I don’t know who lied to y’all, but sex ain’t always better with someone you love.
Have you ever tried keeping it casual?
Truth be told, casual sex doesn’t deserve the bad rep that it gets; it bears the brunt of risks associated with all sexual encounters, especially for young women.
Let’s call the criticism what it is: a byproduct of slut-shaming. If everyone involved is being safe and not harming anyone, then what’s the problem?
If you’re reading this, I implore you to suspend whatever negative feelings you have about casual sex (be they societal, religious, spiritual ‘soul ties’, etc.), and hear me out:
Casual sex can be gratifying, too.
But before we get into *why*, understand that the definition of casual sex is subjective; there’s no universal definition. It can be defined as:
- A one-night stand
- Sex without monogamy/commitment
- Sex without intention to marry
- Sex without intention to reproduce
(i.e. you could have ‘casual sex’ with your boyfriend/girlfriend or that person you met at the bar one night.)
Another thing that’s important to understand is that casual sex ≠ meaningless sex. The way I see it, casual sex is more of a fun experience between people who don’t take it too seriously.
If sex is synonymous with intense emotional connection for you, then navigating casual sex may be difficult. But I challenge you to dissociate sex from romance, before you decide if it works, because the two are not mutually exclusive.
Does romance and intimacy often include sex? Yes. Can we have satisfying sexual experiences without romance and intimacy? Absolutely.
Though keeping it casual isn’t limited to sex in our 20 somethings, I believe that it’s a great time to participate. As we’re first entering adulthood, we’ll learn what we like sexually, what we don’t, and explore things and styles that we may not in a more serious relationship.
But, in order for us to become a pro at navigating casual sex, then we need to know how to do a few things:
READ THE ROOM
Hate to say it, but people rarely discuss this sh*t. Most casual hookups don’t start out with a conversation about where they see this going and what the expectations are.
Everything can get vague and It’s rare that the person will be explicit with you, so it’s best to observe and figure it out on your own. If you’re dealing with a friend/mutual/acquaintance, it’s important to use discernment in tough situations like:
- Should I stay over after sex?
- What role should I play at their birthday party or other special events?
- How is our relationship affected if we end things sexually?
Point is, never ask for nor expect long, emotional conversations or specifics in a casual situation. This isn’t to deter us from being direct and honest, but to warn you of what a casual sex partnership requires.
DON’T BE A D*CK
Let me be VERY clear: the absence of romance and commitment during sex isn’t a license to be rude.
Don’t kick a person out without knowing how they’ll get to their destination. Make your space inviting (that means having more than one pillow or towel *wink*). Don’t avoid them in public. Be respectful. Don’t be mean. You know, have some manners.
Showing some decorum and decency goes a long way in any situation, especially with a casual sex partner.
It costs us nothing to be kind. You never know: this partner could be your next opportunity plug (or property destroyer), depending how you play your cards.
KEEP IT LIGHT
This is not the person you tell your deepest darkest secrets or private thoughts. This is not the time to discuss how you hate your mother’s new man or your father’s abrupt move to Bali. This is where small talk THRIVES.
“What do you do?” “Where are you from?” “Did you read this book/see this movie?” These are the types of questions and conversations for your casual sex partner.
Invite them over, roll one, pour some wine, and tell them a little too much about the art you like or the Youtube rabbit hole you went down earlier.
This goes for activities, too. Don’t suggest hang outs that can be easily misconstrued as a date—dine-in meals, museums, movies, and the like.
Avoid getting deep. Don’t make it weird. Don’t be boring, but keep it easy-going.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
As I said before, casual sex may not be a great option for some, and a huge part of that is being honest about our feelings.
Ask yourself: do I really want to keep things casual with this person, or do I want it to become something more?
We must check ourselves and our expectations. If our partner only wants casual sex (or we do but they want something more), then it’s best that we distance ourselves.
If we practice these four things, then casual sex can be so rewarding and fun. So, the next time someone tries to shame you for having casual sex, remember that people can only shame you if you feel ashamed.
There is nothing shameful about owning our sexuality and taking pleasure into our own hands through safe, consensual casual sex.
Written by: B.Sierra