My Problem With Sober Curious

5 min readAug 18, 2021

Not to mention Dry July, Sober October, and any other stupid cute name

Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash

As a Millenial, I identify many things as “positive generic qualities” about my generation. But, as many boomers have noted, we do have some annoying quirks as well. Take, for example naming things.

Millennials have to give something a name to make themselves want to do it. Arguably, it’s a better tactic taken than the generations before us. They don’t do things at all and stick with the “that’s just the way it is.” And while I’m impressed by our ability to coax ourselves into being “better” than our parents, I find something disheartening about the way we take a spoonful of sugar to swallow the reality of things. (Excuse me, not sugar, organic honey. Who do I think I am?)

One example that comes to mind: Sober Curious.

We name things Dry January, Dry July, Sober October and say that we’re “doing them.” These one-month spells are something to congratulate if someone successfully doesn’t succumb to the external pressures of drinking.

Sober curious is the Millennial concept that encourages people to dabble in not drinking. It’s not a permanent way of living; it’s a sometimes. Sometimes I go to the bar and get wasted, sometimes I have a Virgin Mojito. I’m just sticking my toe into the pool, but I’m not getting in kind of thing.

There’s nothing wrong with sometimes. I think sometimes is a remarkable improvement all the time. But, sometimes doesn’t need to have a name; it already has one. It’s called sometimes. And even then, that’s superfluous. How about I’m just not going to drink tonight and then stick to it?

I don’t mean to scoff at the “Sober Curious” movement. Yet, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that something is troubling about the influence of a cute name and an empty meaning.

Booze isn’t food. It’s booze. And while I loved it as much, if not more, than many, I find it incredibly fucked up that we don’t question its control.