You might think that having sex just for sex’s sake is always a personal choice. But there are other factors that make us choose casual sex, and different outcomes of that experience vary depending on our gender. Biologically, casual sex is the great un-equalizer between men and women. Women notoriously face higher rates of depression and lower self-esteem when having recreational sex. However, men who have at least one hookup or more, experience lower depression rates and higher self-esteem.
Recent researchers have gone even further into finding why men and women choose to hook-up. Zhana Vrangalova, Ph. D from Cornell University surveyed 528 Cornell undergraduates at the start and end of their academic year, and gathered data on their mental and physical health, number of sex buddies, demographic factors, and motivations for having casual sex.
Her research found that when hook-ups are self-directed and reflect a person’s values, there was no correlation between engaging in casual sex and negative health consequences. In other words, when the decision to have sex was driven entirely by a person’s own desire, without outside forces influencing their decision, there were no negative consequences. However, when the reason for having sex was driven by outside influences, like pleasing a partner, researchers found that people faced higher depression rates and anxiety, lower self esteem, and even encountered more physical health problems compared to those who did not participate in casual sex.
It comes down to this question: Are you having sex because you want to, or because you are seeking rewards and avoiding punishment? The answer to that question could mean your physical and mental health. Here is a checklist to assess if you are having sex for the right reasons:
The right reasons to have casual sex:
– Wanting to have fun and enjoy the moment
– Feeling it is an experience needed to learn more about your sexuality
– Believing it is a crucial experience one must have in their life
The wrong reasons to have casual sex:
– Needing to please someone else
– Hoping that it could possibly lead to a long-term relationship
– Doing it to make a person feel better about themselves
When it comes to hooking up, trust yourself and be sure that you are making a self-directed decision. Never do it to please your partner, or because you think it’s what everyone else is doing. Lastly, take care of that sexy body, and use protection!
Want to know more about how Casual Sex is affecting today’s dating game?
Check out my video, Is the Sexual Double Standard Gone?