Love and Sex in the Digital Age. I got the same basic response that I get whenever I speak or write about that site, or about sexual infidelity in general: When I speak and write about casual sex among single people, I get a similar reaction. Meanwhile, others think the current digital hookup culture is a great way to be sexually active while single, and maybe even a good way to meet someone who might become a longer-term partner.
In the research that does exist, the primary focus is generally limited to the question: Only rarely do these studies account for other possible causes of diminished psychological wellbeing.
For instance, a test subject might be depressed because he or she just lost a great job, not because he or she is having casual sex and feels badly about that. Similarly, pre-existing depression and self-esteem issues perhaps the result of early-life abuse or neglect might cause a person to engage in casual sex in an effort to feel wanted and desired, if only for a few moments.
For that individual, is casual sex the cause or the result of depression and diminished self-esteem? Of the studies that look specifically at the relationship between casual sexual activity and psychological wellbeing, most hypothesize a negative correlation—as casual sex increases, psychological wellbeing decreases.
None of the four studies found a significant difference between males and females. Nevertheless, the findings of each study were consistent by gender. Except for one thing: Research on the psychological effects of casual sexual encounters is in its infancy, and scientists are just beginning to scratch the surface. Nevertheless, people do have opinions on the topic, and here is mine based on existing research along with more than two decades working as a psychotherapist with a specialization in sex and intimacy issues:.
That said, you may face related issues like STDs, unwanted pregnancy, partners who see your relationship as more than just casual, etc. And you should understand that these related factors could adversely affect your psychological wellbeing even if the sex itself does not. In young adulthood, for instance, casual sex tends to be more common and more easily accepted than later in life, especially if one gets married and starts a family. What feels right at 20 may feel wrong at For some people, it is probably fine, and for others it is probably not.
Each person is an individual, with a unique life history and emotional makeup, so each person is likely to respond differently to casual sexual behavior. If you find that you are questioning your sexual behavior or lack thereof , perhaps the best guide is your own conscience. If you feel comfortable with your sexual life and your sexual behavior is not harming yourself or anyone else, then your sex life is probably not going to cause you to feel depressed, deeply anxious, or otherwise troubled, and you can stop worrying.
He is author of Cruise Control: Sex Addiction in the Digital Age. For more information you can visit his website, www. If you like casual sex Never give your friends, family and neighbors an opportunity to shame you, guilt you or play with your head. I was faithfully married. I worked for many. Hospitality companied and never.
At offers to do so. But for two yrs s man who easalways happy laughing smiling old world charm who never. Meant a syranget who took interedt in making everyone feel noticed. Would give me roses, candy,hugs,notes then one night he grabbef me and kissedmr a long passionate kiss that took my bteath away. Both married to goof people, we have been torn over.
It cosy mr my job and friends eho judged m e, who wete as shockef as i was. We try to keep it friendship level but he cannot resist. Kissing mr holding my hand dmelling my hair whrn he lookd zt me he had this sincete look of love. And has daif hr loves. Thid had been hard. Witj him i amhappy spending time together. As friends when not with him feel guilty torn. After living in a sexless marriage for eons I thank God I had all the casual sex I had when I was younger!
Little did I know my sex life peaked at 23! A fulfilled life has little to do with the number of sexual encounters. I actually believe it is negatively correlated with an arrested sense of life satisfaction. Have you actually looked at the profiles on Ashley Maddison? It's almost exclusively young women seeking a financial arrangement with older men , I. If a long term arrangement like that is called prostitution, then so are a lot of marriages. Even if a married couple has fallen out of love it's still a binding legal financial arrangement.
Two major advancements have come to pass over the recent 36 months in the field of sexology. A Human females want short term, commitment free sex just as much, or perhaps more then, males.
Because it feels good. B Females grow tired of their spouses sooner then males grow tired of their spouses. Thus disproving the notion that females are naturally inclined for monogamy. The article does not mention these two earthshaking lessons.
I would have killed to of seen these major advancements at least mentioned! Pro-family and pro-marriage research groups get an inordinate amount of money to further their cause. Almost every study that is performed regarding sex will find that women should be doing everything they can to have monogamous relationships that lead to marriage. Of course, most women who function in the real world know otherwise.
Consider re-assessing your statement. I'm a female in my 30's and I choose not to engage in casual sex relationships for many reasons. Being someone who just wants to use me for sex leaves me feeling empty and lonely.
I'd rather be with someone who cares about me and wants to be with me, someone who wants to get to know me and share things in life together. Sex is a beautiful, necessary part of life but it feels amazing to share it with someone you can trust, care for and build a relationship with.
Casual sex is a waste of my time. I'd rather be a bit lonely on my own than be with someone who just wants to use me and move on. A casual hookup isn't necessarily only about sex. Just like you can have an enjoyable and rewarding conversation with someone you haven't built a long term relationship with.
Sometimes a casual hookup can have several rewarding aspects, and sex is only one of them. Everything on this planet is open to interpretation. Movies, music, food, art, entertainment, etc. Everyone will always have different opinions. It all comes down to individual personal experience. You are free to feel and think as you please, as am I. In my own personal past experience, I found absolutely nothing rewarding about casual sex.
If I have the option between casual sex with multiple partners or a meaningful relationship with one person, I'd choose to be in a relationship with someone I care about and can share my life with.
That doesn't make me right or wrong, it's just my preference. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It really seems like a waste of time for you to reply to someone's comment by stating the obvious. I literally said in my comment that it depends on the individual. You might as well have said fire is hot and water is wet. No need to state the obvious. For most women in American culture, admitting to active casual sex is still an admission of "gateway behavior" to a life of prostitution. The percentage disparity either means that young men tend to brag about their exploits true , or women tend to hold their cards close to avoid being shamed true.
Well for this woman at 40, I'm loving casual sex for the first time in my life. I was far more reticent to engage in it when younger when I felt I had a reputation to protect, greater fears surrounding pregnancy, and still harboring my parents more conservative views. Now I'm post-divorce, and more myself than ever. Casual sex is fun, freeing, and really something I'm kind of annoyed I missed out on for many years not just because of the sex, but the whole concept of loving so freely, being so myself, just having fun.
Also, I think it's easier to do it older. I know some men particularly those interested in relationship have tried to shame me about it. But at this stage in life I really don't care and know this says more about them than me. A young woman runs more risk to her reputation I think. Seems there might be room for more research surrounding women's age and changing views on sexuality. I think the results might be surprising to the status quo.
I feel that way now. In my early 20's, I felt that I was supposed to be in a serious, monogamous relationship and have kids with my husband and be happy with it. By my mid 20's, with a school aged child and an almost sexless marriage, I realized that I didn't want to be in a monogamous relationship anymore.
But I also wouldn't cheat on my husband. It wasn't long before he confessed the same feelings. We are now in an open, polyamorous marriage where we have a few casual partners occasionally, my husband has a boyfriend and we have a mutual boyfriend.
I think a lot of what changed was growing further away from the beliefs I grew up with, the beliefs that were more my mother's than my own.
Julie, My experience matches yours exactly. I think when people are young and fertile, hoping to have a family, committed, monogamous sex is more important to them. As we get older and pregnancy really isn't on the table, casual sex becomes more appealing and infidelity becomes less of a big deal.
I'm a woman, nearly 50, recently dumped by my husband after 25 years of considering him my soul mate. Now I have a few male friends-with-benefits, and I'm happier than I've ever been. We enjoy each others' company, including great sex, without all the demands and negativity of a full-on relationship. I've observed this in men as well -- as they and their wives get older, they often become less jealous and possessive, more interested in opening up their relationships.
I'm a female, age Have been married twice, 8 years each, and have intentionally remained single for the past 25 years. I've had so many delightful casual partners, some one-timers, some on a regular basis. Considering that I protect myself from the physical dangers, I can't even comprehend why it would be bad for me.
I'm happy to have been young and single during the "sexual revolution" of the s and 70s, when casual sex was fun and acceptable for most.
Do you really think people will engage or not engage in casual sex based on surveys about how other people feel about it? Sounds like a lot of insecure people who want others to tell them what to do. I am not a prude. I had my share of casual sex when I was young and wild. I realized that it's no different than going to the bathroom -- satisfies a need but not emotionally fulfilling.
Or, it''s like eating too much junk food, no nutritional value. The only people i know that have benefited from casual sex are the ones missing something inside. I decided I wanted better than that. I want better than that for my kids, too.
You know, there's a very simple, concrete explanation, for the difference in the proportions of men and women in the same population who report having had casual sexual encounters, even aside from men and women defining them differently, which is: Women who engage in casual sex can do so with more partners, more easily than men can. Imagine a population of people, men and women. Of these, 14 men and 7 women are interested in and engage regularly in casual sex.
Say, they all know each other, and they throw a big party every weekend. And at that party, maybe some of the women hooked up with several men each. Some of the men hooked up with other men. Some women hooked up with women too! At least half of all problems associated with casual sex can be traced back to its name: People think that "casual" means the sex takes no thought and fits as comfortably as sweatpants.
But the truth is, you have to date for years before sex gets like that. Monogamy does have a few benefits, after all! Here are ten steps to getting recreational sex right: Be Nice Just because you're never going to see someone again doesn't mean that your manners should fly out the window.
Don't Worry So Much About Inner Beauty One of the best things about casual sex is that you can forget all about soul-mates and long-term compatibility and just focus on a pure, chemical connection: You can sleep with someone just because you like their accent, for example. Or you can sleep with someone who is far too young -- or too old -- for you. And you can enjoy a guilt-free rendezvous with someone who has a surplus of outer beauty but is somewhat lacking in other departments.
Be Honest Just because you're doing away with guilt, doesn't mean you should do away with honesty, too. Don't ever lie about your intentions to get someone into bed.
Man up -- or woman up -- and admit you're just looking for a roll in the hay. And never give a fake number or ask for a number you have no intention of calling. Be a Decent Host Or At Least a Polite Guest We don't care how casual the hookup, it's just plain rude to kick someone to the curb at 5 a.
Let them sleep over. That said, be aware that snuggling for more than 15 minutes may send a mixed message -- but that said, don't be confused if your one-night stand wants to spoon all night. Some people like a little casual intimacy on the side.
And be sure to leave a cheery note; phone number not required.... I just wanted to share this piece with you written by my favorite Rabbi, http: When I ask them how they make it work, they explain that they respect each other as people and also respect the relationship for what it is. You are free to feel and think as you please, as am I. A lover begins to feel used. Submitted by Danny on June 27, - 5: Everyone should be able to express their opinions freely.