Nowadays, casual sex is a common occurrence among young people. After all, we live in a world where most of us no longer tend to share the bed with just one partner after getting married. And with an abundance of dating apps at our disposal that bring an entire world of possible hookups literally into the palm of our hands, it’s no surprise that young people engage more and more in casual encounters.
Although casual sex may seem ‘’normal’’ to the younger generation, it’s not a surprise that, at first, the elderly people among us were having trouble with accepting this type of lifestyle. More and more people started to question whether the so-called hookup culture we’re living in today was a sign of a society in decline. Nowadays, however, even the elderly generation seems to become more accepting of this cultural and behavioral change. The real question that remains, however, is whether it’s good or bad for you to have an occasional casual hookup.
Whether it’s casual or with your partner, we all know that an active sex life is good for your health. In fact, it’s even advised to have a certain number of orgasms every month to keep both your mind and body healthy. So, sex is good for you. But does it make a difference whether this sex is done with a partner or just a casual hookup?
The truth is, there has been an abundance of research performed on this topic. The earliest studies were mainly aimed at undergraduate students, and the hypothesis of this research was that young people who engage in regular casual sex suffer from lower self-esteem than those who don’t. The actual results of this first study were, however, all over the place and did not leave us with any clear answers.
After analyzing the results of the first study, it became clear that most of the participants who commonly engaged in casual sex exhibit no psychological difference from those who have a serious partner. As a result, it was stated that young people who engage in casual hook-ups do not suffer a greater risk for harmful psychological outcomes than sexually active youngsters who have a committed relationship. So, this means that there’s nothing to fear; right? Well, not really!
A very similar study found in the Journal of Sex Research also examined young adults who have casual sex. The outcomes of this study, however, were not as positive as the previously conducted study. In fact, this study found negative associations between casual sex and psychological wellbeing among college students who participated in the study. At the same time, there was a positive correlation found between casual sex and psychological distress. It has to be stated, however, that the reason why people engage in casual sex plays an important role in whether the act itself has a negative correlation to one’s psychological wellbeing.
Generally speaking, there are two main motivators for a casual encounter. First, there are autonomous behaviors for the reason of being attracted to somebody or for wanting to experiment and explore your body sexually. Second, there are non-autonomous reasons which include being drunk or doing it to get revenge at an ex. It goes without saying that, of these two reasons, it are the non-autonomous reasons for casual sex that often lead to psychological distress whereas having casual sex for autonomous reasons mainly leaves a person mentally unchanged.
So, after analyzing all this information, can we safely state whether casual sex is good or bad for us? Well, the truth is that it depends and the answer to this question is highly personal. It mainly depends on whether you’re having casual sex just for fun or for some other, deeper laying emotional, reasons. If you’re doing it for the wrong (non-autonomous) reasons, casual sex certainly can leave a negative mark on you psychologically. When engaging in casual sex with a healthy frame of mind, however, it truly can be a valuable and fun experience!