Vers guy is so hot! Just do as he says... bitches! icon_razz.gif
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    Oct 14, 2007 4:45 AM GMT
    Having lived through a time when it was more common to think about it than it is today...

    Many guys don't drink because they are on the HAART cocktails.

    If you get funny looks in certain social situations where there is a large gay population, it might be possible that this is one reason; they may think you could be on the cocktail.

    On the other hand there are just as many guys who don't drink for a dozen other reasons...
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Oct 14, 2007 7:42 AM GMT
    It's not wierd...but "not drinking" is not the norm...

    The majority of people drink [anywhere from socially to excessive]...

    I took 2 years off from drinking and it was really eye opening...I didn't realize how many street fairs, holidays, ski trips, vacations were centered around having a cocktail as a social lubricant...

    I actually enjoyed all of those events sober...which was really telling in my situation...

    So, this gay guy wouldn't give you a wierd look other than I know what you know...

    [r]
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 14, 2007 10:50 AM GMT
    hotversguy wrote:So what if you're weird anyway?


    I never said I wasn't weird, LOL! Just not weird in the way most people think icon_wink.gif

    And yes, I'm fully expecting the semantics police to write me a citation any moment icon_rolleyes.gif



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 14, 2007 2:14 PM GMT
    "Sobriety"

    Hey! I'll drink to that!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 14, 2007 2:20 PM GMT
    I don't think being a non-drinker, in the overall scheme of things, is weird. However, being a non-drinker in a crowd of drinkers is definitely weird, in my experience-based opinion. The end of December will mark 12 years of alcohol-free living for me, and weird or not, for me, sobriety is the new sexy.
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    Oct 14, 2007 2:23 PM GMT
    Being around drunks can be a lot of fun, but only if you're drunk as well. Being sober around a drunk or drunks is one of the most disturbing things I can put myself through.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Oct 14, 2007 2:36 PM GMT
    Joe,

    You are not weird.

    I know exactly what you are talking about though, but straight guys are just the same. I get that all the time. Guys looking at you in a strange way because you are not drinking.

    On one occasion I had a guy ignored me because I did not drink (I was doing work for him)

    Those are the weird people.

    Well done for quiting all that stuff.

    Mike
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Oct 14, 2007 2:39 PM GMT
    I basically never drink, as I just don't care for it myself. I've learned how to sip white wine without making a face, but I still greatly prefer my fruit juice before it goes bad. I've tried a few times to drink some red wine for the heart benefits, but I just can't make myself do it often enough to be useful. I've gotten some odd reactions from this, though as far as I can tell no one's ever assumed it's because I'm on a drug cocktail. What amazes me is how many people become uncomfortable with their own drinking simply because a sober person is present. I don't care if people get drunk as long as they're responsible about it (ie, not driving), and aren't obnoxious about it (I prefer happy and sleepy drunks to surly and aggressive drunks), but large numbers of people seem to assume I'm judging them for drinking at all, or that I'm keeping track of how much they've had. I often think this says more about their comfort with their own drinking than it says about me.
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    Oct 14, 2007 4:16 PM GMT
    You have to think strategy. You don't just say, "I don't drink" and leave it at that. Think about your audience. They want an explanation.... no, in their minds, they DEMAND an explanation. And yet they may feel uncomfortable asking. So they want you to offer one. Moreover, not offering one immediately, in their minds, is tantamount to saying "I don't want to tell you why!!!!" You might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says "recovering abusive drunk".

    So this is what you do: instead of saying (in an ominous and awkward tone) "I don't drink!" and leaving it at that, make it a conversation piece.

    This is what I do:

    him: "Would you like a drink?"
    me: (shrug) "Naw, I'm not much of a drinker... I don't like the effect that alcohol has on me."
    him: "Really?"
    me: "Yeah. You know how alcohol makes a lot of people more outgoing and social? Well, I'm that way normally, but when I drink... I get all quiet and in my head."
    him: "Oh. That's not good."
    me: "Yeah. Not fun at parties... so I just prefer to not drink."
    him: "That makes sense."

    See? Develop a "routine" like that, a way to work the explanation into your answer, to make it ok for you to talk about it, and to inform people that it's not for Some Weird Awkward Reason.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 14, 2007 4:35 PM GMT
    I don't think it's weird. What I find a bit weird is that the gay crowd goes out to party at or after midnight and drinks depressants. At that hour, it would make more sense for me to have a stimulant! (Most of the coffee houses close down just when I need them open.) I'm kind of surprised that more of the clubs don't have an espresso bar.

    When we have local social gatherings, like poker night, hardly any two people seem to have the same refreshment schedule. It's no big deal.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Oct 14, 2007 8:41 PM GMT
    What greg said is true "they DEMAND an explanation"

    But, I don't see why I have to give an explanation. I don't ask them, why do you drink. In my opinion it makes more since to ask someone that drinks, why do you drink, than asking someone that does not drink, why they do not drink. The drinker is the one doing something, if you know what I mean.

    Just last week a guy started to chat with me on here. I don't know how the chat lead to drink, and when I said I don't drink, he had to know why. I explained that there was no reason, just that I don't drink. He ended our chat.

    I would love some of those guys, if there are any here on realjock to explain why we nondrinkers are such losers?

    Mike
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    Oct 14, 2007 8:56 PM GMT
    Joe - Completely your choice. Besides, it's cheaper in the long run to just have water/soda/juice instead of beer/champaign/wine/ripple.
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    Oct 14, 2007 9:07 PM GMT
    MikePhil: I think you're being (deliberately) naiive. You know why people "need" to know, and why they are judgemental when they don't have an "explanation."

    It's a complex subconscious lasgna of 1) associating people who don't drink with people who have a "problem", 2) internalized guilt about their own drinking, 3) feeling so locked into drinking as their primary means of socializing that they simply would not know how to interact with someone who doesn't,.... and so on.

    You know this. And so you can stand atop a mountain and say, "But why, WHY should I have to justify it!?!?" all you want... but it won't change the fact that, if you want make people comfortable in social interaction with you, this is what you need to do.

    My opinion? Save the philosophical debates about lifestyle choices for at least the third date. When you are first getting to know someone, what's the harm in playing their game?
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    Oct 14, 2007 9:27 PM GMT
    Who cares Joe. You quit, I assume you are happy, and you are successful so far. Congratulations.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Oct 14, 2007 9:46 PM GMT
    Me being deliberately naive. Nevericon_smile.gif

    I'm not looking for a date. I have found the man of my dreams.

    I understand what you are saying, but I am not going down that road of playing there game.

    My opinion, if you can not accept me as a nondrinker with or without an explanation, then you are not worth wasting time on.

    Mike
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    Oct 14, 2007 9:56 PM GMT
    MikePhil: I hear that attitude a lot... the "if you don't understand me from the get-go, then I'm not going to waste my time on you!" approach to socializing.

    At first blush, it seems very noble and strong. The problem is, it could also alienate people who otherwise would be great friends, and who WOULD be very understanding if they were given a chance.

    Also, remember that the original poster brought this up because he didn't LIKE the fact that he was being rejected and feeling alienated as a result of his own behavior. If that's how you feel... then change your behavior! If you want there to NOT be an awkward pause in the conversation, then get to know what others expect and respond to and do your part to make sure it doesn't happen!
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    Oct 14, 2007 9:57 PM GMT
    MikePhil: (P.S.) I guess it's a matter, in part, of how you view social norms and expectations. Are they Evil Restrictions that keep us from being "who we really are"? Or are they customs and conventions that allow people to be comfortable while they are still in the process of getting to know one another, to be peeled back gradually as people get closer? Or, are they simply a fact of life, like the weather, that you can either complain about or adapt to, which ever you prefer?
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Oct 14, 2007 10:36 PM GMT
    Well Greg, you have giving me something to think about. I will try your approach next time I am faced with having to explain why I don't drink.

    For me there is no reason I don't drink, other than I never drank and just never felt the need to drink. I can have a good time without it, and also I like to be in control of myself. I also found out lately that I don't like the taste of alcohol, but that is not the reason I don't drink.

    For someone that never drank, how should I answer someone that asks why I don't drink? Your example would be for someone that used to drink and quite.

    Mike
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    Oct 14, 2007 10:40 PM GMT
    I think a lot of it depends on how you come across to people when you tell them that you don't drink. If people get the idea that you're being judgemental about their drinking then i reckon it can be a problem. If you frown upon guys getting drunk then I think that's also a problem.

    Personally, I think people who don't drink are a bit weird. Either they are former alcoholics or they are religious nuts. But that's just my prejudice.
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    Oct 14, 2007 10:44 PM GMT
    Or they're American and Puritans. Americans seem to have huge problems with letting themselves go and having fun. Wasn't it America that introduced Prohibition? Mainly because people were having fun rather than working.

    Europeans and the British don't seem to have such existential crises about drinking.