STDs, of course, can be a big concern, but even then, there are ways to make your casual encounters more safe and, therefore, less potentially harmful. First, it’s great to be open about your STDs (or not) before you get down to business. Otherwise, STD-positive partners will be less likely to take precautions. Next, if you know you’re STD-positive, it’s important to make plans in advance. Keeping everything formal helps keep sex from turning messy and out of hand. Think “meet up in this public place and find a private place to make out,” explains Gloria Steinem in the book Reclaiming Sex: The Myth and the Music. Finally, STD testing and birth control are also important safety measures for those who engage in casual sex.
Now, however, we’re living in a very different time. Masturbation is more commonplace than you think, and there’s much less judgment about casual sex and casual sex with multiple partners. The issue with the hookup culture is not the idea of casual sex itself (which is healthy) but rather how it’s now being promoted, and the type of negative assumptions the casual sex ethic is based on.
It’s easy to use dating apps to not only go on dates, but also have random sex. “It’s become about who you can connect with,” says San Francisco-based sex educator Tristan Taormino. “That’s not always a good thing.” Tinder, for example, recommends connecting with people you have something in common with. “So it’s nice if you can find someone who has the same values and wants to go out as you do,” she says.
But we never have to leave our values at the door, and now, more than ever, they have a sexual component. Sex is an emotional experience, and as we move into our 30s, finding our true selves is what can lead to being “hookup free.” Only by becoming our authentic selves — as comfortable with sex, love, pleasure, bodies, and relationships — can we drop the monogamy, and see casual sex as a way of life.
Taking off your work clothes and stepping into someone else’s allows you to explore your desires without the oppression that comes from a lifelong contract. “What happens after one sexual encounter can be way different than what happens after 25 sexual encounters,” says hookup expert Helen Fisher in a 2011 New York Magazine piece. “And after 25 sexual encounters, suddenly you find out more about yourself, and you
Here are some ways in which casual sex can be good for you and can lead to healthy, happy relationships.
If you regularly have one-night stands, you’re probably curious as to how someone you’re meeting for the first time is going to act.
Have sex with strangers now it may save your dating life: pic.twitter.com/Q9dKhLj6qM
The Wolf, a 44-year-old father-of-two, spent more than a year establishing online contact with an undercover police officer. Then last October, when the men happened to meet in the real world, the Wolf’s world “exploded,” as he put it. He says he met the policewoman on Happn, a smartphone dating app that matches people based on their social media profiles. She, in turn, met the Wolf on Meetic, another app. “We met one another and I looked at the woman’s profile and I actually agreed to meet this person,” he said.
The two men met at a café, where, posing as the daughter of a well-known television personality, the policewoman kissed the Wolf. “She’s almost as tall as my daughter, so it was a big shock,” he said. The Wolf, who wanted to remain anonymous, knew he was in trouble when he saw the policewoman’s Porsche. “It was just for a fast ride, then I had to stop. My wife drives a used BMW. It’s not the same thing.”
While he says his wife may be able to forgive him, he thinks his 15-year-old daughter won’t ever forgive him.
He says he initially felt guilty for his initial contact with the undercover officer, but then told himself that it was an act of love. “I think I fell in love with her. I felt like she was kind of my Cinderella,” he said. “She turned out to be a good girl. She wasn’t going to sleep with men in broad daylight.”
He says he told himself that if he was being recorded, then he wasn’t being recorded in the “more intimate” aspects of the relationship. But he says he also asked himself if the girl was underaged, and decided it didn’t matter anyway.