Casual Sex IS Good For You
There’s no denying that casual sex has been given a bad rap. I speak from experience, when I say this is especially true if you’re a woman. If you’re a woman having and enjoying casual sex, it must mean that there’s something wrong with you or that you’re overcompensating for some serious emotional issues, because how is it possible that a woman is a sexual being, who needs and wants sex, just for the sake of pleasure?! (I really hope you’re sensing my sarcasm here)
It’s not just women who are subject to this kind of criticism – guys bear the brunt of it too. The truth is, not everyone wants a long term relationship or monogamy. If you’re having casual sex in a safe and ethical way (i.e. treating your partners with respect) – why should anyone else care?! If you’re tired of feeling shamed about your sex life and having to defend your life choices to people, there’s some good news thanks to our friend named SCIENCE.
A recent study from New York University published earlier this month, has dispelled the popular misconception that casual sex can leave participants with low self-esteem and self-worth following an encounter with someone who is not their long-term partner.
Researchers asked a group of students to keep a weekly diary for 12 weeks so that they could record how they felt after they had casual sex. The results were very surprising.
According to the researchers ‘When it came to those who were sociosexually unrestricted, having casual sex was associated with higher self-esteem and life satisfaction and lower depression and anxiety.
To be “sociosexually unrestricted” basically means that you are OK with having sex outside of a long-term, committed relationship. Individuals who have a more unrestricted sociosexual orientation are more willing to have casual sex and are more comfortable engaging in sex without love, commitment or closeness.
‘Typically, sociosexually unrestricted individuals reported lower distress and higher thriving following casual sex, suggesting that high sociosexuality may both buffer against any potentially harmful consequences of casual sex and allow access to its potential benefits.’
The really cool thing about this study: there were no notable gender differences. Men and Women reported that they enjoyed casual sex equally.
So, the message is simple: If you feel good about yourself and approach casual sex in a healthy, ethical way, it can actually be good for you. Makes perfect sense right?
10 Commandants of Casual Dating
The world of casual dating can be tricky to navigate at first. For those of you who are new to casual dating, or looking brush up on their casual dating etiquette, here are 10 important rules to follow in order to get the most out of your casual dating experience:
1. Be honest
To get the most out of casual dating it’s important you’re not only honest about your intentions with the people you’re dating – it’s also important that you are honest with yourself. Keep in mind that the majority of people on casual dating websites like No Strings Dating are looking to meet to people to date and hook-up with casually. If what you’re really looking for a serious relationship, you might want to reconsider whether casual dating is really for you.
2. Keep your options open
Casual dating sites are an easy to way to meet and connect with other like minded singles. However, don’t close yourself off from potential casual dating opportunities occurring away from your computer screen. Keep in mind, it’s all about projecting a positive, open attitude!
Don’t typecast! When it comes to casual dating, variety is the spice of life. Whether it’s the charming bad boy, the sexy hipster in nerd glasses or the preppy athletic guy – we all have a “type” that we usually go for. Casual dating is the perfect opportunity to break out of your usual mould and explore what other kinds of people you might be attracted to – no strings attached!
4. Know how you feel about casual sex
If you’re the kind of person who can easily enjoy sex without any emotional attachment, a romp in the bedroom (or anywhere else your sexy heart desires) might be the perfect way to end the night. However, if you find yourself getting easily attached after sex, you might want to slow things down or reconsider whether casual sex is really your cup of tea.
5. Always put your safety first
When hooking up with the people you’re dating ALWAYS use a condom. It doesn’t matter if you have “an amazing connection” – no amount of lust is worth risking your health and safety over.
6. Be prepared
Whether you’re male or female, make sure you are well versed in how to practice safe sex. Instead of relying on the other person, make sure you carry your own condoms and lube with you at all times – hey, you never know when things might start to get steamy 🙂
7. Establish boundaries
If something doesn’t feel right to you – for example, hooking up on the first date – listen to your gut. Know your own boundaries, respect them and give yourself the permission to walk away from any situation you don’t feel comfortable with.
8. Don’t kiss and tell
If you’re dating more than one personal casually at the same time, be discrete. Although it’s likely that the people you’re dating are also dating other people too, there’s no need to share all the gory details. Treat each person as an individual and focus on them (and only them) when you’re together.
9. Respect your date
Just because you met on a casual dating site, doesn’t mean you should treat your date like they are a piece of meat (unless that’s what they want! ;)) Always be polite, be discrete, communicate, and respect each other’s boundaries and feelings.
10. Stay true to yourself
The best dating advice comes from listening to your intuition. If you’re not feeling a connection with someone, it’s OK to politely let them down. If something tells you (probably not your heart) to introduce yourself to that super sexy guy/girl you’ve had your eye on – do it! Lastly, if you realize that you no longer want to date casually, but instead want something a bit more serious, have the courage to admit this to yourself and the person you’re dating.
Casual Dating is Awesome
From pizza delivery, movies to music – everything has gone digital. Why not apply the same modern convenience to your sex life? Although looking for casual sex online still comes with it’s share of stigma, embracing the concept may be just what your sex life needs. Here’s a few reasons why adult online dating is awesome.
It saves time
If you’re looking for casual sex or adult fun, there’s always a chance that you’ll meet someone at your favourite bar or pub, however the chance that you’ll strike out is much bigger. Not everyone who goes to bars or clubs that singles frequent are looking for the same thing. Some people are just there to have fun with their mates. Other people are looking to meet someone in hopes that it might lead to a relationship. If you do find someone who is interested in having casual sex (and with you!), it’s still very likely that they may have different expectations about the encounter than you do. If casual sex is what you’re after, a website like No Strings Dating can automatically connect you with a whole pool of people in your area that are looking for the same thing as you – no strings, adult fun! Can you really say the same thing about going to a singles bar?
You can find exactly what you’re looking for
Not only does online dating save you time, it makes it much easier to find exactly the kind of person you’re looking for by allowing your to customize your search criteria. Also, keep in mind that many online dating platforms offer niche sites from BBW dating to Slapper dating. If you have a specific kind of partner in mind or a fetish you’d like to explore, you can find it through adult casual dating.
It’s perfect for kicking your sex life up a notch
Maybe you’re a couple looking to explore Swinger dating, or perhaps you’ve always been curious about bondage. Adult online dating lets you be as specific as possible, connecting you with exactly the kinds of people and scenarios you’re searching for.
It’s fun and convenient
You can date at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home. In other words, you can connect with people and arrange sexy dates while in your pyjamas…and you know what? That’s kind of awesome.
10 Things Only People Who Have Casual Sex Understand
Most of my close friends are either married or in very serious relationships. Whereas, me – well, after years in a long term relationship, I’m now once again, very much single. AlthoughI love my friends to death, their days of casual dating and random hook-ups are long behind them, so there’s certain things about my love life that they just don’t “get.” For example, here are a few things that only people who have casual sex on a regular basis understand –
- Wondering after you’ve slept with someone “Will I ever see this person again?” and legitimately not knowing the answer.
- That sometimes you honestly don’t want to stay the night. Sleeping in questionably clean sheets with a guy you barely know < going home to snuggle under your pristine, fluffy down duvet. Wins almost every time.
- Having a marathon sex session with someone, only to realize the next day that you don’t know their last name. Then, texting them later to find out, because getting naked with someone you only know on a first name basis is weird (or is it?)
- INNER THIGH STIFFNESS. On Saturday/Sunday you had a marathon sex session that hot dude you just started seeing. On Monday morning you go to your regular cross-fit class…and dear lord, now your inner thighs are killing you. You’d love to talk to someone about this but are afraid that your friends will think you’re a slag and it’s not like you can call the dude, because you’re “keeping things casual.”
- Always being unsure of what exactly “keeping it casual” means. (“Should I invite ___ to that party my friend is having? He said he liked dogs, so would it be weird if I sent him a cute photo of my dog? How much texting is too much texting?!“)
- Always keeping condoms on hand and getting tested for STDs on a regular basis. Hey, better safe than sorry, right?
- Trying to explain to your friends that your fuck buddy is just that – a buddy you have sex with – while trying not to roll your eyes when they ask you with a pleading look, “But don’t you want more?!” Nope, I’m fine with regular, no strings attached hot sex, thanks!
- Truly identifying with “It’s Complicated” as a status on Facebook.
- That as much as you love heels, doing the “Walk of Shame” in flats is just so much more dignified.
- Walk of shame? More like “Stride of Pride.” After all, there’s no shame in your game.
Choosing Casual Dating
“You’re so low-maintenance!”
It was at that moment that I realized that Jeff* probably didn’t realize we weren’t seeing each other exclusively. Of course I was low-maintenance! It was Jeff on Wednesday, a morning coffee with Mike* on Thursday, and Friday was always devoted to friends. I had a busy schedule. It was a summer of casual dating.
Before that summer began, I had been trapped in a cycle of serial monogamy. Most of my friends were either serial monogamists or perpetually single (and happy that way). Even outside my own social circle, I didn’t really know very many people who casually dated. Being in one relationship after another, finding out that we were fundamentally incompatible after I had already gotten so emotionally attached, just wasn’t fulfilling. Things had to change. I was the first person I knew in college to try online dating.
My mission was to learn: what I wanted from a relationship, how not to get too attached too quickly, and how to be happy without a primary partner. I joined a popular dating site, filled out my profile extensively, added clear, current, attractive photos, and started sending messages. Immediately, I found myself scheduling dates, sometimes with two or three separate guys in one week. (I never did double book a day, though, as far as I can remember.)
First Casual Dates
Some first dates were horrible, like the one that started with a guy telling me – completely unprompted – that he had recently purchased a Fleshlight and that his parents thought he didn’t respect women. Some went impeccably well, like when I was taken to brunch, and we somehow continued the date until two o’clock in the morning. It was fun to be taken out, to see new places, be introduced to new people and their worlds. I learned about music, cooking, cycling, and that some people are still convinced that “I’m not racist,” can ever be followed by anything acceptable. I learned how to go home, sleep alone, and enjoy my small connections for what they were.
Playing the Field
In three months, I had about 20 first dates, 5 second dates, and 2 casual relationships that went beyond the two date mark. Jeff was cute, he always stocked his fridge with my favorite beer (at the time, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA), and was a professional cook at a very respectable restaurant. We didn’t click, but we had fun, and I learned what the difference was.
Is Casual Sex is For You?
Two years ago, I ended a serious long-term relationship and have been single ever since. I’ve always enjoyed sex and I figured that once my heartbreak healed and I was ready to get out there again, I’d go on a dating spree that would make Hank Moody from Californication jealous. If I was no longer in a long term relationship, I might as well enjoy the variety and spontaneity that the single life affords – right? Although that’s what I thought at the time, the reality of my dating life over the past two years has been quite different. Sure, I have dated and I have even had a few steamy flings, but in general my life is a far cry from the sex-filled story lines of Californication. And you know what? I’m totally OK with that! Well, for the most part.
The thing is that last year I realized something: In general I don’t think I’m cut out for casual sex – at least not at this point in my life. When I was in university there were a handful of guys that I would hook up with casually. Although I have good memories of this era of my life and enjoyed my freedom, I also remember having all kinds of messy feelings for the people I was sleeping with because I’d become attached to them in the process. I remembered this when I had my first post break-up fling with a guy I’d met while I was on vacation.
We had great chemistry and the sex was totally hot, however when the guy dropped me off at my hotel in the morning, I had this sinking feeling of loss in my gut. It threw me for a loop because I had always assumed I was the kind of person who could have casual no strings attached sex – hey, I’d done it before! However, was it possible that casual sex was no longer my thing?!
If I sleep with someone and the sex is good, I almost always want to see them again – and this isn’t always the way casual sex (or more specifically one night stands) works. I’d rather sleep with someone that I can actually build something with – even if it’s not all that serious. We all need different kinds of relationships at different points in our lives. Maybe how I feel about casual sex will change again in the future (just like it has changed before), however for now I’m going with what feels right.
No Strings Attached
If anything I described above sounds familiar or you find that you want more from the people you’re dating casually, it’s OK to admit that. Keep in mind that there are tons of different online dating options out there for you.
(With that said, if you’re having tons of fun dating casually with no strings attached – go forth and keep up what you’re doing! :))
Just remember to always stay true to yourself. Being honest with yourself about what you really want doesn’t make you any less of the sexy beast that you are. I should know.
The 10 Commandments of Casual Sex
- Not engage in casual sex unless you are mentally and emotionally prepared.
- Not hope to get anything else out of casual sex other than a damn good orgasm…no hoping that feelings will develop.
- Not expect to cuddle, but not be opposed to it either.
- Communicate with your partner and tell them exactly what you like without being shy.
- Not engage in unprotected sex. Safety first!
- Not sleep with every person who crosses your path, but instead you will be selective and maintain your standards.
- Not leave something behind at their house in a lame, transparent attempt to see them again. You aren’t fooling anyone…
- Not confuse amazing, mind blowing sex with love.
- Never forget that the most important thing in a casual sating equation is YOU…your needs, desires and feelings. Never stop being selfish.
- Have fun, always. If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.
Before Enjoying Casual Dating
When I think back to Sex Ed class in high-school, I mostly remember a lot of awkward diagrams and out of date educational videos from the 1970’s. To say it left a lot to be desired, is the understatement of the century. Although we covered the basics of the “birds and the bees”, when it came to casual sex and hooking up the general message was “Don’t do it!” Although I hope Sex Ed class has changed a lot since I was a teen in the mid-90’s, I’m not holding my breath. Most of what I know about casual sex (and sex in general) I’ve learned through personal experience.
From learning how to be comfortable in my own skin to dealing with those messy things called “feelings”, here are a few things I really wish someone had told me about casual sex.
Casual sex happens and there’s nothing shameful or wrong about it.
When I think back to my high-school Sex Ed classes, the message was always very clear: “Don’t have sex, but if you are going to do it, make sure you love the person and are in a relationship.” While that’s decent advice, it’s not necessarily realistic. Sex in a relationship is great, but life doesn’t always work out that way. Maybe you haven’t found “the one” or maybe you’re not looking. In the meantime, as long as you’re playing safe and not hurting anyone, there’s nothing shameful or wrong about having sex because you enjoy it.
You might develop feelings for the person you’re sleeping with or hooking up with.
This is a reality that I was completely unprepared for. When I was 18, I started seeing a guy who was quite a bit older than me. The first time we slept together, he came over, we had sex & then he went home 5 minutes later. Nothing could have prepared me for the pit in my stomach that I felt after my first casual sex experience. Although I tried to brush it off as “no big deal”, the truth was I got attached to people after I slept with them. When those feelings weren’t reciprocated it hurt.
It’s Ok to have feelings.
We live in a society where we’re often hyper exposed to sexuality. If we’re not being taught that sex is shameful, we’re being encouraged to have as much of it as possible. It can get pretty confusing. When I was in my early 20-something, I thought that in order to be empowered as a woman I needed to “have sex like a man” – which means having as much as sex as possible with zero feelings attached. This also isn’t realistic.
Both men and women can get attached to the people they sleep with – I still do sometimes. It’s Ok to develop feelings… or not develop feelings. There is no one way to feel about the people you get naked with. However, keep in mind – if you find yourself continually developing feelings for your casual hook-ups and getting hurt in the process, you may want to re-examine whether casual sex is really for you.
People will use ridiculous excuses to get out of using a condom – don’t believe them
I thought this would improve once I got out of my twenties, however now that I’m having sex in my thirties I feel like it’s only gotten worse. A lot of the guys I meet have either come out of long term relationships or marriages and have been “spoiled” in the sense that they haven’t had to use condoms for years on end. Luckily, condoms have made great technological strides in the past few years as far as fit, comfort and pleasure. Lacking knowledge about condoms is one thing. However, choosing to remain ignorant about the realities of STDs is just stupid.
Condom or STD?
I recently had a 35-year old man tell me “Condoms just feel impersonal” (and getting/spreading an STD is way more personal?!) Recently, I also heard another 30-something guy say that his method for protecting himself from STD’s is to “pull out” (I don’t think it works that way buddy). Lastly, I recently met a man in his 40’s that argued that he shouldn’t have to wear a condom because I should “just trust him.” Clearly, these people are morons. Which brings me to my next point…
Until proven otherwise, assume everyone is as clueless as the people I mentioned above and take your health into your own hands. Always use a condom and practice the safer sex.
You can have really great sex with someone you don’t necessarily love
I think this is one of the biggest take aways for me. If you practice safer sex, feel comfortable with yourself and the person you’re with, you can have really great sex without the “L” word entering into the equation. There’s nothing wrong with exploring your sexuality on your own terms!
When Casual Dates Go Wrong
I can’t remember if I messaged him first, or if he messaged me. He seemed normal enough – 23 or 24, about to start graduate school at the university I was attending, decently good looking in his pictures. He sent a cute message, we were about 85% compatible (which is horrifying, in retrospect), and I was impatient. We scheduled a date for the first night we exchanged messages.
Safe Meeting Place
At the time, I was working as a barista at a small, independent café. I figured if we met at my café, as long as I didn’t mention that it was my workplace, I’d be safe. The guys who were working that night would make sure everything was all right, and at least I knew the drinks would be good.
Right off the bat, I knew something was off. He insulted the café for only accepting cash, and then refused to order anything. I date by the mantra that you can tell everything you need to know about someone by how they treat their waiter, bartender, or barista. I should have left.
Sex Toy Talk
Once we sat down, me with my coffee and him awkwardly empty handed, I anticipated some small talk. College, family life, friends, favorite hobbies; any of those, I could have taken and run with. Instead, I’m treated to this gem: “So, you know the Adult Mart on Route 51?” Yes, actually, I do, but at the time of this date, I never actually pictured myself in an adult store. (My, how times change. But that’s another story for another time!) “Well, I bought a Fleshlight the other day,” he explained, without even pausing to see if I knew what a Fleshlight was. I did, but I sort of feel like that’s beside the point.
“So I get home, unwrap it, and throw the box away. I’m like, headed out, so you know, I just kind of chuck it in a drawer. Then when I come home, my parents are freaking out, hardcore. My mom is crying,” here, he pauses to laugh, “and my dad says, ‘We need to talk. I don’t think you respect women.’” Cue maniacal laughter.
I tried. I really did try. I changed the subject to school, and we somehow found ourselves instead discussing how, at his former job at a popular mid-range clothing store, he was “the only person to ever get a job by virtue of being a white male, but they won’t let me work in the front! That’s sexism!”
One would think, at this point, that I would have left. Unfortunately, morbid curiosity had glued me to my seat. I wanted to find out just how much worse this could get.
“Oh god, this one time… This one time, I woke up out of a black out to some chick having sex with me. So I figured, she gotta be fat, right? Nope, not fat! Well, then, she gotta be ugly. Not ugly! So I just kept goin’. Bitch was crazy though. Threw me out at 6am.” (Sidebar: Sexual assault is never something to take lightly, and it absolutely can happen to men.)
At this point, I decided to cut my losses. I excused myself to the restroom and called my buffest male friend with a car. I highly recommend getting yourself one, if you haven’t already. Ten minutes later, he’d pulled up to the curb, and I turned to my date and said, as gracefully as I could, “Well, it was nice to meet you!” Then, I ran.
Although the date was terrible, it taught me something: Always trust your gut. If you get bad vibes or you can tell right away that you don’t click – it’s OK to politely excuse yourself. Also, no matter how casual the first date is, you should never mention a Fleshlight….ever.
Keeping it Casual
There were three types of men that I dated when I was casually dating: The never again, the potential boyfriend, and casual sex buddy. Unfortunately, I didn’t always know how to tell the difference between the latter two. Let my folly be your guide.
It’s very important to know not just what your needs and expectations are, but to listen to the cues given to you (or sometimes even outright stated) by your date. Someone who’s not looking for anything serious doesn’t need convincing – they just aren’t looking for anything serious. Don’t set yourself up for heartbreak, and don’t lead anyone on.
Do you start and end everyday texting someone? Not just sexts; I’m talking about those sweet good morning texts that make you smile like an idiot. You’re probably either on the road to something more serious, or one of you is going to be hurt. Flirty messages are one thing, but when you’re corresponding throughout the day and talking about your life with them, you’re forming a bond. I made this mistake with a guy that I had amazing chemistry with, who told me he wasn’t interested in a relationship. I fell for him, and while the sex was phenomenal, I should have listened to him and kept things light. While it felt like a relationship to me, he refused to commit, and I wasn’t willing to be casual with him. Don’t go into any relationship, serious or casual, thinking that you can change what the other person wants.
On the other hand, you may meet someone who’s perfectly fine, but you just know they’re casual sex buddy material and nothing more. I found it easiest to text only when making plans, and to only plan to see them once or twice a week. Anything more began to feel a little suffocating. As a result, I was called “extremely low-maintenance” and got to drink a lot of really fantastic craft beers for free. Because I didn’t get too close, no one got hurt when the relationship ran its course and we both headed for greener pastures.
Casual Sex Dating
When it comes to casual dating and casual sex, just be honest about what you want. If you want a relationship, recognize that you might be hurt by someone who doesn’t (even if it’s not their fault). If you want a fuck buddy, don’t try to make them your best friend – it’s messy, and you’re not in a romantic comedy. Be honest, be nice, and be smart.