Why I Don’t Drink Alcohol – Confessions of a Teetotaller.
I used to love drinking wine, especially sharing a bottle with someone over dinner. I preferred red wine in the winter because I loved how it warmed my throat after I swallowed. It did not matter that it stained my lips sometimes. In summer, I used to enjoy chilled white wine. It was perfect to sit on a terrace and sip it slowly on a warm summer’s evening.
It was never my idea to stop drinking alcohol completely and certainly not my intention to give it up forever. At first, I took a break from it because I had a month to go before I was going to do a cover shoot for Interviu magazine, the most important weekly here in Spain. So, in August 2015 I abstained from alcohol with the sole intention of getting in shape for my photo session. The objective of this cover shoot was to announce, and promote, the release of my new sex toy The O Venus. Unfortunately, however, the release date of the toy was put back.
I don’t do diets, not ever. But sometimes, before an important photo session or film shoot, I do without alcohol, pizza, and chocolate for several weeks. I just concentrate on eating healthily instead. I never count calories but just remove the unnecessary things from my diet. Alcohol, of course, was one of them.
Before the Interviu shoot, I had been going through a highly stressful time in my personal life. I found myself having dinner, at home, every night with an old friend. He was helping me to get through this very bad patch. Whenever he suggested bringing some wine to dinner, I agreed. I did this because I was dying for that first sip just to help me forget about all the stress I was under. But then, with my impending cover shoot, and a positive change in my domestic circumstances, those dinners came to an end.
My initial intention had only been to give up drinking alcohol for a month or so. Then, the prototype for my sex toy had to be altered because it was not up to my standards. So, the cover-shoot had to be put back. My alcohol abstinence would have to continue beyond the predicted month. As more time went by, I began to notice some distinct changes in my body. For example, the eczema on my hand disappeared. I was sleeping so much better. I also lost 3 kilos in the first month without really trying.
I started to see the negative aspects of alcohol all too clearly. For example, the detritus abandoned on the street the morning after a crazy night at the weekend. The smell of alcohol on someone else’s breath became extremely off-putting. And, of course, being around drunk people, when you yourself are sober, is truly annoying. Situational music seems so different when you’re drunk. I will never dance to ‘YMCA’ by the Village People or ‘I will survive’ by Gloria Gaynor ever again because it requires alcohol and lots of it. Then, there are always the hangovers to endure the next day. Now, I don’t even remember what a hangover is like. I have so much work to do at this moment that I simply cannot risk spending a whole day on the sofa with one. I want to wake up in the morning and seize the day.
Of course, there have been some moments of temptation but the obvious benefits outweigh the dubious pleasures of drinking again. It has actually affected my social life for the better. Now I can plan to go out on Saturday and Sunday, for example, and not have to cancel Sunday just because I over-indulged on Saturday. I’m learning to clearly express my preferences in social situations and be very clear and honest in stating my opinions without the need of any Dutch courage. That is wonderfully liberating, I must admit.
Many people have asked me about my teetotal lifestyle. They wonder why I gave up alcohol completely when conventional wisdom states that moderation, in all things, is the key. Maybe that’s so. But how many people do you know who truly moderate their drinking? Moderation might be understood as enjoying one drink per day at most. That might seem feasible at a bar, club or pub until you have finished that one drink. Then one usually becomes two and then three before you are even aware of what is happening.
I do wonder if people who participate in dry January are dying to drink again on the 1st of February. Perhaps they might have seen the benefits of the teetotal life and think about carrying on. Whatever the case may be, cheers!