Sex and Casual Dating
We’re not saying that people should never date anyone they meet at a party, concert, or other social setting. But hooking up with a stranger in a bar, on a Couchsurfing couch, or on a dance floor is like going to the movies: It’s a great way to watch a movie you like in the comfort of your living room. For one, the presence of alcohol is a great way to bond with someone you don’t actually know.
Dating apps have everything to do with casual sex. They make it easy. They make it possible. They make us wonder whether a person who’s not in our team is really that bad and we should throw out the rulebook to make it otherwise.
I remember when I was single. I used to just have sex with whoever I wanted. I didn’t want to waste time on a couple of dates if I didn’t want to end up with him. I never let anyone get too close. I was always in and out. But then I met my current boyfriend. I knew I would never forget him. He’s made me give up sex and go on dates with him. I see a lot of myths about casual dating. And I want to clear them.
After being on casual sex websites for a while, it became clear that most people really had no idea what casual sex was. But also, unlike most of the information we get on most websites, online information is truly free and doesn’t have to be sold by businesses and do advertising to make money — so there is a lot of information to be had on casual sex websites, if you’re willing to put in the time to read it.
I am really grateful to have reached the age where I am not a slave to my hormones. Because the truth is, I did have some dating disasters in my college days, where I’d be offered a date with a guy and at least 50 per cent of the time would turn it down, because despite being into him, I didn’t want to hook up, be married, be having a kid. I didn’t want to put myself in that position. I was still that person who’d make an excuse to back out because I didn’t want to get emotionally involved. But now, I would make an excuse to back out if I wanted to. And I would tell myself, no, I don’t have to, because I’m at least
The blue pill
With its insatiable appetite for hooking up, the ancient Greeks had it right when they said “partnership is a beautiful thing.” But as much as sex feels like it’s in the open air, it’s actually being conducted under serious pressure. A 2012 British study found that 76 percent of married people say they and their spouse have slept with another person. In the U.S., a poll out last year found that 54 percent of men and 41 percent of women have had sex with another person in the past year.
But for those who resist the pressure and work to exercise their personal judgment and boundaries, being a good casual sex partner means taking on the responsibility for your sexuality. First, that means cleaning up your sexual self-image, says Judith Stacey. This is a challenge in and of itself. Stacey is a sex therapist and CEO of Good Vibrations, a sex toy retailer. She says that we see sex through a distorted lens, shaped more by how it’s portrayed in the media than our own personal experience.
The assumption, Stacey says, is that when you have sex, you’re just making yourself miserable. You’re not enjoying yourself. You’re not having a good time. “Or else why would we be having sex in the first place?” she says. It’s easy to take this assumption of a negative mindset when we’re the one having sex, she says, but even when we’re the one being rejected, it can still affect how we feel.
“If you are in the right relationship where you feel good about your looks, and you get self-esteem from that, then sex becomes fun,” Stacey says. “It doesn’t have to be perfect — that perfection is not expected of anybody in the context of a good sexual relationship.”
She says that we see sex through a distorted lens.
“If you’re attracted to someone, you have a sexual energy,” Stacey says. “And if you’re attracted to someone, then you want to have sex with them.” As such, it’s more of an innate drive than an emotional response. And she says that the reason why our society sees a rift between passion and sex is because we sexualize intimacy too much.
“Intimacy isn’t just about the physical act, it’s about emotional and sexual chemistry,” Stacey says. But it can be difficult to really let someone in because we haven’t quite figured out what intimacy means. “We sexualize it. We think