Drunken Holiday Flings… Not A Good Look!

Having recently returned from a week in Portugal I noticed how full of Brits and Irish people it was.  I can’t say that this was what I was expecting, I never really choose to go abroad to be surrounded by people from my home town.  Nevertheless I was with my man and no amount of build me up buttercup was going to put a dampener on my hols.  There was a lovely little square in the centre dubbed ‘The Old Town’ which was full of cute little fish restaurants along the seafront and some not so cute British looking bars.  There were however a lot of young families and couple frequenting these places (and the odd stag do which we tried to avoid of course).

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One day we decided to check out ‘The Strip’ in a different part of town.  Not to be confused with the Las Vegas Strip and everything glorious it has to hold there.  This strip however was a debauchery of loud English stag and hen do’s, followed by even louder northern lasses looking for a “good time”.  I use the word good loosely as who knows how good anything is after 8 Jagerbombs and 12 double vodka and cokes.

Neon lights and the promise of 2-4-1 jelly shots at happy hour engulf these randy holiday makers.  What makes for a sexy 3am finish?  An abundance of alcohol and a Bon Jovi track to boot.  ‘Yes we really are halfway there’.  Brummie girls followed by young Irish men fill the streets of the Portugal strip tonight.

What makes these holiday makers sleep with whatever is on offer at that time at night? Girls in bikinis, guys with six packs all smelling of Hawaiian Tropic in the midday sun is just the beginning of Temptation Island for that week.  Drinking in the heat equipped with half naked testosterone roaming the sand dunes is enough to make many people turn on their backs.  Some of these girls and guys may not dream of partaking in such tom-foolery  back on home turf.  Men and women who have come on these single sex holidays.  You know the ones ‘Whores on tour’ or ‘Stags to Shag’.  They suddenly forget all about their relationships back home and the rules of relationship norms.  I.e. no sexy cuddles on the beach or on frolicking under clothes on the dance floor (because that still counts you know).  Partners are forgotten back home for some of these amorous holidaymakers and the next 7 days are a free for all apparently.   It’s a no holds barred 2 for the price of 1 action.

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The thrill of being in a different country, a hot Irish accent and endless fishbowl cocktails is all too tempting for some happy campers.   Sleeping with a stranger on holiday is seen as more acceptable than sleeping with someone from your local apparently.  It’s totally acceptable and more often than not encouraged.  ‘Oh you’re on holiday, have some fun’ or ‘what happens on the strip, stays in the strip’.  Until pictures get posted on Facebook that is.  It can become like a huge challenge for people out there to sleep with as many people as possible in the time they have.  Sun worshippers getting as drunk as humanly possible and putting the evening’s actions down to ‘maybe my drink got spiked’ and acute memory loss it would seem.

The more notches in the sand the better, especially for the girls it can seem.  However try this one nighter action back at home and you take the name fishbowl to a whole other level.

Only Children and Drunks Tell the Truth – Part 2

A common reason for violence is deeply rooted in our dark subconscious, our genes, nature and nurture hand in hand, our past can often rear its ugly head when we are at our worst states, when we have the least control over ourselves, when we are drunk. And suddenly…we are children again: there is no censor on our behaviour, an angry man may not consider the damage his force could cause upon a weaker being, all he knows is that he is angry. All we can, is feel.

And this is hard, it’s hard for those of us who have always acted impulsively, bitten sofas, pushed little sisters and knocked out the playground bully with our fists – when all this has been repressed for so long under the restraints of society, it is only inevitable that it’s all going to come out when we are at our most vulnerable, at our most base, human level – when we are intoxicated.

Can it be said that when we are drunk we do the most dysfunctional crap unrelated to our character? I don’t think so…I think when our walls are let down we actually become exposed as to who we really are, no inhibitions and all that: the chastened virgin who likes to read erotic novels in her spare time suddenly becomes flirtatious, the clown progressively gets funnier and funnier…the angry become…just that – angrier and angrier and anger without inhibitions generates violence.

Now I cannot say that I am one accustomed to intoxicating myself and becoming consumed within the red mist of rage all too often, but I certainly am more inclined to slap a fellow or two if they step out of line on the dance floor, or even if their mere presence should happen to offend me once I’ve had a drink or two…should this be tolerated just because I am a woman, and therefore a ‘creature’ of this world that can impose no real threat? I do not see eye to eye with this.

It does have to be said that when I drink I see my inner child as it were, rise to the occasion to express herself – if someone steps out of line, I will, quite uncharacteristically of my sober nature confront that person and will not oppose to using physical force or threat if my adrenaline should so adhere to. I feel more physically assertive in both a sense of defense and attack, it is just a part of who I am. I have not experienced such as yet but if someone were to provoke me as much as my mother’s old sofa or my sister’s unsolicited arrival did back in the day, if I were to feel that same sense of anger grate at me again, I can only speculate whether I would be able to control my fists.

Rihanna interview by Oprah Winfrey

I started writing this with a somewhat differing, fairly controversial agenda in mind – the new Rihanna interview with Oprah that hit the world on Thursday the 19th of August struck a chord with myself on views of violence within relationships: On the 8th of February 2009, Rihanna was brutally attacked by her boyfriend, Chris Brown, following an argument they had in the car preceding the Grammy awards presentation.

Since, Rihanna’s character and her music has been seen to take a darker turn, her lyrics and image have become sinister and tainted, this has sung out to many women experiencing, suffering from domestic abuse. Her recent televised interview has revealed that she is still in love with her former partner, Chris Brown and has since forgiven him for what happened. I have to applaud her honesty here, her humanity and vulnerability is heartwarming, it is so easy to view her as a brand, an icon of sexuality within our broadcasted world, her whole ‘new image’ as a marketing device. And although, in many ways, she is amidst all those things, very much so, a ‘brand’ she is also human and she is a woman, same as any other. Personally, I absolutely love this woman, she is a huge influence for me and I think she is so brave to speak of her personal life so openly and expose herself in the way that she has.

“I guess I’m a fool in love, but I’m willing to look so stupid until I’ve had enough” – her lyrics have always communicated her reluctance to leave Chris Brown, she clearly understood the dynamic of their relationship had changed in this one night, by staying with him she was about to make herself a statistic, another one of ‘those’ women whilst he would forever maintain the reputation of being one of ‘those’ men. unchangeable. Maybe I shouldn’t be so abrupt to say this but I do feel sorry for him: He is forever condemned to suffer the label of a monster after one wrong turn, one night, one mistake. And for what? What did he get out of it? Did he enjoy it?…Who would? He clearly loved and loves the woman.

I mean, violence is obviously very damaging to the victim but also, these days, within our culture, to the perpetrator – it is very self- destructive! So what went wrong? His inner child revealed himself on this night…this inner, repressed, abused, hurt, damaged subconscious reared its ugly head at a time of great anger. And there are plenty of men like this. I am not ashamed to admit myself as a victim of violence, and no I do not advocate that society allows violent men to continue along their path of destruction, what I would say though, is although retribution is probably often desirable…punishment is not exactly a hand out for reformation…these people need help, I know that much.

Read the final part of Laura’s article on 4 October 2012

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