I grew up around moral codes and conventions that abhorred the very idea of sex outside of marriage, that tried to condition me into believing that women who were sexually liberated were ‘used’ and ‘bad role models’. But despite this tired dichotomy that was constantly shoved down my throat by the media, friends and family, I was never one to follow the rules, a rebel by heart. I questioned stereotypes where women were passive ‘caregivers’, where women would have sex for a man’s enjoyment, were women shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage. As much as I respected the opinions of others, no-one has a right to define how a woman or a man should view sex, whether it’s casual or not. Growing up I was typecast as the ‘relationship girl’ who wouldn’t have one night stands, who wouldn’t casually date, who never experimented outside of relationships. But then something changed and a sexual renaissance flowered within me; I had one night stands, experimented sexually and spoke openly about my love of sex. I mentioned my high sex drive at length, encouraged others to try out sex toys and above all advocated for an active discussion on masturbation, oral sex and pleasuring ourselves with and without sexual partners. While my foray into casual dating was brief it did teach me three valuable lessons: casual sex taught me that I preferred relationships and would rather be with the ‘one’, it taught me to be more open to experimentation in the bedroom and above all made me feel desired, sensual and empowered. In fact I was glowing, a young woman who was enthralled by the adrenaline rush that sex evoked, the way it would transform the world around me into a rose-tinted, glistening paradise.
And paradise sex is; it gives you confidence, teaches you to be more open and honest with your body and above all teaches you to embrace your flaws, seeing yourself through the desire-led eyes of others. While casual dating and casual sex is something I have tried, it did show me that I preferred sex with a partner that I had an emotional connection and attachment with, but that does not take away from the enjoyment and fun I had during my ‘sexual awakening era’. I used sex toys like dildos and vibrators to pleasure myself, would feel empowered by the power I held during sex and found it useful as a time to help re-discover who I was both physically, emotionally and sexually.
And I am not the only one; according to the Metro we are a ‘nation of bed-hoppers’ who are ‘sleeping with more people than ever’ with changes in sexual attitudes towards women who have had multiple sexual partners being accounted to a more ‘laid back approach’ and philosophy to casual sex. For example in the 90’s women were reported as having an average of 3.7 sexual partners, whereas now we have an average of 7.7 partners, with a shift in attitudes towards one-night stands. British women and men are now more accepting of one-night stands that occur outside an exclusive relationship, but there is still a taboo around women who are open about casual dating, being labelled derogatory terms like ‘slut’, ‘whore’ and ‘easy’ simply because we choose to have sexual relations outside of marriage or a relationship. And yet men are called ‘legends’, ‘playboys’ and ‘studs’ for doing the same, so we still have a long way to go in regards to changing societal attitudes towards sexual attitudes. So without further ado, here are five reasons why there is nothing wrong with casual sex.
1.It Challenges The ‘Double Standard In Dating’ By Showing That Women Like Sex Just As Much As Men
WOMEN LIKE SEX JUST AS MUCH AS MEN. PERIOD. Let’s face it: when it comes to sex, there is nothing more empowering or sexy than feeling like you have the ‘reins’ and are in control, so why shouldn’t women be allowed to enjoy casual sex too? After all sex without restrictions, without emotional baggage can feel freeing in itself, allowing you to explore your sexual boundaries and awaken your sexual inhibitions. There are many reasons why women choose to have casual sex: for me after years of being in terrible relationships, I wanted to do something for me, living life a little more on the wild side and challenging sexual stereotypes along the way. I was never someone who was judgmental of others who had sex outside of relationships, but never saw the appeal of a one night stand, until I tried it out for myself. I felt sexy, desired and had a boost in self confidence, flummoxed by the attention and compliments I got from guys who wanted to sleep with me. I had always had a high sex drive, but passions were heightened during casual sex, swept along an orgasm wave, until I felt satisfied like a cat who had got the cream. For others, there reasons to casually date or have casual sex is due to ‘failed marriages’, ‘exploring their sex drive’ or being experimental in their sexual identity.
I remember a colleague that I worked with in her 40’s, a woman who after 15 years of marriage, was going through a messy divorce, and wanted to feel sexually liberated once more. In her marriage, she was lost, losing her sexual identity and prowess in a toxic relationship where they fought viciously, with passion and venom, turning herself away from the reports of the multiple women, her partner had cheated on her with. I asked her what the turning point was, what made her do the right thing and end the marriage, to which she replied ‘one day I woke up and everything felt wrong. I could no longer imagine myself living a life where I have to play second fiddle, where I have to lie next to a man who did not appreciate me for me, where I have to sacrifice my own sexual identity to please another’. And she was right, her decision to try hookup dating, to explore casual sex and have one night stands helped her re-discover her sex drive and realize that she was worth more than her husband had ever treated her like. She found the passion in her sex drive once more, and reveled in the fact that men from all ages desired her sexually. In fact she told me that she ‘felt like a goddess’.
Another colleague found that casual dating, helped her discover her sexuality. After years of being married to a man, she fell in love with an older woman, but was too scared to make a move, so she stayed with her husband, despite no longer being attracted to him. One day she realized that she could no longer be with someone who she did not love, and still in love with the older woman, she packed up her bags and left. She was scared of making a move on the woman she had been in love with all these years, so began exploring local gay bars, where she would meet up with women to have drinks and flirt a little. Later, she would have one night stands with women, which helped her build up her confidence and bolster some courage to be open with the woman who she was still in love with. And they are still together now: because of her decision to leave an unhappy marriage and experiment with her sexuality, it gave her the courage to pursue the woman who she loved, and who had loved her in return in secret.
Casual sex enables us women to challenge the supposed social order, defying a patriarchy that wants us to stay in unhappy marriages, that crushes our sexuality and determines how and when we should be having sex. Instead we are in the middle of a sexual revolution, having sex on our terms and showing that women like to have sex, and there is nothing wrong with it. Just like men we are horny, we get sexually frustrated and we have passionate dreams, so if the offer of sex on the table then why shouldn’t we pursue it?
2. Casual Dating Can Allow You To Experiment And Discover What You Would Want From A Relationship
Casual Dating can trigger a Sexual Renaissance, where we can experiment and discover what we want from a relationship. I call it the ‘pancake phase’; casual sex by definition is sexual relations without an emotional attachment, which can enable you to discover what you want from a relationship sexually , thus making it ‘practice sex’ so to speak. For example, with pancakes you can spend time perfecting ‘rough draft copies’ of the pancakes that you want to create, until you find the one that was made just for you, and it is the same with relationships. In my case after years in loveless relationships, I explored casual sex as an outlet to ‘find myself’ and see what I wanted from relationships, without being tied down to relationships. And it worked, it gave me a ‘template’ of what I wanted emotionally from a relationship- someone who loved me for me, who was loyal, who made me laugh’ as well as what I was attracted to physically in a guy- muscly, broad, athletic- which I gleaned from people who ‘were my type on paper’, who I had casual sex with, but didn’t go any further than that.
What I am trying to say is that this pancake phase, or rather these pancake relationships, gave me practice in the bedroom, with people who were similar to what I was looking for but wasn’t quite a match made in heaven. Later when I had found someone who I had an emotional connection with as well as an intense physical attraction, it made the sex so much more mind blowing, because I had learned from my pancake phase, exactly what I wanted from a future relationship.
3. Casual Sex Can Help You Feel Relaxed And Satisfied, If Both Parties Are On The Same Page
Of course casual dating or casual sex, is not always so sexually liberating, when you develop feelings for the other person and they still want to continue being ‘friends with benefits’, which is why it is so important to make sure that you are both on the same page, so that things don’t get messy. That is why when I casually dated or had sex, it would not be with people that I was already friends with or had an emotional attachment to, but rather someone who I found attractive but knew nothing about. While I don’t tend to have sex on a first date (although there has been exceptions to the rule), for some, using dating apps to find people to go on dates with and explore no-strings attached sex is very common and is nothing to be ashamed of. After all if you are both looking for sex and nothing else, then the sex will be uncomplicated, carefree and liberating. Casual sex can enable you to feel relaxed and satisfied, without the pressure of feeling like you need to ‘perform’ or please someone else, because chances are you are never going to see them again so you can be as rusty as you like.
In my case it has been a long time since I have had casual sex, mainly because it led me to having the desire to wanting the ‘next person’ who I had sex with to be someone I had a strong and emotional connection with, but it does not mean that I can’t tote the benefits of a casual sex scenario. The last person that I was intimate with was someone who I had/have an intense physical and emotional connection with, but am not in a relationship with, so while it is no longer defined as ‘casual sex’, the pancake sex with others beforehand had pointed me in the direction of a wonderful man, who I was attracted to physically, emotionally and sexually. With casual sex you can have a lot of fun, but ultimately the passion that you have in a relationship,translates into fun sexy time with someone that you might adore and cherish.
4.Casual Dating Can Help Us Feel Desired, Sensual And Empowered
There is nothing more empowering than feeling like you are in control and are in control of others, where sex can help us feel desired, sensual and sexual. When I have sex with someone, it always shows me when someone is ‘really into me’ if they find me attractive, at what I would see at my worst, wearing no make up, naked and messy hair, and it makes me feel empowered that I can feel beautiful, even when I am not ‘dressed up’. And it is the same during casual sex, we can feel in control when we are ‘riding others’ – pun intended- , we can feel empowered when someone calls us beautiful, and we can feel sensual when both parties are turned on by each other. Because here is the common misconception about casual dating, that you don’t need a ‘physical attraction’ to have sex with someone, when in reality I am not going to get turned on by someone who I don’t have an attraction to and vice-versa. I already stated in my case, that I am most empowered sexually by someone who I am ‘seeing’ or am in a relationship with, because I have always been a serial monogamist with the occasional delicious foray into casual sex. But for others who I have spoken to about casual sex, they said that they felt empowered because they didn’t need to perform, were in control and could have safe sex without consequences.
When I asked one friend how casual sex had helped her feel desired, she replied that she was never one for exclusivity, and preferred multiple sexual partners, because she would have a say over who she slept with. She went further to say that growing up she was always typecast as the ‘ugly duckling’, so casual sex not only empowered her to make her own sexual choices but also enabled her to embrace herself for who she was and not give a s**t about what other people thought about her.
5. Casual Dating Can Teach Us About Our Kinks And What We Like In The ‘Bedroom’
When it comes to sex I wouldn’t say that I am vanilla, and am quite adventurous in the bedroom, so having experienced casual sex and one night stands has taught me a lot about my kinks and what I desire in a sexual partner. It showed me what positions turn me on, whether I like to be dominant, submissive or a bit of both, and how I could pleasure myself without the need of a sexual partner. It taught me to treat sex as something that I should have a ‘say in’ , as well as being open and vocal about what turns me on with sexual partners, especially if it is the first time that you are having sex with that person. Of course when it comes to one night stands, chances are that the sex will be fairly vanilla, whereas in relationships or friends with benefits, because you know that person, you might be inspired to explore other sexual avenues with your sexual partner, such as ‘alternative kinks’. Whether that be bondage, fetish play or anything else, casual dating can show us what truly turns us on in the bedroom, and allow us to become better communicators.
In past relationships, I wasn’t always vocal about what I liked and didn’t like in the bedroom, but after my spell in casual dating, where I didn’t feel the need to please others, I learned to be more upfront about my kinks, chronicling my love of sex toys, doggy style and dress up. While I am not into hardcore BDSM, for some casual dating allows people to be more adventurous and try new things, discovering new fetishes and kinks that they can share with future partners, pancake relationships and one-night-standers.
What Are Your Thoughts On Casual Sex?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own.
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