There’s no denying that casual sex has been given a bad rap. I speak from experience, when I say this is especially true if you’re a woman. If you’re a woman having and enjoying casual sex, it must mean that there’s something wrong with you or that you’re overcompensating for some serious emotional issues, because how is it possible that a woman is a sexual being, who needs and wants sex, just for the sake of pleasure?! (I really hope you’re sensing my sarcasm here)
It’s not just women who are subject to this kind of criticism – guys bear the brunt of it too. The truth is, not everyone wants a long term relationship or monogamy. If you’re having casual sex in a safe and ethical way (i.e. treating your partners with respect) – why should anyone else care?! If you’re tired of feeling shamed about your sex life and having to defend your life choices to people, there’s some good news thanks to our friend named SCIENCE.
A recent study from New York University published earlier this month, has dispelled the popular misconception that casual sex can leave participants with low self-esteem and self-worth following an encounter with someone who is not their long-term partner.
Researchers asked a group of students to keep a weekly diary for 12 weeks so that they could record how they felt after they had casual sex. The results were very surprising.
According to the researchers ‘When it came to those who were sociosexually unrestricted, having casual sex was associated with higher self-esteem and life satisfaction and lower depression and anxiety.’
To be “sociosexually unrestricted” basically means that you are OK with having sex outside of a long-term, committed relationship. Individuals who have a more unrestricted sociosexual orientation are more willing to have casual sex and are more comfortable engaging in sex without love, commitment or closeness.
‘Typically, sociosexually unrestricted individuals reported lower distress and higher thriving following casual sex, suggesting that high sociosexuality may both buffer against any potentially harmful consequences of casual sex and allow access to its potential benefits.’
The really cool thing about this study: there were no notable gender differences. Men and Women reported that they enjoyed casual sex equally.
So, the message is simple: If you feel good about yourself and approach casual sex in a healthy, ethical way, it can actually be good for you. Makes perfect sense right?