But casual sex can be bad for other reasons. “Just about any kind of sex is associated with risks of harms including physical, emotional, and financial,” says Harvard Health psychologist Nicole Prause. “Sex that is coerced, unprotected, without serious consideration for safety, is not OK.”
People often assume their sex life is exciting and safe, says Israeli researcher Rabbi Serena Coen. But this “is not the case,” Coen says. Sexuality, while still a basic drive and desire, has become more complicated. Studies have shown that women are less satisfied with sex compared to men, even though they want to have more of it. In an effort to reproduce, we spend more time and energy on being perfect. It’s become a lot about improvement. And even though sex isn’t supposed to be fun, we’re tasked with doing what we’re good at — so it’s bound to be fun in a certain way.
But a proper sex life is paramount — if not for yourself, then for your relationship. You should be giving your partner the sexual pleasure that’s just right for them, and “maybe they can set the pace” instead of having to worry about you coming too soon.
“Having sex or making love within the confines of marriage or a committed relationship is ideally the way to really connect with your partner,” says Sarah Blodgett, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist. “When sex happens outside of these [other] contexts, there can be disconnect with a partner.”
Where casual sex is concerned, the stakes are lower, and while dating apps may offer you a little bit of a pick-up, the pressure is generally on you to play it safe. Take advantage of your first few dates and make sure you’re not in a relationship already, because it’s easy to get caught in the love fog.
“Someone should always remember that sex is never without a cost,” says Gail Saltz, M.D., a gynecologist and past president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Someone who is being casual may be looking for a one-night stand with the expectation that they’ll never see this person again — and that’s fine, or it can be, if you use some advance planning. Coen says that the more recent arrival in the hookup scene is trying to take their lovemaking to a new level. “Because of instant and easy access, people do it with less effort and care,” she says.
Sex on Casual Sex Dating Apps A 2018 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine discovered that sharing an STD with a casual sex partner, a practice known as “casual sex networking,” was associated with a 43 percent increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. It’s important to remember that many of these risks could be avoided, according to the study. The WHO also found that people who have had multiple sexual partners are more likely to have an STD. There are plenty of reasons why casual sex can be bad for you and your health, even if it involves nothing more than kissing and heavy petting. “If you have sex with someone for any reason other than to have sex with him or her, you’re more likely to get an STD,” says Nancy Kass, an infectious disease specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Not only are casual encounters less likely to protect you from STDs, they may also put you at a higher risk of acquiring one in the first place. “With regard to sexual encounters that are casual in nature, there are a number of reasons you may be more susceptible to contracting an STD,” says Kass. Compared to having sex with long-term partners, casual sex can be less satisfying, primarily because it lacks the emotional, social, and financial relationship that comes with having something more serious. According to Emily Morse, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University, casual sex can also come with a host of psychological consequences. “Casual sex hurts the emotional well-being of sex workers because there’s a substantial amount of shame and a lack of autonomy within the sex work industry, so a lot of women who sell sex to men they’ve met through apps experience a lot of isolation,” she says. There are definitely limits to casual sex; if you’re concerned that you might be using the app for sex purposes, then maybe it’s time to head back to the friend zone. In one 2014 survey, the most common motivations for casual sex were sleeping around, one-night stands, and random hookups. I’ve been married twice; both times I was too scared to jump into anything passionate. In fact, I hooked up with guys on a dating site because I didn’t trust myself. You’re not any less of a player because someone you’re sleeping with isn’t someone you’re in love with. Again, those kinds of matches can be great if you approach them properly, but if you’re going to set the bar so low, you’re a lot less likely to be