It’s common knowledge that casual sex is often bad for you. We’re talking about intercourse that is freely given, with no strings attached — and yes, even after someone has expressed they’re not interested. Are any of these things wrong? No! Just be respectful and try to treat each encounter as a one-off. It’s not easy, but your efforts can pay off for years to come in the form of a relationship, a family, or even the making and breaking of your most important, purest friendships.
A casual relationship is usually short-term — in the vicinity of several months — and only one-sided. When you’re trying to go from zero to a boyfriend/girlfriend overnight, it’s understandable if you feel pressured. Finding the courage to loosen up those inhibitions can be hard for a lot of people. However, if you feel like you’re missing out on something, it might be a good idea to consider casual sex — or other casual relationships, like hookups or one-night stands — just as you would study for a big test at university.
What is casual sex?
You might not have heard a lot about casual sex, but it’s actually a very common occurrence for a lot of people. Sex is just one part of sex (you may want to learn more about what sex is — regardless of your sexual orientation or gender). While a one-night stand might seem obvious, casual sex can take on many forms — ranging from a one-night-stand hookup, to going on a date with someone who’s not your boyfriend/girlfriend, to having sex with an ex who left you for someone else.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that casual sex can be an alternative to the ‘traditional’ relationship of couples. This means that you will be free to call that person “just a friend” — no pressure to get serious — and you and your partner can both move on with your lives as hectic schedules and life priorities may demand.
You can take casual sex — or any kind of sex outside the traditional relationship — in several ways:
• With a family member.
• With someone with whom you have some relationship.
• With a colleague or friend of a potential romantic partner.
• With a parent.
• With a total stranger.
• Or with anyone.
Side note: Some people might say the last option can be considered “not casual” sex. But in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with
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We’ve discussed this very topic many times, but new data shed fresh light on the issue: In 2015, a survey of 18- to 29-year-olds found that 93% of non-heterosexual participants had had casual sex, and that casual sex was more common in women than in men. The study revealed, among other interesting things, that 67% of women and 68% of men who participated in a casual sexual relationship were currently in a committed relationship, and 10% of participants reported using casual sex to strengthen their existing relationship or obtain a relationship.
That’s a good thing, not a bad thing, and the report also found that over a third of people who use casual sex to strengthen an existing relationship or to obtain a relationship plan to have sex more often in the future. If you’re already in a relationship, you may be particularly interested in this data — maybe you’d like to spice up your relationship, or you’re currently trying to work on your sex drive and want to learn more about how casual sex might work for you.
Some concerns, however, still apply. For instance, people who typically engage in casual sex are far more likely to have unprotected sex, including HIV. If you have an STD, you should always get tested before going ahead with sex. (Because what, you say? Everyone should know if they’re positive for an STD? Of course they should.) And, obviously, if you have an STD, you should take precautions to avoid further infection and transmission.
Also, as mentioned, casual sex is not always a healthy relationship dynamic. If you’re in a committed relationship, casual sex can definitely feel casual, like you don’t really care about the other person or the consequences of their actions. That could become tiring or problematic, depending on how you’re dealing with this situation. Again, communication about the details of the dynamic is important — it could be that a few sex partners can feel more like friends, but the guy is so uninterested or busy that casual sex with him probably isn’t that hot.
Cougar dating — not for the feint of heart
Most studies on the prevalence of older-younger couples’ hookups, whether or not they’re with a person or people of the opposite gender, assume an egalitarian level of sexual intimacy and romantic involvement between partners. According to Becca Valkow, associate professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Iowa, that means hooking up may be more common.
“My clinical experience with older adults suggests