Introduction to casual sex
- Casual Sex
- Anonymous sex
- Bathroom sex
- Casual dating
- Cruising for sex
- Female promiscuity
- Hookup culture
- One Night Stand
- Sex club
Like many things that are misunderstood, casual sex or “hooking up” is generally frowned upon. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that if done properly and responsibly, casual sex can be a great idea and can lead to a meaningful relationship.
Before a discussion about casual sex, it’s important to clarify two things. The first is the definition of casual sex. We will defer to an online story from the American Psychological Association, where hookups are defined as “brief uncommitted sexual encounters between individuals who are not romantic partners or dating each other.”
The second thing to clarify, despite the insistence of some, is that casual sex is not a new concept. There was a period of time referred to as the sexual revolution, which many people attribute to the 1960s but it can also refer to the 1920s, where attitudes toward sex changed significantly. Regardless of when the sexual revolution occurred, the trend towards a more liberal attitude has been ongoing for nearly a century in the western world and perhaps longer than that. What is relatively new is the portrayal of casual sex on television, movies and other forms of media. Information is available almost immediately via the internet and social media. This includes the casual encounters of people who wish to broadcast the information.
Are There Negative Consequences for Casual Sex?
So why does casual sex have a bad reputation? Well, the reasons are legitimate. It goes without saying that frequent sexual encounters can lead to sexually transmitted diseases but this is not because of the sexual encounter. This is the result of reckless behavior. There is a high likelihood that this reckless behavior extends to other aspects of someone’s life. According to the 2011 study, “Predictors of Hooking Up Sexual Behaviors and Emotional Reactions Among U.S. College Students”, 1,468 college students were surveyed and it was discovered that only 46.6% of the students used a condom in their most recent sexual encounter. Additionally, these students were aware of the possible consequences. Knowing the consequence and still engaging in the behavior can certainly be described as reckless.
Another reason for the bad reputation of casual sex are the perceived psychological consequences. It is often suggested that casual sex leads to depression, loneliness, and other negative psychological or emotional problems. According to the article “What are the Psychological Effects of Casual Sex?” from Psychology Today, “rarely do these studies account for other possible causes of diminished psychological wellbeing.” It’s likely that these psychological or emotion problems were preexisting rather than a result of the casual sex. It’s also possible that these preexisting issues may have led a person to abuse sex however that is different from being the result of casual sex. The article goes on to summarize four published studies and ultimately concedes that the science is inconclusive.
Are There Positive Consequences for Casual Sex?
So if the negative consequences of casual sex are overstated and the science behind it has yet to be fully formed, what about the benefits of casual sex? Here, the situation is similar. The immediate benefit of casual sex is obvious: sex and all the pleasure that goes with it. However, the science behind the long term benefits is unclear because in many of these types of studies the participants are almost always students or volunteers and therefore an accurate depiction of the average person.
In the article, “‘Hookups’ can turn into meaningful relationships, study suggests” from the University of Iowa, the researchers found that even though a relationship starts out as a casual sex, meaning it starts out as not really a relationship at all, it can become as meaningful and serious as a relationship in which the partners chose to wait until the relationship reached a more serious phase. The only qualification for this success is that the partners were at least open to the possibility for a serious relationship. If one or both of the partners never considered a serious relationship, it was end as expected and not amount to anything significant.
In the story referenced earlier from the American Psychological Association, it was also discovered that “on average, both men and women appear to have higher positive affect than negative affect after a hookup.” One of the studies referenced in the story found that 82 percent of men and 57 percent of women were described as glad to have engaged in the casual sex. That being said, there were also those who experienced negative affect but the numbers were lower.
Who Benefits More, Men or Women?
The disparity between the percent of positive affect between men and women is worth noting and begs a certain question: does casual sex benefit males more than females? The question is reasonable especially when you consider basic societal impressions of sexually promiscuous males versus sexual promiscuous females. The former is somewhat celebrated, at least amongst their peers, as something of a hero. The latter is somewhat ridiculed, also by her peers and pretty much everyone else.
The stigma that occurs as the result of being a sexually promiscuous woman has lessened in the past decade or so possibly as a result of what is sometimes referred to as third-wave feminism. Whether a part of that movement or separately, the media has had something to do with it. Most notably through a show like Sex and the City, in which one of the main characters, Samantha, is very much a sexually liberated woman. The absence of a partner or family directly benefits Samantha’s career and this applies to a woman in the real world as well. Though, a career-minded woman without a family or steady partner does not have to engage in casual sex, it certainly opens the door for the possibility.
Both men and women obviously benefit from the physical and emotional pleasure that comes from casual sex. In the article “In Favor of Casual Sex,” the case is made that sexual intimacy exists not only in a marriage or committed long-term relationship, but also in a casual encounter. In fact, they argue that a marriage or long-term relationship “does not guarantee a satisfying emotional life or sexual intimacy.” Therefore, not only do the participants benefit from the psychical pleasure but there is also an intimacy-related benefit for the participants as well.
Making the Best of the Experience
It should go without saying that it is always necessary to wear protection when engaging in casual sex. A reasonable person would have a hard time feeling the positive effects if they are worried about a disease. In order to further avoid the negative consequences and see the benefit of the positive consequences, two participants need to enter into a casual encounter with the proper frame of mind. This is also true of a sexual encounter between a couple married for years. If either participant goes into the situation with selfish intentions or intentions of hurting the other person, it will fail as a good thing. However, if both participants seek to satisfy their partners as well as themselves, the encounter is on track to being something special.
The distinction between casual sex and anonymous sex is thin but it does exist. Casual sex can be anonymous sex but anonymous sex is always casual. As the name indicates, anonymous sex means there is the complete absence of prior knowledge relating to the partner. Furthermore, there will not be any semblance of a relationship or acquaintance afterwards. It could be argued that anonymous sex could happen repeatedly with the same person if knowledge about that person is limited to an understanding about where and when you will meet for the next session. Nonetheless, neither casual sex nor anonymous sex are new concepts.
In the article “A Brief History of Human Sex,” at livescience.com, Edward Shorter, a psychologist at the University of Toronto says that, “just as our bodies tell us what we might like to eat, or when we should go to sleep, they lay down for us our pattern of lust… Sex has always offered pleasure.”
This observation suggests that if humans have always derived pleasure from sex, the desire for that pleasure has led to humans seeking out the experience. Furthermore, “marrying for love is a relatively new concept. Beginning… when the pursuit of happiness became a legitimate human pursuit,” in the 18th century, according Megan Laslocky in the article “Face it: Monogamy is Unnatural” on cnn.com. There are many other articles around the web suggesting that monogamy, while certainly possible, is a high expectation for humans, especially when you consider that ultimately we are just highly evolved animals.
If humans weren’t historically monogamous and sex has always been fun, then we have always had casual sex and we have almost certainly always had anonymous sex. However, even if our desire for sex hasn’t changed, a couple of things have changed. First, we are more open about sex and there is a greater emphasis or acceptance of women having sex for pleasure, something that has not always been true. Second, we have easier ways of having anonymous sex. While the many websites that cater to people interested in casual and anonymous sex have had a major influence on our sex lives, it’s really the mobile applications that have revolutionized anonymous sex. A user could be walking through the grocery store searching for someone to have sex with at the same time as they are searching for a frozen dinner and loaf of bread. If they find someone to have sex with via the application, they can just stop off on the way home. In effect, having anonymous sex has become as simple and as easy to accomplish as an everyday errand.
For many, anonymity does not occur out of having found someone that you haven’t previously engaged in sex with it but a quality of the engagement that is sought after. Meaning, you weren’t looking for someone to have sex with and decided to settle on an anonymous person. Anonymity is a plus for the encounter in the way that large breasts or a muscular body would be, if that was a preference of someone. Much in the same way, being anonymous heightens the experience and adds to the pleasure. In fact, for many, the less that is known about their partner, the better the experience.
Anonymous sex can be accomplished through prostitution and for many that is definitely a suitable way to have anonymous sex but it’s not ideal. Not only can it be expensive, depending on the prostitute and the frequency among other factors, but somehow, having anonymous sex with someone who doesn’t have sex professionally is preferred. This is true not just because it’s probably free of charge but also because you’re anonymous to your partner in the same way that your partner is anonymous to you. Yes, you’re also anonymous to the prostitute and the prostitute is anonymous to you, but the prostitute doesn’t care if your anonymous. Another person interested in anonymous sex wants you to be anonymous rather than not really caring. However, the transactional nature of prostitution can be highly desirable.
Robert Weiss, Senior Vice President of National Clinical Development for Elements Behavioral Health, states in his article, “What Draws People to Anonymous Sex (and the Apps that Help Them Find It),” on blogs.psychcentral.com, “those who repeatedly pursue anonymous sex say they enjoy the feeling of being a sexual object and/or using others as a sexual objects – without strings.” While this is almost a universal truth for anyone who enjoys anonymous sex, the article goes on to only point out the well-documented negative consequences of anonymous sex and that those who participate probably need professional help. Certainly there are people who engage in anonymous sex and wreak havoc upon their lives as a result but other professionals suggest that doesn’t have to be the outcome.
To understand some of the benefits of anonymous sex, it helps to understand some of the potential downsides to sex that is not anonymous. Briefly, the downsides might be a fear of being judged about one’s body as well as the fear of being judged about being a slut (if you’re a woman). The fear of being thought of as a slut extends to both the partner and anyone else who might be aware of the encounter. However, when the sex is anonymous, none of these potential issues is a factor. The sex is for the sake of the sex. It’s possible that the attractiveness other person may not even be a factor, or at least less of a factor. Someone who is self-conscious would not need to worry.
Anonymous sex occurs between two people who arrive at a location, sometimes a public location, for the sole purpose of having sex. Any notion of being a slut or player, if you’re a male, is a not part of the equation. If your partner tells their friends about the encounter, they don’t have to know your full name and, if you would prefer, the encounter could happen far enough away from your home as necessary to limit the likelihood that you will see your partner again.
Megan Laslocky, whose opinion article, “Face it: Monogamy is Unnatural,” is referenced earlier, makes a very poignant point, “No two individuals, and no two couples are alike, and we should respect that.” Live and let live, especially if it’s anonymously.
If raunchiness is your thing, there are few places to have sex that are raunchier than a public bathroom. When referring to public bathroom sex, the participants are likely to be gay men however, there are exceptions. The phrase bathroom sex can also apply to a private bathroom in which case the participants are likely be anyone, not just gay men. As a place where we spend a great deal of time without clothing, it should not be a surprise that people have sex in their bathrooms. A quick search on the internet will find multiple shower sex scenes from the steamy to the unrealistic.
Gay culture has long been familiar with the concept of having sex in a public bathroom. Before homosexuality became more accepted at the end of the 20th century, gay men would meet at locations which were known to be meeting spots for casual gay sex. While the practice still continues, it is somewhat less necessary because gay men generally are now able to meet another gay man in public then go to another location together without fear of ridicule or legal ramifications, which was the case at one time in history.
While it’s easy to imagine a dingy truck stop bathroom or overgrown park bathroom, and in some cases you wouldn’t be wrong, sometimes the public bathrooms where gay men met were in surprising places. Perhaps the best-known is a men’s bathroom in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where a former U.S. Senator was accused of soliciting gay sex and, according to some psychologists in a report by ABC News, suggest that the behavior is indicative of “in denial about his sexuality.” Though there are other experts who suggest the behavior is not necessarily that of a gay man.
Another perhaps surprising bathroom for gay men to meet and have sex are located at the University of Florida as detailed in a newspaper article, “Bathroom Sex” from The Michigan Daily. The story ran in 1989 and based on an interview from a young freshman at the time, the inability to be “out” led to the interactions that occurred in the bathroom.
Bathroom sex, however, is not limited to gay culture. In 2010, a Chicago White Sox fan gave an account to The Chicago Tribune of his encounter with a heterosexual couple engaging in sex in a men’s public bathroom at Sox Park. Interestingly, when the couple were finished, the man emerged from the bathroom stall to “hooting and hollering and giving high-fives,” according to the witness. While perhaps not the same for homosexual sex in a bathroom, it would seem men are in favor of other men engaging in heterosexual sex in a public bathroom.
And while there are many things to worry about when having sex in a public bathroom, legal consequences may not be one of them. In the article “ACLU Argues Sex in Bathroom Stalls Is Private” on the website for the American Bar Association Journal, it argues that “people who have sex in a bathroom stall have an expectation of privacy” based on a ruling in State v. Bryant from the Minnesota Supreme Court. In the case, two men were caught having sex in a bathroom at a department store.
If you’re lucky, you may even find a restaurant or bar that encourages sex in their bathrooms. Yes, you read that right. They do exist. In 2010, co-owner of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Donna Dooher told the Toronto Star, “we’ve always had little trysts in our bathrooms.” Furthermore, the restaurant sent an email to customers “claiming its bathrooms are among the “101 places to have sex before you die.” The story was detailed in the article, “Restaurant Encourages Bathroom Sex” on upi.com.
According to the Gothamist.com article “The Best and Worst Bars and Restaurants to Have Sex In,” there is a bar called Piano’s in New York City which is “good to have sex in because there’s tons of free condoms and subterranean bathrooms”.
It seems, regardless of your sexual preference, bathroom sex is either becoming or has become acceptable. So if we’re going to do it, we should do it right. Here are a few pointers from thrillist.com in their article “The 12 Rules to Bathroom Sex in NYC.” For starters, perhaps the best public bathroom is what is referred to as “family rooms.” These are more likely to have working locks and the diaper changing station is likely more sturdy that you would guess. If there is not a family room, then handicapped stalls also offer plenty of leg room as well as a bar for holding yourself up.
Finally, before you do the deed, plan your escape route. Likely, anybody within earshot and certainly anybody that was in the bathroom at the same time is going to know exactly what happened. The less time you spend in the building after having sex in the bathroom, the better. Find a bathroom that is near to an exit. It’s probably not a good idea to run as security, or anybody else, may think you have done something worse than have sex in a public bathroom.
Casual dating can be a confusing concept with definitions varying between different people and relationships. As the Relationship Counseling Center points out, “the exact definition and ‘rules’ of ‘casual dating’ depend on you and your partner and is based on your wants, needs and expectations.”
If there is a characteristic that is consistent across casual dating, it’s that there is an absence of commitment and, as a result, a less serious tone to the relationship. The reality is that this less serious tone is the driving force behind casual dating and the reason why people prefer it to actual dating or a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
Generally, two people who casually date are not exclusive. However, this is not always the case and it happens frequently enough for new titles to have been coined to describe the situation. “Casually exclusive” or “dating partner” both refer to casual dating which has reached some degree of exclusiveness.
So what’s the point to dating casually if you’re going to be exclusive? Remember casual dating does not mean the same thing as “friends with benefit,” though both can consist of the same no strings attached sex. A significant difference is that casual dating can turn into a legitimate relationship while “friends with benefit” would have a far lower likelihood of turning into something legitimate.
Interestingly, casual dating does not necessarily imply that the couple is having sex. Because casual dating can be used as a method of determining if a more serious relationship is possible, a couple may choose to postpone sex until they reach something more meaningful. However, that is the exception.
For many people casually dating, sex is the glue that holds the relationship together. An accurate way to think of at least one type of casual dating is two people who enjoy having sex and also enjoy each other’s company enough to cuddle afterwards and maybe even spend time together when they are not having sex. Sex researcher and adjunct professor at New York University, Zhana Vrangalova is quoted in a mic.com article as suggesting that just because people don’t settle down “doesn’t mean they don’t have sexual and intimate needs to fulfill in the meantime. …Noncommittal dating answers this set of needs perfectly at a time when you are not ready to fully commit to a single person.”
Why Do People Casually Date?
In the same article mentioned above, Vrangalova says, “this noncommittal dating is a natural, almost inevitable, product of our fast-paced, technology-enmeshed, highly geographically mobile lives.” Vrangalova’s explanation makes a lot of sense. When nearly everything we do is happening online, including our social lives, how would people actually build connections that lead to something more than casual dating.
Another, more in depth explanation relating to the trend in young people to prefer casual dating, comes from Kathleen Hull, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota in an article form Star Tribune, a Minneapolis newspaper. “There’s this long period between going through puberty and getting married that would be a long time to be dating. It’s a longer period of transition to adulthood.”
What Hull is referring to is a trend that existed a half a century ago but is much less common today – “going steady” in high school and getting married. This means the “traditional markers of adulthood,” which the article defines as “marriage, children and home ownership” occur much later in life. Today’s young people are choosing college and career over a meaningful relationship while still having the “sexual and intimate needs” referred to by Vrangalova.
How to Casually Date
Mentioned in the first paragraph, outside of being casual instead of serious, there aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules for casual dating. The relationship should suit the needs of the two people involved. However, there are some considerations that one should keep in mind.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
It may seem strange to talk about your feelings when casual dating implies an absence of feelings, at least to a certain degree. However, it’s important to be in tune with how you feel because if you feel that you are starting to want something more significant from your partner, it’s time to tell them or leave the relationship. Trying to suppress those feelings will likely only lead to you getting hurt in the long run.
Some people can suppress such feelings by spending time with another person, or more specifically being sexual with someone else, after all, it’s casual dating. But if this isn’t you, something needs to change. If those feelings develop and your partner doesn’t share them, staying in the relationship will only make it worse over time.
Remember that Your Casually Dating
It’s entirely possible that your partner actually wants a relationship. Just not with you. You could be forgiven for taking this personally, but don’t. There is at least something about you that the other person enjoys enough to spend time with you. We’re not discussing friends-with-benefits so if your sex is of the “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” variety, it’s not casual dating. If that’s not what you want, then you should leave the relationship. One of the convenient aspects of casual dating is the ability to exit the relationship easily if necessary.
On the other hand, if you have not previously set an expectation of exclusiveness, a proposal you should expect your partner to balk at, understand that they likely have multiple sexual partners and you should too.
Don’t Allow Yourself to be Mistreated
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, according to lovepanky.com, in casual dating, “almost always, one person has complete control over the other person. The dominant partner decides when to hook up, and when to avoid each other.” If you find yourself the person being controlled, you have likely developed stronger feelings for that person and allow yourself to be controlled out of a fear of losing your partner. As the article suggests, “if you feel controlled or dominated, walk away before you get your heart broken.”
Cottaging is a term that has historically applied to gay culture, although the concept and the practice extends to heterosexuals. According to the National Institutes of Health at the US National Library of Medicine, cottaging is “the meeting of prospective sex partners in public bathrooms” and occurs in “enclosed public toilets.” The term was coined in the United Kingdom where public restrooms in parks often resembled cottages and the practice apparently dates “back to at least 1729.”
In 1962, Illinois was the first state in the United States to decriminalize sodomy and the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 decriminalized homosexual acts in the United Kingdom between two men aged 21 or over. Prior to this, and to some degree afterwards for fear of public shaming, gay men met and engaged in some form of sex in private. According to an online medical dictionary, in the United States, the same thing was accomplished by American homosexual men in “tea rooms.”
The method of actually having sex varied and required some creativity as the structure and fear of getting caught presented challenges for the participants. A rather popular method, for various reasons, is the “glory hole.” The glory hole made use of the partition between the stalls and the sitting position made convenient by the toilet. A man would enter a stall with a hole in the partition between another stall. He would then sit on the toilet and, after some sort of signal, another man would stick his erect penis through the hole. Oral sex would ensue.
The glory hole was useful, not only because of the structure of the restroom, but because, in a time when the act was illegal, “anonymous sex [between men] was the only kind available. It was probably the only sensible kind too since the more your partner knew about you the more you left yourself open to blackmail,” according to the personal account of Mark Simpson, an English author and the man credited with the term “metrosexual.” In the early 1990s, a survey from the National Institutes of Health at the US National Library of Medicine, also referenced above, found that of 400 surveyed men with an “average age of 31.9 years,” 131 admitted to cottaging and 20% cottaged daily, 41% cottaged weekly and 37% cottaged less than weekly.
Certainly for some, the act of cottaging would consist of the removal of intimacy and privacy from sex however, according to the book “The Psychology of Gender and Sexuality: An Introduction” this isn’t necessarily the case. The authors argue that, “a sense of the private persists, either in viewing these acts as exceptional or in the idea that the irreducibly personal and undisclosed elements are present, like individual responses and fantasies.” This would further imply that simply because sex is anonymous, it’s not necessarily any less private and possibly intimate. Many would agree that even in a room with many people, a couple can find themselves in a moment of intimacy and privacy, even if it is perceived privacy rather than actual privacy.
Today, cottaging occurs less out of fear and more to achieve a sense of excitement that one would get from having sex in public, having sex anonymously, or both. Additionally, heterosexuals engage in anonymous sex in public though that would not be referred to as cottaging as that strictly refers to homosexuals. The concept of a “glory hole” has also entered heterosexual culture and is a popular theme for heterosexual pornography, with a woman the one performing oral sex on the other side of a partition.
A new spin on the concept exists in the digital age that is sometimes referred to as “e-cottaging” or “cybercottaging.” This is effectively the same thing except that it occurs with the assistance of the internet and the vast array of websites and mobile apps created for this purpose. Again, heterosexuals participate in the same behavior but the term e-cottaging relates strictly to heterosexuals. E-cottaging differs in that actual sex does not occur when they first meet because the meeting occurs via the internet. After meeting on the internet, the participants would then need to meet to have sex which may or may not occur in public.
Cruising for sex
Cruising for sex is another practice that began in the gay community as something of a necessity and has since become simply another way for someone of any sexual preference to find a usually anonymous sexual partner. The word “cruising” would seem to imply driving in today’s culture as the word is largely associated with driving at a comfortable rate of speed or using the cruise control feature of your vehicle. However, this is not necessarily the case. Cruisers will search for sexual partners both while driving, typically done in parking lot known as a cruising spot, or in a designated area while on foot, such as a public park. The practice can even occur in a building such as a bath house, gym, or similar locations.
While heterosexuals have always been able to date, court and otherwise interact in public, gay men, and lesbian women, have not had this luxury for much of modern history. However, it would be misguided to assume that a fear of persecution is the only reason why a man would cruise for sex. As an article published by the Berkeley Daily Planet points out, cruisers often include “men who don’t have options,” “don’t identify as gay or bi,” “not openly gay” or “are married with families.” In effect, these men would just be looking for fun or more specifically, looking for fun with an anonymous partner. For those looking to add an element of excitement to their sex lives, there is also the thrill of possibly getting caught as well as the thrill of sex in public.
However, because men are the primary participants in cruising, and therefore the primary participants in the subsequent sex that occurs in whatever form it may occur, the assumed sexuality of the men is homosexuality. At the very least, bisexual. Surprisingly, there is a lot of documentation which supports the notion that, at least according to the men themselves, they are heterosexuals. In article posted on VICE.com the reporter interviewed a man who frequented cruising spots and claimed to have a great sex life with his wife, one in which they had almost daily sex. Furthermore, the man watched straight porn and referred “girls with big tits.” In fact, according to the article, almost “almost everyone who replied [to a questionnaire] identified as “straight.””
This trend of straight men, or men who identify as straight yet still have sex with other men, is something that science seems to support. According to Psychology Today, “for some men, sexual activity with another male ‘does not require a definition or identity’ and is simply an act that ‘provides sexual pleasure, and it is not seen as anything more profound.’”
An interesting observation relating to cruising for sex, and the practice in public, is that there is proof of location governments tolerating the act. The toleration ranges from being aware of the act to providing services in an effort to curb HIV. In the Berkeley Daily Planet article, the cruising location was a park in Berkeley, California. The Director of Parks and Waterfront is quoting as saying that “…we do not condone public sex of any kind. This is a historic activity but not an appropriate one.” Additionally, the place is visited by outreach workers from the city’s HIV/AIDs Program who distribute, “condoms and information about the prevention of AIDs on a weekly basis…”
There are other stories around the web that indicate governments in Canada and the UK have implemented similar measures supporting without condoning. An organization known as ACT with connections to the Government of Ontario in Canada has made available a PDF titled “Cruising: The ins and outs of hooking up for gay and bisexual men,” which, in addition to providing information about HIV/AIDS, also provides tips on common cruising practices including etiquette.
For proof that cruising is a practice that no longer is reserved for gay men, consider Desire Cruises, a cruise line which has made the most of the word “cruise.” According to the aptly named article, “A New Spin on “Cruising for Sex”” Desire Cruises, and other companies offering the similar packages, offer “nude sunbathing decks, nude pole dancing classes, and other clothing optional activities.” Another example is the website CrusingforSex.com. Which is something of a pioneer in the cruising on the internet niche as one of the first websites to cater to the act by providing resources and tips. According to the article “Cruising Isn’t Dead – If You Know Where to Look,” the guy in charge of the website, CruisingforSex.com is used by “straight couples who seek action with other men.”
Additionally, according to the blog Bisexuality and beyond, even “lesbians are learning to cruise. At all-night women-only saunas and via the internet.” The blog references a Guardian article which mentions a couple of locations in the United Kingdom that were a part of the, at the time of the article, fledgling lesbian cruising scene.
As with nearly anything else in life, things change. And some things stay the same. This is true of cruising with the introduction of the digital age. Cruising didn’t stop but the method changed. Though, not perhaps to the degree that might be expected. While certainly mobile applications and websites have influenced cruising, it still occurs today as the random meeting between strangers in a public place.
To say that female promiscuity is not treated the same as male promiscuity is a bit of an understatement. Female promiscuity has been banned, punished, made physically impossible through surgery or treated as a medical condition at various times throughout modern history. However, women who enjoy sex enough to participate in the act on a scale that might be described as promiscuous are neither abnormal nor unnatural and certainly not suffering from a medical condition. Quite the opposite is true. In general, there has been a trend towards acceptance and acknowledgement of a woman’s sexuality and right to promiscuity.
We can look to nature for possibly both a biological reason for why it would benefit a woman to be promiscuous as well as a reason for why it would benefit a male to curb the likelihood of promiscuity in his mate, whether by direct measures or more broad measures that might apply to women generally. As The Guardian points out, the mating habits of the great reed warbler can be an example of the benefit of promiscuity. The bird “may nest with a male with a small song repertoire, but she will seek ‘extra-pair copulation’ with males with big song repertoires, which tend to live longer. This way she gets the best offspring and they are looked after.” It’s not difficult to imagine similar behavior in humans.
Another reason pointed out by the same article, titled “Women are promiscuous, naturally,” is a higher number of partners insures the limited number of eggs a female has are not wasted, a practice known as “fertility insurance.” A rather unfortunate example is the case of a “man who went for a vasectomy after his wife gave birth to her third child. However, the surgeon found the man had a congenital defect that meant he couldn’t possibly be the father of any of the children.” The woman’s infidelity, it seems, ensured that she had children. The act at its base reflects a proven survival technique in nature.
With these examples in mind, it is easy to imagine why males of any species would look to prevent female promiscuity. According to a paper published by McMaster University Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior, “the female is the sex making the greater parental investment, while males devote proportionately more time and energy into mating competition. Male mammals attempt to monopolize females and the reproductive capacity.” However, men “make significant parental investments, too, and the combination of this paternal investment with an asymmetrical risk of cuckoldry (misattribution of parenthood). In effect, men treat women as commodities both to ensure that they produce and to ensure that they are not raising the offspring of another man.
Finally, Nature published a study on its website which found that “mating behavior determines the intensity of sperm competition, with polyandry [female promiscuity] leading to fiercer sperm competition than monandry [one partner at a time].” The study goes on to say that “owing to greater sperm competition” polyandrous species “generally have physiological traits that make them better adapted for fertilization than monandrous species, including bigger testes, larger seminal vesicles, higher sperm counts,” etc.
Though these behaviors are, to a large extent, driven by instinct, it would not justify treating female promiscuity any different than male promiscuity. The methods by which males have tried to control female promiscuity have ranged from “menstrual shaming,” a form of advertising of female reproductive status which allows males “to better assess their probabilities of paternity” that still occurs in more primitive cultures, to jealousy and controlling behavior and in extreme cases, death or public humiliation.
Instincts and biological reasons aside, there are other factors that influence female promiscuity. Regardless of gender, Psychological Science found one of these factors in a study that revealed “elevated power is positively associated with infidelity because power increases confidence in the ability to attract partners.” The researchers in the study suggest that “the common assumption that women are less likely than men to engage in infidelity is, at least partially, a reflection of traditional gender-based differences that exist in society.” Possibly related, the Daily Mail newspaper published an article on its website which references a study that found “by the age of 21 the [women] have had sex with an average of nine lovers – two more than their male partner.” While the age of 21 is probably generally too young to be “powerful,” the fact that women perhaps feel empowered to a greater degree than generations of the past could be part of an explanation for what seems like an increase in female promiscuity.
Another reason for female promiscuity is perhaps the most obvious reason – because women enjoy sex just like their male counterparts. Harper’s Bazaar published an article which mentions a study where “a small camera was inserted into participants’ vaginas to detect blood flow, a measure of excitement that does not lie.” The researchers “discovered that while women said they were turned on by the idea of sex with a partner or friend, they were actually much more excited by the idea of sex with a stranger.” It would be difficult to imagine anonymous sex as being anything other than a strictly male fantasy. However, it seems that is not the case.
If there are natural and biological reasons as well as social (power) reasons for female promiscuity, there are also unnatural or unfortunate reasons for female promiscuity. Psychology Today reports that “it is not uncommon for women to engage in sex frequently, even indiscriminately, following a divorce.” Additionally, feelings of insecurity can lead to promiscuity. The author of the article, a psychologist, quotes a patient, “I felt insecure… I felt better when I realized that men were interested in me.” However, it would be fair to say that both of these circumstances are those which a male or female could find themselves in. Furthermore, promiscuity would likely be a sufficient “Band-Aid” for either gender providing temporary relief from the feeling of rejection or insecurity.
What is Hooking Up?
A “hook up” can be a single, casual encounter between two strangers, similar to a one-night stand, or conversely, a hook up can also be an ongoing scenario in which two people are consistently having casual sex or, to be consistent with the lingo, they are “hooking up.” A further difference from one night stands, and indeed casual sex in general, is that hooking up may not necessarily involve intercourse, or sex of any kind. There is only one common thread between the definitions of “hooking up” and that is that the definition varies according to who you ask. An article from the US National Library of Medicine states “qualitative research has shown that key aspects of how college students define hooking up are not consistent.”
According to a New York Times article, “hooking up” is “an ambiguous term that can signify anything from making out to oral sex to intercourse – without the emotional entanglement of a relationship.” The book Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus sets hooking up apart from other non-monogamous sexual terms by saying “all hookup encounters cannot be characterized as ‘casual sex’ or ‘one-night stands’ when often one of the parties is hoping that it will lead to ‘something more’.”
A further difference between hooking up and other types of casual sex is that hooking up may occur between people who are very familiar with each other or possibly even friends. A group of health promotion specialists at Columbia University answer an important and relevant question in an advice column: if a potential hooking up partner happens to be a friend, is can you “handle the loss of this friend for the promise of a sexual partner?” In the same column, they mention that the participants that are hooking up “might be an ex-couple still enjoying the benefits of their now-ended relationship.” In both cases, friends or ex-lovers, the participants are far from strangers.
An interesting use of the phrase “hooking up” is that it can signify an intention without there actually being a participant. According to the book Relating Difficulty: The Process of Constructing and Managing Difficult Interaction, youths describe going to a party with the intention of hooking up, but they don’t have a specific ‘target hookup partner’ in mind.”
Who is Hooking Up?
Most of the available literature on the topic suggests that hooking up has largely been a phenomenon associated with college campuses. To a certain degree this is a fair assessment due to the fact that college campuses are populated with thousands of people experiencing freedom for the first time in their lives not to mention they are at an age where sexual discovery is in its prime. However, it’s also slightly misleading as hooking up is not uncommon amongst high school-aged students as well as adults who have either graduated from college or did not attend.
Because it is primarily young people who engage in hooking up, it would be easy to believe the many articles who vilify the practice and claim today’s youth is doomed because of it. However, as reflected in an article from Time, a survey conducted in 1967 found that 68% of undergraduate males and 44% of undergraduate women had engaged in premarital sex. A study in 2010 at Yale found that 64% of its students had sex while at Yale. The percentage of students who had premarital sex in 1967 is strikingly similar to the number of students who had premarital sex in 2010.
The facts are supported by The National Health and Life Survey as described on the website Contexts.org. It was “found that the percent of women who have had premarital sex by age 20 (65-76 percent) is roughly the same for all cohorts born after 1948.” It would seem that, despite the sentiment of many, that today’s generation is as sexually active as not just the last generation but the last several generations.
Why Do They Hook Up?
As far as the implications of hooking up, according to a survey from the University of Iowa, there wasn’t “much evidence that relationships were lower quality because they started off as hookups.” This implies that not only can hookups result in a significant relationship, the quality of that relationship may not be negatively affected by the fact that it started out as a hook up. Even if that weren’t true, there’s evidence that people would still consider hooking up worth their time if only for the possibility that it might turn into something more legitimate. According to Hanna Rosin, author of a book called, “The End of Men,” “about 66 percent of women say they wanted their most recent hookup to turn into something more, but 58 percent of men say the same.”
There’s also evidence that the dating rituals which young people go through have changed dramatically. According to an article from the New York Times, “traditional dating in college has mostly gone the way of the landline, replaced by ‘hooking up’.” If hooking up can and does result in a legitimate relationship and traditional dating norms have largely gone by the wayside, then it would seem that hooking up has, to a certain degree, actually become a method of dating and therefore courtship.
The same New York Times article gives a couple of reasons for this preference for hooking up in lieu of something more legitimate which include an increased focus on their education and, later in life, their careers. Possibly as a result of focusing on their career and education, women are closing the gender gap. Many professionally minded women are “choosing hookups because they saw relationships as too demanding and potentially too distracting from their goals” according to the same article. So, yes, perhaps women are perpetuating this behavior but we would be mistaken to assume men did not support the trend.
Of course, there is the simple fact that human beings are sexual by nature and hook ups occur because we want them to, whether we’re too busy for something legitimate or not. According to research from ComtemporaryFamilies.org, “a similar number of men (48 percent) and women (45 percent)… reported being glad about their most recent hookup encounter (the rest were neither glad nor regretful). Other recent research finds that even though men are more likely than women to have an orgasm during hookup sex, men and women are almost equally likely to report enjoying their most recent hookup.”
How Do I Hook Up?
There is plenty of data across the web that discusses the relationship between hooking up and alcohol and/or drugs. Among the reasons for using alcohol and/or drugs are decreased inhibitions and increased confidence. If you want to hook up with someone, decreased inhibitions and increased confidence are good things are necessary to be successful but achieving those with alcohol is generally a bad idea. In addition to legal consequences and contracting an STD thanks to your impaired judgment, you also run the risk of being intimate with someone with whom you wouldn’t normally want to be intimate.
For a scientific explanation, we’ll take a look at Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus. After interviewing several college students and asking follow-up questions, the researchers determined that hookups occur via the following script.
“…the first step is identifying a hookup partner. The person one hooks up with may or may not be someone known prior to the night of the first hookup. In some cases, the two parties were friends first. In others, they were acquaintances and had ‘seen each other around’ or take a class together. Under these circumstances the man and woman may have spent some time flirting or showing sexual interest prior to the night of the hookup. In still other cases, the hookup was what many students referred to as ‘random’ (i.e., there was no connection to the other person before the night of the first hookup). However, in cases where the two parties were total strangers, there was often a friend or acquaintance.”
This is a rather specific situation relating to college-aged participants but the dance is similar for adults outside of college. Two strangers meet, planned or unplanned, in a “safe” location such as a bar, coffee shop or any other neutral location. They establish first a physical attraction then begin to flirt. It just kind of flows from there. There will be embarrassing moments but this comes with the territory. As suggested in the article, “Your Complete Guide to Having a Good Hook Up,” “you have to embrace the awkwardness that can (and probs will) occur during” hook ups.
Of course, in the digital age you don’t have to go it alone. Helpful apps like Tinder and helpful websites like OKCupid.com largely bypass the aforementioned bar or coffee shop scene. Do your flirting online and avoid some of the awkwardness. Rejection becomes slightly easier as does making a move or asking someone out. However, in order to hook up, you still have to interact with another human being at some point.
Casual sex is a general term that encompass’s several behaviors and actions such as, one night stands, hookups, “smash”, dogging,
Terms sometimes associated with casual sex include recreational sex, social sex, nonrelationship sex, no-strings-attached (NSA) sex, hooking up, physical relationship, or sex with no games, to “smash”.
6 Reasons To Have Casual Sex
1. Asserting your desires can create a tremendous sense of power.
2. It might help you transcend your inhibitions.
3. You’ll learn more about your sexuality
4. You might learn about yourself emotionally
5. You might be a better partner in a committed sexual relationship
6. You’ll learn more about sex
Story talked about reasons here:
One aspect of casual sex that needs to be addressed here is the problem of basing a romantic relationship and marriage around it. You like a girl in the club you start having casual sex, you keep having casual sex, then all of a sudden there is a baby and a mortgage… Hmm doesn’t sound like great platform for a stable relationship. Sexual attraction should not be the foundation of a lifelong decision to be with someone. It’s a HUGE part but other more important aspects should be considered such as compatibility and common interests. You fall in love with people you frequently have sex with (Attachment theory , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology_of_sexual_monogamy) Some species form socially monogamous pair bonds following sexual behavior.
Reddit – casual sex question
There are three requirements. a) look good b) have a good picture c) know how to have a relaxed and fun conversation that makes you seem confident but not pushy.
- Clubs and bars.
There are three requirements: a) don’t get too drunk b) don’t be too shy to dance c) don’t have too high standards when it’s 6am
Regardless of methods there are a basically just two golden rules to be succesful:
a) Don’t try hard. You’ll get “the flow” and succeed when you stop caring and just have fun
b) manage your expectations, don’t take rejection personal.
Is Casual Sex A Good Idea?
5 Rules Of Casual Sex
Types of Casual Sex
sexual relations not involving a love relationship, esp. brief encounters or an encounter on one occasion
Also known as:
- Back-up partner
- Group sex
- Illicit Encounters
- Sex club
- Zipless fuck
- Hookup:is a casual sexual encounter involving physical pleasure without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment
What is casual sex?
The definition of casual sex varies between person… It can be a casual sex relationship that occurs for months on and off or a one night stand that only happens once. It’s some sort of sexual activity where emotion, connection, romance or love is not present. Casual sex satisfies the participants physical rather than emotional needs. You are not bound by any responsibility or promise of future sex. Casual sex satisfies a physical attraction.
Emotional connection can be introduced which is usually when attachment and the moving away from casual toward a relationship happens.
What’s attractive about casual sex then?
The lack of commitment and responsibility that casual sex brings is very attractive to some people – it also opens you up to sex with multiple partners in short spaces of time.
“It was an exhilarating experience, it was like discovering a first love all over again without the painful breakup… Sarah “
Apart from the obvious but fleeting sexual enjoyment casual sex can also bring a brief sense of closeness. If your feeling particularly lonely or disconnected with the world casual sex (with the right partner) can temporarily give you a sense of peace from it.
Casual sex serves a purpose among those that enjoy it… others do require or insist on a long term relationship for sex to occur.
Inhibitions can be cast aside.
If you are not usually naughty or that way inclined the idea that you are rebelling is often very appealing to casual sex seekers.
The feeling of being caught up in the moment and whisked away in a one night only relationship where anything goes safe in the knowledge that everything will be fine tomorrow. Because in most cases everything is back to normal the next day – which means you can be as naughty as you wish… as outrageous and fun loving as you wish… casual sex is a licence to live up your wild side for just one night. Everyone has an alternative persona that they subdue for everyday life – in most cases you only see a casual sex partner once… because your unlikely to ever see them again you can do whatever you wish. They know this also and together the sexual sparks will fly.
Closely attached to this feeling of being naughty is the excitement of mystery and unfamiliarity… this is perhaps one of the biggest thrills of casual sex. Anything could happen – you are riding in unfamiliar territory.
- She smells different
- She acts different
- She makes love different
- You are in a different neighborhood
- Your on an unfamiliar one man mission to seduce a cute girl
- You feel unfamiliar but exiting emotions
What’s Not Attractive About Casual Sex?
The obvious problem with frequent casual sex is the increase chance of getting an STI/STD and even HIV…
You could ruin the enjoyment of sex when it comes to settling down the a long term partner. Some might see it a different way (gain more experience) but with increasing sexual activity the thrill of spontaneous sex may lose it’s thrill. Which means you are less able to offer pleasure to the one person you love the most because you have “experienced to much”.
Innocence sure is attractive! And the more casual sex you have the more at risk you are of losing it…
Casual sex for most of us is “just a bit of fun” and that’s what it should be. However while trying to heighten the experience of casual sex many will not wear protection. Condoms may reduce sensation or ruin the mood but the statistics for STI’s are staggering. If you have frequent casual sex without protection it’s just a matter of time.
Know What Your Dealing With
I mentioned earlier that casual sex can bring brief emotional satisfaction… It offers only a brief moment of emotional intimacy and may only serve to magnify the feeling of distance and loneliness you feel. If however you go into casual sex with a healthy mindset you will be just fine. It’s just worth noting that some people feel that casual sex did not give them what they were looking for both in physical pleasure or emotional connection. Many that are up for it soon realise that for them to enjoy sex they actually have to feel a real bond with the person in question.
If your a guy that’s getting requests for casual sex from young women it’s also worth knowing that (in women especially) casual encounters with various partners can lead to signs of depression and low self-esteem. These personality traits were more likely to have existed before her requests!
In most casual sex relationships only the smallest amount of trust and communication is present so that sex can take place. This put’s you at some risk…. the reality is that you do not know who this person really is. Trust and communication are important skills for healthy long term relationships, of course this is not a long term relationship but you are still allowing them into a sensitive area of your life.
Important skills are not developed, like trust and communication. If each partner makes the other feel valued, then there is more security and less anxiety in a long-term relationship compared to casual sex encounters.
Individuals appear to have a variety of styles or approaches to relationships. Lee (1988)
According to Grello M et al it’s the Ludic lovers that you need to watch out for if your interested in long lasting relationships. It appears that they are only interested in the conquest of love and lust and care not for their sexual partners feelings.
The complete contrast to LUDIC love is the EROS personality. The eros personality exists both in men and women and these types tend to fall deeply in love at first sight.
BOTH ludic and eros personalities have casual sex however ludic seeks only physical pleasure while eros seeks emotional intimacy.
So I guess if you are a women seeking great casual sex with some sense of emotional connection you would seek the EROS lover. Just be sure they don’t fall in love with you after one night!
Have Confidence. Have Respect.
- Make sure you are in it for the same reasons as each other.
- Make sure all involved are happy with the situation.
- Think not just about your emotions but the other person’s also.
- Have the confidence to make the right choices
- You are always in control
- Protect yourself by using a condom
Take from this page what you choose to take. In the end it’s your decision.
Grello M et al, ” No strings attached: the nature of casual sex in college students.” August 2006
Ramirez M. “Consequences of casual sex.” The Seattle Times, 11 December 2005
Wight D et al, “The Quality of Young People’s Heterosexual Relationships.” December 2008