In 2017, new research that popped up in a British medical journal claimed that casual sex may very well be good for your health in the long run — if you’re a man. What’s more, the report concluded that women who have casual sex are less likely to contract HIV or HIV-related cancers. But is it worth it? To explore this argument, we’ve broken down the science of why and how casual sex — and the people who partake in it — are in fact, a hot couple.
According to conventional thinking, women who have casual sex are more promiscuous, and therefore more likely to get something they do not want. But that’s just not true. So long as a woman is not pressured into having sex just because of other people’s expectations, then by all means go have a little romp on your own terms. “It’s a bit of a myth that women, because they are more socialized to be not promiscuous, are less likely to have casual sex,” says Wendy Blair, professor of population health at the University of Toronto. A woman’s social circumstances are no barrier to casual sex, she adds. “Women from all social circumstances are at a similar risk,” she says.
Although casual sex has been around longer than our traditional definition of love, the reality is that casual sex in modern culture is very common, very often kept out of the spotlight, and often feels like it’s not “allowed” for women. But the reasons women choose to have casual sex are surprisingly varied, and often very normal.
Sometimes women just like feeling sexually desired, even if it’s just for an hour or a week.
Like the dating app Tinder, hookup apps are made for meeting people. That’s why they’re great at sparking flings with strangers. These apps are also often more private than apps like Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, making them ideal for adults to meet people for casual sex. But if you’re interested in casual sex, rather than in a relationship, it might be best to go meet people in person first. That way, you can actually check each other out, and see who you truly connect with.
But there are also times when hookups are incredibly convenient. Maybe you’re on an adventure with friends, or you just want to get fucked up and get some booze in you before bed. The possibilities are nearly endless, as are the decisions you must make as an adult.
Since the apps are for instant gratification, there are no second thoughts or conversations to dread
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Whether that can be traced back to our patriarchal society, or the commercials in young girls’ bedrooms spurring them toward sexual activity, it’s not hard to find instances where casual sex has been frowned on. And there’s plenty of research that suggests it can be negative. Here are seven facts and statistics behind the casual sex debate. 1. Casual sex can lead to birth control failure There’s this theory floating around that sexual experience leads to trust and love, which leads to babies and marriage. The reality, however, is just the opposite. Despite there being similar levels of trust for couples who experience casual sex, birth control usage is low among long-term couples who have had non-condom-protected sex, according to a 2015 study. And while the most sexually active women will get pregnant more often (and there are practical and emotional reasons for that), those women who do get pregnant have fewer pregnancies if they use birth control, according to another study in the International Journal of Epidemiology. While the numbers may vary based on demographics and location, the basic idea still stands: casual sex decreases the chances of “event-driven” sex, which means waiting until marriage to have sex. 2. Casual sex can raise STDs One of the biggest downsides to a “hookup culture” is that casual sex leaves many at risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The most basic problem here is that being in a casual relationship can lead to reoccurring exposure, says Langston James Gillette, Ph.D., the senior scientific director of the Wellstages sex-ED programs at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Johns Hopkins. Roughly one in five U.S. adults has an STD, which is a “striking” amount, Gillette says, especially considering the prevalence of sexual activity among teenagers (and young adults). When sex isn’t confined to a committed relationship, that isn’t even a prerequisite anymore. “Virtually everyone has had casual sex so we know there’s this risk,” Gillette says. 3. Casual sex can lead to isolation “The whole notion of casual sex is that you’re in a monogamous relationship, and that can be hard,” says Dr. Robin Connette, a practicing psychologist in Nova Scotia, Canada. There can be sex without love, without emotional connection, and without a commitment to be exclusive with one another. Casual sex has the potential to throw you into long-term relationships with people you may not be connecting emotionally with in other ways. Because