How Common Are Casual Relationships

This white-knuckle view of casual sex is an old one, and one that’s built on a mistaken sense of moral authority from church leaders who lived over a century ago. To the church, casual sex was akin to any other kind of sex outside of marriage. Both were sinful and led down a slippery slope into deeper and darker sins. However, as vice president of the NOW, Anne-Marie Slaughter points out in a 2009 article in the Atlantic, “Today the timing is almost perfect for an open discussion of the state of casual sex, and that’s because a great deal is actually going on right now in terms of its slow rise in popularity and high-mindedness among youth as well as adults.” The reasons for this shift are probably as simple as technology and a general shift toward a more modern perspective on sexuality. “We’re in an age where casual sex is something to be proud of,” says Durex Group CEO Nigel Hunt. If you haven’t heard, the scientific community is now in line with the idea that casual sex can be good for you in ways that more serious sexual relationships cannot. “Vast research shows that casual sex often brings people into contact with people they would not otherwise meet,” Durex write in a 2014 report on casual sex and young adults. “It also frequently leads to intimacy, which then can form the basis for more emotionally committed relations. Casual sex is therefore often argued to be a necessary step on the path towards marriage.” And why shouldn’t it? One of the problems of casual sex is that too often it’s casually done. It’s probably no surprise that sex at the office is wildly misunderstood. Sure, it happens a lot more than you might think, but in today’s busy, breakneck work environment where there’s not a lot of personal time to be had, it can be difficult to make sure that a sexual encounter is actually a good thing. Some companies are making strides to ensure that their employees can actually be honest about the relationships they have at work. Facebook’s VP of social operating Mike Fisher made news earlier this year when he testified before Congress that all employees at the social media company used Facebook to find hookups and bring people into their private lives. “I’ve done it many times,” he admitted. Sex work culture is an open secret in the world of escorting. From every source one can gather that the word is out — hookup culture has become somewhat of a way of life. This has many escorts trying to strike a balance between building
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If your first thought was no, you’re probably pretty messed up. Hitting on someone who isn’t into it isn’t actually bad, says David Ley, M.D., author of The Myth of Sex Addiction. “That says you’re sort of seeking out sexual activity outside the emotional commitment.” But once you’re a couple, this sort of hookup has the potential to create a bad relationship dynamic. Performing yourself for your partner without their consent (or at least their honest consent) is in fact extremely disrespectful. And this includes refusing to communicate your needs, wants, and boundaries — or just looking for sex when they say no. Sex in a relationship can be tricky, and experiencing an outside hookup can definitely make the relationship feel like one weird case of blind leading the blind. The bottom line is that you and your partner need to work together to create sexual boundaries and agree on what those are before you fuck. For example, “If you’re shy about having sex, then you need to do things that make you comfortable,” says Marci Bowers, director of the Washington State University Institute for Sexuality. “But I also tell couples all the time, ‘I hope you’re going to have sex this year, because sex can happen anywhere.’ If you can make that happen, that’s great. If you’re both comfortable, that’s great. If you’re not, that’s fine too.” What does casual dating mean? In some circles, “casual dating” just means getting jiggy with a stranger and not the significant other from your life. So, like, if you’re in a long-term relationship, then casual can refer to the platonic encounter with someone you’ve just met online or that you’ve met at a bar. In other words, it’s a totally normal part of life that doesn’t need to require labels. Want to be a more adventurous lover? Start slow, slow, slow. If you really just want to watch TV with your partner, get a dvd player and then take the next step. Or you could try and meet up with a friend or partner that you’re already cool with to help you through it. That way, you can all keep the focus on the sex — or let your brains wander while having sexy time (a term dating apps invented). Are you still single? Casual hooking ups are easy to have in the right environment. But the truth is that this can be difficult, and thus why so many people are

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